Music + videos

Synchronising music, pictures and videos

There are several ways to copy or sync files with your phone, depending on the type of file you're trying to sync and where it's stored. Here's how to sync multimedia files (music, videos, pictures and podcasts) between your phone and your PC.

To learn how to do this on a Mac, see Synchronising and getting updates with my Mac.

To sync music, videos, pictures and podcasts with your phone

To sync multimedia files between your phone and your PC, you'll need to install a free program called Zune software on your computer. The Zune software for your PC helps you organise your multimedia collection, choose what to synchronise to your phone and even download new stuff from Zune Marketplace.

  1. Connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable that came with your phone.

    If the Zune software is installed on your computer, the program will start automatically. If it isn't installed on your computer, see Installing the Zune software.

    If this is the first time you've connected your phone to your PC, follow the instructions in the Zune software to name your phone and perform other setup tasks.

  2. In the Zune software, click Collection.

    Collection menu in Zune software
  3. Find the item you want to sync by doing one of the following:

    • Click a category (Music, Videos, Pictures or Podcasts), and browse until you find the item you want to sync with your phone (such as a song, album, artist, playlist, genre and so on).
    • In the Search box, enter what you're looking for (for example, a song title or artist's name). In the search results, click the desired item.
  4. Drag the item to the phone icon in the bottom-left corner of the Zune software.

    Drag and drop to phone icon


To change sync options

If you want more control over what gets synchronised between your phone and PC, try experimenting with the Zune software sync options. For example, if you don't want to bother dragging individual songs, artists or albums to the phone icon, you can configure the Zune software to automatically sync all of the music on your PC with your phone (space permitting).

  1. In the Zune software, click Settings > Phone > Sync Options.

  2. Click the items that you want to change (for example, in the Music section, click All), then click OK.

To find pictures and videos that have been synchronised from your phone to your PC

If you take a picture or record a video on your phone, that picture or video will automatically be copied to your computer the next time you sync with the Zune software.

  1. Connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  2. In the Zune software, click Collection > Pictures.

  3. Under My Pictures, click the album that matches the name of your phone (for example, From David's Phone).


    To see where the picture is stored on your computer, right-click the picture, then click Properties.

To check free storage space on your phone

  1. Connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  2. In the Zune software, click Phone > Summary.

  3. At the bottom of the screen, look at the right-end of the storage indicator (for example, "FREE 3.24 GB" means that your phone has 3.24 gigabytes of free storage space).


If you've changed the Zune software sync options to sync all your music, videos, pictures and podcasts to your phone, you might find that you don't have enough free storage space on your phone to do other things (such as take pictures, record videos or download emails and apps). To solve this problem, increase the amount of space on your phone reserved for doing these tasks. With your phone connected to your computer, in the Zune software, click Settings > Phone > Reserved Space, then drag the handle to the right.

To set up wireless sync

If you don't want to physically connect your phone to your computer every time you need to sync, you can set up your phone to automatically sync with your computer over your home WiFi network.

  1. Connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable that came with your phone.

  2. In the Zune software, click Settings > Phone > Wireless Sync.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions in the Zune software.

After you've completed the steps above, files will automatically sync with your phone wirelessly when the following conditions are met:

  • Your phone and PC are both connected to your home WiFi network. Note that wireless sync is not supported on workplace WiFi networks.
  • Your phone battery has at least a medium-level charge ( Battery icon at medium-level) and your phone is connected to an AC power adapter (that is, your phone must be connected to the wall charger and not connected to your computer).
  • You're not interacting with your phone. For example, you're not touching things on the screen, the backlight is off and music and videos aren't playing (it's OK if a song or video is paused).

It might take up to 15 minutes for wireless sync to start, and there is no way to manually force it to occur. For more information about wireless synchronisation, see Synchronising wirelessly from your Zune software.


  • See How do I add contacts to my phone? for information about synchronising contacts.
  • For information about synchronising notes between your phone and OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), see Using Microsoft OneNote Mobile.
  • The Zune software won't work on Windows RT. But you can get music on your phone using an Xbox Music Pass, and you can use OneDrive to synchronise your documents. You can also get the SkyDrive application from the Windows Phone Store.

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