Stored Images on Tablets and Phones

Image Storage on a Device

Images and videos are usually stored in phones and tablets in a specific location.

Android usually uses an app called Gallery with icons like these:

Gallery1.png Gallery2.png

Apple usually uses an app called Photos with this icon:


Within these apps you can select one or multiple images by tap and hold (Android) or choosing the Select option (Apple)
Once selected, the images can be directed to wherever you wish a copy to be sent.

To send copies of the images selected you choose:

  • On Apple, choose the Export symbol, left below
  • On Android choose the Share symbol, right below

Tapping these symbols should give a list of apps and other locations where copies of the images can be sent.
The apps are often social media so that the images are sent to the internet.
Some apps are storage locations in the 'cloud' (see below for more details)

Be aware that sending large numbers of images on your mobile data plan may result in exhaustion of the plan or extra charges.
Prefer always to send multiple images via wifi at home or on free wifi. Small numbers of images sent to social media may not be a significant use of data as the images may be reduced in size to suit the social media standards.

Cloud Storage of Images

What is The Cloud? This is just a name for a remote computer storage service connected to the internet.
The idea of the cloud is that any of your devices can access the storage service from anywhere that you can get a wifi connection.
It means that you can take a photo on your phone and a copy will go to the cloud service and later you can get that same photo on your home computer or tablet.

Devices can be set up to make cloud copies of all the images that have been created on the device.

A Google Account on Android devices means that the user has access to Google Drive, a cloud service.
An Apple Account on iPhone or iPad means that the user has access to Apple iCloud, also a cloud service.

Be aware that unless specifically set up differently, cloud services are synchronised.

This means that there are copies in the cloud but these only remain while the original is held on a device.
If the image is deleted from the device it will be also deleted from the cloud service at the next synchronisation.

Lets be very clear, Synchronisation is not the same as Back Up.
Synchronisation means to have exactly the same images as on your device. Delete on the device OR the cloud deletes the image everywhere

Back Up means keep a copy, even if I delete it on my phone or tablet, there will be a copy on my storage system.
If you want to keep pictures but clean out space on your phone, you need to Back Up NOT Synchronise.

Transfer of images from tablet or phone to a computer

You may have many reasons to make copies of your images and send them to a computer.

There are essentially four ways to do this.

  • Connect to the computer by USB cable and make direct transfer by copying the files on the phone or tablet then pasting in a file on the computer.
  • Copy the image files to the cloud (eg Google Drive or iCloud) using the phone or tablet and then opening the cloud service on the computer and copying the image files on to the computer (downloading)
  • Using a wireless connection service such as 'Airmore' that links the tablet or phone to the computer through a wireless network and transferring files directly to the computer.
  • USB Back Up Devices that link to the Android or Apple device.

USB Cable Connection

This works with most Android phones or tablets without difficulty and the files on the phone appear just the same as a USB thumb drive.
Files can be selected and copied then pasted to storage on the computer.

A similar approach works for iPhones and iPads (unless iTunes is set up on the computer) Windows will have a pop up that asks what you want to set up with your phone or tablet and you can choose just to look at the folders as if it was a normal USB thumb drive. If your phone or tablet is already set up to connect to iTunes on your PC then the computer must have the default set up changed. To set this alternative, please view these You Tube Instructions. Be aware that these instructions tell you clearly that you will be disconnecting from iTunes and will have to reset again if you want to reconnect to iTunes.

Using the Cloud

Usually Apple devices are set up to synchronise with the iCloud. That means all the images are automatically copied to the iCloud and it is only a matter of opening the iCloud on the computer in a browser, log in and then copy and paste images onto the computer.
Android devices can use Google Drive in a similar way.

Both Apple and Android devices can use other cloud services like Dropbox or OneDrive to copy images on phone or tablet to the cloud service.
The cloud service can then be opened on the computer and required images copied and pasted to a computer folder.

Using a wireless app

Airmore is an app that sets up a link between the Apple or Android device and the computer using WiFi. Once the link is set up, the screen on the computer can choose the images required and Export these to a folder on the computer. The folder that is exported is usually a ZIP folder and must be opened and the files "Extracted", often by just using an option in the folder menu.

USB Back Up

Recently there have been reliable devices on the market that have a thumb drive or USB stick memory attached to TWO connectors.
One end is a Apple or Android connector and the other is a standard USB connector.
These devices allow mobile device files to be copied to the USB Back Up stick with the correct connector and then plugged into a standard USB socket on a computer for copying. Most of these devices are suitable for micro USB, as on most Android devices, or the Apple Lightning connector. Older Apple devices with 30 pin plugs would need an adapter but most adapters only support charging, NOT data. Be careful if you intend to buy an adapter.

These are examples from San Disk, available in Australia.
(this is not a product endorsement but this product is easily sourced within Australia)

The left image has a flash drive with Apple Lightning connector. The right image is a flash drive with mini USB for Android.


Both these devices have a standard USB connector at the other end to connect to computer.
San Disk provides an app for Apple and Android to manage the content on these drives.

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