by Al Sacco

Android Quick Tip: How to Move Files on Your Google Phone

Mar 18, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessSmartphones

Move music, images, documents and other files around your Google Android smartphone using this simple, five-step process.

Recently, I purchased a number of songs using Amazon MP3, my favorite mobile music shop for Google Android devices. It wasn’t the first time I’ve used Amazon MP3 to fill in some of the holes in my music collection. What set this purchase apart from the previous times I’ve employed the service: The new tracks I bought didn’t appear in my Android music library when I went to listen to them.

After some particularly distasteful choice words directed at no one and nothing in particular, I went back into my Amazon app to confirm that the purchase went through, the songs successfully downloaded. They did…but still no sign of the music in my library. So I had to go looking for them myself. (Why those files didn’t automatically appear in my music library is still a mystery to me.)

I quickly located the wayward files, but I didn’t want to have to dig through my Android directories every time I wanted to hear the tracks. So I simply shifted them over to the appropriate music folder.

Countless potential scenarios exist for why you might want to move files around your Google Android smartphone, and the following five steps will help you quickly move music, images, documents, whatever, wherever you want.

(Note: The following process was performed on a Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone running Android v2.2.1, and the steps for moving files around your Android devices may differ slightly based on your device model and specific mobile OS version.)

How to Move Files on Your Google Android Smartphone

First off, locate the core Android “Files” application on your device. This is the basic Android OS file browser, and you’ll use it to navigate through the various directories on your device, as well as on your media card, if you use one. Open up your full application list and browse through the alphabetically listed apps until you find Files.

Next, you’ll want to locate the specific files you wish to move. (In the Amazon-MP3-scenario described above, I knew where to find my music purchases immediately because I remembered telling the Amazon software to save music to my device’s internal memory. And the app creates a directory of its own, called “amazonmp3,” so the tracks were easy to locate.)

Once you’ve navigated to the file or files you wish to move, press and hold your Android device’s touch screen for a second or two until a new menu called File Options pops up.

(In addition to allowing you to move the selected file, your File Options menu should also include listings to let you Open, Share, Delete, Rename and Copy files, among other actions.)

Select the Move option from the list, and then use your device’s Back key–it looks like a U-shaped arrow on its side–to navigate back through your directories and to the desired location for your file. Once a file is selected to be moved, you’ll see two new options at the bottom of your display: Move and Cancel.

To move my Amazon MP3 music file to the appropriate music directory, I simply selected the track I wanted to shift and then “backed out” of the Amazon directory until I returned to my main Internal Phone Storage directory. From there, I located the correct folder for my on-device music (Media > Audio > Music), and then clicked the Move at the bottom of my screen to seal the deal. Now my new Amazon music files are listed in my music library and I don’t have to go searching for the tunes.

The process for moving additional file types is exactly the same, though you may have to “explore” a bit to find the directory into which you want to move your files.