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How to Remotely Transfer Photos from an Android Phone to Computer


Everyone captures photos with their phones, but the main issue arises when you have to transfer photos from an Android phone to a computer. There are several ways to do this, and perhaps the most common solution is to connect the phone to your computer via a USB cable. But even if you don’t have a cable on hand, there are several ways to remotely transfer photos from an Android phone to your Windows PC.

Good to know: learn how to run your favorite Android apps on Windows.

1. Use Windows’s Native Photos App

Perhaps the easiest way to wirelessly transfer photos from an Android device to a PC is through the built-in Windows Photos app. This method relies on OneDrive to work. The service is preinstalled on recent Windows versions.

On Your Android Phone

Install the OneDrive app on your phone, and log in with the same credentials you used when you first activated the account.

Once you’ve done that, tap on “Files” at the bottom, which will take you to your OneDrive folder.

Select “Pictures.” Tap on the “+” button in the upper-right corner.

Pressing "+" button in the OneDrive app for Android.

Select “Upload.”

Tapping on "Upload'' button in pop-up menu in OneDrive app for Android.

Find your image, and tap it to select it. The image will start uploading. To view the image, tap on “Photos” at the bottom.

Checking uploaded images in OneDrive app for Android.

FYI: Photos app not working? Learn what to do.

On Desktop

Open the Photos app on your Windows PC. Click on the gear-shaped icon in the upper-right corner.

Enabling "OneDrive - Personal" toggle in Photos app Settings on Windows.

Scroll down until you find the “OneDrive” accounts section, and make sure that the “OneDrive – Personal” toggle is enabled.

Click on “OneDrive – Personal” in the menu on the left.

Viewing image uploaded on Android in Photos app.

If this is your first time doing it, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your OneDrive credentials. The image you uploaded from your Android will be visible in the Photos app. If you don’t see it, try exiting the app and opening it again.

To save an image to your PC, right-click it, and select the “Open in File Explorer” option.

Clicking on "Open in File Explorer" option in Photos app.

You can easily copy it from the OneDrive folder to another location on your computer.

Note: you can also access OneDrive on your PC via Windows Search. From there, navigate to the “Pictures” folder to find the images you uploaded from Android.

Microsoft’s PhoneLink app (Windows | Android) seamlessly bridges the gap between your smartphone and Windows PC, enabling effortless synchronization of photos, as well as notifications, messages, calls, and more.

It’s honestly a great way to sync your devices, and you can pair your Android and PC within seconds. If you’re ready to get started, check out our in-depth guide on how to connect your Android to Windows using PhoneLink.

Phone Link app on desktop showing image from connected Android phone.

Once the two are linked, you can access your Android photo collection by pressing on the “Photos” button in the PhoneLink client for desktop. From there, you can easily save photos to your PC, and share or delete them.

Tip: check out how to create an album on Google Photos and add images to it.

3. Via Google Photos

Another method for wirelessly transferring photos from your Android device to your PC is to use Google Photos. Most Android devices come with the Google Photos app installed by default, so you won’t need to download an additional app to your phone. Google Photos is also accessible as a web application on your PC. You will need to have a working Gmail account for this method to work. Use it to log in to the Google Photos app, as well as the Web version of Google Photos.

On Your Android Device

Open the image you want to transfer on your Android device.

Clicking on "Share" icon in Photo gallery app on Android phone.

Press the “Share” option, then select “Upload to Photos.” If you’re doing this for the first time, you may not see the option immediately and may need to press “More.”

Selecting "Upload to Photos" option from Share menu on Android phone.

Tap “Upload.” If you have multiple Google accounts, make sure to select the one where you wish to upload the photo.

Uploading photo from Gallery on Android phone to Google Photos.

It is also possible to transfer multiple photos in one go. Select them all via your phone’s Gallery app, and look for the Share button, which should be along the top.

On Desktop

On your PC, open your favorite browser, navigate to Google Photos, and ensure that you’re signed in.

Google Photos view on web with image uploaded from Android visible.

The interface will load immediately. The image you’ve uploaded from Android should be visible at the top in the “Today” section.

Click on the image, then click the three dots in the upper-right corner.

Clicking on three dots in upper right corner of Google Photos on web.

Select “Download” to save it to your PC.

Selecting "Download" photo in Google Photos for web.

Again, it’s possible to download multiple photos in one go. Hover on a photo until you see the little checkmark appear in the left corner. Click it, then click on all the other photos you wish to download. Press the three dots in the upper-right corner, and select “Delete.”

4. Via Bluetooth

If you have a computer that features Bluetooth functionality, you can transfer photos over Bluetooth.

First, verify that the Bluetooth functionality is on for both devices. On your Android phone, swipe from the top of your display to bring up “Quick Settings.” Ensure that Bluetooth is toggled on.

Checking Bluetooth is enabled on Android

On the Windows device, go to “Settings -> Bluetooth & devices,” and make sure the Bluetooth toggle at the top is enabled. You should also note the name of your PC here, displayed next to “Discoverable as.”

Checking Bluetooth is enabled on PC.

You can also check the Action Center to verify that the Bluetooth toggle is on. (Click the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray.) If you can’t see the Bluetooth button, learn what to do.

Action Center in Windows view.

On the Android Device

Go to “Settings -> Connected devices.”

Navigating to "Connected devices" in Android settings.

Tap on “Pair new device.”

Tapping on "Pair new device" button in Android settings.

Once your PC pops up as a Bluetooth device, tap on it.

Selecting PC from list of Bluetooth devices available for pairing in Android settings.

A pop-up will appear showcasing a code. Press on the “Pair” button.

Remotely Transfer Android Mobile Pair Request

Tip: learn how to install the Android Studio and SDK tools in Windows.

On Desktop

Click on “Add a device” above the name of your phone in a pop-up on the desktop.

"Add a device" prompt on PC, requesting paring.

A pop-up with a PIN will ask if this is the same PIN that showed on your phone a few seconds ago. If it matches, press “Yes.”

Pop-up on PC asking if you recognize pairing PIN from phone.

A “Connection succeeded” message will pop up on the PC.

"Connection succeeded" pop-up on PC.

Making the Transfer

Go to “Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> Devices” on your computer, and scroll down until you find “Related Settings.” Click on “Send or receive files via Bluetooth.”

Selecting the "Send or receive files via Bluetooth" option in Windows Settings.

Select “Receive files.”

Selecting "Receive files" option to start Bluetooth file transfer.

This will open a new “Waiting for a connection” screen.

"Waiting for a connection" screen in Bluetooth File Transfer wizard.

Switch to your Android phone, and find an image you wish to transfer. Press the “Share” button underneath.

Tapping "Share" button for photo opened with Gallery app on Android.

Select “Bluetooth.” If you don’t see this option, press on “More.”

Selecting "Bluetooth" from the sharing option at the bottom.

Select your PC.

Selecting your PC from the list of devices to start Bluetooth transfer.

The transfer should initiate. You’ll be able to see its progress on both your mobile and PC.

Bluetooth file transfer visible at the top of Android screen.

Once the transfer is complete, click “Finish” on PC.

Remotely Transfer Android Pc Finish Transfer

To start transferring another image, retrace the steps above once again. Make sure you check the path where your images were saved to your PC.

Note: it’s possible to send multiple files via Bluetooth as well, but be warned that the process will progress quite slowly.

5. Use Email

If you have an email address, you can easily transfer photos from your Android phone to your PC. Make sure you’ve installed the same email app on your phone.

Remotely Transfer Android Gmail Attachments

From your email app, create an email addressed to yourself. Add the photos as attachments and send it. Open the email on your PC, and download the images.

Keep in mind that most mail services come with an attachment limit. For instance, the Gmail limit is 25MB. If you exceed this limit, you may have to send another email.

Tip: learn how to encrypt an email in Gmail.

6. Use a Third-Party App

You can also use a third-party app to transfer your photos to your PC if you don’t like any of the methods detailed above. For instance, Photo Transfer (Windows | Android). You’ll need to download the app on both devices for this scheme to work. The devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Open the Photo Transfer app on your PC and mobile device. Click on the “Find devices” button on the left on the PC. Your phone should appear underneath.

Clicking on "Find devices" button in Photo Transfer app for PC.

Click on your Android.

Pressing on Android phone model in Photo Transfer app for desktop.

A pop-up will ask you to authorize the connection. Select your preferred option.

Authorizing connection from PC to mobile device via Photo Transfer mobile app.

The phone will display a “Connected” message.

Photo transfer mobile app connected to PC message.

Back on your PC, you will see all your Android images grouped in various folders.

Android photos visible in Photo Transfer app on PC.

Browse the folders until you find the images you want to save to your PC. Select them, then press “Download” at the bottom.

Clicking "Download" button in PhotoTransfer app.

7. Take Advantage of Cloud Storage

Another method you may want to take into consideration is uploading your images to a cloud storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, using their dedicated Android apps.

You can access the same service from your PC via a browser and download the images from there.

Tip: want to send high-quality videos via WhatsApp? Learn how in this tutorial.

8. Via Your Favorite Social App

Employ this method if you don’t care about the transferred photo’s quality, as these apps will reduce the image’s quality. If you need to quickly transfer a photo of your shopping list or some cool memes you’ve received from your friends, use a social or messaging app that also has a Web or desktop client. Options include:

Sharing Images Easily Between Devices

Being able to sync your Android images with your Windows PC has never been easier. There’s also a simple way to connect your iOS device with a Windows PC. Add iCloud email in Outlook for Windows and Android for an even more interconnected experience.

Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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