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How To's
How to Transfer Files and Music to an Android Phone Using USB

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November 20th, 2009

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So you’ve plugged your USB to microUSB cable into your computer and Android phone and are ready to start downloading files. Staring intently at your screen, you wait for a drive, a window — something, anything — where you can drag-and-drop your files, but it just doesn’t come. Well, chances are, you are missing one simple yet critical but step. Here’s how to transfer files to your Android phone:

  1. Connect your Android phone to your computer using the microUSB to USB cable.
  2. If you are using a PC, you will see an installation bubble pop up in the bottom right of your screen. Wait for the computer to successfully complete installation.
  3. The critical step: On your Android phone, pull down the notification window (aka ‘window shade’) and tap USB connected.
  4. A notification window will appear. Tap Mount. Your phone will enter USB storage mode.
  5. Find the removable storage drive. On a PC, navigate to My Computer and look for a new removable storage drive. On a Mac, the drive will appear on your desktop.
  6. Drag-and-drop the desired file(s) to the drive.
  7. In your phone’s notification window, tap Turn off USB storage.
  8. Unplug your phone and you’re all set.

Shop Now for Phones from AT&T Wirelesss, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Related posts:

  1. How To Transfer Files With Bluetooth Using a BlackBerry
  2. How to Download Music to your Cell Phone for Free
  3. Transfer Contacts To A New Phone
  4. How to transfer pictures to and from a BlackBerry on Mac or PC

126 Responses to “How to Transfer Files and Music to an Android Phone Using USB”

  • jpgall
    July 25, 2014

    Thanks. The instructions worked perfectly for me.

  • When i try to copy things from my phone to the laptop i keep getting “requested source is in use

  • Ive done these steps but when I go to play my music it makes a weird noise, but it downloaded the music. Im not sure what im doing wrong. Ive done this with my other phones and it played fine. Could it be the way I saved the music ? Does it make a difference that this is a galaxy s4 ? Would be awesome if someone could help me out here. Thanks

  • I pulled down the menu like you said and clicked on the usb where I change whether it’s connected as a media device or a camera, by what the descriptions say I have it connected as a media.. But anyway I do not see a mount button anywhere. I really want to transfer a song over to my phone so I can set it as my ring tone.. Putting my phone next to the speaker of my computer and recording it with the voice recorder app just isn’t turning out with good enough quality..
    I have a Verizon wireless razr M phone if that helps.

  • Brenten
    July 5, 2012

    Sweet! Fast, and easy! worked!

  • I have a Samsung Admire and these steps worked like a charm! Thanks!

  • Hey i have a samsung exhibit 2 4g and i try to drag music into it it but doesnt let me and videos when i try to drag the it tells me i need to convert them to mp4 help plzz thnks

    • Hi JC,
      You might need to download a software title that will convert your files to the correct format. Then you will be able to drag and drop them on to your phone.
      -Scott at Wirefly

  • Where does the music go when you download the music I have a HTC Inspire 4G Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Nori,
      You need to have available storage on your phone or an SD card to put it on. After you load the music your Inspire should recognize the music and have it available to play.
      -Scott at Wierfly

  • Quick, easy.

    Thanks!

  • I have a samsung transform ultra. and i plug in my phone but nothing comes up. i got an installation wizzard but didnt think it was right so i exited out of it.. and now whenever i plug in my phone, i cant get it to come back up.. help?

    • Hi alh,
      You should still be able to see your phone as a mass storage device on the my computer window. Make sure that USB mode is turned “on” on your phone and you should be good.
      -Scott at Wirefly

  • Hi..i have a samsung admire from metro…ive downloaded mp4 movies but im having trouble transfering the file to my phone..its like it doesnt exist..why?

    • Hi Lewis,
      Do you see it as a storage device in your My Computer tab? Your phone is MP4 compatible so you should not have an issue loading them.

  • I plugged my phone which is an LG Optimus to my computer, but nothing happens the phone just starts charging….please help

    • Hi Oscar,

      You should see it like it was a portable hard drive and then you just drag and drop files onto the device. If it is not showing up I would recommend restarting both the phone and the computer. Then go into settings and then into the applications tab. After that select development and USB debugging. It should appear like that hard drive now. Make sure to turn it off when you are finished doing what you would like. If it is still not showing up I would take my phone to the carrier and ask them to test it out and exchange it if it does not work.

      -Scott at Wirefly

  • when i plug in usb cable, a folder labelled SGH-1717R appears in my PC’s file mgr but i can’t see anything but a bunch of UnknownObjectxxx folders and it won’t let me drag/drop into any of them or the SGH-1717R main folder.

    • Chas, check carefully for another folder and/or external drive that pops up when you plug your phone into your computer. With many phones, the right folder pops up but it looks like all the other folders. Check carefully to see if there is a new folder or external drive.

      If there is no such folder/drive, my suggestion is to take your phone to store for your carrier and have someone there check it for you.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Azarry
    April 4, 2012

    How can I download games/musics to my phone from the website? When i download games to computer for my phone, I follow the instruction above..but the file of the game doesnt exist to my phone, any advice? Pls. help! i’m using Samsung Galaxy Y Thank you! :) Asap pls.

    • Azarry, the Samsung Galaxy Y is not sold in the US, so I don’t know anything about it. You should be able to download games and apps from the Android Market (now called “Google Play”). If you can not do this, you need to speak to your carrier.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • When I tap on the “USB connected” Notification, the notification bar just collapses back.
    I tried holding it down as well. And messing with the USB settings.
    CONFUSED.

    • Erica, yes that notification does exactly what you experienced and it is not helpful. It looks like it should work, but it does nothing. Quite maddening!

      What phone do you have? I will try to give you step-by-step instructions based on your model of phone. Unfortunately, I will not be in over the weekend and it will be Monday before I can address your question. In the meantime, you can go to one of the carrier’s stores and ask them to run through the steps to connect your phone. If you can wait until Monday, I will try to help you then.

      Bob at Wirefly

      • ashley
        April 2, 2012

        I’ve got my Droid phone plugged into my computer with the USB plug, it’s all connected, but I can’t find my photo gallery when I open the “removable disk” folder. I found the pictures that I had downloaded onto my phone, but none of the pictures I took with the phone. Any idea how to locate these?

        • Ashley, there may be more than one drive associated with your DROID phone. Look at the list of drives attached to your computer and see if there are two new ones when you plug the phone in. Whatever drive the photos are on, they are usually inside a folder called “DCIM”. If you see a folder called DCIM, click on it to see what’s inside. There may be another folder called “Camera”. That’s how the folder structure works out in lots of current phones.

          Again, look to see if two drives are added to your computer when you plug your DROID in. The photos may be “on” the second drive.

          Hope that helps!

          Bob at Wirefly

  • I’ve managed to transfer the songs, but there’s no album picture. What should I do? There is an album picture in iTunes but not on my phone. I have an HTC Desire HD with Android 2.3 and Sense 3.0.

    • Martin, syncronizing iTunes with an Android phone takes a couple extra steps, but it’s not that hard. Take a look at this article on CNET, make sure DoubleTwist is on your phone and computer, and follow the steps in the article. You should be able to load the missing album art.

      Good luck!

      Bob at Wirefly

  • I’ve put some video in my phone loading it into my external sd card and then putting card back in my phone. Some videos will not come up in my gallery. Others will. I thought some of the videos didnt ge get copied onto my sd card because they are not showing in my phone but when I go to my computer and try to copy to the external as card again it ask if I want to replace the copy of the video that is already on the external sd card. So why can’t I see some videos in my gallery and others are there?

    • Scott, I’m just guessing but the videos you loaded onto the SD card may be different formats. For example, a video might be in .mov format and another might be in .mpg format. Depending on your phone, it might not be able to display one or the other of those. And although you might think that all .mov files are the same, the reality is that “.mov” is just a shell and the video inside the shell might have different encoding from another .mov file. (The same is true for .mpg files, and for other common cell phone video formats such as .gpp.)

      I’m just guessing, but this could be causing some videos to be visible and others to be apparently missing.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • for mac?

    • Jari, are you asking if you can transfer music files from a Mac to an Android phone? Yes, you can.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • Does this work on a LG eclipse?

    • Gerry, yes the techniques discussed in this article should work on the LG Eclipse, which is also known as the LG Enlighten.

      Bob at Wirefly

  • i did all the necessary steps, though, i saw all the notification but i didnt see any transferred file..its baffling me cos i need to download some musics on my fone, please help, thank youu..i use android smartphone.

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