Photos

Sync photos and videos using my computer

Windows Phone and SkyDrive make it easy to automatically upload your photos to the cloud, but there may be times when you want to plug your phone into your computer and move them yourself. Whether you want to use an app or simply copy some files, we've got you covered.

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 photos and videos 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 photos or videos from one place to another, the easiest way is to use File Explorer (called Windows Explorer in some versions of Windows).

To move photos

  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 moving photos or videos to your phone, put the file in the Pictures or Videos folder so that your phone can find it later.

    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 your photos and videos between your phone and your Windows 8 or Windows 7 PC. 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.

Notes

  • To move photos larger than 30 megapixels from your phone to your computer, you'll need to use File Explorer or Windows Explorer.
  • The Windows Phone app for desktop is not available in all countries or regions.

To sync photos and videos you've taken

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

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

  3. If you also want to sync the videos you've taken, select Include your videos.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To sync some of your photos and videos, select any folders you want to sync.
    • To sync all your photos and videos, select the Sync all photos check box.
  5. Click Sync.

To sync videos (movies and TV)

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

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

  3. Do one of the following:

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

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 Photos or Videos.

    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.

    Note

    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)

If you've got a Windows 8 PC, you've got another option for moving your photos and videos between your phone and your computer. 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.

Note

To move photos larger than 30 megapixels from your phone to your computer, you'll need to use File Explorer or Windows Explorer.

To add photos and videos to your phone

  1. In the Windows Phone app, do one of the following:

    • To add photos, click Add photos.
    • To add videos, click Add video.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • Click a folder to choose which files to add.
    • To choose a different folder, click Go up.
    • To choose a different type of file to add, click Files, and then click Pictures or Videos.
  3. Click each file 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 files you want, click Add.

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

  1. In the Windows Phone app, under On your phone, click the kind of items you want to delete or move (Photos or Videos).

    Note

    Videos that you've taken with your phone will appear in Photos. Movies and TV episodes that you've purchased will appear in Videos.

    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. Right-click 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

  • 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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