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How to Use USB to Transfer Files between a Computer and an Android Tablet

There are plenty of reasons why you would want to copy a file between a computer and an Android tablet, many of which are legal.

For example, you can copy pictures and videos, music and audio files, and even vCards that help you build contacts for the tablet’s address book. And you can just copy random files when you’re on a caffeine high and nothing is on TV.

Follow these steps to copy a file or two between a computer and an Android tablet:

  1. Connect the Android tablet to the computer by using the USB cable.

  2. Open the Android tablet’s storage to display its folder window.

    On a Windows computer, choose the option to View Files from the AutoPlay dialog box. If the AutoPlay dialog box doesn’t show up, open the Computer window and then open the Android tablet’s storage icon.

    On a Macintosh, the Android File Transfer program starts automatically. Otherwise, you can open the tablet’s folder window on the desktop.

    The Android tablet’s folder window looks like any other folder window. The difference is that the files and folders in that window are stored on the tablet, not on your computer.

  3. Locate the files you want to copy.

    Open the folder that contains the files, or somehow have the file icons visible on the screen.

    The best way to copy files is to have two folder windows open at once, one for the computer and the other for the tablet.

  4. Drag the file icon(s) from one folder to another to copy.

    When you drag a file from the computer’s folder to the tablet, you’re copying the file, such as a vCard file, to the tablet. Dragging a file from the tablet’s folder to the computer copies files in the other direction.

    You don’t have to be specific where you copy the file from your computer to the tablet. You can drop the file in the root folder. That’s the tablet’s main folder. If you want to be specific, drag the file to the Download folder.

  5. Close the folder windows and disconnect the USB cable when you’re done.

Any files you’ve copied from the computer are now stored on the Android tablet. What you do with them next depends on the reasons you copied the files: view pictures using the Gallery; import vCards using the tablet’s address book app; listen to music, and so on.

  • The best way to synchronize music is by using a music jukebox program on your computer.

  • Files you’ve downloaded on the Android tablet are stored in the Download folder.

  • Pictures and videos on the Android tablet are stored in the DCIM/Camera folder.

  • Music on the Android tablet is stored in the Music folder, organized by artist.

  • Files transferred via Bluetooth are stored in the Bluetooth folder.

  • Your tablet may feature two storage locations. If you can’t find a file in one spot, look in the other.

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