How To Transfer Data from Windows Phone 8 to Your PC

Moving around content to and from a Windows Phone 8 smartphone to a Windows PC is easy. Here’s how to do it with Windows 7 or 8.

Moving around content to and from a Windows Phone 8 smartphone to a Windows PC is easy. Here’s how to do it with Windows 7 or 8.

windows phone 8 windows 7 windows 8

First, just connect your Windows Phone 8 smartphone to your PC. Your smartphone will be detected and the driver will be installed. Here I’m using Windows 7, but it’s virtually the same in Windows 8.

windows phone 8 connected recognized

After the phone is detected, you’re prompted to install the Windows Phone app.

windows phone 8 software install prompt

If you don’t want to install the software, it does allow you to browse the files on your phone in Windows Explorer as well. The Windows Phone software does make things easier though, and provides you with additional features.

windows phone 8 browse files explorer

In the Windows 8 desktop, that might not work automatically, so this is the direct link. Then you can download the app.

windows phone 8 software download

Install the app just like you would any other Windows application — a couple of Next’s and approvals and you’ll be there.

windows phone 8 windows phone app for desktop

After installed, the first window that comes up where you can name your phone, import photos, videos and music from iTunes and Libraries on the PC. I remember Jessica Alba saying, during the Windows Phone 8 launch event, that she had switched from an iPhone and it didn’t take long to move her playlists. Looks like she was correct.

windows phone 8 windows phone app for desktop first screen name phone decid what to sync

Next you’ll get this Windows 8-style window where you can select which content to sync. The right side allows you to switch between managing content on the PC that should go to the smartphone and vice verse  It’s a bit confusing at first, but you’ll get easily acclimated to it.

windows phone 8 windows phone app sync content

It all works very fast and another groovy feature is in the ringtones tab. Here you can select the music tracks you want to use as ringtones. Take that iTunes!

windows phone 8 windows phone app sync content ringtones

If you click the phone link at the top right, you’ll be able to choose which content from your smartphone gets synced to the PC. Just check what you want, then click Save to PC. You can also delete content directly.

windows phone 8 windows phone app sync to pc

The settings menu also hides some groovy things. For example, you can choose the quality type for videos copied from PC to the phone. This is handy if you have a phone with a limited amount of storage space. You can also choose whether photos should be resized to save space too.

windows phone 8 windows phone settings

Don’t think about drag & drop functionality with the app, as there is none. But you can most certainly use the iTunes and Windows Libraries efficiently.




  1. jmccastlain

    Upgraded from my Samsun Focus (WP7) to HTC 8X and running into an issue. Any Zune Pass content from the WP7 device does not play once transferred over to the WP8 device. Microsoft’s Technical Support solution: re-download the Zune Pass content. Anyone else run into this issue?

  2. zakkforchilli

    For ringtones, you still have to trim it with a third party app unless you want it to start in the beginning of the song…

    • Bogdan Bele

      Yes, you’re right. But it still makes things pretty simple.

  3. Ram

    My main search is to transfer Contacts from PC to Nokia Lumia 520. However, all the sites – including yours – telling me to transfer other contents except contacts :-(

  4. Bob

    Can’t quickly copy and paste large numbers of photo files using ctrl as in normal systems. Phone isn’t recognised by teracopy either :( Don’t think I will buy one

  5. aditya

    tell me how to do it through wireless ….. bcoz i don’t have cable

  6. dan

    Thanks for your helpful how to, but pls can you tell me how to transfer my texts to my pc. What software can do it? Is it only the cloud available to store texts? Thanks


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