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How to connect a phone to a computer without a USB cable

Updated July 20, 2017

Most computers today can connect with cell phones through a USB cable and port. But if a USB cable isn't handy, or perhaps the cable is missing from the cell phone kit, you can still transfer data from your cell phone to a computer. Alternatives to USB cable are usually available for computers and cell phones. You can either transfer data using your cell phone's memory card, or via Bluetooth wireless technology. Transferring data to a laptop is usually easier than doing so to a desktop computer.

Switch on Bluetooth on your laptop. This is usually done by using a switch on one side of the laptop.

Navigate to the file on your cell phone that you wish to transfer, and use the options available to send the file through Bluetooth. The option will be something like "Send via Bluetooth" or "Transfer." When asked if you want to turn on Bluetooth, accept.

Allow the transfer process when prompted by your computer. The pop-up message will ask something like, "A device is attempting to send a file to your computer. Do you accept?" After you accept, the transfer of the file should occur.

Buy a Bluetooth adaptor, sometimes referred to as a "dongle," for your computer. Computers other than laptops usually do not have Bluetooth capability by default, in which case the adaptor is needed.

Install the software supplied with the adaptor on your computer. The software is usually on a CD or a DVD and goes into your CD-ROM/DVD drive. Insert the disc and follow the on-screen instructions. Once the software has been installed, reboot your computer.

Navigate to the file on your cell phone that you wish to transfer, and use the options available to send the file through Bluetooth. The option will be something like "Send via Bluetooth" or "Transfer." When asked if you want to turn on Bluetooth, accept.

Allow the transfer process when prompted by your computer. The pop-up message will ask something like, "A device is attempting to send a file to your computer. Do you accept?" After you accept, the transfer of the file should occur.

Buy a memory card reader for your computer. The reader should include software and instructions.

Install the software provided with the memory card reader. Reboot your computer before continuing.

Switch off your cell phone. Remove the memory card from its slot and insert it into the corresponding slot on the reader.

The card reader should identify the inserted memory card. Navigate to the memory card reader folder and transfer the files to your computer.

Tip

Bluetooth technology requires you to keep both devices in close proximity. Remember to turn on "Discovery" on both your cell phone and computer when using Bluetooth technology. This allows the devices to find each other. If you are going to buy a memory card reader, make sure it is compatible with the memory card on your cell phone. Save the files that you wish to transfer from your cell phone to your computer on the cell phone's memory card. Otherwise, the files will remain in the phone's internal memory and won't transfer.

Warning

A Bluetooth adaptor is less secure than a memory card reader. Information transferred over Bluetooth can be monitored by someone else.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Cell phone
  • Bluetooth adaptor/Memory card reader
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About the Author

Pallav Pathak has been blogging since 2009 about science, technology and scores of other topics. He writes for "Illini Independent," an biannual editorial journal. Pathak is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.