Transfer files between your computer & Android device

You can use your Google Account or a USB cable to move photos, music, and other files between your computer and phone or tablet.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 9 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Option 1: Move files with your Google Account

After you upload files to your Google Account, you can use them on both your computer and Android device.

Option 2: Move files with a USB cable

Windows computer

Move files by USB

  1. Unlock your Android device.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your device to your computer.
  3. On your device, tap the "Charging this device via USB" notification.
  4. Under "Use USB for," select File Transfer.
  5. A file transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag files.
  6. When you're done, eject your device from Windows.
  7. Unplug the USB cable.

Troubleshoot moving files by USB

  • Troubleshoot your computer
    • Check your computer’s settings to make sure that Windows automatically detects new hardware.
    • Restart your computer.
  • Troubleshoot your Android device
  • Troubleshoot your USB connections
    • Try a different USB cable. Not all USB cables can transfer files.
    • To test the USB port on your device, connect your device to a different computer.
    • To test the USB port on your computer, connect a different device to your computer.
Mac computer

Your computer must be using Mac OS X 10.5 and up. Your Android device must be using Android 3.0 and up.

Move files by USB

  1. Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer.
  2. Open Android File Transfer. The next time that you connect your device, it opens automatically.
  3. Unlock your Android device.
  4. With a USB cable, connect your device to your computer.
  5. On your device, tap the "Charging this device via USB" notification.
  6. Under "Use USB for," select File Transfer.
  7. An Android File Transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag files.
  8. When you’re done, unplug the USB cable.

Troubleshoot moving files by USB

  • Troubleshoot your computer
    • Check that your computer is using Mac OS X 10.5 and up.
    • Check that your computer has Android File Transfer installed and open.
    • Restart your computer.
  • Troubleshoot your Android device
  • Troubleshoot your USB connections
    • Try a different USB cable. Not all USB cables can transfer files.
    • To test the USB port on your device, connect your device to a different computer.
    • To test the USB port on your computer, connect a different device to your computer.
Chromebook
  1. Unlock your Android device.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your device to your Chromebook.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. On your device, tap the "Charging this device via USB" notification.
  5. Under "Use USB for," select File Transfer.
  6. On your Chromebook, the Files app opens. Use it to drag files.
  7. When you're done, unplug the USB cable.

Learn what file types work on Chromebooks.

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