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How To Use Your Android Phone as a USB Drive

When you plug your iPhone into your PC and look under My Computer, you’ll see it show up under Scanners and Cameras in Windows, but if you want to drag and drop other types of files to and from your device you’re out of luck. Android phones, on the other hand, let you treat them just like USB drives. (Note that this procedure is not identical for all Android phones.)

Step by Step

  1. Connect your Android phone to your PC.
  2. On your Android device, slide down the notification drawer and tap where it says “USB connected: Select to copy files to/from your computer.”
  3. On the next screen select Turn on USB storage, then tap OK.
  4. On your PC, an AutoPlay box should appear. Click Open folder to view files.
  5. Drag the item(s) you want to transfer from your PC’s hard drive to your phone by moving them to the appropriate folder under Removable Disk. (In our case, we moved an album’s worth of songs from our Music folder to the Media folder on our Android phone.)
  6. Press Stop on your Android phone to end the storage session before disconnecting the cable.

The files should now be easily accessible on your phone. For instance, once we opened the Music player, our album was ready to play. If it’s a different kind of file you’re looking to open, try downloading the Astro File Manager app to locate it.

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.