This Christmas, harvest files from your old phone

If you're like me, you have more than a couple old phones in a drawer that you just can't throw away. If you're like me, you tend to forget that those devices are packed with files that could be valuable to you if only they were organized and made available to you here today. If you're looking for something constructive to do this upcoming holiday, consider this: Bust out the USB cords and go digital treasure hunting.

This process should be fairly straightforward, but it's not always easy. If you plug your phone in to your desktop or laptop computer and it appears like a folder with all your files inside, you're golden!

If you don't immediately see everything you want to send to your PC, you may need to download an app to assist. Know this, before you go any further: You absolutely do NOT need to PAY for an app to send files from your phone to your PC. There are free methods aplenty. We've included here the simplest of these methods.

Old iPhones

If you're on a PC (with Windows), all you'll need to do is plug the device in with a USB cord and find "Apple iPhone" under "This PC." There, you'll see a folder called Internal Storage, inside which you'll find the folder DCIM, then 100APPLE. Therein you'll find all the photos and videos you've captured on said device.

For other files on your iPhone, the simplest process is generally a file upload system like Google Drive. Upload all your files to your Google Drive, open Google Drive on your PC, download all your files. Otherwise you might want to try an app like "iFunbox."

The app iFunbox is relatively old – its developers haven't updated it for quite a while, so it CAN be glitchy. But it's free, and it's worked on every system we've tested on so far. With iFunbox you'll open the app, plug your iPhone in to your PC or Mac with a USB cord. Tap Toolbox, then tap User File System, then move all your files with the greatest of ease!

Old Androids

If you're looking at an Android phone on a PC, you'll probably be able to open the device up as a folder fairly easily. Inside the phone you'll want to look to folders like Photos, Videos, and Music. You might need to find the folder DCIM (for your photos and/or videos), and Pictures (for your screenshots and other odd saved files).

This holiday, check your old phone for a fat battery

If you're using a Mac, things are slightly more complicated. You'll need an application like Google's Android File Transfer app to get things rolling. You might also want to consider using Google Drive. Upload all your files to your Google Drive account, open Google Drive on your computer, and download the lot.

If you've found a better way to move old files to new computers, let us know! Especially if you're working on or have worked with an open source or free for the public app or system to make this process simple, we'd love to hear it!