There are plenty of ways to transfer files from Android to PC or vice versa. Here are some free and easy methods to share data, photos, videos and more files and documents between mobile phone and Windows computer. It is difficult to say which is best. Each approach has its advantages, disadvantages and situations when it is best applied.
Method 1. Transfer files through Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard whose purpose is to connect gadgets without a cable. It is good option for short-range wireless connection and data exchange, particularly for smaller files.
Step 1. Enable Bluetooth in Windows 11
If your PC is running on the latest Windows 11, there are two major ways to enable Bluetooth on it, either through the Quick Settings menu or the Windows Settings app. We will show you how to turn on Bluetooth in Windows 11 from the Settings.
Select Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices, then turn Bluetooth on.
Step 2. Turn on Bluetooth on Android phone
There are two major ways to enable Bluetooth on Android mobile: by using the Quick Settings menu or within the Settings app. Again, we’ll only show you how to turn on Bluetooth from the Settings app on Android phone. Also since there are so many Android phones on the market, the process to enable Bluetooth may differ across different brands, models.
On Tecno mobile: go to Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth. Turn on Bluetooth and choose Pair new device to allow your phone to scan nearby Bluetooth devices and start paring it.
On Infinix phone: it is almost the same as Tecno mobile phones, go to system Settings > Connected devices > Bluetooth. Touch the On toggle to enable Bluetooth on your Infinix smartphone.
On Huawei phone: go to Settings > Device connectivity > Bluetooth, turn on Bluetooth, then find your PC in the Available Devices section, tap on the PC name to start pairing with it.
Step 3. Pair Android with PC:
Tap ‘Pair new device‘, then find and choose your PC from the Available Devices section, the Bluetooth pairing code displays on your Android phone, and the Bluetooth pairing request with the passkey will be sent to the computer. Accept the pairing on your computer, so your mobile phone and Windows computer are paired together via Bluetooth.
Step 4. Send files from phone to PC via Bluetooth
On Windows 11 computer: navigate to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Devices, select Send or receive files via Bluetooth > Receive files.
On Android phone: you can start the file sharing from Gallery app, File Manager or any other apps with file sharing support. For example, you can share photos from Android to Desktop computer following these steps.
- Open Gallery or Photos app on Android.
- Find and open the photo to be shared.
- Tap Share > Bluetooth;
- Tap to select the Bluetooth device, your computer in this case, to share the file to.
- When prompted in the Bluetooth File Transfer dialog on your Windows computer, choose a location to save the file, then tap Accept to save the photo from Android to PC.
Method 2. Transfer files from Android to PC via USB
You can directly connect your computer and mobile phone using a USB data cable for file transfer from phone to PC or the other way around. This is very useful when you need to back up those large media files, such as camera photos, videos, movies, from Android to computer. This is the fastest Android to PC file transfer option for bulk file sharing.
When connecting your phone to PC with a USB cable, the Use USB for dialog will pop up, here you need to choose File transfer. Note that Settings can vary by phone. On the PC end, open File Explorer, look for your Android device in This PC, browse through the folders on your phone, and copy those files you want from phone to computer; Browse through your hard drives to find files and documents, copy them from computer to your mobile phone using the Windows File Explorer.
Use USB for File Transfer
If you’re connecting these devices for the first time, your phone will ask you to choose an option for the USB connection. If the pop-up doesn’t appear, most likely you have selected the USB connection type before. Or if your phone connected as media device other than storage, you can follow these steps to display the USB options and change it from there.
Swipe down from the top of your phone screen to bring down the Quick Settings & Notifications panel on Android.
Tap Android system > Tap for more options.
The USB Preferences dialog appears with various options you can use USB for, such as File Transfer, USB tethering, MIDI, PTP, No data transfer, etc. Here you can tap to enable File Transfer, so your phone will be connected as a storage device on your computer. You can then find it from Windows File Explorer > This PC. By the way, depending on the manufacturer, this option may have different names like MTP, Transfer files, File Transfer or Device File Manager.
Method 3. Send files from Android to computer through email
Email was the first extensively used method of file transfer between devices and still one of the most widely used forms of technological and business communication today. To send files from mobile phone to PC, all you need to do is attach the file to an email on your phone and send it to yourself. Then go to access that message from computer and download the attached files from email to your computer.
Due to the file size limit of email attachments, this method only works for small files. Many free email services do not allow attachments over 20MB.
There are mainly two ways you can send emails from mobile phone, via the web mail or email apps. You should find a Mail app on the Android device. Also the Gmail app may be pre-installed on most Android devices. Other than that, you can also use third-party email apps or clients to mange your inbox, such as Spark Mail, Yahoo Mail, AOL mail, Microsoft Outlook, Blue Mail, Yandex Mail, etc.
On the Windows side, you can use Windows Mail, or simply access your email account from web browsers. Many dedicated email clients or programs for desktop can also be found when you do a search on Google.
Method 4. Sync files across devices over cloud storage
You can use cloud services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Photos, Box, Amazon Drive, etc., to keep your data accessible from all devices of your own.
For example, you can follow these quick steps to get your photos and videos upload to your Google account from Android phone.
- Open the Google Photos app on your Android phone or tablet.
- Sign in to your Google Account.
- At the top right, tap your account profile photo or initial.
- Select Photos settings > Back up & sync.
- Tap “Back up & sync” on.
Method 5. Share files between Android and PC using SHAREit
We have mentioned this free file transfer app many times before. It is free, cross-platform, easy to use and very fast to transfer large files.
On your computer, access the SHAREit WebShare address, http://pc.ushareit.com, using a web browser, like Edge, Chrome, Firefox, etc. SHAREit WebShare will generate a QR code.
Then use SHAREit or SHAREit Lite for mobile to scan this QR code to establish connection. In SHAREit Lite for Android, tap on the More button to open the side menu and choose Connect to PC, then scan the QR code displayed on SHAREit web share page to connect up.
Once the phone and PC are connected, you select files in SHAREit app on the mobile and send them to computer.
Method 6. Send files from Android and PC with Xender
Similar to SHAREit, Xender is another popular, free, cross-platform file transfer app for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and more.
Run the file sharing app on your Android phone. Tap on the Menu at the top right corner, choose Connect PC. It works over Wi-Fi or hotspot. We will firstly show you how it works over Wi-Fi as it is easier. Tap on or swipe up to bring up the Web Mode from the bottom on the Connect to PC screen. Here you can see your current network name, the web address you can access your mobile phone from computer.
On your PC, launch a web browser, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or else, to access the above web address or IP address. You’ll be asked to confirm and accept the connection on your phone. After that, you will see Xender web interface like this.
Simply drag and drop files from computer to Xender Web interface to upload files to the phone. Or open the category from the side panel of Xender for web to initiate the file uploading.
Open the category in Xender for Web to access your files on the phone from computer, preview, select and download files from Android phone or tablet to your Windows PC or Mac computer.
When no Wi-Fi network available, you can go to create Hotspot network on your phone. After that, connect your computer to the hotspot network, open a desktop web browser on computer to access Xender web.
Method 7. Share files between Android and computer using Owlfiles
Owlfiles File Manager is a powerful file manager app on Android and iOS. It can access not only local files, but also files on your computer, NAS and cloud storages. Transfer files from any location to another location. Directly view and manage documents, photos and files without downloading.
There are at least three different ways you can copy files from Android to computer or vice versa using this free file manager app, via web, FTP, Windows file sharing.
#1. Share files via HTTP on Android
The file manager app can turn your mobile phone into a web server, you can visit web server URL address from PC to access your Android phone storage, choose and download files from Android to computer, similar to file downloading from websites on the Internet. You use your web browser on computer without installing any third-party apps. On Windows PC, you can use Edge browser, or Chrome, Firefox, to access the web file server to download files.
Run Owlfiles file manager app on Android phone. Switch to the More tab from the bottom. Choose Built-in Servers from the Toolbox section.
Once you are on the Built-in Servers screen, you can find the options to configure, start both Web server and FTP server.
Then hit the Start Servers to setup the Web server on your Android phone. And you will be presented with the web server URL at the bottom.
Now go to your PC, launch the Edge browser, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, to visit the web server. Make sure to type in the full HTTP address in the address bar of your desktop browser, including the prefix ‘http://’ and the affix, the port number 8080.
Click the Upload Files… button in Owlfiles web share to pick the files and documents from your computer and send them to your Android phone.
Browse to the folder to find the files from your phone through Owlfiles web server, click the download icon before a file to download it from mobile phone to Windows computer.
#2. Share files via FTP on Android
Run Owlfiles manager on your Android phone. Switch to More tab. Choose Built-in Servers from the Toolbox section.
Once you are on the Built-in Servers screen, you can find the options to configure, start both Web server and FTP server.
Note that the default FTP server port in the Built-in FTP server is 2121. So when you access the FTP server using an FTP client, make sure to use the correct FTP port.
Launch File Explorer on Windows PC, type in the full FTP server address, with ftp:// as the prefix and the port number as the affix, in the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard to access. You’ll be prompted to input the FTP username and its password if you created an FTP account in Owlfiles. No username or password required if anonymous access is enabled in Owlfiles app.
#3. Android access shared folders on Windows
Windows comes with network discovery and file sharing feature which allows users to share files or folders over LAN. Once you have turned on network discovery and file share in Windows system settings. Go to find the folder in File Explorer, right click on it to share this folder in your local network.
Run Owlfiles app on mobile phone. Switch to the Connections tab from the bottom. Tap the lightening button at the top right corner, choose New Connection > Windows.
Instead of manually type in the required information in this connection setup screen, choose your PC from the Network Neighborhood section at the bottom, input your PC username and password to quickly connect your Android phone to the Windows SMB file server. Finally save the connection to Owlfiles app.
You can go to Connections to find and access Windows shared folders and files from there. You can then copy files from Android to PC or the other way around in Owlfiles app.
Method 8. Copy files between Android and PC with CX explorer
Similar to Owlfiles Manager, Cx File Explorer is a free yet powerful file manager app with a clean and intuitive interface. With this file manager app, you can quickly browse and manage the files on your mobile device, PC, and cloud storage.
Like the Owlfiles, CX file explorer can also create FTP server on Android phone and connect to Windows shared folders. We will walk you through these two options below.
#1. Transfer files from Android to PC via FTP
Launch the file explorer app on your Android device, switch from the Local to the Network tab.
Then tap on Access from Network > Start Service. You will then get the FTP address(server IP and port number), username and password, see screenshot below.
On Windows PC, run the File Explorer, type in the full FTP server address, with ftp:// and the port number, in the address bar, then press Enter on the keyboard. You’ll be prompted to input the FTP username and its password if you created an FTP account in CX file manager. After authentication, you can browse through your files and folders on Android phone right from the Windows File Explorer. You can then copy files and folders between the phone and PC through FTP.
#2. Access Windows shared files from Android
Once you have created shared folders on Windows computer, you can use this file explorer app to access them.
Open Cx File Explorer on your Android mobile or tablet. Switch to Network tab. Tap + New location > Remote, you will see options for connecting to devices remotely, such as Local Network, SMB, FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, etc.
Choose Local Network. Then the explorer app on your Android phone will scan your local network for new devices.
Tap on your PC name, then enter PC username and password to log in to the computer, and access to the shared folders on the computer from your smart phone.
You will be able to browse, open, play, copy files from the shared folder on your PC using the file explorer app on your Android phone.
Method 9. Share files between mobile and desktop with MiXplorer
MiXplorer is just another free and powerful file manager and explorer app for Android with similar features above. It can help us not only manage files on our Android device but also share files between our phone and computers. This free app can turn our phones into FTP, HTTP or TCP SERVERS for wireless file sharing in local network.
#1. Transfer files from Android via HTTP
Run this file manager app on Android phone. Expand the menu from the top right corner, choose Servers from the menu.
Then you will find options to start FTP server, HTTP server and TCP server. Choose Start HTTP Server.
Now go to your computer which is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Android mobile. Launch a web browser, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or else, to access the above HTTP server address including the port number. Then save files from Android to your PC right from your desktop browser. Click Choose File button to select files on your PC and upload them to mobile phone through the desktop web browser.
#2. Android FTP file transfer using MiXplorer
Run the file manager app, tap the More menu(three vertical dots) at the top right corner, choose Servers from the list.
Tap Start FTP Server to setup FTP server on your mobile phone. The FTP server IP, port number and FTP server root folder will be displayed.
As we mentioned above, you can use Windows File Explorer on PC to connect to Android FTP server. Alternatively you may use dedicated FTP clients such as FileZilla, SmartFTP, Cyberduck, Transmit, WinSCP, etc.