Easy Way to Get Pictures From Computer to Cell Phone

You probably use your cell phone primarily for making calls, but it also works as a portable storage device for photos. You've got plenty of options for moving photos to your phone, including Bluetooth, USB transfer or email attachment. Each transfer method takes just a few minutes to complete, and none require any expensive or complicated equipment.

USB Transfer

Your cell phone likely came with a USB cable for connecting the device to your computer. Once connected, your phone may automatically enter mass-storage mode. In this mode, you can't make or receive calls, using the phone only as a storage device until it's disconnected. Your phone may also prompt you to enable mass-storage mode upon connection. Depending on your phone model, tap "Yes," "OK" or "Mass Storage" to confirm.

Browse the photos on your computer that you want to transfer to your phone. Drag pictures into your phone's Pictures, Photos or Media folder. To save time, you can highlight multiple photos and drag all of them to your phone's folder at once. After you're done, disconnect the phone from the computer and USB cable. You may need to tap "Done" or "Exit" on the phone to exit mass-storage mode.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth enables you to transfer photos between devices across short distances. Nearly all cell phones and computer operating systems support Bluetooth transfer. To get started, you'll need to enable Bluetooth on your cell phone and make the device discoverable. Instructions vary depending on your phone, so consult your user manual, if necessary.

Once your phone is ready, click the Bluetooth icon in your computer's notification area, and then select "Send File." Your phone should appear in the Bluetooth File Transfer window. Select it, and then browse to the location of your photos. Click a photo and select "Next" to transfer it. When you finish transferring, remember to turn off Bluetooth on your phone. Leaving it on will drain the device's battery.

Email Attachment

If you want to send photos to a friend's phone, try transferring the images via email. You can also email the pictures to yourself.

To start, sign in to your email account and open a new message. Click the "Attachment" icon or button. In the window that opens, locate the photo you want to transfer. Double-click the picture to attach it to the email. In the Recipient field, enter your phone's email address.

Once you've sent the photo, check your email on your phone. Open the attachment and download the photo to your phone's memory card.

Memory Card

All cell phones have some internal memory, but many also support removable memory cards that expand the device's storage capacity. If you have a memory card for your phone, you can remove it from the device and insert it into your computer's card reader. When the computer finishes reading the card, copy photos to it using the same method as the USB transfer. This is a useful method if you don't have a USB cable for your phone.

Transfer Apps

Some cell phones come with an application for transferring media files to the device. If you've installed your phone's software on the computer, launch it and follow the instructions for transferring pictures. Your phone's manufacturer may also offer this software for free on its website. For example, Samsung's Kies Air app enables you to transfer photos to your device wirelessly.

Third-party apps also get the job done, and you can find a handful of them on your phone's app store. Many are free, but some may cost a few dollars. One free option is the File Expert app, enabling you to move files to your phone via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FTP or DLNA connection.

The Remote Multi Drive Free app features file transfer via your local wireless network. This app is useful if you need to connect your phone to multiple computers on the same network. Another free option is the WiFi Share app. It doesn't have a file size limit, so it's ideal for transferring large photo files to the phone.

Photo Credits: Heather Milward/Demand Media

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