How to copy music to your Android phone from Windows

by Ross McKillop on July 29, 2009

Android Windows

This tutorial will guide you step by step through the process of adding audio files (mp3, ogg, wma, etc) from your Windows PC to your Android phone.

Note: the steps and screenshots in this tutorial are specific to the G1 Android phone. They will likely be similar if not identical as new Android devices reach the marketplace.

Note 2: while the steps below work perfectly, and still do, this tutorial will show you how to transfer any file – music or otherwise – using just a web browser and one free App on your phone. And it’s not restricted to just Windows – it works. It does require a 3G or WiFi connection – unlike the tutorial below – which uses your USB cable to transfer files.

  1. In order to add music to your Android phone you’ll need to plug it into your PC using a USB cable. Once it’s connected to your PC, you should see a small USB icon in the upper left corner of your phone.
  2. android home screen with usb highlighted

  3. Drag the “menu bar” down and there will be an entry titled USB connected. Tap (or click) it.
  4. android alerts screen with usb connected

  5. Now tap the Mount button.
  6. mounting your android phone as a windows drive

  7. Depending on how you have Windows configured to react when a new drive is detected, you may see a Removable Disk screen similar to the one below. If you do, select Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer, click OK and skip the next step. If you don’t see a Removable Disk window, proceed to the next step (#5).
  8. windows removable disk options

  9. Double-click the My Computer icon on your Desktop, or open My Computer from your Start menu. There will be a new drive listed – double click it.
  10. windows explorer

  11. You’re now viewing the contents of the SD card in your Android device. There should be a folder titled Music – but if there isn’t don’t worry – just create it.
  12. windows explorer displaying the contents of your Android phones SD card

  13. Now navigate to the location you store your audio files on your PC. Select the ones you want to copy to your Android phone/device and copy them by clicking Ctrl+c or right-clicking on them and selecting Copy.
  14. copying files in windows explorer

  15. Return to the Music folder on your phones SD card and paste the files into it (click ctrl+v or right-click and select Paste).
  16. copying files to your android phone

  17. Your music/audio files will now copy over.
  18. windows copy dialogue box

  19. Once you’ve finished adding files to your phones Music folder, double-click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your system tray.
  20. windows safely remove hardware system tray icon

  21. Select the USB Mass Storage Device and then click the Stop button.
  22. safely removing a usb mass storage device

  23. Select the drive that represents your Android phone (in my case it was F: drive, as indicated in the screenshot below) and click the OK button.
  24. safely unmounting an android phones sd card

  25. Windows should now prompt you that it’s OK to remove the device (your Android phone). But before you disconnect the USB cable, keep reading.
  26. windows system message confirming a device can be safely removed

  27. Back on your phone, pull down the top menu bar again, if it isn’t still being displayed. Tap (click) the Turn off USB storage entry.
  28. android alert screen to turn off usb storage

  29. Now tap the Turn Off button.
  30. android warning message

  31. At this point you can disconnect your Android phone from your PC. To listen to the files you just added, go to your Applications screen and select the Music app.
  32. android apps list with music highlighted

  33. Tap either the Artists, Albums, Songs or (if you added them) Playlists button.
  34. android music player

  35. And now you’ll be able to play your songs and/or audio files on your Android phone!
  36. android music player playing a song

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  • Bob Joy

    There is a much easier way to do all this. Just install doubleTwist :-)

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  • http://redsolo.blogspot.com redsolo

    Thank you for providing this info, it was very much appreciated! It doesnt get easier than following this guide :)

  • http://www.whyweworry.com Clint

    Very easy to follow. Thanks.

  • bong hyung khan

    Oh thank God! I dropped my iPod in the water, and it’s broken now. I’ve been trying to figure out how to copy files to this android phone for almost a year now! I tell you, if Steve Jobs made android, it would be an actual android, that could walk to the store, buy the music, and then put it on this cursed phone for me!

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  • jimmy

    thankyou sooo much

  • lisa

    Thank you so much. You made this easy and understandable.

  • innards

    Does this show only the contents of the card? What about the files/folders on the device itslef?

  • Julie

    thank you so much…all of my itunes music was copied into a folder and easily uploaded to my droid…i was trying to figure it out for days! This is great!

  • Ian

    Thanks thanks thanks thanks

    i was trying this for days but a word of warning for other people, i used a cable i was charging the htc hero with but it wouldn’t sync with my windows pc, then i used another cable and it worked a treat thanks
    thanks again

    what else can you think of like this that you can show us thanks for all your help in advance

    kind regards

    Ian mccully

    p.s when i got my htc hero i didnt know how to send a text but worked it out with htc website but there is nothing like this guide on here

    that is straight to the point and works a treat

    if only everything in life was so easy

  • Nat

    thank you so much you made it super easy to folllow!!!!!

  • Shiree

    I have the Android and it won’t allow me to add itunes to my phone is there any ideas to help with this???

  • DK

    Yes, this type of phone is going to common now.
    Dual System: Windows and Google Android. I see a cell phone on CNDIGIT’s website, they provides the model call Diamond T5353. Which has Dual System (windows and google android), GPS and WIFI etc..

  • Ritesh

    Thanks.. Why such option (Mount) is there.. If somebody connects USB, it means file transfer is expected..

  • Ishan

    YOU ARE AWESOME. After wasting freaking 5 hours finally I found step by step instructions. YOU ROCK.

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  • Jess

    But what if you don’t even see the USB symbol at the top of your phone to begin with?

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  • Milkman

    if you reboot your phone with the usb still connected to the computer it seems to cure the problem Jess. It worked twice for me then everything was easy as. REBOOOOT and make sure you have the phone set to ask you what action to take when usb is connected.
    MENU
    SETTINGS
    CONNECT TO PC
    then follow the options and select DISK DRIVE to transfer music or video.

  • alex kim

    U r great!!!!!!!! thx xxxxxxxxxx very million U r better than smasung thank agan.

  • Jrc

    “if you reboot your phone with the usb still connected to the computer it seems to cure the problem Jess. It worked twice for me then everything was easy as. REBOOOOT and make sure you have the phone set to ask you what action to take when usb is connected.
    MENU
    SETTINGS
    CONNECT TO PC”
    I just got an android and hooked up cable and rebooted phone, hoever i recieved none of the icons listed or notifications. The computer tried to install software and could not. I have yet to recieve the usb connected icon on the android. I have looked for a setting that asks what to do when usb is connected and no luck there either. Any ideas on where to set the android up for this transfer via usb?

  • http://aespe.blogspot.com aespe

    just have an android, your article help me a lot with the confusion of this simple task :D

    thx

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  • Tylam

    BEST SOLUTION for me!! BIG THANKS!!

  • Beeka

    Thankyou SO SO SO much, I tried to follow the user guide instructions but it seems like they miss 20 steps. You are a STAR. Thanks HEAPS ;-D

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  • McMomma

    Thank you!!!!! I hope you are a manual writer. The world could use more straight forward directions like this. You saved me hours of figuring this whole process out. Thank you!!!!

  • bob

    does this work for all android phones because im temporarly working with the huwaei ascend, and i want to no if it works for it

  • CPM

    You made my day !!!!

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  • rebecca

    i have tried it your way i find it helpful but it still does not show in my phone.. do we need to have internet in order to do this?

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  • raymdjnn

    how do you get that app

  • Jose

    I get an error message 0×80070052 when i try to transfer music to my android SD card. Any help????

  • Amul Pandya

    Hello all,
    If you are not able to see the USB icon to enable copying, please follow the below steps:
    1. Click on Settings
    2. Go to Applications->Development.
    3. Check USB Debugging.(if already ckecked, try unchecking and checking it again.)
    4. It will not show the option for Turning on the storage.
    Thanks,
    Amul

  • Amul Pandya

    4. It will now show the option for Turning on the storage.

    Hope this works…

  • jasmine

    this was awsome on the phone with cust for 2 hours kinds slow but got it done haha

  • justin

    The USB thing does not show up??? Whats wrong???

  • http://android-simplicity.blogspot.com pon
  • http://aleksandrg.tk Sanek

    BIG THANK!

  • Ken

    Thank you, great advice.

  • http://marx-labs.de Thorsten

    you just made my day

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but see, when plugged in, my phone doesn’t have a Music folder. It’s just got a bunch of other folders. I have the LG Genesis.

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  • Blake

    Hands down the best step by step documentation I have found. To creat the “Music” folder was key for me.

    ~Thank you!

  • jay

    thank you

  • Eva

    I have HTC Wildfire and copied window media player files into it hut it will not play. It says: Unable to play this type of audio file. Can anyone help ?I read about poweramp app. but it is far from a perfect solution.

  • GREICY

    thanksss for your help. GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Brad

    Thanks for the “simple” help! You made it sound so easy I can’t understand why I couldn’t seem to figure this out on my own, but thank you!!

  • j.d. williams

    FABULOUS!!! thank ya kindly :-)

  • Amanda

    All this worked to transfer from my computer onto my Samsung Galaxy @ but when I press “play” it says “sorry, the player does not support this type of audio file”. Any ideas?

  • phie

    thank you, very helpful….
    i’m a new android’s user..and i was got little bit confused about copying music from windows…xoxoxo

  • yahoo

    whats that media player called? im on my second android and i prefer this media player in these pictures. i got some shitty huawei one now. where can i find that one?

  • Natalie

    If only it were this easy. I don’t know if it’s because of 4.0 or because it’s on a Linux OS, but there is no removable drive when you plug the phone into the USB.

  • obliv

    Thank you!!!

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  • hawkenator

    The first time I tried this I couldn’t “see” the phone in windows. I swapped the usb cord with a spare I had lying around and voila it worked. Maybe it’ll help someone else.

  • Charles Cifuni

    Recently got Samsung Galaxy S5. The process for moving pictures & music is so much simpler: Just plug in the phone to the PC. On PC, go to “computer”, open and see the Samsung name. Open this and create a folder named “music” or “photos”. Open the location of the music or photo you want to copy, then just do a simple “copy” & “paste”. Viola, things moved.