You have finally got rid of your old 90’s cell phone and returned to us, inhabitants of the 21st century, by purchasing an Android smartphone. You are very happy with your new “friend” but now you have to learn how to use it well. For example, you have to learn how to connect it to your PC to make a backup of all your data or, much more simply, to download the photos you have taken to your computer.
You ask me if there are any drivers or other programs to install? In most cases no, but it all depends on what you need to do and the type of smartphone you have purchased. If you have five minutes of free time, I will be happy to help you and explain in more detail how to connect Android to PC .
At the end of the reading, you will be perfectly able to connect your phone to the PC and perform all those operations that now seem very complicated: transfer photos, videos and music to the computer, recharge the device when there are no electrical outlets available and so on. . We will even see how to connect the smartphone and the PC wirelessly (ie wirelessly), but now let’s not get too lost in chatting and let’s get straight to the heart of the guide.
How to connect Android to PC without cable
Let’s start this guide by examining what, in my opinion, are the best methods to connect Android to the PC without a cable and manage and exchange files completely free.
AirDroid (Windows / macOS)
One of the most efficient ways to connect Android to your PC without a cable involves using AirDroid : it is a complete platform, which allows you to view Android notifications on your PC, manage contacts, SMS, call logs, photos and videos, as well as than to move files from one device to another. AirDroid is available as a web service (usable via the browser), as a standalone computer program and, of course, as apps on the Play Store and other alternative Android stores.
In its free version, AirDroid allows the management of up to 2 devices at a time and applies a data transfer limit of up to 30 MB for a single file , for a total of 200 MB . To eliminate these limitations and combine additional functions (such as the integrated anti-theft system, the selective deactivation of notifications and the movement of entire folders) it is necessary to subscribe to the service, at a cost of $ 2.99 / month ** or ** 24 , $ 99 / year .
To be able to use AirDroid easily, it is advisable (but not mandatory) to register an account: in this way, the exchange of information between devices takes place in a secure manner, it is not necessary to repeat the pairing procedure every time and, in addition, you can view all notifications in real time.
If you are interested in registering for the service, then connect to this website from your computer, click on the Register link and fill out the form proposed with the requested information (a valid email address , a nickname and a password to use to log in). To speed up the procedure, you can also register via Facebook , Twitter or Google , using the appropriate buttons located at the bottom.
Once the registration is complete, download the AirDroid app from the Google Play Store , or from an alternative store (if your device does not have Google services), then start it, tap the Sign in button and log in to the service using your credentials previously created. Then, touch the Continue and Allow buttons , in order to grant the app permissions to access the memory, and indicate whether or not to allow it to run in the background by responding appropriately to the proposed warning. To complete the configuration, touch the OK button and, using the levers displayed, choose the remote functions to be enabled.
At this point, return to the PC, connect to the AirDroid website and log in with the previously created credentials; if everything went well, you should see the device management panel, through which you can access the call log, SMS, apps installed on the device, photos, multimedia elements and many other functions. To start the service of your interest, double-click on its icon ; to disconnect the connection, close the browser window instead.
And if you want to use AirDroid without registering , do this: after connecting to the web page of the service, start the AirDroid app on your smartphone, tap the barcode symbol at the top right, grant access permissions to the camera and scan the QR code on the page displayed on the computer (taking care to remove the check mark from the Connect via HTTPS box , relating to the encrypted connection, in case of problems).
Send Anywhere (Windows / macOS / Web)
If your need was to quickly move files between smartphones and computers wirelessly, you can consider using the Send Anywhere service . It comes in the form of an Android app, a Windows and macOS program, and a web application, and allows you to quickly transfer files from one place to another using a well-structured coding system.
The service can be used for free, but with some limitations: each upload cannot exceed 10 GB and the links last 10 minutes . I want to clarify that it is not necessary for the phone and the computer to be connected to the same wireless network.
To send a file from your computer to Android, do this: connected to the Send Anywhere website , click on the (+) button located in the Send tab and, using the screen that is proposed to you, select the file to send (you can also choose more file, using the Ctrl / cmd keys on the keyboard) and click on the Send button that appears on the screen, in order to generate the code to be used on the smartphone, which must be used within 10 minutes.
At this point, press the Continue and Allow buttons , to ensure that the app can access the memory, then tap the Receive button and enter, in the appropriate text field, the numeric code generated just now by Send Anywere. If you prefer, tap on the QR Code icon and scan the QR code displayed on the site.
Following this procedure, the download of the file (s) will start automatically; files can be viewed within the History section of Send Anywhere and shared or saved using the system sharing menu .
To carry out the reverse step, that is to send a file from the smartphone to the PC, tap the Send button of the Send Anywhere app, tap on the category of the item to send, choosing it from those listed above ( photos , videos , audio , app and so on), put the check mark next to the content of your interest and touch the Send item located in the panel that appears at the bottom, in order to generate the download code.
To download the file, then connect to the Send Anywhere site , enter the previously generated code in the Input Key field (located in the Receive tab ) and enter to view the download link for the content.
Other solutions to connect Android to PC without cable
Those I told you about are some of the best services to use to connect Android to your computer without a cable, but they are not the only ones! Here are some alternative platforms to use for this purpose.
- Google Drive / Google Photos – these two services, integrated in the most recent versions of Android (on devices that include Google services), allow you to exchange files between Android devices, Windows PCs and Macs (but also with iPhones and iPads).
- Pushbullet – this is a platform that allows you to view smartphone notifications directly on your PC, exchange files “on the fly” between associated devices and reply to SMS. The service can be used free of charge, albeit with some limitations and registration obligation, and is available in the form of today’s app for Android , web service , program for Windows and extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers.
- Other cloud services – if you are interested in exchanging and synchronizing files between PCs, smartphones and tablets, you can also rely on one of the many other cloud services available on the Net (such as OneDrive or Dropbox, for example), which I have told you about in detail in my guide dedicated to the best cloud.
How to connect Android to PC with USB
If you prefer to avoid wireless exchange systems because, for example, your Internet connection is not the best, you can connect Android to the PC with USB in a simple and fast way, using one of the solutions I am going to talk to you about in the lines below.
File Explorer (Windows)
The easiest way to connect Android to your PC is to use Windows ‘ built-in File Explorer. First, therefore, connect the phone to the computer via USB cable and wait for this to be recognized by the computer.
Now, take your smartphone, call up the Android notification area and tap on the USB options message , which may read Android system or Device charging via USB . To ensure that the smartphone is recognized as an external memory, put the check mark next to the option File transfer or MTP , attached to the panel displayed later.
At this point, open the Windows File Explorer by clicking on the yellow folder icon in the taskbar, select the item This PC resident in the left sidebar and double-click on the name of the smartphone, which should appear in the window displayed on screen.
To browse the phone’s internal memory, double-click the Internal Shared Memory folder ; to view the files on the microSD card, if installed, open the SD Card , External Memory or SD Card directory instead . To copy files from Android to computer and vice versa, you can use the classic copy and paste, exactly as you would with a “common” USB stick.
Android File Transfer (macOS)
If yours is a Mac , you can transfer data between smartphone and computer using a free program, called Android File Transfer , which allows macOS to correctly recognize Android devices and manage the files inside them. Android File Transfer can move files to and from your smartphone, is free and does not require third-party drivers.
To obtain it, connected to its official website , click on the Download Now button to download the program installation file and, when the download is complete, launch the file obtained. Now, using the Finder window that is proposed to you, drag the Android File Transfer icon to the macOS Applications folder , go to this folder and start the software.
Once this is done, connect the smartphone to the computer via USB cable , unlock it and set it in File Transfer mode : call up the Android notification area , tap on the USB options message and put the check mark next to File Transfer or MTP , shown in the screen displayed below.
At this point, you can go back to your computer: to copy a file from Android to your PC, locate it on the Android File Transfer screen and drag it to the macOS desktop (or any other folder you want); you can carry out the reverse operation in an almost identical way, this time by dragging the file from macOS to the Android folder where you want to copy it.
Manufacturer management software
If you believe that the solutions I have provided you so far are not suitable for your needs, since you need software that can manage, in addition to the contents of the device, also backup and synchronization functions, you should evaluate the use of the management software specific for the smartphone in your possession.
Typically, such programs are made available by device manufacturers and can be downloaded for free from their respective websites. Here are some of them.
- Samsung Smart Switch – is the official Samsung program to synchronize Android devices with Windows and macOS, which I told you about in my guide on how to connect Samsung mobile to PC.
- HUAWEI HiSuite and HUAWEI Share – are HUAWEI’s solutions to manage your smartphone from your PC. The first can be installed on Windows and macOS, while the second offers more advanced features (such as screen and clipboard sharing) and is only compatible with some HUAWEI branded notebooks and with the manufacturer’s smartphones equipped with NFC chips. I told you more about it in my dedicated tutorial.
- Lenovo Smart Assistant Tool – this is the official management and diagnostic tool dedicated to Motorola- brandedsmartphones and Lenovo- branded smartphones and tablets. It is available for Windows.
- LG PC Suite – is the management software dedicated to LG-branded smartphones. It can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, after indicating the type of product in your possession.
- Sony Xperia Companion – is the program released by the Japanese manufacturer and used for the management of Android smartphones of the Xperia line. It is available for Windows and macOS.
How to connect Android to PC as a modem
To connect Android to PC as a modem and share your mobile phone’s Internet connection, you need to take a few simple steps. Before proceeding, however, make sure that your operator does not apply surcharges to the connection when it is shared with other devices, in order to avoid unexpected and, alas, large outlays (a rather remote hypothesis in Italy).
Once this has been verified, proceed as follows: open the operating system Settings , by tapping on the gear icon located on the Home screen or in the application drawer, reach the Network and Internet section and check that the mobile data connection is active, by touching the Mobile network item and checking that the Data connection lever is set to ON (otherwise you can do it).
Subsequently, return to the Network and Internet menu , tap on the Hotspot and tethering item and proceed in the way that best suits the sharing mode you want to obtain.
- Wi-Fi hotspot – tap on the Wi-Fi hotspot item and, using the options located on the next screen, specify the name of the hotspot (i.e. the wireless network to which you will need to connect from the PC) and the password to use to access it. If you deem it appropriate, tap the Advanced item to access further configuration options, which allow you to define the connection band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) or set its automatic deactivation. After making the necessary adjustments, move the lever at the top of the screen to ON , go to the computer and connect to the newly configured wireless network.
- USB cable tethering – connect your smartphone to your computer using the supplied USB cable , enable the USB tethering switch and wait for the computer to recognize the phone. When this happens, you can start browsing from your computer over the cellular network – typically, no additional setup is required.
- Bluetooth – activate the lever relating to Bluetooth tethering and, after enabling Bluetooth on the computer, carry out the pairing procedure between the devices, following the steps provided for by the operating system with which the computer is equipped. If you don’t know how to proceed, you can refer to the instructions I gave you in my guide on how to connect Bluetooth.
If your operator applies surcharges to connection sharing, you can cope with this by making use of applications such as ClockworkMod Tether , which works without root in combination with a PC program, or SWAT Tether Unlocker , which does not require software installation on the computer but needs root permissions. To find out more about the subject, I invite you to read my guide on the use of the mobile phone as a modem, in which I have dealt with the topics seen in this section in great detail.
How to connect Android box to PC
Have you bought a new Android TV Box , would you like to connect it to your computer, but you don’t know how to do it? Then let me give you some information on the matter. If it is your intention to connect the box to the computer monitor , since you do not have a screen or a TV to dedicate to it, then all you have to do is take the HDMI cable that “comes out” from the computer monitor, disconnect it from the case and insert the end you just removed into the HDMI input of the TV box.
Once this is done, all you have to do is connect the Android box to the TV, turn it on and, if necessary, set the right output on the monitor, which at that point will act as a screen for the device just connected.
If, on the other hand, it is your intention to connect the box to the PC for data exchange or, again, to be able to use Android with a mouse and keyboard, things get a little complicated, as establishing a connection may not be immediate. However, if you are interested in exchanging data between the PC and the box, you could rely on one of the solutions I mentioned at the beginning of this guide , which do not require the “physical” connection between the two devices.