There are many reasons why you might move files between a laptop and an Android smart phone. You might have photos you want to download from a phone to a laptop so that you can back them up or store them on a larger drive. You may also want to move files, such as work documents or spreadsheets, from the laptop to the phone so you can access them when you’re away from you computer, such as while you’re commuting to work.
Whatever the reason, it’s generally easy to move data between the devices using a variety of technologies.
Assuming your laptop has a USB port, you can generally connect your smart phone to your laptop using the same cord you use to charge it. Plug the cord into the Android phone and the USB end into your laptop rather than into a charging adapter.
When a notification pops up on your phone saying, “Charging this device via USB,” tap it. In the “Use USB for” menu that pops up, tap “File Transfer.” If you’re using Microsoft Windows or a Google Chromebook, a window should pop up on the laptop to let you drag files back and forth between the two devices.
If you’re using an Apple Mac computer, you may need to download an additional Android File Transfer program on your computer. Download the app from the Android website if you don’t already have it, and open it to transfer files. Once you’ve used it once, it should automatically open the next time you connect you phone to the computer.
If your computer supports Bluetooth, the wireless protocol, you can also use Bluetooth to move files between your laptop and Android phone. First, enable Bluetooth on both devices.
On a Windows PC, you can find your Bluetooth settings by typing “Bluetooth” into the search box in the Start Menu or on your taskbar. On a Mac computer, you can find Bluetooth in the “System Preferences” menu, accessible through the Apple icon on the top of your screen. On an Android phone, you can usually find Bluetooth in the pull-down menu accessible from the home screen.
Once Bluetooth is enabled, choose the Android phone from the list of available Bluetooth devices in your computer’s Bluetooth preferences menu. You may be prompted to enter or verify a security code on one or both of the devices. Once the devices are paired, browse your phone for the file or photo you want to send to the computer, and use the sharing options to select “Share via Bluetooth.” You’ll be prompted to save it on the computer.
To send a file from the computer to your phone, click the option within your Bluetooth preferences to send a file, then browse for the file you wish to transfer. Confirm on the phone that you want to receive the file on that device, and indicate where to put it.
You can also use cloud file management services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to sync files between your devices. Many allow some limited file storage for free and will charge you to store and transfer more data.
Shop around to find a cloud service that suits your needs.