How to Transfer Photos from Android Phone to External Hard Drive

Move Android Photos External Drive

In this age of high-speed internet and Google Photos, not many people store offline copies of their photos on their computers or on external storage. However, not everyone has access to high-speed internet and millions of people across the world still prefer to save photos from their Android smartphone on their PC or on an external hard drive.

Even if you back up your photos online to Google Photos or Dropbox, it is strongly recommended that you keep an offline copy for unforeseen circumstances. If you take a lot of photos, you are bound to run out of space on your smartphone which is why it makes sense to move photos to your PC every once in a while.

Eventually, you will run out of space on your PC as well if you take a lot of 4K videos and your PC does not really have a lot of storage. This is why it is recommended that you save photos and videos from your smartphone to an external hard drive. If you value the photos you click and want to preserve them for as long as possible, this is the best solution.

If you are new to the Android ecosystem and are wondering how you can store photos captured from your smartphone to your PC or to external storage, you should follow the guide below.

Transfer Photos from Android Phone to External Hard Drive on Windows PC

Step 1: Connect your Android smartphone to your Windows 10 PC and select the Transferring images/Transfer photo option on it.

Android Transfer Photos

Step 2: On your Windows 10 PC, open a new Explorer window/Go to This PC. Your connected Android device should show up under Devices and Drives. Double click on it followed by Phone storage.

If a microSD card is inserted in your Android device, it will show up separately here. In case all your photos and videos are saved on the SD card, select that.

Step 3: All the photos and videos taken by your Android smartphone will be stored under DCIM/Pictures or DCIM/Camera. Navigate to the folder, copy all the photos and videos you want to transfer.

Android connected Windows 10

Step 4: Go to Computer and open the external storage you have connected to your PC. It should be listed under Devices and Drives. Proceed to paste all the media files inside a folder or wherever you want in the drive.

Transfer Photos from Android Phone to External Hard Drive on Mac

On a Mac, the steps change slightly since one has to make use of the Android File Transfer app. If you have not already installed the app on your Mac, make sure to do so first.

Step 1: Connect your Android smartphone to your Mac and select the ‘Transferring images’ mode on it. The Android File Transfer app should automatically open. Navigate to the folder where all the clicked photos and videos are saved.

Step 2: Select all the photos and then drag and drop them inside a folder on your Mac.

Step 3: Connect an external hard disk to your Mac and copy-paste the folder or the photos on your desktop to it. Once the process is completed, you can delete the folder on your desktop to free up space.

Transfer Photos from Android Phones Directly to External Hard Drive

One of the good things about Android smartphones is that they all support USB OTG. What this means is that you can directly transfer photos from your Android smartphone to an external hard disk. For this, you will have to connect the hard disk to your smartphone which requires a USB OTG adapter. They are available for pretty cheap and can come in handy in a lot of other scenarios as well.

Using an OTG adapter, connect an external hard disk to your Android smartphone. Then use a file manager of your choice like Solid File Manager, navigate to the folder where all the photos and videos are stored on your Android device, and then proceed to copy-paste it inside a folder of your choice in the external hard disk.


If you are facing any issues while trying to move photos and videos from your Android smartphone to an external hard disk, drop a comment below and we will help you out.