How to Download Pictures to a Cell Phone

One of the most common questions regarding cell phone capabilities is how to transfer media files to the handset. This is because, while most cell phone handsets do come with owner's manuals, they do not come with the specific instructions or the software to facilitate media-file transfers. Instead, subscription services are offered to allow for the easy transfer of music and pictures, adding additional costs to your monthly cellular bill. Fortunately if you already have the files you want (i.e. digital pictures from your camera or MP3 ring tones) there are a number of ways in which you can transfer these files to your cell phone (and vice versa) without the costly subscriptions fees and downloaded duplicates. The following will guide you through three available methods: email, Bluetooth, and USB connections.

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Download Pictures To and From Your Cell Phone

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Compose an email from the device that contains the pictures you wish to download. Make sure that this device is Internet-enabled and/or has emailing capabilities (i.e. computer, PDA, another cell phone, etc). If not, transfer the desired pictures to a device that will allow you to send an email.

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Use Internet-Ready Devices, like a Computer, to Compose Email

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Address the email to "your _number@carrier_domain.com," where your number is the 10-digit cell phone number assigned to your phone. For example, if your cell phone number is (999) 555-1234 and your carrier is T-Mobile, your email will be 9995551234@tmomail.net. The email address formats for the most common mobile networks are listed below: T-Mobile: phonenumber@tmomail.net Verizon: phonenumber@vtext.com Cingular: phonenumber@cingularme.com Sprint: phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com Virgin Mobile: phonenumber@vmobl.com

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Attach the selected pictures to the email as a file attachment. Click "send" to transfer the email to your phone. The email will appear as a text message on your cellular phone.

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Open the text message. View the photos contained in the message. Choose to either "save" the photos to the phone's library, or "set as wallpaper" to your image background.

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Bluetooth Symbol

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Verify that both your cell phone and the device containing the photo(s) have wireless Bluetooth connection abilities. Look for the Bluetooth symbol on both devices.

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Establish a close proximity between the two devices; Bluetooth has only a 30-foot range.

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Enable Bluetooth on each device. While most cell phones do not automatically enable Bluetooth, most other devices (i.e. computers) do. Check to make sure that both devices are Bluetooth active as verified by either a notification light (usually a blue lighted Bluetooth symbol), or by a Bluetooth icon seen as a screen image in the task bar.

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Create a unique 4-digit PIN (personal identification number). Once your cell phone has detected the other Bluetooth device, it will prompt you to enter this PIN. This PIN should only be used for this connection, as every Bluetooth connection requires its own unique PIN.

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Select the desired photo(s) using the media software installed on the cell phone. This specialized software serves as the conduit between your cell phone and the photo-containing device. When initialized, the software will produce a list of files available for transfer between the two devices.

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Click the "transfer" button, or other appropriate button depending on the software used. The transferred files will automatically be sent and saved in the appropriate location on your cell phone.

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USB Cable Connection Between Computer and Cell Phone

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Connect the ends of the USB data cable to both the cell phone and the device containing the pictures you wish to download (i.e. computer).

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Allow the devices to recognize the connection. Watch for a notification that will indicate the connection has been made via USB data cable. For example, a computer would offer a pop-up bubble that indicates a connection to the cell phone, or "portable storage device," has been made.

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Locate the drive on the computer to which the cell phone has been designated. For a computer, this drive will be located inside the main system folder "Computer" or "My Computer." Look for the new drive among the existing hard drives in the system folder. It should have an icon, letter-designation and name like "Portable Storage Device (F:)" or "USB Device (E:)."

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Locate the file folder on the device that contains the desired photos. Select the photo(s) you wish to transfer.

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Click and drag the photos from their original location to the drive that was designated for the cell phone. Copies of these files will be transferred onto the cell phone.