Skip to content

How to manage Android devices

Rate this post

Have you just bought an Android smartphone or tablet and would like advice on how to manage your new device? No problem. Android is now extremely simple to use, compared to a few years ago it has really made many steps forward, but if you want I can give you a hand to familiarize yourself with its most important functions and explain how to make the most of them.

If you will give me a few minutes of your time, I will explain how to connect an Android device to your computer, how to manage the files on its memory, how to optimize system energy consumption and much more. In short: I will explain how to manage Android devices in the shortest and simplest way possible.

When you’re ready to get down to business, grab your Android smartphone or tablet, keep a computer close at hand (Mac or PC doesn’t matter, we’ll take care of both) and try to follow the directions I’m about to give you. I assure you that at the end of the reading, even if you are not very knowledgeable in technology, you will be able to manage your Android device in an optimal way. Happy reading and have fun!

Connect Android devices to the computer

If you agree, I would say to start this tutorial on how to manage Android devices from the procedure necessary to connect a smartphone or tablet equipped with the green robot system to the computer.

By connecting your Android device to your computer, you will be able to copy files onto it, you can import photos and videos made with your smartphone (or tablet) to your PC and you can make a complete backup of your data; all in an extremely easy and fast way.

Standard connection (via cable)

Usually, to connect an Android device to the computer, just connect the two devices via USB cable and wait for Windows to download all the drivers necessary for its operation from the Internet.

If after connecting a smartphone or tablet to your computer it is not recognized, try one of the following.

  • Expand the Android notification menu by swiping your finger downwards from the top of the screen, select the item relating to the USB connection (eg “USB for charging” or “USB for file transfer”) and put the check mark next to File Transfer .

  • Look for drivers to install on your PC. To do this, go to Google and search for something like  USB driver [name of your smartphone / tablet] . Then connect to the search result that seems most convincing to you (possibly the official website of the manufacturer of your device or in any case a site of proven reliability) and proceed with the download of the drivers. When the download is complete, open the .exe or .msi package  you downloaded on your PC and always click on Next or Nextto complete the driver installation. A computer restart may be required. For some devices, such as Samsung terminals, it may be necessary to download complete software for managing the phone instead of just drivers (eg Smart Switch for Samsung terminals).

How to manage Android devices

Once the connection between the Android device and computer has been established, open the Windows File Explorer (the yellow folder icon located at the bottom left of the taskbar), select the item Computer / This PC from the left sidebar and double click on the icon related to your smartphone or tablet.

At this point, you should be able to manage the files on the memory of your Android device (or on the microSD inserted in it, if you have a terminal with expandable memory) as you would with a common USB key. Among the most “interesting” folders I would like to point out the one called Download , where there are the files downloaded from the Internet on the Android device, and the one called DCIM , where instead there are the photos and videos made with the device.

How to manage Android devices

If you want to import the photos and videos on your Android device to your PC, proceed as follows: expand the Android notification menu by swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom, select the item relating to the USB connection (eg “USB for file transfer ”) and put the check mark next to the item Transfer photos (PTP) .

At this point, open the Windows File Explorer again , select the item Computer / This PC from the left sidebar, right-click on the icon of your smartphone or tablet and select the item Import images and videos from the menu that appears.

Now, wait a few moments for the device folders with photos and videos to be scanned and, in the window that opens, put the check mark next to the item Review, organize and group the items to be imported . Then click on the Next button , organize the groups of photos and videos to be imported to the PC using the appropriate options and click on the Import button to start transferring the files to the computer.

Photos and videos imported from your Android device are automatically saved in the Pictures folder on your PC. If you want to change this path, click on the More options item located at the bottom left. If any steps are not clear to you, consult my tutorial on how to connect Android to the PC where I have dealt with the matter in more depth.

Connect Android devices to the computer

Do you use a Mac ? No problem, but know that you cannot access the files of your Android device directly from the Finder. To manage Android devices on Mac you need to install a small free application called Android File Transfer : it is a file manager that automatically recognizes all smartphones and tablets equipped with the green robot system and allows you to edit files present on the latter.

To install Android File Transfer on your Mac, connected to the official website of the program and click on the Download Now button located in the center of the page. When the download is complete, open the dmg package that contains Android File Transfer, copy the software icon to the macOS Applications folder and you’re done.

At this point, connect your Android smartphone or tablet to the Mac (via USB cable) and Android File Transfer should start automatically allowing you to manage the files on the device. If you want to know more, check out my tutorial on how to transfer files from Android to Mac.

How to manage Android devices

If you want to import photos and videos from your Android device to your Mac, proceed as follows: expand the Android notification menu by swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom, select the item relating to the USB connection (eg “USB for file transfer ”) and put the check mark next to the item Transfer photos (PTP) .

When the operation is complete, open the Photos application or the macOS Image Capture application and import the photos (and videos) from your Android device using the appropriate button.

How to manage Android devices

Wireless connection

If you want, you can manage your Android device and copy files to it wirelessly as well . For this purpose, I would like to recommend AirDroid : a free application that allows you to manage Android devices remotely and exchange files with them.

AirDroid is compatible with both Windows and macOS, is accessible from the browser and allows you to transfer up to 200MB of data with an upload limit of 30MB per file. To raise these limits, you can subscribe to a paid subscription of $ 1.99 / month. If you have a smartphone or tablet unlocked via root, you can even use AirDroid to remotely control your device (without root you can do it anyway, but by connecting the terminal to the PC via USB cable).

That said, if you are interested in AirDroid, connect to the official website of the program and click on the Download AirDroid button . When the download is complete, if you are using a Windows PC, open the AirDroid_Desktop_Client_xx.exe file and complete the AirDroid installation process by clicking in sequence on the Yes , OK , Next , Accept , Next and Finish buttons .

How to manage Android devices

If you are using a Mac, open the dmg package that contains AirDroid and install the program on your computer by copying its icon in the Applications folder .

Well: now start AirDroid, click on the Register item located at the bottom of the right sidebar and create an account within the application by entering email , password and a nickname . When the operation is completed, access your e-mail box and click on the confirmation link in the email you received from AirDroid.

How to manage Android devices

Once you have created your account in AirDroid, install the application on your Android smartphone or tablet and log in with the account you created just now on your PC.

Mission accomplished! Now you just have to choose one of the many functions present in AirDroid on your PC and manage your Android device remotely. To transfer a file from your computer to Android, for example, all you have to do is select the device name from the program’s sidebar, click on the Device tab and drag the files to be transferred to Android in the screen that opens. On the same screen, by selecting the Backup and AirMirror tabs you will have the possibility to back up your device in Wi-Fi and to control it remotely via PC.

How to manage Android devices

To take advantage of some features, such as wireless backup and receiving notifications on your computer, you will need to activate some options on your Android device as explained by AirDroid himself.

Manage files on Android

If you want to manage the files on your smartphone or tablet, you need to install a file manager for Android , that is a sort of File Explorer or Finder that allows you to freely browse through the folders on the device.

There are so many file managers on the Play Store, but I personally recommend ES File Manager which is completely free, is very easy to use and offers a bunch of cool features.

Explaining how ES File Manager works is almost superfluous. After installing the application on your device, all you have to do is start it, press the button located at the top left and choose the path to navigate: Home for the main directory of the device, Downloads for the download folder , Internal memory for the internal memory of the device (useful on terminals that support memory extension via microSD) and so on.

How to manage Android devices

To open the files, just make a single “tap” on them, while to edit them (copy, move, delete, rename, etc.) you have to keep your finger pressed on them for a few seconds and choose one of the options that appear below .

If you want, by going to the Network> Remote Control Manager menu of Es File Manager you can also activate the data sharing function in Wi-Fi and copy files to your device via wireless network.

Data backup

When you buy an Android device, you need to take care of the data you keep on it. In other words you have to be foresight and you have to make a complete backup of photos, videos, contacts, messages and so on.

For backup purposes, I recommend that you follow two different paths: one local with data backup on your computer and one online with data backup on the cloud.

As far as local data backup is concerned , I recommend that you follow the procedure I explained above for importing photos and videos on your PC; then I suggest you install the official application of your device manufacturer (eg Smart Switch if you have a Samsung device) on your computer and use that to save contacts, music and so on.

How to manage Android devices

Below you will find the list of links from which to download the software of all the major Android device manufacturers, while in my guides on how to connect Samsung mobile to PC and how to connect Samsung mobile to Mac you will find a practical example of how Smart Switch works.

As for backing up data to the cloud, first of all I suggest you go to the Settings> Account> Google> [your Gmail address] menu of your Android device and check that the online synchronization function of Photos , Calendar , Contacts etc. is active. .

If you do not find the item relating to photo backup, install the free Google Photos app (which allows you to store photos and videos at no cost on Google Drive without space limits) on your device. If, on the other hand, you have not yet configured a Google account on your smartphone or tablet, go to the Settings> Device Account menu and press the Add account item .

How to manage Android devices

Finally, I point out that there are many valid apps for backing up data on Android that allow you to save apps, data and settings in a very simple way. I told you about it in detail in my tutorial on how to make an Android backup.

Locate Android devices remotely

Are you afraid of losing your smartphone or tablet and not being able to recover it? Don’t despair. Android terminals, as well as iPhones and Windows Phones, offer a free anti-theft function that allows you to locate the device remotely and give it commands via the Internet.

The anti-theft function of Android is called Android Device Manager and is included “as standard” in almost all devices equipped with the operating system of the green robot. To activate it, go to the Settings> Location menu    of your smartphone or tablet and make sure that the lever relating to the location functions (top right) is active.

Next, go to the Settings> Google> Security menu   and, if necessary, activate the functions  Locate this device remotely  and  Allow remote blocking and wiping .

How to manage Android devices

That’s all! From this moment on, you can locate your Android device remotely simply by connecting to the Android Device Management site and logging in with the same Google account connected to the device. Once the device to be controlled is displayed, you can choose whether to make it ring , block it against unauthorized use or delete all the data contained in its memory.

The same functions are also available in the Android Device Manager app for Android, thanks to which it is possible to locate and control an Android device remotely via another Android device.

How to manage Android devices

Unfortunately, services such as Android Device Manager do not work if the terminal to be located is not turned on and connected to the Internet. To bypass these limitations, you can turn to third-party anti-theft solutions, such as the ones I reported to you in my previous tutorial on how to find your Android phone.

Manage space on Android

Sooner or later everyone has to deal with the available space, or rather, not available on the memory of Android terminals. That’s why I want to give you some “tips” on how to better manage the memory of your smartphone or tablet.

  • Uninstall unnecessary applications – it is a trivial operation, but an extremely effective one. If you want to find out which apps take up the most space on your device, go to the Settings> App> All menu , press the (…) button located at the top right and select the item Sort by size from the menu that appears. If you use an Android version equal to or later than 6.0, you can find the same information in the Settings menu > Storage and USB> Internal memory (or SD card if you have a device with expandable memory and you have set the SD as main memory) by selecting the item Appfrom the screen that opens. Please do not delete system apps such as those related to Google services!

How to manage Android devices

  • Clear cache files – these are temporary files accumulated by various applications. To delete them quickly and easily, contact a system cleaning application. I personally recommend SD Maid which is among the most effective and least harmful ever (it’s free, but to delete third-party app data in addition to system app data it requires the purchase of a license for 2.97 EUR). Alternatively you can try CCleaner which is 100% free and equally reliable.

How to manage Android devices

  • Delete unnecessary photos, videos and other media files – after importing them to your computer as I explained to you in the previous chapters of the tutorial.
  • Set a microSD as the main memory of your device – if you have a smartphone or tablet equipped with a microSD slot and function to set the memory card as main memory, you can take advantage of it to expand the memory of your device. To set the microSD as the main memory of the smartphone or tablet, all you have to do is insert the memory card into the device (with the device turned off), select the item relating to the microSD in the notifications menu and follow the guided procedure that is proposed to you ( by choosing the Use as main storage option ). I recommend, use a high-performance microSD or you will end up slowing down the operation of the entire device!

How to manage Android devices

If you want more information on how to free up space on Android, set microSD as main storage and use apps like SD Maid, check out my tutorial on How to expand Android storage.

Manage the battery on Android

Another aspect that we must learn to manage is that relating to energy consumption . If you want to increase the autonomy of your Android device and want to arrive in the evening without excessive worries, put the following tips into practice.

  • Go to the Settings> Battery menu and adjust the energy saving settings according to your needs (you should find the various settings in the menu (…) located at the top right).
  • Delete unnecessary apps. Some of them may remain running and unnecessarily “drain” the battery of your device.
  • Use a lightweight launcher without animated backgrounds and without too many widgets. I personally recommend Nova Launcher .
  • Install an application like Greenify and hibernate the applications that consume the most battery (apart from the social ones for which you need timely notifications).

How to manage Android devices

  • Install an application like Wakelock Detector and try to figure out which apps are keeping your device “awake” causing useless battery consumption.

To learn more about all the points above and discover other “tips” on how to save Android battery, read the tutorial I dedicated to the subject: there you will find all the information you need.