Android Sync

Looking to sync your Android tablet or smartphone with a Windows 10 PC? It’s pretty easy to achieve the syncing and transferring data back and forth. For those who are wondering why syncing is required, unlike Windows Phone users that sync automatically with a Windows 10 PC, Android users need to set-up the sync process and need a Windows Live account, which should be verified, to do the same.

Sync Android with Windows PC

The idea of having a backup of all the data of your Android Phone is as good as having a magic wand that protects your life from falling apart. In case you lose your phone, or the phone crashes suddenly, without any possible cause, you are sure to lose all your data.

But Here’s when the problem comes: After upgrading to Windows 10 operating system, I found it hard to backup data or files from my Android phone to computer. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sync your Android smartphone with your Windows 10 PC.

File Explorer

OK. If you really do have to plug in your — whether it’s for piece of mind or just to move some photos or videos or whatever — this is probably the easiest way to do it. Grab a microUSB cable — or if you’re really lucky a USB Type C cable, perhaps — and plug on in. In Windows 10 you’ll get to experience the relative joy.

But really all you need to do is hop over to the venerable File Explorer. This is going to be the easiest way to see the accessible storage on your phone. Hit up the "This PC" section, then look for your phone. You might need to change the USB connection on your phone to actually let Windows see inside it — look for "MTP" or "Computer transfer" or some other verbiage, it might vary a little depending on what you’re using. After that you can click through the file structure:


OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage service. (Think Dropbox or Google Drive.) And it’s gotten really good over the years. So good, in fact, that some Android manufacturers are starting to include it on their phones by default, in addition to Google’s office tools. And OneDrive has become plenty simple to use. Just sign in and you’ll have access to all of your stuff, anywhere.

And like other cloud-based file services you’ll end up with a good bit of storage space for free. So, if you already remove OneDrive - you can change you mind. Fifteen gigabytes is standard, and there are promotions that can get you even more space. There are paid plans, too, of course. A mere $1.99 a month gets you 100GB of space. If you pony up $6.99 a month you get a full terabyte of space, plus Office 365 thrown in for good measure.

How to Sync Android with OneDrive:

  1. Connect your Android smartphone to the PC through a USB cable. Windows 10 will automatically identify the device and start installing the requisite USB drivers.
  2. Launch the Phone Companion app and select the device platform, i.e. Android.
  3. Select OneDrive.
  4. Key-in your Windows Live account’s login details. Wait for the prompt and then click the sign-in button.
  5. Once logged in, you will get a download link in your email. Click on this link to download the corresponding app for Android. Alternately, the app can be sought out via the Google Play Store directly.
  6. Install the app on your phone. Relaunch it and key in the Windows Live ID details.
  7. Sign in to the account and follow the instructions and give requisite permits to run the app. For example, OneDrive will need a permit for accessing the image streaming/gallery.
  8. Now that the Phone Companion app is set up, go to the PC and check the confirmation box that acknowledges that you’ve signed into OneDrive app on your particular Android device.
  9. Next, confirm the Camera Upload settings on your handset. Do so by ticking the box. Hit next and then Done to finish the process.

You can now sync data from your Android phone to the Windows 10 PC. To sync the other compatible apps with Phone Companion app repeat the same steps.

Google Drive

Microsoft and Google have had a bit of a one-sided relationship the past few years. Microsoft has been bringing the best of its apps and services to Android — OneDrive, OneNote, Office, and soon Cortana. But Google’s all but ignored Microsoft.

There’s still basic Google Drive functionality, though. A quick download will add Google Drive into your file structure and get things syncing, same as OneDrive. There’s no fancy futuristic UI or anything. Just folders and files. It ain’t pretty, but it works.


Dropbox is that old favorite that’s tough to quit. And the good news is it’s got a gorgeous Windows 10 app that peeks into your cloud storage and lets you decide what to do with things from there. The Windows 10 component has auto camera-upload as well (which will really come in handy on the mobile front).

And of course it still works really well with Android. Dropbox starts with just 2GB of storage space, and you get 1TB of space for $9.99 a month. So OneDrive definitely wins on pricing. But Dropbox also has lots of opportunities for free extra storage.

Syncing Android Photos using Picasa

In fact, since there isn’t really a desktop photo editor that comes with Windows, you can just download Google’s own Picasa software and use that to sync. To set it up, open up Picasa and go to File > Import from Picasa Web Albums. Enter your Google username and password and pick which albums to import. If you have any photos in Picasa Web Albums, it will download them to Picasa on the desktop.

Now that you’ve signed in, you can upload any of your local albums by clicking on them and hitting the Upload button on the bottom of the window. Any albums that you upload to Picasa Web Albums will be available both in Picasa on the desktop and in the Gallery on your phone.

If those photos don’t automatically appear in the Gallery app on your phone, head to Android’s Settings > Accounts & Sync and tap your Google account that you’ve associated with Picasa. Check the "Picasa Web Albums" box and they should show up in the Gallery, no problem.