Music + videos

Sync music, ringtones, and podcasts using my computer

There are all sorts of ways to get your music, ringtones, and podcasts between your phone and your computer using the cloud, but sometimes the fastest way is the old-fashioned way—plugging your phone into your computer.

You can keep it simple by adding files with File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in some versions of Windows), or use one of the Windows Phone apps. The Windows Phone app for desktop is a great way to sync with iTunes or add ringtones in Windows 8 or Windows 7. If you prefer a clean, modern interface that you can use on the Start screen, try out the Windows Phone app for Windows 8.

If you're not sure which app is best for you, you can use the Sync wizard (English only) to help you decide.

Notes

Use File Explorer (Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP)

If you simply want to move your music from one place to another, the easiest way is to use File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in some versions of Windows).

To add music or ringtones

  1. Do one of the following:

    • If you're using Windows 8, go to Desktop view, and then open File Explorer from the taskbar.
    • If you're using Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, open Windows Explorer from the taskbar.
  2. Under Computer, click your phone's name, and then click Phone.

  3. To move files between your phone and your PC, right-click the file you want to copy and click Copy.

  4. Right-click in the folder you want to move the file to and click Paste. If you're adding music or ringtones to your phone, put the file in the Music or Ringtones folder so your phone will be able to find it.

    Note

    If you connect your phone to a PC running Windows XP, your PC may mistakenly ask you to install software that isn't available. If you get this wizard, click Cancel—you don't need to install the software. You'll then be able to use Windows Explorer to move files between your phone and your computer.

Use Windows Phone app for desktop (Windows 8 and Windows 7)

The Windows Phone app for desktop lets you sync music and podcasts between your phone and your Windows 8 or Windows 7 PC, as well as add ringtones to your phone. You can choose to sync with your Windows Libraries or with iTunes. If you don't have the app yet, you can get it at the Windows Phone app for desktop download page.

Note

The Windows Phone app for desktop is not available in all countries or regions.

To sync music

  1. In the Windows Phone app for desktop, click Music.

  2. Make sure the Sync music check box is selected.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To sync some of your collection, select any playlists, genres, artists, or albums you want to sync.
    • To sync your entire music collection, select the Sync all music check box.
  4. Click Sync.

Note

To learn more about getting music on your phone, see Syncing music FAQ.

To sync podcasts

  1. In the Windows Phone app for desktop, click Podcasts.

  2. Make sure the Sync podcasts check box is selected.

  3. In the Sync list, choose how many episodes you want to sync, and whether you want to sync unplayed episodes only.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To sync some of your podcasts, select the ones you want to sync.
    • To sync all of your podcasts, select the Sync all podcasts check box.
  5. Click Sync.

To add ringtones

The Windows Phone app for desktop can tell which of your songs will work as ringtones.

  1. In the Windows Phone app for desktop, click Ringtones.

  2. Select any of the songs you'd like to use as ringtones on your phone, then click Add.

  3. On your phone, in the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ringtones + sounds.

  4. Tap one or more of these—Ringtone, New text or IM, New voicemail, New email, or Reminders—and choose the ringtone you want to use.

Notes

  • To use custom ringtones for things other than phone calls, your phone needs to have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information about updating your phone.
  • To learn more ringtones and other sounds on your phone, see Ringtones, sounds, and volume.

To save things to your PC or delete them from your phone

  1. In the Windows Phone app for desktop, in the upper-right corner, click Phone, and then click Music or Podcasts.

    Tip

    If you have an SD card and you don't see what you're looking for, try adjusting your filters. Click Storage, then click All or SD card.

  2. Select the items or folders you want to delete or move. (If the options don't appear automatically, click or flick up from the bottom of the screen to show them.)

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Click Save to PC.
    • Click Delete.

    Notes

    • To find the things you've saved, open File Explorer on your PC, then go to the Music, Pictures, or Videos folder to see your files.
    • If you delete something from your phone that you've selected to sync, it will be added back to your phone the next time you sync.

Use Windows Phone app (Windows 8)

The Windows Phone app has a modern interface that highlights album art and makes it easy to add music and playlists from locations on your PC. To get the Windows Phone app, just plug your phone into your computer, and the app will download automatically. Or, if you'd prefer, you can get it from the Windows Store.

To add music or playlists

  1. In the Windows Phone app, click Add music.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click a folder to choose specific songs to add.
    • Click the Playlists folder to choose specific playlists to add.
    • To choose a different folder, click Go up.
    • To add a whole folder, right-click the folder.
  3. Click each song or playlist you want to add. All of the files you choose will appear at the bottom of the app.

  4. When you've chosen all of the songs or folders you want, click Add.

Notes

  • To learn more about getting music on your phone, see Syncing music FAQ.
  • If you use a password to lock your phone, you may need to unlock your phone before you can use these apps and File Explorer (or Windows Explorer).
  • You have a couple options for moving documents from your phone to other places. One is to plug your phone into your PC, and use either File Explorer or Windows Explorer (depending on whether you're using Windows 8 or Windows 7). A second way is to use SkyDrive. To learn more, see Sync documents with SkyDrive.
  • Some protected (DRM) media files can't be copied or synced between your PC and your Windows Phone.

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