Step By Step Back Up For Your Android To A PC or Mac

Please note before beginning this process:
The following instructions will allow you to download or upload any media content to and from your Android device including contacts, text/sms messages, pictures, music, videos and files.  While this may be easy for computer savvy people, if you are not very good with Windows or Mac OSx operating and file systems, this may not be the best option for you to attempt as files can easily be misplaced or deleted.  For non-techy types, I highly suggest a user-friendly software such as MobileGo for Android which you can read our review of over here.  We love it.

Step 1. Plugin Your Phone To your PC or Mac

Starting with your phone unplugged, connect it to your PC or MAC computer using the USB cable that you received at the time of purchase.  Both your PC and Mac should be able to automatically detect the USB connection and if this is not the case, then you will need to check whether the cable, or USB port is faulty.

Step 2. Select Your Connection Type (MTP) or (PTP)


You should see a screen similar to the picture below.  Both an LG Optimus and Samsung Galaxy are shown.


If this screen doesn’t show, pull down the main menu of the phone by swiping down from top to bottom, on the screen. This will display various connection options for you to select from (MTP and camera mode options for the PC, and Disk Drive and charging modes for the Mac).

Select the connection option that pops on the screen and set your connection type.

For the PC, select MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) this will allow you to transfer any of the files on your phone.  If you just want to transfer photos, you can select the PTP (Picture Transfer Protocal).  MTP is a much better connection type overall.  If you are connecting to a Mac computer then set the connection option to Disk Drive mode. Note that when you connect your phone to the PC computer/ Mac in the Disc Drive/ Media storage mode, you will not be able to run any applications that use the microSD card as storage such as music as well as photo and video galleries, until you disconnect.


If you are connecting your android to the computer for the first time, the computer may need to download the drivers first so you need to ensure that it is connected to a stable internet. When drivers are being installed, you will see an installation notification pop up in the bottom right of your screen in the task bar. Wait for the computer to indicate that the installation has been completed successfully before proceeding.

If the installation is not successful, check your internet connection to ensure it is working, then unplug the phone and replug it into the computer to start the process all over again.

Once the driver is successfully installed, an autoplay window will pop up on the desktop, giving you certain options to either open the folder to view files, import images and video or even play music directly from the microSD folder as is usually common with all USB storage media.


Now your phone and your computer are communicating there are various ways to navigate.

Step 2.  Access Your Files

Open Device To View Files

This option will open all the folders on your phone just like normal windows folders, and you can go through to either copy, delete, download or upload whatever it is that you need.  However the difficulty here is that Android phones store stuff all over the place, especially if you have a lot of Apps installed.  So it may be difficult to find what you are looking for in that case.  Once again, we reccomend a much easier more user friendly User Interface called WonderShare.

My Computer

If you click your Windows Start icon and select Computer or My Computer, you will be able to see your phone appear under the COMPUTER icon, as show in the image below.


This is the storage media for the phone. If you are using a Mac computer, the folder will appear on the desktop and thus you do not need to check for it in the “My Computer” section.

Double click on the folder to open. You will now be able to see everything that is currently stored on your phone’s hard drive and if installed, your microSD card.  Everything will be separated in folders including images, video shots as well as any applications that you could have moved to the SD card storage. You can then browse through the files and for the ones that you would wish to transfer to the computer, just select either a file or the entire folder that you would wish to copy then move them toa folder on the PC or Mac computer. You can also delete stuff that you no longer need on the phone, through the folders displayed on the computer.

Once you are done transferring the required data, disconnect the storage drive from the computer. If you are using a PC this can be done via the ‘safe eject’ icon at the bottom right of the screen, while on the Mac you simply click on the eject button within the folder.

Once the drive has been disconnected from the computer, you can now safely turn off USB mass storage from your phone by tapping the appropriate button then unplugging the USB cable from both the computer and the phone. You will be done with the backup.