Access your Android from a PC is actually a lot easier than many may claim. In fact, there’s more than one way, most individuals know of only one, but it just so happens there are several to choose from.
The one method to access an Android from a PC is the one most people will know about: a USB cable. But did you know you could send files back and forth through Bluetooth? It’s certainly convenient if you’re without a USB cable. Not to mention, most smartphones nowadays have Bluetooth capabilities built right into them.
Another method is using the program, and app, called ‘AirDroid.’ It’s essentially the same method as using a USB cable, but without the cable.
What You Will Need…
- The Android device you want to access (with Bluetooth capabilities, if you choose to use Bluetooth).
- A USB cord that matches your phone’s charging port (for example, micro USB or USB Type C).
- A computer with a network connection, preferably a safe and secure network connection. (you need one in order to download and install AirDroid).
- The AirDroid program (if you choose to use AirDroid).
1. Accessing an Android Device with a PC
1. Take the bigger end of the USB cable and plug it into a USB port located on your computer. If it’s a desktop, USB ports are generally found on the front-facing side or the top and in the back. If it’s a laptop, you can find USB ports on the sides.
2. Take the smaller end of the USB cable, whether it’s a micro USB or a USB Type C and plug it into your Android device’s USB port. Micro USB looks more like a trapezoid, while a USB Type C resembles an elongated oval.
3. When prompted, type in the password (PIN or pattern) into your phone (if you have one). Afterwards, your Android device will ask what you want to do with the established connection. You have several choices:
- Charge only.
- Install driver
- Media device (MTP).
- Camera (PTP).
- Enable USB debugging.
- Don’t ask me again.
In this case, you want to select ‘Media device (MTP).’ Of course, the action may differ slightly depending on your manufacturer. This will establish a connection between your computer and your Android device, thereby, allowing the transfer of any files back and forth.
Important: In the case that your Android device doesn’t prompt you to establish a connection to your computer, open your ‘Quick Settings Menu.’ You can find it by tapping the dashboard at the top of your Android device or swiping down from the top. You should see something like ‘Transferring media files via USB.’ Select it and then repeat Steps 3 and 4.
4. If you’re prompted by your phone, again, whether or not to allow your computer to access your Android device, go ahead and choose ‘Allow’ or ‘OK’ depending on your Android device.
5. On your computer, open the ‘Windows Startup’ menu. You can find it in the bottom left corner of your screen, which is its default position, if you haven’t moved your taskbar.
6. Anywhere in the Windows Startup menu, type ‘This PC’ and click the application that appears in the menu. It’s icon is a computer screen.
Alternatively, you can access ‘This PC’ by opening ‘File Explorer.’ You can find File Explorer by looking on your taskbar for a vanilla folder. It’s general position is next to the Windows Startup menu.
7. In This PC, locate ‘Devices and drives.“ It’s in the bottom half of the folder. Under Devices and drives, double-click your device’s name. If you successfully connected your Android device with a USB cable, your device should be listed.
8. From here, you can double-click your Android device’s storage. It may differ depending on if you added additional storage, like an SD card. In that case, you will see more than one storage hard drive.
9. From here on out, you can explore any of the folders within your Android device’s storage, internal or external.
2. Accessing an Android Device with Bluetooth
Connecting your Android device to your computer gives you the opportunity to send files, and receive, through a signal rather than a USB.
Establishing a Bluetooth Connection:
1. Open your Android device’s ‘Quick Settings Menu.“ You can open it by tapping the dashboard, the bar at the top that displays time and battery life, or by starting at the dashboard and swiping down.
2. Locate ‘Bluetooth’ among your quick icons and select it. It will light up if it’s turned on.
3. On your computer, open the ‘Windows Startup’ menu. You can find it in the bottom left corner of your screen, which is its default position, if you haven’t moved your taskbar.
4. Launch ‘Settings.“ You can find it on the left hand side of the list programs, just above the Power icon.
5. In Windows Settings, locate and click ‘Devices.’
6. In Devices, click the addition sign at the very top of the window. It will say ‘Add Bluetooth or other device.“ This will prompt a window.
7. In the new window, click ‘Bluetooth.’
8. There’s a drop down menu you can use to select your Android device from.
9. When prompted to ‘Pair device?’ view the PIN that’s shown in the box. If it matches the PIN that’s shown on your Android device, then click ‘Yes.’ You get yet another prompt confirming the connection to your computer. Click ‘OK.’ Your Android device and computer are now connected via Bluetooth.
10. There are several routes you can take with the now established Bluetooth connection. You can send files, view files and even receive files.
Sending Files to your Android Device:
1. Locate a file that you would like to send to your Android device.
2. Right-click the file. In the menu, locate ‘Send to’ and hover over it. Another menu will expand outwards.
3. Click ‘Bluetooth device’ and choose your Android device.
4. Your Android device, after you choose to send the file to it, will ask you to confirm the transfer. Select ‘Allow’ or ‘Accept,’ depending on your manufacturer.
Receiving Files from your Android Device:
With the established Bluetooth connection, you can now receive files on your computer that were sent to you from your Android device.
1. Locate the file on your Android device that you’d like to send to your computer.
2. Tap ‘Share.“ The Share icon is three dots connected with a line. It will prompt a new window.
3. Locate and select ‘Bluetooth’ among the listed apps. It will redirect you to another window.
4. In the new window, select your computer. Confirm it’s the file you want to send and tap ‘OK’ or ‘Send,’ depending on your Android device.
3. Accessing an Android Device with AirDroid
1. Computer-side, launch ‘AirDroid’ and sign in with your new account.
2. Chances are, Windows Firewall will, naturally, block AirDroid and its features. You can go ahead and give it access by clicking ‘Allow access.’
3. Android-side, Open the ‘AirDroid’ app and use the same new account to sign in.
4. Computer-side, check out the panel on the left hand side. There’s several different icons. Choose the ‘Folders’ tab. Its icon is the one that looks like a folder and has two arrows inside.
5. With that, you’ll have opened up your Android device’s files for exploration.
If you had to choose, the best method of accessing your Android would certainly be with the help of a USB cable. It’s faster than Bluetooth and AirDroid because the files aren’t being transferred through a signal. It’s far more reliable.