How to Transfer Data From an Android Cell Phone SD to a Computer

by C. Taylor

If you have a card reader, you can remove your Android smartphone's micro SD card and access it directly through your computer's card reader. If your reader doesn't support microSD cards, an SD card adapter enables you to access it as if it were a standard sized memory card. However, if you don't have a card reader or adapter, you don't need to purchase one; your Android smartphone serves as a compatible card reader for transferring data through its USB charging cable.

Connect your Android smartphone to your computer via the USB charging cable. Alternatively, remove the microSD card and insert it into your computer's card reader.

Unlock your Android smartphone. Swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal the notifications panel, tap "Connected as..." and select "Media Device (MTP)." On some Android versions, tap "Charge Only" and select "Disk Drive." On earlier Android versions, choose "USB Mass Storage" or "Turn on USB Storage."

Press "Win-E" to open File Explorer, double-click your Android smartphone in the Portable Devices section and navigate into "SD Card" to view the contents of your memory card. If you're using a card reader, your SD card will appear in the Devices With Removable Storage section.

Hold the "Ctrl" key and click multiple files to select them. Alternatively, press "Ctrl-A" to select all files in a folder.

Press "Ctrl-C" to copy the files, navigate into a folder on your computer and press "Ctrl-V" to transfer them. Alternatively, drag and drop selected files to transfer them.

Right-click the Android phone from File Explorer and select "Eject" before disconnecting the device. Not all Android phones require this step.

Warning

  • Information in this article applies to Android 4.x. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

Items you will need

  • USB charging/data cable
  • Card reader
  • SD card adapter

Photo Credits

  • Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images