DCIM Folder Shows Empty: transferring Android photos to a Windows PC

If you’re attempting to transfer photos from your Android device to a computer with a Windows operating system and find the PC shows that your DCIM Folder is empty when you go and open the folder, give these troubleshooting methods a try. They are ranked in order from easiest to more complicated:


Change “File transfer” settings to “Transfer photos (PTP)”

(Transfer photos or files if MTP is not supported (PTP))

Instead of selecting your transfer method as “Transfer Files” you’ll want to select “Transfer Photos”. MTP stands for Media Transfer Protocol and PTP stands for Photo Transfer Protocol.

To do this, open your phone’s screen and at the top of your window should be a notification showing that your phone is connected to the PC.

Tap this notification and select “Transfer photos (PTP)”.


Turn USB Debugging On/Off

USB Debugging is a mode that helps your phone communicate with the computer more efficiently but turning this off can leave you vulnerable so your settings should automatically have this turned off.
To understand more, visit here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/intune-user-help/you-need-to-turn-off-usb-debugging-android

In order to change these settings you’ll first need to enable Developer Options:
Go to your Settings app > System > About Phone > Scroll down to find Build Number > Now tap on Build Number 7 times.
This should now tell you Developer Options have been enabled
(Don’t see Build Number? You many need to select Software Information first)

Now that we’ve enabled the Developer options, you should be able to find them.
Go to your Settings app again > Scroll down (you may need to select Advanced) > Developer Options.

From there you can turn debugging on or off by sliding the switch to the left or right to turn this on or off.


Re-Create DCIM Folder

If none of the above options work, this method can take a lot of work but has proven to be very effective.

On your phone, using any file explorer app to create a new folder, for example: DCIM2 or NewDCIM.
Need help finding a file explorer app for your phone? Visit this link : https://fossbytes.com/best-android-file-manager-explorer-apps

Now you’ll need to go back to your DCIM folder and select all the files and folders to transfer to the new folder you just created.
Once those have been saved in your new folder you can now delete the old DCIM Folder. Or you can simply rename it to OldDCIM in case you’re afraid of losing anything.

Go back to the new folder you created with all your files and rename it to DCIM.

Connect the phone to the PC again using your USB cable and make sure you select “Transfer photos” as Method 1 instructs.

Open Windows Explorer on your PC and navigate to the DCIM folder to check if this resolved your problem.

Is your PC not finding your phone files and media (photos and videos) when you plug it in?

Check out these links here:

For Android: https://www.helpcloud.com/internal/internal-cef0f1e9ad6514e7039fa04b6ff5b850/

For iPhone: https://www.helpcloud.com/internal/internal-8075b2cf2d5963f8853fa20b41e724f1/

If you can’t figure this out, then this is exactly the type of service offered by HelpCloud Technician by-the-hour.

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How to Transfer Photos from Android Phone or Tablet to a PC