Use your Laptop to Explore your Mobile Files

Edited by Eng, Charmed, Lynn, VisiHow

Most people can benefit from utilizing a Laptop file manager to browse files located in their mobile. Doing so will give users the ability to search better and to organize, sort, copy and move files. This can be done through two types of connections: Cable and WiFi.

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Please take note that OS files cannot be explored unless your mobile is ROOTED.


Things you will need to cover both types of connection

Browse mobile files while connected via USB cable

As stated above, unless your mobile is rooted, you cannot explore OS system files, and that would not be of significant importance to most people, unless you are highly educated in the IT field. So all you need to do is to connect your phone or mobile to your Laptop via your USB cable, check your phone screen, and you will see a window that asks you to select the preferred connection type. Choose "Disk Drive" or something similar. This term might differ a bit from one OS version to another. If you miss the connection window, the default connection type will be selected and the window will be closed. You can simply pull or sweep down the status menu or curtain for information.

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ENG CROP USB connected.jpg

Following are two examples of connections for two different operating systems.

  1. 1
    First OS
    With the status menu pulled down, you will see this:
    USB choose Icon-1.png
    Tap on "USB Connected" (marked in red), and another window will appear.
    Disk Drive Connection type-1.png
    Now simply tap "Turn ON USB storage." Now your SD card is connected to your Laptop as any normal flash-pen.
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  2. 2
    Second OS
    With the status menu pulled down, you will see this:
    USB choose Icon-2.png
    As you can see, the default "Charge Only" connection has been selected. Tap on it and you can change the connection to "Disk drive" (marked in red).
    Disk Drive Connection type-2.png
    Now your SD card is connected to your Laptop.
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  3. 3
    After connecting
    If it is your first time connecting to your Laptop, wait until the drivers for your mobile are found and installed. Then your Mobile SD card will operate like any normal Flash-Pen. You can browse, and use any operations like cut, copy, move, delete, etc.
    Laptop Explored.png
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Browse mobile files while connected via WiFi

There is more than one approach you can take to browse your mobile files via WiFi. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. 1
    ES File Explorer 3
    Providing you have already had downloaded and installed ES File Explorer to your Android mobile, connect your mobile to the same WiFi network as your Laptop. Click here for more information: Explore and copy/move files from your Android Mobile to your Laptop/PC via WiFi
    4- FTP connected.png
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  2. 2
    MyPhoneExplorer app
    This will enable you to connect to the internal memory and SD card. Click here for more information: Universal Sync for Android Mobile, Connect, and Backup. If you are not familiar with MyPhoneExplorer, it is best to read the whole article, and pay special attention to the section titled "Touring other features," especially item four.
    Drag and Drop.png
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Manipulating can be done both ways, from your mobile to your Laptop and vice versa. In other words, you can copy and move items both ways.
  • Always be careful about OS system files. Folders starting with dot [.] should generally be left alone. If you access them and do the wrong thing, your mobile system may crash.

Questions and Answers

I cannot connect my mobile to my laptop.

I am not able to browse my files from my mobile.

  • Depending upon your smartphone model, you may need to update its USB drivers from the official Web site.
  • Make sure that you install the drivers specific to the model.
  • You may try changing the USB ports when connecting.
  • You may also need the official model-specific USB cable for some other smartphones.
  • There are smartphones that require a specific program to communicate with the computer (check the manufacturer's Web site for more information).
  • After connecting the mobile smartphone, you may need to pull down the notification panel from the top and select the USB mass storage mode, PTP, or MTP.
  • In rare cases, you will need to upgrade your operating system (for example, from XP to 7).
  • There is another solution: inserting the microSD card into the card reader of your computer and operating files that way.
  • You can use the AirDroid utility for your computer and mobile device as well. Read more about it here.
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Referencing this Article

If you need to reference this article in your work, you can copy-paste the following depending on your required format:

APA (American Psychological Association)
Use your Laptop to Explore your Mobile Files. (2016). In VisiHow. Retrieved Apr 25, 2017, from

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MLA (Modern Language Association) "Use your Laptop to Explore your Mobile Files." VisiHow, Accessed 25 Apr 2017.

Chicago / Turabian "Use your Laptop to Explore your Mobile Files." Accessed Apr 25, 2017.

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Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: Lynn, Charmed, Eng

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