Copy files to your storage card in Windows | Android Central

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Android storage count mounting

For as easy as Android can make your life, the simple task of getting photos, video and music from your computer to your phone isn't quite as straightforward as it should be. We're going to put an end to that right now. After the break: How to get your storage card to show up on your computer. No rooting. No extra programs. Just a few simple steps

[Ed. note: We previously published this tip on Feb. 5, 2010.]

Let's get right to it. Using the cable that came with your phone, plug one end into your phone, and the other into an available USB port on your computer. If it's your first time connecting, Windows should automatically download a driver.

Windows USB driver download

With that out of the way, you're just a couple of taps away on your phone from bringing this one home. On your device, pull down your notification bar and tap on USB connected. You'll then be asked if you want to "Mount" your SD card and copy files between your phone and computer. Choose "Mount."

Android storage card mountingAndroid storage card mounting

That's it. Your storage card should now appear as one of your options under "My computer" or however else you're used to navigating through Windows. In the example below, the storage card shows up as the "F" drive.

USB storage card mounted

You can now freely copy files to and from your storage card.

DON'T SKIP THIS STEP: When you're done, you going to be tempted to yank the cable. But let's do things the right way. It's important to make sure you don't mess up any of your files. First you'll need to unmount or eject the storage card from your computer. In Windows 7, find it in your list of drives, right-click and choose "Eject."

USB storage card eject

Then go back to your phone. Pull down the notifications bar again, and choose "Turn off USB storage." You'll get a warning telling you to make sure you've "unmounted on the USB host," which you just did by ejecting it from your computer. So, choose "Turn off," and we're done.

USB storage cardUSB storage card

For you Mac folks (and let's face it, this is probably old hat to you), just remember to properly unmount the storage card before you turn off USB storage on your phone. Otherwise, everything's largely the same.

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Reader comments

Copy files to your storage card in Windows


Ever since I updated to froyo on my evo, music files don't show up on my phone the way they should. It puts all music in the unknown artist spot even though it clearly shows what the artist is.

I am having the same exact problem with my incredible. Ive tried different things to fix it, no luck, any ideas? is it a problem htc can fix i wonder? Anyone else having this problem, please help! thanks.

It appears that the music player on Froyo does not recognize the artist tag on WMA files (Windows Media file extension). The mp3 files were unaffected. It sucks and I can't believe this got by, considering it takes so long for the update to be issued.

Great tip we don't mention enough. Not unmounting the sd card from your computer can really foul things up.

BTW -- same goes for Linux. Unmount/eject in your file browser, or use the umount command from the terminal

Mostly Fud Jerry.

All modern distros of Linux, and Windows mount USB devices in quick removal mode rather than performance mode. It takes a LOT of digging to find ways to over-ride this, and those who have the necessary skills wouldn't forget the effort.

Quick Removal mode means no caching, files are closed as soon as possible (milliseconds), and all buffers are flushed to disk. Data transfer performance suffers as a result, but the trade off protects the unwary.

As a result, if you wait a whole two seconds after transferring a file you can safely jerk the plug, without so much as a "safely remove" or a true Eject.

Further Unmount is NOT the same as Eject in the linux world or the windows world.

So the upshot is: Safely remove is all you really have to do and that is mostly for piece of mind. No modern operating system (XP or Later, Ubuntu 9 or later) handles USB as a default in other than "Rapid Removal Mode". Close your Computer programs and unplug is quite safe these days.

Actually, I prefer to just use Astro.

If you have Wifi, Its easier, no disruptive dismounting, cabling up, and driver installing. Just do it all over wifi.

There are others, but Astro rules.

That might be a tut actually worth writing ......
Or via rdp as several of the rdp/vnc apps on the market allow file transfer.

When I connect my HTC Droid Incredible, I have the option to choose a Connection Type of Charge Only, HTC Sync, Disk Drive, and Mobile Broadband Connect. Charge Only is the default.

With Charge Only, only one drive appears in Windows Explorer--representing the SD storage card. If I select Disk Drive, *two* drives appear--one representing the SD storage card, the other representing the phone's native storage.

What happens to applications and files (e.g., ringtones, etc.) that are installed on a mounted drive? Aren't they inaccessible when the card is mounted? What are the implications of that?

Yes, any time you have to dismount the storage in Android, you can't use anything on that storage. This means wallpaper, keyboards, ringtones, etc.

My N1 reverts to stock keyboard and stock wall paper each time I plug it into my computer (which I why I seldom ever do that).

Its largely fail safe. It just falls over to stock, and when I finish with the usb access I have to reselect some options and restart some programs again.

(Get astro if you have wifi in the house).

I copy my files to the SD Card as instructed here (already knew this part) but my pictures will not show up in gallery and music doesn't load in the music player. Astro sees them fine, and can open them in whatever apps the format is set up for, but the apps that use them do not see them.

Does anyone know how to fix this? someone suggested an app called SD Rescan(I think) and I tried it but it always locks up the entire phone (Droid1, stock)

Anyone have suggestions for being able to use my files with the Gallery, Music player (or doubtTwist) apps?

Some phones so a SD rescan immediately upon a remount. Captivate, N1.

Some only do a rescan on boot. So I suppose you could reboot?

SDRescan only tells the Android scanner to rescan. So if it locks up, its because Android does not like something on your card. Maybe there is corruption or format problems.

If you can put that card in a carrier, and mount it in Windows 7, or and current linux, it might offer to fix errors for you. (You have to take it out of the phone).

There are other Rescan programs, but as far as I know they all ask Android media scanner to start, and don't do anything by themselves.