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home | Free Articles | How To Add Photos, Ebooks, and Files . . .

How To Add Photos, Ebooks, and Files To Your Android Phone

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If you work on multiple computers - desktop and notebook, home and work, netbook and family room, etc - you've probably gotten used to moving files around on a USB thumb drive. They are small, inexpensive, and easy to use. What you may not know is that you can also use your Android smart phone in the same way.

This is handy not just for transferring files, but for adding ebooks that you already have stored on your PC, even if you didn't buy them from an online retailer.

Of course, with all things computer, there is always more than one way to accomplish a task. This one isn't right for all situations. But it is a valuable trick to know.

You can add any ebook, photo or file to your Android smartphone in 6 easy steps.

  1. Connect your Android to your computer, using the USB cable that was supplied with the phone.
  2. Pull down the Notifications bar on your phone.
  3. Tap USB Connections
  4. Select USB Mass Storage
  5. Locate the new Android drive on your computer
  6. Still on your computer, copy the file you want to transfer and then just paste it into the Android drive.

It really is that simple. But, if you've never browsed your Android's SD card, you might like to see a more detailed explanation. If so - keep reading.


Adding ebooks or photos or any types of supported files to your Android is quite simple. No weird voodoo or advanced tech knowledge is required. As you saw in the 6 step explanation above, all you need to do is attach your phone to your PC with the USB cable supplied with the phone, then copy your file to the correct directory on the Android's SD card.

Piece of cake.

Begin by plugging one end of the USB cable into your Android and the other end (the large, USB plug) into a USB port on your computer. A USB cable almost certainly came with your phone, even if you are not aware of it. On many smartphones, the wall charge has the USB cable attached via a slot on the wall wart. Try - gently! - to pull the cord loose from the plug. There's your USB cable.

Once you plug one end of your USB cable into the PC and the other into the Android, you may receive a message from the computer that new hardware has been detected and installed. You don't have to do anything - Windows will take care of it.

When the connection is ready, a small USB icon will appear on the notification bar at the top of your phone.

If your phone is locked, unlock it. Then tap and hold on the notification bar and pull it down so you can read the messages. The exact message can vary depending on model and version of the Android operating system. You will see a message under "Ongoing" at the top of your Notification screen that reads "USB Connected."

Tap on it.

You will now see several different types of possible USB connections between your phone and computer. Most phones have "USB Charge Only" as the default connection type, but that is not what we want. Select "USB Mass Storage" and tap OK.

Some newer phones may automate this process. On these phones, you will see a pop up screen with the message, "You have connected your phone to your computer via USB. Select 'Mount' if you want to copy files between your computer and your phone's SD card." If given that choice, tap on the "Mount" button.

Your PC may inform you that a new USB Mass Storage device is connected. That's good!

Your Android is now connected to your PC just like any thumb drive. When you Open "My Computer" on the PC, you'll see a new drive in the list - that's the Android. It will probably be labeled something like "Removable Disk G."

Now it is time to add the file.

If you are just moving or storing files, you'll want to create a new folder to keep things neat.  Creating a folder on a mounted SD card inside your phone is no different than creating a folder directly on your hard drive. Just click on the computer's "Create New Folder" icon, name the folder, and you are ready. Now copy and paste any file you wish to transfer into your new folder.

If necessary, set your phone back to "Charge only" when you are done.

Unplug your phone from your PC.


The process for ebooks is basically the same, but you will have to place the ebook into the particular folder required by your eBook reader. This will vary from reader to reader. Most popular eBook readers available for Android have a desktop companion that can be used to automatically copy the file and place it correctly on your phone.

Some Kindle ebooks, however, need to be moved by hand. The following instructions are necessary only for Kindle ebooks that you are not purchasing from Amazon. If you get your Kindle ebook from Amazon, you can download it directly to your phone. However, there are many very useful ebooks in Kindle or Mobi format (including the Home Run Guide, Vol 1) that are not available directly from Amazon. Here's how to read them on the run.

First, if you haven't done so already, download the Kindle for Android from the Android app store. (It's free).

Next, download at least one Kindle eBook from Amazon to be sure everything is working correctly. Open the book, scroll through a few pages, click on the Table of Contents links, etc. There are plenty of free Kindle eBooks to choose from. Be sure to find the ebook using your Android's Kindle Reader - not your regular Kindle.

Now it is time to add your non-Amazon ebook. Connect your phone to the computer using the instructions above.

Find the Kindle ebook on your PC and copy it.

The file will have the extension ".awz" or ".prc". You may have to rename the file to work with the Android app. For instance, there should be no spaces in the file name. And the file should include "_EBOK" at the end, right before the extension. All files on my phone use the .prc extension. (If you don't see your Kindle book on your phone after copying it over, try changing the extension from ".awz" to ".prc". You don't need to translate the file into a different format - just change the extension.)

Double click on the icon that represents the Android (Removable Disk G, or whatever) to open it. You can now see all the directories and files on the SD card in your phone.

Look for the directory called "kindle." Double click to open it.

Now paste your ebook into that directory.

Close the directory.

If necessary, set your phone back to "Charge only" when you are done.

Unplug your phone from your PC.