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How to transfer photos from Android to PC

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Scrolling through the photo gallery of your Android smartphone, you realized that the saved images are so many and, above all, that they are not organized in the order in which you would like. That’s why, also taken by the fear of running out of enough space for apps, you thought of removing the photos from your device and saving them in a more “safe” place, such as your computer, organizing them in convenient folders to find them quickly.

It is certainly a great idea, yet a very specific question is emerging in your head: what if  transferring photos from Android to PC was too difficult, perhaps outside of your technological skills? Rest assured, it is instead a very simple operation, which can also be completed by those who, like you, are not very accustomed to computer science: below I will explain the simplest and most effective techniques to move photos from Android devices to the computer, both for what concerns Windows and for Mac, even in wireless mode.

I managed to calm you down, right? Perfect, it’s time to get down to business! All you have to do is sit in front of the computer, take your Android device and continue reading this guide: I am sure that, by following very carefully the advice and the tips I am about to give you, you will succeed without problems in your intent, even if without having particular technological skills. Having said that, I just have to wish you good reading and good work!

Transfer photos from Android to Windows

The first procedures that I am going to illustrate concern the Windows operating system  . I anticipate immediately that, to put everything into practice, you will need the USB cable supplied with your Android device ; Plus, you won’t need to download third-party programs, as everything you need is already in your operating system.

File Explorer

Taking advantage of File Explorer is certainly one of the simplest ways to transfer photos from Android to Windows PC : to be precise, File Explorer is the program designed to manage files within the Windows operating system, already present since its installation. Moreover, the most recent versions of the Microsoft operating system already have the necessary drivers available for the correct recognition of Android devices, therefore it will not be necessary to undertake any additional downloads.

To move photos to your computer using File Explorer, first take the  USB cable and use it to connect your Android device to the computer. Then move to your Android device, bring up the notification area by swiping your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom, select the USB Options notification  , put the check mark on  File Transfers and wait for the device to be recognized by the PC (l this could take a few minutes).

In order for everything to go well, make sure that the USB debugging item  on your device is  deactivated : to do this, go to the  Settings> Developer options  (or Development options) menu and, if necessary, remove the check mark from the dedicated box. How do you say? This menu does not appear on your device? This means that it has never been enabled, so USB Debugging cannot be active.

Now open the File Explorer by clicking on the yellow folder icon in the  Windows taskbar (bottom left), click on the Android device icon located in the left bar, double click on the Memory icon  Internal or  External Memory (depending on where your photos are stored) and then on the DCIM folder  : once this is done, you can transfer the photos to your computer and organize them in folders with a  classic  cut and paste .

If this procedure did not satisfy you, you can opt for the image transfer through the Windows acquisition wizard: after opening File Explorer and connecting your device as I explained above, call up the Android notification area , do tap on the USB Options item  and check the box  for Photo Transfer (PTP ) . Return to File Explorer,  right click on your device icon and select  Import images and videos from the menu that appears.

Windows Acquisition Wizard

Once the scan is complete, enter the name you want to give to the collection in the appropriate text box, check the  Import all new items now box  and press the Import button  : in this way, your photos will be saved in a sub-folder with the name of your choice, contained in the Windows Pictures folder  . After following these steps, you can manually delete photos from your Android device.

How do you say? Is your version of Windows having trouble recognizing your Android device and need additional drivers? Then I invite you to consult my guide on how to connect Android to PC to get the necessary instructions to install them.

Windows 10 photo app

Windows 10 Photos app

If your operating system is Windows 10 , you can move your photos even faster by using the Photos app  , also already present from the installation. First, set Android in Photo Transfer mode  as I have shown you earlier, then move to your computer, open the Windows Start menu  by clicking on the flag- shaped icon  located at the bottom left, scroll until you find the ‘ Photo icon  and select it with a click (you can get the same result by typing the word “photo” in Cortana ‘s search bar and choosing the first available app).

Once the app is open, click on the Import button  , select the item  From a USB device , wait for the system to complete the analysis of the connected device, click on the Continue button  and on the Change the import location link  , choose the folder where you want to save your photos and finally click on the Import button  . Once the procedure is complete, also in this case, you can manually delete the images from your Android device.

Transfer photos from Android to macOS

Do you have a  Mac ? Don’t worry, transferring photos to this type of computer is just as simple. All you need is the USB cable  of your device and, again, you can choose between two different procedures: the first involves the Image Capture program  , already installed on macOS , while the second requires the download of the Android File Transfer software.  . Peacefully choose the solution that best suits your case.

Image capture

Image Capture - Transfer photos from Android to macOS

As I mentioned earlier, Image Capture is a tool already included in macOS, designed specifically for transferring photos from smartphones, tablets, cameras and other compatible devices. To transfer photos from Android to your Mac using Image Capture, first connect the device to the computer via the USB cable, then call up the Android notification area, press the USB Options banner  and check the box  Photo Transfer (PTP ) .

Once this operation is complete, return to your Mac and, from the  LaunchPad (the rocket-shaped icon located on the Dock), select the Other folder  and then click on the Acquire Image icon  . You can transfer your photos in two different ways: the first is by simply  dragging them with the mouse, thus moving them from the Image Capture window to the folder  on the Mac where you want to save them.

The second, on the other hand, involves the guided acquisition: click on the  photo to download (or make a multiple selection using the cmd key  ), choose the folder in which to save the photos from the Import to drop-down menu  , click on the Import button  (or on  Import everything  to download the entire gallery) and wait for the procedure to complete. Check that all the photos have been downloaded, then, if you wish, proceed to manually delete them from your Android device.

Android File Transfer

Android File Transfer

Did Image Acquisition not fully satisfy you? Then you can take advantage of the Android File Transfer program  , available for free, and dedicated to transferring files and photos from Android to Mac. To download it, connect to the program’s web page , then click the Download now button  , start the downloaded file and drag the its icon in the Applications folder  of macOS.

At this point, to start the program, double-click on the aforementioned folder (or, from the Finder, select the Go> Applications menu  ),  right-click on the Android File Transfer icon  , select the Open item  from the context menu that appears and click then on the Open button (this safety measure must be taken only at the first start). Now press the Start button  , then the DCIM folder  (or  sdcard0 / internalSD> DCIM if the photos are saved on the microSD), select the photos you are interested in (with the help of the cmd key ) and drag them to the most appropriate folder on your Mac. Once you are done, feel free to delete the photos from your device.

Transfer photos from Android to PC wirelessly

Are you looking for a way to  transfer photos from Android to PC that doesn’t require cables? Then this is the part of the guide for you: I will explain how to use AirDroid , one of the best management apps in its class, and how to take advantage of the cloud services available on the Internet.


AirDroid is an app with enormous potential, to say the least, which allows the management and complete control of an Android device directly from the computer: among its features, in addition to transmitting the Android screen to PC, it also boasts the ability to transfer photos using an Internet connection, without using any cables.

I warn you right away, however, that the free version of AirDroid has limitations in terms of space: you can in fact transfer at most  200 MB of photos per month and each file cannot be larger than  30 MB . To remove these restrictions, you can subscribe to a  Premium plan  for  $ 1.99 per month or  $ 19.99 per year. For the transfer to be possible, both the computer and the Android device must be connected to the  same WiFi network .

Having made this necessary premise, the time has come to install AirDroid on your computer: then connect to  the program’s website and click first on the Download Now  button  and then on the icon corresponding to the operating system at your disposal. To proceed with the installation on Windows , start the downloaded file and click on the OK, Next, Accept, Install and Finish buttons  .

As for  macOS , start the dmg file  , drag the AirDroid icon into the Mac Applications folder  , double-click that folder, then start the program by  right-clicking on its icon, selecting the Open item  from the context menu and pressing finally, on the Open button  (this procedure is only necessary at the first start).

Once the installation is complete and the program has been started, click on the Register / Subscribe item  under the Login button  , fill in the fields proposed with the required information (a new browser window opens), press the Register button  and wait for the confirmation message . Once this is done, close the browser and return to the program, type the email address and  password chosen during registration where required and click on the Login button  and, only if you are on Windows, on the Allow access button  .

At this point, download the AirDroid app on your Android device, start it, skip the initial tutorial by making four swipes to the left, press the Login or Register  button  and, where requested, enter the email  and  password you have already used previously.

Now tap on the Login button  , then several times on the Allow button  to grant the required permissions, now presses the Transfer icon  and select the name of your computer (eg.  Android Desktop ) from the screen that opens. At this point, press the Images icon  , select the photos you are interested in transferring and tap the Send button  to proceed with the move. Once completed, you can delete the photos from your device.

Cloud services

How do you say? AirDroid does not satisfy you or the limits imposed by the free version are too restrictive? Then I advise you to contact a cloud service : there are really many, for every need, but the most reliable for this purpose are  Google Photos,  OneDrive and  Dropbox .

Each of them is equipped with both an Android app and a computer “companion” program, which will help you access the photos taken from the device via the Internet, and move them to your computer with a simple installation of the Android app. For all the details on using these services, I refer you to my guides on how Google Photos works, how OneDrive works and how Dropbox works.