Organizing your Phone: Backing up Pictures and Files to your Computer

Are you running out of space on your phone, or looking for more ways to back up your favorite pictures and videos? Maybe you want to view these files easily, whether you have your phone on you or not. Moving pictures and files to your computer is fast and easy, and there are multiple ways you can do it. Here are just a few of my preferred ways to transfer pictures and files to my computer:

USB Connection

One easy way to transfer your desired files is to directly connect your phone to your computer using a micro USB cable. First, plug your phone into your computer. If you are using a Windows computer, depending on what version of Windows you are running, you might need to download the Windows Media Feature Pack for your appropriate Windows version. A quick Google search for “Windows Media Feature Pack [your operating system]” will bring you to the Microsoft page you need for this installation. If you are using a Mac computer, you will need to download the Android File Transfer tool.

Windows Users

When you plug the phone into your computer for the first time, the computer might ask if you want to install drivers. Be sure to click OK to continue. If your phone is not recognized by the computer, you will need to download those drivers here. You may notice a new notification at the top of your phone at this time. Drag down your notifications menu and select the “USB connection” notification. Then, connect as a Media device (MTP). Finally, you can open and view your phone’s folders in the Computer devices on your computer. All you need to do is drag and drop the files you’d like to save to your computer and, voila! Everything is now on your computer.

Mac Users

After installing the Android File Transfer tool, simply plug your phone into the computer. It should automatically detect your phone and pop up the file folder with all of your phone’s files. Simply drag and drop any files you’d like to save to your computer.

Google Photos App

The Google Photos app on your phone is a great means of syncing your photos to the Google cloud. You can find it by opening your app drawer and selecting the app called “Photos.” If you do not have the Photos app, you can download it easily from the Play Store. If you are new to the Photos app, you will have the option to Back up & sync your device with your Google account when you open it the first time. If you have already used the Photos app and want to check your settings, simply tap the menu button in the top left, select Settings > Back up & sync and switch it on. Be sure you are connected to WiFi when uploading your pictures to the Google cloud so you can save on your data usage.

SD Card

If your phone has a micro SD card slot, all you will need to do is move whatever files you’d like to put on your computer to the SD card. Once you’ve inserted the micro SD card, simply follow these instructions on how to move pictures and files to your SD card. Then, you will need a micro SD card reader to transfer the pictures and files to your computer. Some laptops have them built in, but if yours does not or you are using a desktop, you can get a micro SD card reader to do the job for you.

Once you have the card reader available, simply remove the micro SD card from the back of your phone and insert it into the reader. The files should pop up on your computer, and you can copy the files to your computer.

Hopefully, this will help you free up some space and keep all of your favorite pictures and files safely backed up to your computer!

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4 thoughts on “Organizing your Phone: Backing up Pictures and Files to your Computer”

  1. Ok, I’ve plugged my Moto X into my computer, but how do I locate the contacts, photos, etc on the phone to copy them to my computer. When I open the phone’s internal storage folder on my computer I see multi pages of more folders. Which folders should I copy for my contacts, which folders for my photos, etc.

  2. Hands down, this is the way to save your photos/videos and keep your phone space available:
    Sweet Home WiFi Picture Backup

    What it does is wait until you get to your home WiFi and then will automatically back up your photos/videos to your home PC via SMB (windows file sharing – Mac users can set it up too). Then after a certain amount of time (I pick 2 weeks), it’ll also remove it from your phone to keep only recent photos readily available on the phone, but freeing up space.

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