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Moving photos from Android Gallery to a PC


On many phones photos occupy the most of their memory. Let's also keep in mind that the images are stored in JPG of maximum quality or in uncompressed RAW format. This results in the lack of memory on phones and sd cards, which is a reason for complain from your Android from time to time.

One of the solutions of this problem is to move files from your device memory to another storage device or Internet. There are many ways how you can do it. Today we're going to talk about the most convenient ones of them. Thus you'll save your time by getting rid of routine operations and intrusive "complaints" from Android.

So, here are the main ways how you can copy photos from a phone to a computer:

Table of Contents

Transfer photos through a usb cable

You'll require a USB cable (which always comes with your phone) in order to move pictures from a phone to a computer. 

How to move photos to a PC via a cable:

  1. After connecting your phone to the usb port of your computer, make sure that the corresponding file transfer mode is enabled on the phone: when “Use USB for” dialog appears, select "Transfer media files".
  2. After they're connected you'll see a new drive in Explorer (Windows Explorer – This PC) or another file manager ("Devices and drives" section).
  3. Open a photo folder (DCIM) and move its contents to your PC by selecting the files (hold Ctrl or Shift) as you would usually do.

Note. We strongly advise you not to use “Cut” (Ctrl + X) for moving important files. As a result of a random error during transfer many users lose photos and videos. Use copy-paste method (Ctrl + C) and then delete the files on the source, only after making sure that they appear correctly on your PC.

If you use Mac OS instead of Windows, you'll require a small Android File Transfer program for transferring files via USB.

Android file transfer tool for Mac OS

Syncing media and import pictures via Google Photos

Google Photos is a convenient Android app for accessing the service with the same name. We're going to list its main advantages:

  • Google Photos automatically syncs and stores online all the photos and videos taken by your camera,
  • This app is available both for desktop and mobile devices,
  • You can view photos through a browser wherever you are,
  • Google Photos backups together with Google Drive will protect you from the loss of information,
  • There is no need to perform any file operations manually as Google Photos service runs in the background mode,
  • The amount of the free space isn't limited (the maximum size of the photo is 16 megapixels).

Download Google Photos app

How to transfer pics on Google Drive

You don't have to connect to your computer via USB directly in order to transfer photos and other files. Any cloud service can do it for you. This is the exact reason why Google Drive is so convenient. The service is designed for backing up all types of files (unlike Google Photos, where you can store only multimedia).

The size of Google Drive cloud space is limited to 15 GB and additional space can be purchased. Technically, free features should be more than enough for most file operations between a phone and a PC.

Google Drive app is originally installed on Samsung Android phones and can also be downloaded from Google Play. You can view and copy photos to your desktop via Backup and Sync program, which is available both for Windows and Mac OS. Moreover, all file operations are available through the browser at

The process step by step:

  1. Go to Android Gallery,
  2. Select the files you want to copy to your PC,
  3. Click "Share" button and select "Save to Drive" option from the menu,
  4. Wait till copying is completed (its status can be tracked through Android notifications),
  5. Photos will be stored on the disk until you delete them.

By the way, it would also be useful to set up automatic syncing of photos via Google Drive. In the app settings choose “Google Photos”option. In addition to this, you can also set up a backup copying which is always a good decision.

Moving photos to a PC via a card reader and a memory card

Unlike iOS devices, Android phones support microsd cards and thus allow you to expand your phone memory. This is a very convenient and not expensive way of storing data and moving it to portable devices and PCs.

Following on the mentioned above, there is another way to copy photos which is to use a card reader and a sd card. In theory, the photos should be initially stored on the memory card, and the card reader should be built into the laptop / macbook. If this isn't the case, follow the instructions:

  1. Copy the photos to the memory card via any file manager on your phone,
  2. Remove the memory card from the phone,
  3. Connect the card reader to a PC via USB or use a built-in one,
  4. Open the connected memory card in File Explorer,
  5. Copy the photos to your computer.

Note for the future, to simplify the task as much as possible, go to Camera app settings and specify the photo storage location as phone SD card (of course, if it's connected).


As you can see, there are many ways how you can transfer photos from Android phone to PC without unnecessary manipulations. If you face any difficulties or have any additions to this guide, don't hesitate to write us as we're always glad to get any response.

Vlad Brown, USA, Buffalo, WY

Vlad is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in data recovery with 15 years of experience. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and answer them. 

His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and provide answers to them, write proven manuals, be the website technical support and also run a Youtube channel.

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