It can be simple to transfer files between a Windows PC and an Android tablet (or phone). Android devices can easily connect to a computer via USB.
In the best case scenarios, the process is as simple as dragging and dropping files between windows. Sometimes, there's a little extra work to do in getting your computer to recognise the tablet. Read on for our step-by-step guide to moving files to an Android device over USB.
N.B. For this guide, we used a Google Nexus 10 tablet, running Android 4.4.4.
1. Connect your Android tablet to the computer with a USB cable. Windows will automatically recognize it as an MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) device. If an Autoplay window comes up, select Open device to view files using Windows Explorer.
- If an Autoplay window does not appear, open your Computer by clicking the Start button and then selecting Computer or My Computer. A window showing your connected devices will appear. Double-click on your tablet in the list to access it.
- Right-click on your phone and select Properties to see how much free space it has. This will impact how many files you can copy.
2. Open another Windows Explorer window, one where you want the files copied to and browse to the folder on your PC that contains the files you want to transfer. Have both windows open, side-by-side, visible on the screen.
- Be careful when moving files while in your phone’s storage. Many of the folders you see contain critical information to keep your phone working.
3. Click and select the files from your computer you wish to transfer. Drag these files to the opposite Windows Explorer window to transfer them to the tablet.
- Hold down the Ctrl button while dragging your music to make sure you copy it and not move it.
- You can copy over folders as well as individual files.
4. After the files have been successfully copied to the tablet, close the folder windows and disconnect the USB cable.
If the tablet is not recognised by your PC
The USB connection is configured automatically whenever you connect your Android tablet to your PC. However, if it doesn’t work, it may require some slight manual tweaking.
To edit this configuration, tap Settings from the main Android menu, and then select the Storage option. In the top right corner, select the sub-menu, and tap USB computer connection. Select the appropriate connection type below via the check boxes.
The USB connection can be configured for two purposes:
- Media Device (MTP) – with this setting selected, the tablet thinks it is a media player
- Camera (PTP) – in this setting, the tablet identifies as a camera, best used for transferring photos or video