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Why don't my photos show up in the file explorer when I plug my phone into the computer?


AC Question

Every time I go to import photos from my phone (Galaxy S5) the same message shows saying there are no photos or videos on my device. I've tried using the import photos option and manually looking through the phone's files but it always says "this folder is empty." I know I could upload them from my phone to Google Drive but that would take a lot of time. What can I do?

B. Diddy

Senior Ambassador
Mar 9, 2012
Welcome to Android Central! The Windows Import Photos and Videos function isn't very useful--it tends to import all images indiscriminately, including thumbnails and images cached by apps and the browser.

When you plug the phone into the computer via USB, make sure it's connecting using MTP (swipe down the notification panel, tap the USB connection notification, and make sure MTP is selected). On the computer, open Windows Explorer, select the S5, and look in the /DCIM/Camera/ directory--are the photos there? (If you save photos to the SD card, look in the SD card instead, not Internal Storage.)

Some devices store photos in a slightly different directory, so check the other DCIM subdirectories. For example, the HTC One M8 saves photos to /DCIM/100Media.

Madelyn Crawford

New member
Apr 23, 2015
Thank you so much! MTP wasn't selected but once I did that, they all showed up :) I was wondering why it kept showing up as a disc drive.