How to Transfer Files from Phone to Laptop Without USB + Bonus Tip!
It is surprising how in an increasingly mobile world where time spent on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets rivals and often exceeds time spent on other devices such as laptops and desktops, file transfer technologies have largely remained ignored, and consequently, it is ironic that using the best of mobile phones in the world, the thousand dollar plus devices, users are unable to seamlessly transfer files from their phones to their laptops and desktops. You buy a thousand dollar plus iPhone 13, the best in the market, and you cannot transfer files from that to your laptop as easily as you might have thought it should be by now. That’s where we come in. Read on to find how to transfer files from phone to laptop easily without reaching for USB cable.
Part I: Transfer Files from Phone to Laptop Without USB Using WiFi
What do you do when you want to transfer files from your phone to laptop without cable? You might think Bluetooth, but Bluetooth file transfers are painfully slow, it didn’t hurt when all we wanted to do was transfer an odd contact between devices some years ago when even 500-1000 KB felt large. A floppy disk was 1.44 MB formatted, remember? Bluetooth simply does not have that bandwidth to transfer data at speeds that will satisfy you today. That leaves WiFi, which is what we are going to talk about in this section.
Now, smartphones today come in only two flavors - there is the Apple iPhone running iOS and the rest of the manufacturers such as Google, Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Motorola, etc. each running Google’s Android.
For Google Android Users: AirDroid
If you are not using an iPhone, you are running any version of Google’s Android on your smartphone. For Android users, there is one app that users would have heard about already - AirDroid.
AirDroid has been on the scene for 10+ years and while it has had its fair share of issues, especially the famous one in 2016 where the app had left open its users to a remote execution vulnerability, it has enjoyed a fan following for its ease of use and performance. so much so that the G2 Crowd has awarded the app with “High Performer” and “Users Most Likely To Recommend” badges in Fall 2021. It is a commentary on how good the app is and how much trust users have in this app.
What does AirDroid do? AirDroid is a file transfer service that gives you a remote desktop-like interface to transfer files from your phone to laptop without USB. This is the core of the app, and while it has grown to do a lot more, we are focusing today on this core functionality.
How to transfer files from Android phone to laptop via WiFi using AirDroid? Here are step by step instructions on how to do that:
Step 1: Download AirDroid from the Google Play Store and launch the app
Step 2: Tap Skip at the top right corner to skip sign in and sign up. This is not required to use the app.
Step 3: Grant permissions to the software
Step 4: Now, the software interface shows up like this:
Step 5: Tap AirDroid web and then on your computer, launch a web browser and in the address bar, visit the URL: http://web.airdroid.com
Step 6: AirDroid will launch, and you can click Get Started.
Step 7: Tap Scan QR Code on your smartphone and point it to the QR code you see on the computer screen with AirDroid. You’ll be asked to confirm Sign In.
Step 8: Now, you can access your files on the phone as if it were a desktop. To transfer files from phone to laptop using AirDroid, click the Files icon on the AirDroid desktop
Step 9: Once inside Files, you can navigate as you do with your File Explorer of choice, to the location of your files you want to download
Step 10: Select single or multiple files, like you do in your operating system’s file explorer app, and click Download at the top.
The file(s) will be downloaded to your default download location as set in your web browser for all files.
For Apple iPhone (iOS) Users: AirDroid
Now, things get a little tricky when it comes to Apple users wanting to transfer content from iPhone to laptop that is not Apple Mac. There is no ShareMe app for iPhone, but there is AirDroid available on iOS. Apple users can use AirDroid to transfer content from iPhone to Windows PC just as easily as how they can use AirDroid on an Android device. The process here is exactly like Android, nothing changes at all – that’s one of the good things about AirDroid.
Step 1: Download AirDroid from the App Store and launch the app
Step 2: Tap Skip at the top right corner to skip sign in and sign up.
Step 3: Grant permissions to the software
Step 4: Tap AirDroid Web on the screen and you will reach here
Step 5: Now, on your computer, open your preferred web browser and visit http://web.airdroid.com
Step 6: Now, tap Scan QR Code on your iPhone and point it to the QR code on the computer to get access to the AirDroid.
Step 7: Tap the Files icon
Step 8: Navigate to the files you want to download
Step 9: Select the file(s) and click Download at the top.
The file(s) will be downloaded to your default download location as set in your web browser.
For Apple iPhone (iOS) Users: Dr.Fone - Phone Backup (iOS)
Now, let’s talk about a tool that gives you ultimate control over your phone, regardless of what you want to do, and it does it in the simplest possible way, guiding you at each step. Curious? Here’s more about it.
Here is a tool called Dr.Fone, which is a comprehensive set of modules, each designed for a purpose, so you do not get lost in any complexity ever. In the beginning, you select what you want to do, and the tool has a razor-sharp focus on helping you do that in the best possible way.
Using Dr.Fone, you can do from anything erasing junk and gunk from your phone to transferring files from and to your phone and updating your phone to even repairing your phone should something go wrong with your phone. It is sort of a swiss-army knife that you have to have in your arsenal.
So, here’s how to use Dr.Fone to transfer files from phone to laptop using WiFi:
Step 1: Get Dr.Fone
Step 2: Launch the app and select the Phone Backup module
Step 3: Connect your phone to the computer using a USB cable. Don’t worry, this is a one-time thing. Next time onwards, you won’t need to do it and can connect over Wi-Fi without USB.
Step 4: Once the phone is connected, click Backup
Step 5: Now, choose file types to back up from phone to laptop and click Backup
You can set automatic backups here on and restore them in time of need:
Click Setting in the app and click Auto Backup to enable automatic backup in case you want to. You can create your schedule for automatic backups easily for complete peace of mind.
Part II: Transfer Files from Phone to Laptop Without USB Using Cloud Service
Now, when you want to use a cloud service, understand that this means you will upload to the cloud on your phone and download from the cloud to your computer. Why this method? Sometimes, it is just simple and easier when working within an ecosystem or even when operating outside ecosystems and geographical boundaries. You can’t use AirDroid to transfer a file from your phone to a laptop that is not with you. What do you do? You must upload it to the cloud, and then you or someone else can download it from the cloud.
For Android Users: Google Drive
Google Drive is the best file-sharing tool you can use if you are in the Android ecosystem. It is deeply integrated with everything, including nearly all major third-party software and apps that use cloud storage. To transfer a file from your phone to Google Drive, ensure that the file is present in Google Drive by going to the Google Drive app on your smartphone. If it is, you can proceed to download it on the computer. If not, you can go to Google Files app to locate the file and share it to Google Drive so that it gets uploaded to Google Drive.
To download the file from Google Drive to a computer:
Step 1: Log in to https://drive.google.com and navigate to where the file is uploaded
Step 2: Click the file you want to download and select the Download option from the ellipsis menu at the top right to download the file.
If you have a link instead, just click the link to be taken straight to the file and you can view as well as download it.
For iPhone Users: iCloud
iCloud for iOS is roughly equivalent to what Google Drive is on Android, but with more limitations, since it was never designed to function the way Google Drive was designed to, at least that is where Apple seems to be at as of now.
iPhone users can use iCloud Drive to transfer photos/files from iPhone to a Windows PC or Mac the same way as Google Drive. The content they want to transfer needs to be put in iCloud Drive and then can be downloaded to a Windows computer by visiting the iCloud website or on Mac by using the integrated iCloud Drive if signed in to the same iCloud ID. They can also share links to the file, just like with Google Drive.
Here’s how to go about doing it:
Step 1: All files and documents on iPhone are accessible from the Files app. Launch the Files app and tap the Browse button at the bottom:
Step 2: If you don’t have any other cloud storage apps on the iPhone, there will be only two locations available: On My iPhone and iCloud Drive.
Step 3: If the file you want to transfer exists on your iPhone, choose On My iPhone and locate it. If it is already in iCloud Drive locate it there.
Step 4: Tap and hold the file you want to transfer via iCloud. A contextual menu will pop up.
Now, if your file is on your iPhone, you need to copy it to iCloud first. Choose Copy in the context menu, go back to iCloud by tapping the Browse button at the bottom and paste the file wherever you want in your iCloud Drive and go to step 5. If your file was already in iCloud, you can just download it on your computer by visiting the iCloud website or using Finder in macOS. So, we’re assuming you want to share files with someone using iCloud.
Step 5: From that context menu, tap Share and choose Share File in iCloud
Step 6: In the new pop up, you can choose your favorite app to use right away or customize share options:
Step 7: When you tap an app, for example, your email app, a link to your file is created and inserted, ready to be sent out, like this:
Part III: Transfer Files from Phone to Laptop Without USB Using Bluetooth
Now, sometimes you just want to have all options available on the table. In that regard, here’s how to transfer files from phone to laptop using Bluetooth:
Step 1: Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both devices
Step 2: Go to Bluetooth settings on your phone and wait for the laptop to show up. Tap it when it does and proceed to pair it with the phone.
Step 3: Once paired, go to where your file is and share it via Bluetooth with the newly paired device.
That’s all there is to it!
Bonus Tip: Transfer Files from Phone to Phone in 1 Click
Click here to get Dr.Fone - Phone Transfer for PC by email
or Try our MobileTrans App on mobile >>>
What if there was a way to just connect two phones and transfer data between them in a single click? Sounds out of this world? Well, this team has made it possible. Dr.Fone is a swiss-army knife software designed and developed by Wondershare Company that aims to solve all your quirks and issues with smartphones every day. So, when you are dealing with a smartphone that is stuck in a boot loop or white screen, or black screen, this software helps you get back on track. When you want to clean up the phone’s storage, it helps you do that in 1 click. When you want to spoof your location, sure, Dr.Fone - Virtual Location (iOS&Android) has your back. When you want to unlock your screen or bypass the passcode on your iPhone. This software has you covered. Needless to say, you can transfer files from one phone to another in 1 click with Dr.Fone - Phone Transfer.
There are several ways to transfer files from phone to laptop, including cross-platform, such as from transferring files from your new Samsung S22 to PC or Mac, or transferring files from iPhone to Windows laptop, etc. You can use apps such as AirDroid to transfer files from phone to laptop, you can send files using a cloud service such as Google Drive or iCloud, you can use Bluetooth to transfer files, and you then you can use the granddaddy of all such methods, Dr.Fone to transfer files from phone to laptop in 1 click.
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