It’s an age-old story. File meets computer, computer wants to introduce file to its smartphone, computer can’t find the right feature for that. File transfer between PC and mobile devices is often a pain, yes, but it’s not impossible. Here are the most effective ways to get that content from your desktop computer to a mobile device of your choice, whether you choose to do so using your trusty USB drive or one of the many wireless methods available on today’s smartphones.
Opt for a Wi-Fi transfer app
If your computer is connected to a nearby wireless network, one of the easiest ways to transfer files to a mobile device is to set up wireless transfer. These services specialize in porting information through your wireless network and onto a mobile device. Once set up, these services are quick, simple, and reliable, so long as your wireless internet connection is stable.
In fact, there are so many transfer services available, one of the hardest parts may be finding the right one for your PC. If you use an Android or iOS device, you will want to take a look at Portal, an app from Pushbullet. Once you download the app from your device’s respective app store and scan the website’s QR Code, you can push pictures, videos, and other files through the site and onto your mobile phone. It’s especially easy with Google Chrome, because you can just drag and drop files to instantly transfer them from one device to another.
Another common solution is Filedrop, which is free for all systems except iOS, where it costs $3. Like Portal, Filedrop pairs with Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices, then lets you quickly transfer files with a simple drag-and-drop method.
An alternative for Apple users is Airdrop, a proprietary piece of software that works between all Macs and iOS devices without requiring you to download any additional software. You can find the Airdrop option in the sharing menu of various apps and within the Control Center on you iPhone. Just swipe up from the bottom of your phone to bring up the latter interface.
Use a cloud storage service
Major cloud storage providers offer a reasonable alternative to Wi-Fi transfer apps. You also don’t actually need Wi-Fi for every step when using a cloud sharing service. Simply fire up your favorite browser and register for a cloud service such as Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox, then upload your files. Afterward, you can download the app for your phone and — as long as you have a Wi-Fi or data connection — access the same information. The information will remain floating in the cloud, but it’s accessible from either destination. This is useful for when you need to transfer data between different platforms, and it makes it easy to share said info with friends and coworkers.
However, both drag-and-drop transfers and cloud services have some security issues. If you’re not using a secure wireless network, then data theft is a possibility. Be smart about your transfers and sensitive information, and be sure to enable two-step verification and use a unique password from a password manager on all your cloud storage accounts.