Transfer files between your computer and Android device

You can transfer photos, music, and other files between your computer and device using a USB cable. You can also transfer 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.

Transfer files

Windows transfer
  1. Make sure your device’s screen is unlocked.
  2. Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  3. On your device, pull down your notification drawer by swiping down from the top of the screen. Touch the USB for... notification and then Transfer files (MTP).
  4. Use the File Transfer window that pops up on your computer to drag and drop files, just like other external devices.
  5. Eject your device from Windows, then unplug the USB cable.
Mac transfer

To transfer files, Android File Transfer must be 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 you connect your device, it should open automatically.)
  3. Make sure your device’s screen is unlocked.
  4. Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  5. On your device, pull down your notification drawer by swiping down from the top of the screen. Touch the USB for... notification and then Transfer files (MTP).
  6. Use the Android File Transfer window that pops up on your computer to drag and drop files.
  7. Disconnect the USB cable when you’re finished.

Manage your music

You can upload music on your computer to your Google Play library using Music Manager. Learn more about managing your music with Google Play Music.

Trouble transferring files through USB

If you’re having trouble transferring files, try the following steps:

  • Try a different USB cable. Not all USB cables can transfer files.
  • Test the mini-USB port on your Nexus 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 OS to the latest version available.
  • Restart your device.
  • Restart your computer.

Windows troubleshooting

  • Check your computer’s settings to make sure 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.
  • Make sure the Android File Transfer application is open.

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

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