Connecting a cell phone to a pc: this is how it works

You want to connect your phone to the PC? No problem! Here you can read what options you have.

A smartphone is connected to a laptop via USB cable

You want to exchange data between your smartphone and a laptop or desktop computer? Then you have several possibilities to connect your cell phone to the PC. Here you get an overview.

1. The classic: The USB cable

It doesn’t matter if you want to back up your cell phone data on your computer or if you want to transfer pictures, music and documents from your PC to your smartphone: Connecting your phone to your PC via USB is easy.

If you are an iPhone user, you can use the Lightning cable at this point. With a bit of luck, you won’t even need to install any additional software on your PC. Simply connect both devices directly via cable.

Thanks to Plug-and-play the required drivers will be installed automatically as soon as you connect your phone to the PC via USB. Positive side effect: As long as your smartphone is connected to the (switched on) computer by cable, you can charge the battery, you also charge the cell phone battery.

In the drive overview of Explorer, the device appears as "removable media"and it can be controlled just like any other internal or external hard disk. Your computer may even recognize the device type and display the smartphone model name. Now you can exchange data between the devices as you wish.

The drive list does not open automatically? In this case, simply press the Windows + E key combination to access the Windows Explorer. Your smartphone is listed under "this PC.

If the explorer does not show any data of your smartphone at first, but only an empty folder, you still have to select in a dialog box on the smartphone display the option "Transfer data"Select. By doing so, you give your PC permission to access your phone.

You will usually find the option at the top of the Notification line. You may need to pull it down first, then you can select the appropriate option.

2. Bluetooth

Of course, you can also connect your phone to PC without using a cable. Wireless transmission technologies make this possible. If your PC has a Bluetooth interface? Then the data transfer via radio works practically the same way as via USB cable. However, the Transfer speed significantly lower its. We’ll show you how:

Go to your phone’s "Settings" and activate Bluetooth in the "Connections" section.

Open also on your PC the "Settings" and select the "Devices" section to activate Bluetooth there.

Click on "Add Bluetooth or other device", select your phone from the devices found and go to "Connect".

By "Send" or "Share" you can transfer the files.

Screenshot of the Bluetooth settings on the desktop

In terms of speed, USB has the edge. For this reason, Bluetooth is rather unsuitable for exchanging large amounts of data, but it is a good alternative for a few pictures or songs in between. Especially if you don’t have a USB cable at hand.

3. WLAN/WiFi

Your phone can also be connected to the PC via WLAN. For this, both devices must be in the same WLAN network. However, you have to additionally special software of your smartphone manufacturer (or a corresponding provider) and install it on your computer, so that you can connect the phone via WLAN to the computer.

On the smartphone you also install the associated client app. Then the PC and smartphone can communicate wirelessly.

Convenient: The respective software usually not only enables data exchange, but also brings completely new functions to the mobile phone several useful functions with. For example, many tools allow you to write text messages and make phone calls from your PC. In addition, documents, media data and contacts can be transferred quickly and easily between the devices using the software synchronize.

The best way to do this is to create regular backupsIf you ever need to get rid of your old phone and buy a new one, you won’t lose any data. The latest cell phone models from Samsung, Apple, Google and Co. by the way you can find it in our store.

Of course, you can use the advantages of such software not only via WLAN, but also when you connect your phone via Bluetooth or USB to the computer.

4. Windows 10

You want to connect your phone to the PC and you are using Windows 10? Then you have one more option. It doesn’t matter if you have an Android smartphone or an iPhone. We will show you step by step how to do it.

Connect Android phone to PC:

The linking of smartphone and computer is done via the Microsoft Launcher. Here we go:

Go to the "Settings" on your PC and select the "Phone" section.

Select "Add cell phone" in the new view, enter your cell phone number and click on "Send".

You will now receive an SMS from Microsoft with a download link for the launcher on your cell phone. Click on the link, install the app and confirm access to the phone features.

Select the "Share" options in the app and click on the "Continue on PC" link to transfer files to your computer.

Screenshot of Windows settings

iPhone with computer:

You don’t have an Android phone, but an iPhone? No problem! You can also connect your Apple smartphone with Windows 10. However, the range of functions is somewhat limited. How it works? With Microsoft Edge. Linking works similar to Android phones. The first two steps are identical. After that, it continues like this:

Click on the download link for Microsoft Edge, which you received by SMS, and download the browser.

Start Edge and log in with your Microsoft account.

Select your iPhone in the "Linked phones" section and move the files you want back and forth.

5. Cloud devices like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive

You want to connect your phone to the computer to back up your data? Then there’s another option: a cloud app like Dropbox ( iOS | Android ), OneDrive ( iOS | Android ) or Google Drive ( iOS | Android ).

Of course, with this method the two devices are not really connected to each other. If you want to make a backup, these tools are, however extremely practical – not only because you don’t need a cable for it.

What you need instead is an account. But this one is for free – if a limited cloud storage is enough for you. Otherwise, you can also opt for the premium version for which a fee is charged. With this you get 1 TB and more depending on the app and tariff.

After you’ve downloaded the app of your choice to your phone, upload all the files you want to back up to the cloud. You can even use the app settings on your smartphone to have new files sent to your phone automatically be stored in the cloud. If necessary, you can open the respective tool on your PC and access your data.

Tip: If you have an Android phone, you can use the Google Drive the most likely way, because in this case you already have a Google account anyway. What’s more, Google gives you a particularly generous 15 GB of storage – and you don’t even have to pay for it.

The most important tips at a glance

You have several options when you want to connect your phone to a PC. The easiest way to transfer data is to connect the phone to the PC via USB. At the same time you also charge the phone battery.

Does your computer have a Bluetooth interface? Then you can also connect your phone to the PC without using a cable. However, the transfer speed suffers.

You can also connect your PC to your smartphone via WLAN. But first you need an additional software from the smartphone manufacturer or from a suitable alternative provider for the PC as well as a client app for the smartphone. But then you enjoy a wide range of functions.

On Windows 10 you can connect both your iPhone and your Android phone to your PC. On Android the whole thing works with the Microsoft Launcher, on iOS with Edge.

Cloud devices such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive are also suitable, even if the cell phone is not connected to the PC in the strict sense.

It’s best to regularly connect your phone to your PC and back up all your important data. Better safe than sorry!

Connecting a cell phone to a pc: this is how it works

Lisa has explained the latest gadgets to her little brothers before. But it doesn’t just know a lot technically, it also knows where to find the best pizza in Hamburg.

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