How to Transfer Cell Phone Pictures to Your Computer

Getting cell phone pictures onto your computer should be one of the first things you ask about when you're looking at new phones. Cell phones can double as digital cameras, producing pictures of spontaneous moments worth remembering. However, you don't want your fantastic pictures to stay on your phone forever, and you'll quickly burn through the available memory if you've got a passion for photography. Transferring cellular phone pictures to your computer so you can send them to others, print them out or tinker with them in a photo editing program depends on how your phone is set up, and some are much easier to use than others.

Cables
Many cell phones can be connected to a computer with a USB data connection. The cable plugs into the phone on one end and your computer's USB outlet at the other. Some phones include software that lets you choose the photos to transfer, others simply treat the phone's memory as a USB data storage device. The transfer rate is quick and the setup is convenient. Keep in mind that you'll need additional software if you want to edit your photos or change their file format.

Web Transfer
If your phone has e-mail capabilities, you can select the picture file you'd like to send to your computer and attach it to an e-mail message. Send yourself the picture attached from the phone, Then log onto your e-mail account on your computer and download the image file. Note that some cell phone companies charge extra to e-mail pictures or other large files. 

You may also be able to send photos directly to the Web, if your cell phone account includes online backup. You simply choose the photos you want to keep, then send them to a server that you can access from any computer. Note that data transfer charges may apply here as well.

Memory Card
Many cell phones have the ability to accept certain types of memory card, such as a MicroSD card. If you can insert a memory card into the phone, you can retrieve cell phone camera pictures. Simply match the type of memory card in your phone with the right type of card reader. Plug the card reader into your computer and transfer the memory card from the phone to the card reader. From here, it's like working with data files on a USB drive or CD. You can drag and drop them onto your desktop or move them to specific folders. The card goes back into the phone when the job's done.

Wireless Technology
Certain phones and certain computers can "talk" wirelessly to each other. If you have Bluetooth or infrared set up, there are a few alternatives that allow photo file transfers to take place. However, the manufacturers of cell phones may block wireless photo transfers to encourage their customers to pay to transfer the images. Check with the manufacturer's instructions for the phone to determine if this option is available for you.

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