Whether you use a top Android phone or a budget phone, you probably take photos with it. While it’s perfectly fine to view them on your phone’s screen, you may want to transfer them to your computer. Once these images are on your computer, you can edit them, view them on a larger screen, or save them. There are several ways to achieve this, but some are specific to some brands or don’t always work with Macs.
You’ll find plenty of free cross-device photo transfer options with no prerequisites, so you can send files seamlessly from your Android device to your PC or Mac. Read on to find which ones work best for you.
Transfer photos with a USB cable
Using a USB cable is a quick and easy way to transfer photos and files from your phone to your computer. You can use a basic USB-A to USB-C cable. However, it is best if your computer has a USB-C port and you have a USB-C to USB-C cable. Here’s how the process works:
- If you have a Mac, install Android File Transfer.
- Connect your phone to your Mac or PC with a USB cable. If your computer has a USB-C port, use a USB-C to USB-C cable or a USB-A cable with an adapter. Otherwise, use a USB-C to USB-A cable.
- Unlock the phone and open notification board.
- Tap on the notification that mentions the USB status. It can say USB charging via USB.
- If you’re using a USB-C to USB-C cable, check USB controlled by section at the top and select This device.
- Under Use USB toselect Transfer of files.
- Press if prompted Allow on your phone.
- A file transfer window will open on your computer.
- Browse your folders to drag and drop the photos you want to transfer to your computer. Your camera roll is placed in The DCIM folder.
- When done, detach the phone from the computer operating system and disconnect the USB cable.
Transfer photos using Bluetooth
If you’re transferring a few photos, Bluetooth can be a good option. Bluetooth requires no cable and works seamlessly, no matter what operating system you’re using. It offers relatively low transfer rates, so it’s not the most suitable method for sending more than a few images. The process for sending files over Bluetooth is slightly different on macOS than on Windows, but it’s still relatively simple.
Set up Bluetooth sharing on a Mac
- Open System Preferences.
- Click Sharing.
- Select Bluetooth sharing.
- Return to the main page System Preferences screen.
- Click blue tooth.
- Make sure your Mac shows up as is discovered. You will find it under the large Bluetooth logo on the left.
Set up Bluetooth sharing on a Windows PC
- Open Windows settings.
- Click Bluetooth and devices.
- Click Units.
- Click Send or receive files via Bluetooth under the Related Settings section.
- Click Receive files.
Transfer photos from your phone to your computer
Once you’ve completed the steps above, head over to your phone to share your photos:
- Open your Android phone Gallery app.
- Find the photos you want to transfer. If it’s one after the other, tap and hold the first one and slide your finger over the others to select them together.
- Press Share button.
- Select blue tooth.
- Tap the computer name to start the transfer.
- If you haven’t paired your devices, you’ll receive a notification on your phone and computer. Accept it on both to pair the two devices.
- You may be asked to accept incoming transmission on your computer.
- Once the transfer is complete, the images are accessible via your computer’s file explorer or Finder.
Transfer photos with Google Photos
Another easy way to move photos from your phone to your computer is to use Google Photos. Since photos from your phone are automatically uploaded to the cloud, it’s easy to retrieve them on your computer without much effort. This requires an active internet connection, but you do not need to select the images to be sent.
Before you begin, let Google Photos automatically upload your photos to the cloud. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Google Photos.
- Press your profile picture.
- If it says Backup is off, tap Turn on Backup.
- Confirm by pressing Turn on Backup again.
Now that your photos are backed up to the cloud, it’s easy to retrieve them on your computer:
- Use your favorite browser to navigate to Google Photos.
- Select the images you want to download.
- Press ⋮ overflow menu in the upper right corner.
- Click download.
- Google Photos creates a ZIP archive of the selected photos that you can download to your computer.
Save your photos easily
Most modern smartphones take good pictures, but we often have to transfer them to a computer to edit, save or view them. The process is relatively simple and does not require much fiddling. A Bluetooth connection may be the fastest option available, depending on the number of photos you want to transfer. However, if you are sending multiple files, consider using a cable connection as it is faster and easier. Still, the Google Photos app is an excellent way to back up your files to the cloud and download them to your computer if you have a reliable internet connection.
Whichever method you choose, Google Photos is a valuable companion to help you organize your photos, both locally and online. If you’re not convinced, check out our selection of the best Android photo gallery apps that work as alternatives to Google Photos. Most of them don’t let you upload your photos to the cloud, but you can use a USB cable or Bluetooth to transfer photos from your phone to your computer.