How to Access Android Phone Files Through a Computer

It has happened to most of us, we lose our phone or buy a new phone and forget to backup little Mickey’s birthday party photos, last year’s Christmas reunion or the like. Photos take us back to a specific moment in time. If your phone is filled with photos, memes, motivational quotes, spreadsheets etc. it might be time to organize your digital life and store those files on your computer or in the cloud to be able to access them in the future.

There are several ways to connect your phone to a computer, either via wired or wireless options. In this article, we will cover some of the easiest ways to access your phone’s data.

USB Cable
One of the most basic ways of connecting your phone to your computer is via a USB cable, nowadays most Android phones use a micro usb cable and are less than $5.

Android Phones
To connect your Android phone simply use a standard micro usb cable and one of the following options as an interface to access your data:

Windows 10 Option – If you’re running the latest version of windows you can access your phone files through “Phone companion” which shows you some basic information about your phone and gives you the option to backup your photos or access your files.


In case you’re running an older version of Windows you will have the option to access your files through “This PC” or “My Computer” as it used to be named on older versions of Windows, this will allow you to see your phone’s internal and external storage as separate units.


OS X – For those running an Apple operating system, such as the latest OS X “El Capitan”, you will need to download Android File Transfer in order to take a peek at your phone’s file structure.

To download please follow this link: Android File Transfer. The site offers very simple instructions on how to install and use it.

In case you want to go the paid route on Windows, you can spend $39.99 on a lifetime license for Wondershare MobileGo, which will allow you to access your files, mirror phone content to your computer, install applications and more. It is well worth it if you want to take control of your phone through your computer.


Wireless Route
The easiest way to access your files would be the wireless way, no need to look for that micro USB cable, just sync between phone and computer through one of the following options.

AirDroid gives you the option to transfer your files wirelessly, just download the software to your computer and create an account, once you have created your account download the app on your phone, log in on phone and computer and you will be able to sync your files wirelessly and also see any incoming calls or messages on your computer monitor.

You can download AirdDroid for Windows or OSX on the following link also take a look at this video for a quick overview of the features you can access with AirDroid.

Cloud Service
Most likely you already have a Google account, if you have not heard of Google Drive you’re missing on some easy to access storage. In case you don’t have a Google account create one now, download the Google Drive app via the Play Store here and download the computer desktop version here so you can start transferring files seamlessly between your Android or iOS phone and your desktop computer.

In case you don’t have a Google account and want to try a different free basic service you can try Dropbox. Both services offer basic storage, but for starting out you are better of with Google as it gives you 15gb free storage compared to the 2gb that Dropbox gives you.

Cloud services offer very similar features, the main difference is the size provided in the free and paid plans, but most usually work with a client software that can be downloaded either on a computer or cell phone that will allow you to connect to the server where your files are located.

Now you have some options to keep your phone clean and all your files in a safer place, take the time to manage your files this way and you will have some great memories to share in the future.



Lead Tech Guy at InfoTut
Dave loves using and writing about technology. He's our primary blogger at InfoTut!