This wikiHow teaches you how to transfer files and information from your iPhone or Android phone to your Windows or Mac computer. The data that you can send from a phone to a computer could include photos, videos, notes, contact lists, and more. You can use a USB cable to transfer most data and information to both iPhone and Android, or you can use Bluetooth to transfer files from iPhone to Mac or from Android to Windows computer.
Method 1 of 7: Use an iPhone USB Cable
Step 1. Make sure you have iTunes
You can easily backup all data from iPhone to computer through free iTunes program.
If you don't have iTunes on your computer, download and install it before continuing
Step 2. Connect the iPhone to the computer
Connect the USB end of the iPhone charger cable to one of the USB ports on the computer, then connect the other end of the charger to the iPhone.
Step 3. Open iTunes
It's a multi-colored music note icon on a white background.
Step 4. Click on the iPhone icon
This iPhone-shaped icon is in the upper-left side of the window.
Step 5. Check the "This computer" box
It's in the "Backups" section of the iPhone page. This ensures that the data on the phone is backed up to the computer and not to iCloud.
Step 6. Click Backup Now
This gray button is on the right side of the "Backups" section. The iPhone will begin to back up to the computer.
You can see the progress of the backup by looking at the progress bar at the top of the iTunes window
Step 7. Wait for the backup to finish
Once the backup is complete, you will hear a chime sound and can disconnect the iPhone from the computer.
Method 2 of 7: Use a USB Cable for Android in Windows
Step 1. Connect your Android to the computer
Plug the USB end of the Android charger cable into one of the computer's USB ports, then plug the charger end into the Android.
Step 2. Click on the “USB” notification on the Android
When prompted, confirm that you want to use the USB connection to transfer files by clicking on the relevant notification on the Android. At this point, you can move on to the computer.
Step 3. Open Start
Click on the Windows logo in the lower left corner of the screen.
Step 4. Open File Explorer
Click on the folder icon in the lower left side of the Start window.
Step 5. Click This Computer
It's on the left side of File Explorer, though you may have to scroll up or down in the panel on the left to see it.
Step 6. Double click on your Android
In the “Devices and drives” section of the This PC folder, double-click the name of the Android. This will open the device folder.
Step 7. Find a file that you want to transfer
Most Android devices require that you open a storage folder (for example, "Internal") before you can view other information that is stored on the device, but you may also have to open additional folders.
For Android with removable storage, you will usually find most of the files in the "SD" or "Removable" folder instead of the "Internal" folder
Step 8. Select the file or folder
Click on the file or folder that you want to move to your computer. If you want to select multiple individual files, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking each one.
Step 9. Copy the file or folder
Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected files or folders.
Step 10. Go to the location where you want to save the copied items
In the left sidebar of File Explorer, click a folder on your computer (for example, "Documents") where you want to place the copied items.
Step 11. Paste the file or folder
Press Ctrl + V to do it. The copied items will appear in the selected folder, although it may take a while for the files to finish copying depending on the total size.
You can also reverse this process by copying a file or folder from your computer and then pasting it to a folder on your Android's internal storage
Method 3 of 7: Use a USB Cable for Android on Mac
Step 1. Download and install the Android File Transfer program
You can download and use this program for free and it is necessary if you want to explore your Android files from a Mac. To download Android File Transfer:
- Go to
- Click on DOWNLOAD NOW.
- Double-click the Android File Transfer DMG file.
- Check the software if prompted.
- Click and drag the Android File Transfer icon to the Applications folder.
Step 2. Connect the Android to the computer
Plug the USB end of the Android charger cable into one of the computer's USB ports, then plug the charger end into the Android.
If your Mac uses USB-C ports instead of USB 3.0, you will need a USB 3.0 to USB-C adapter to connect the Android
Step 3. Click on the “USB” notification on your Android
When prompted, confirm that you want to use the USB connection to transfer files by clicking the relevant notification on your Android. At this point, you can move on to the computer.
Step 4. Open Android File Transfer
If Android File Transfer doesn't open automatically, click Spotlight
In the upper right corner of the Mac screen, type android file transfer in the search bar and double-click the icon for that application.
Step 5. Find a file that you want to transfer
Most Android devices require you to open a storage folder (eg "Internal") before you can view other information that is stored on Android, but you may also need to open additional folders.
For Android with removable storage, you will usually find most of your files in the "SD" or "Removable" folder instead of the "Internal" folder
Step 6. Select the file or folder
Click on the file or folder that you want to move to your computer. If you want to select multiple individual files, hold down the Command key while clicking each one.
Step 7. Copy the file or folder
Press Command + C to copy the selected files or folders.
Step 8. Go to the location where you want to save the copied items
On the left side of the Finder, click a folder on your computer (for example, "Desktop") where you want to place the copied items.
Step 9. Paste the file or folder
Press Command + V to do it. The copied items will appear in the selected folder, although it may take a while for the files to finish copying depending on the total size.
You can also reverse this process by copying a file or folder from your computer and then pasting it into a folder on your Android's internal storage
Method 4 of 7: Use Bluetooth with iPhone on Mac
Step 1. Activate the iPhone's Bluetooth
, click on Bluetooth and then tap on the white "Bluetooth" switch
. Will turn green
If the switch is green, Bluetooth is already on
Step 2. Activate Bluetooth on the Mac
Click on the Apple menu
, click System preferences…, click Bluetooth and click Activate Bluetooth on the left side of the window.
- If Bluetooth is already on, this button will say Disable Bluetooth instead. If so, don't click it.
Step 3. Search for the name of your iPhone
After a moment, you should see it appear in the "Devices" section of the Bluetooth window.
Step 4. Click Connect
This option should be to the right of the iPhone name. This will make the Mac and iPhone connect.
Step 5. Open a file that you want to share
On your iPhone, open a photo, video, or note that you want to add to your Mac.
Step 6. Click on "Share"
You will usually see this option in one of the corners of the computer. A menu will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Step 7. Click on the name of your Mac
It should be at the top of the menu. This will transfer the file to the "AirDrop" folder on the Mac, which you can find on the left sidebar when you open Finder.
- You may have to wait a few seconds before the name of the Mac appears.
- You can drop files from the Mac to the iPhone by opening the AirDrop folder, waiting for the iPhone name to appear, and then clicking and dragging a file onto it.
Method 5 of 7: Use Bluetooth with Android on Windows
Step 1. Turn on the Android Bluetooth
Swipe down from the top of the screen, press and hold the Bluetooth
and hit the white switch
to the right of the “Bluetooth” heading. This will change color
, which means that it will now be activated.
- If this switch is blue or green, Android's Bluetooth is already on.
- On a Samsung Galaxy, the switch is to the right of a "NO" heading and will turn blue or green when you tap on it.
Step 2. Turn on Bluetooth on Windows computer
, opens Setting
, click Devices, click the tab Bluetooth and other devices on the left side and click the white "Off" switch
under the heading “Bluetooth”. It will slide to the right.
If this switch has "On" written next to it, the computer's Bluetooth is already on
Step 3. Click Add Bluetooth or other device
This option is at the top of the page. A menu will appear.
Step 4. Click Bluetooth
It's on the menu. This will start the computer looking for your Android.
Step 5. Click on the name of the Android
It should appear on the menu.
If you don't see the Android's name, look for your computer's name in the Android's Bluetooth menu, and if you see it, tap on it. The Android's name should appear in the Windows Bluetooth menu after doing so
Step 6. Click Pair
It's under the Android's name in the menu.
Step 7. Click Yes on the code message
If the code displayed on the computer matches the one on the Android, click Yes here. If not, click No, then pair the Android with the computer again.
Step 8. Click on the Bluetooth icon
It's a blue icon that should be in the lower-right corner of your computer screen, although you may have to click the icon ^ to see the Bluetooth icon.
Step 9. Click Receive a file
It's in the pop-up menu. This will open a new window.
Step 10. Find a file that you want to share from your Android
For example, this could be a photo or video.
If you have a File Explorer application (for example, ES File Explorer) installed on your Android, you can explore the internal files of the device (for example, the APIs of downloaded applications)
Step 11. Select the file
Long press the file to do it. If it's a photo or video, you can tap on it to open it.
Step 12. Click on the menu button
In most cases, it will be a ⋮
or ⋯, although some Samsung Galaxy phones will have an icon PLUS. A drop-down menu should appear.
Step 13. Click on the "Share" option
This option will vary in appearance and name depending on your Android device.
Step 14. Select the "Bluetooth" option
Again, the appearance of this option will vary depending on the device.
Step 15. Select the name of your computer
Click on your computer in the menu that appears.
Step 16. Click the confirmation message on the computer
If you are prompted to accept or decline the file transfer on your computer, click Yes.
Step 17. Follow any instructions on the screen
Once you verify that you want to accept the file on your computer and specify a download location, the file should begin transferring.
- You can also send files to Android by clicking Send a file in the Bluetooth pop-up menu by dragging files to the transfer window, following the onscreen prompts, and then tapping To accept (or similar) on Android when prompted.
Method 6 of 7: Download contact data to iPhone
Step 1. Synchronize your contact data with iCloud
To do it:
- Opens Settings.
- Click on your Apple ID card at the top of the page.
- Tap on iCloud.
- Click on the white switch next to "Contacts." If the switch is green, you don't have to press it.
Step 2. Open the iCloud web page
Go to https://www.icloud.com/ in your web browser. This will open the iCloud control panel if you are signed in.
If you're not signed in, enter your Apple ID email address and password to sign in
Step 3. Click Contacts
Its icon is the silhouette of a person. This opens a list of your contacts.
Step 4. Click on a contact
Select any contact in the middle column.
Step 5. Select all contacts
Press Ctrl + A (or Command + A on Mac) to select all contacts.
Step 6. Click ⚙️
It's in the lower-left side of the page. A pop-up menu will appear.
Step 7. Click Export vCard…
You'll see this option in the pop-up menu. The vCard file of your contacts will be downloaded to the computer.
Method 7 of 7: Download data from the cloud for Android
Step 1. Make a backup of your Android data
Before you can download files as contact information, you have to back up your Android data to Google Drive.
Make sure to do it with an internet connection instead of cell phone data
Step 2. Open Google Drive
Go to https://drive.google.com/ in your browser. This will open your Google Drive account if you are signed in.
- If you are not logged into your Google Drive account, enter your email address and password to continue.
- This should be the account you have backed up your Android to. If not, click your initial in the upper right hand side of the Drive page, click Sign off and then log back in with the correct account.
Step 3. Click the Backups tab
It's in the lower-left side of the Google Drive page.
Step 4. Select the backup
Click on the backup file that you want to download to your computer.
Step 5. Click ⋮
It's in the upper-right side of the page. A drop-down menu will appear.
Step 6. Click Download
You'll see this option in the drop-down menu. That will make the Android backup download.
- If your phone is having trouble connecting to the computer, use a different USB port.
- Another way to transfer data between a phone and a computer is to use cloud storages (for example, iCloud or Google Drive). You can upload a file to cloud storage using your phone, opening the cloud storage web page on your computer, and then downloading the file from there.
- Android contacts are automatically backed up to Google. You can manage your Android contacts online.
- Some types of data are not supported on certain platforms (for example, some Apple data will not be viewable on Android).
- You can't use an iPhone to transfer files to a Windows 10 computer with Bluetooth.