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Transfer files between your computer and Android device

You can move photos, music, and other files between your computer and phone or tablet with a USB cable. You can also move files from your device to a computer.

Note: Some of this information may not apply to all devices because Android isn't exactly the same on every device. These instructions are for devices with Android 4.4 and up. See what version of Android you have.

Move your files with a USB cable

Windows transfer
  1. Unlock your device’s screen.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your device to your computer.
  3. Swipe down from the top of your device's screen to see your notifications.
  4. Tap the USB for... notification. Then tap Transfer files.
  5. A file transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag and drop files, just like with other external devices and storage.
  6. When you're done, eject your device from Windows.
  7. Unplug the USB cable.
Mac transfer

To transfer files, you must have Android File Transfer installed on your computer. Android File Transfer is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 or later and Android 3.0 or later.

  1. Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer.
  2. Open Android File Transfer. (The next time that you connect your device, it should open automatically.)
  3. Unlock your device’s screen.
  4. With a USB cable, connect your device to your computer.
  5. Swipe down from the top of your device's screen to see your notifications.
  6. Tap the USB for... notification. Then tap Transfer files.
  7. An Android File Transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag and drop files.
  8. When you’re done, unplug the USB cable.

Troubleshoot moving files with a USB cable

If you’re having trouble moving files:

  • Try a different USB cable. Not all USB cables can transfer files.
  • Test the mini-USB port on your device by connecting your device to a different computer.
  • Test the USB port on your computer by connecting a camera or other device with USB.
  • Update your Android version to the latest available. Learn how to check and update your Android version.
  • Reboot your device by pressing the Power button for about 30 seconds, until your device restarts.
  • Restart your computer.

Windows troubleshooting

Check your computer’s settings to make sure that Windows automatically detects new hardware.

Mac troubleshooting

  • Make sure that Android File Transfer is compatible with your computer. You must have Mac OS X 10.5 or later and Android 3.0 or later. Learn how to check and update your Android version.
  • Make sure that the Android File Transfer application is open.

Manage your music without a USB cable

You can upload music on your computer to your Google Play library using Music Manager. Learn how to get started with Google Play Music or add your music.

Related links

Amy

Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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