How do I transfer files between a PC and my Sailfish device?

Jolla Care -

You can transfer files between your Sailfish device and your computer, and it can be done using either USB or Bluetooth.

Please note:

  • At the moment connecting your Sailfish device to a PC using a USB cable is best supported on Windows and Ubuntu systems.
  • Depending on your Linux distribution it should be possible to form a connection between your PC and Sailfish without additional preparations. Should you have problems with media transfer (MTP), you might find help e.g. here.
  • Support for Mac OS X is not good. There is a support article for file transfer between Jolla and Mac that works around these limitations.
  • Please scroll further down for an cloudservice-based method for file transfer for unsupported operating systems.

Transferring files from a Windows PC using USB

  • Connect the USB cable into your Sailfish device and then to the PC.
  • Your device will ask you what to use the USB for;  charging only or Media transfer mode

  • Choose the option 'Media transfer (MTP)'
  • Your PC should now tell you that it found your device ; saying 'New device detected' or 'Found new USB device', and proceed to install drivers for your device (done in case of the first connection only). Give it a moment.
  • After drivers are installed, your PC will most likely give you some choices  on what to do; download photos, open with a file manager etc.
  • After a successful driver installation your device should appear as Sailfish device under Computer on the left
  • Click on Sailfish. You should now see the main folder Phone Memory (in case of Jolla phone), Mass storage (in case of Jolla Tablet) and SD Card if you have connected a memory card to your device.

  • NOTE: If your SD memory card is in VFAT format it will appear as explained above. However, if you have formatted the card to Ext4 format (used in the context of Linux devices) then you will need to install the support for Ext4 format to your Windows PC.  There are commercial solutions like Paragon ExtFS for this purpose. Jolla cannot however guarantee that these 3rd party solutions work correctly.
  • You are now able to browse your Sailfish device on your PC. Move files using the copy/paste method between the phone memory, the SD card and the PC.
    NOTE: You cannot probably save files directly from Windows apps (e.g. MS Word) to Jolla. Instead, you must first save them to a PC folder.
  • When the transfer of data is complete you can detach the USB cable. Make sure that no video transfer (especially) is still ongoing.
  • Note that a transfer to/from an SD card is likely to go faster by connecting the card directly to the PC (using an adapter).

Changing the default action for attaching USB cable

In Settings you can edit your preferences on what what your Sailfish device should do when you connect to a PC:

  • Go to Settings  > USB (under Connectivity)
  • Tap on Default USB mode and an menu opens
  • Tap on the action you wish to perform automatically when connecting a USB cable.

 Transferring files over Bluetooth connection

  • Switch Bluetooth on on your device in Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Switch Bluetooth on on your computer.
  • Pair your devices.
  • Transfer files between your devices by initiating the sending of the file on your computer, and accepting the transfer and receiving them on your Sailfish device.

Need more instructions on how to pair devices over Bluetooth? Please see here.

 Transferring files to and from Sailfish by utilizing a cloud based service

Your computer operating system probably supports the integration of cloud based services such as Dropbox into your File explorer –application (Finder on Mac for example). Dropbox will be the example service here, but there are several other services available and we encourage that you try to use one that you are most familiar with.


An account in a cloud based file-storing service, and a possible client app downloaded and configured on your computer. After creating the account, sign in to it from your Sailfish device in Settings > Accounts > Dropbox.

On your computer:

Upload the files you want to transfer to your web-storage service. You can do it using the app on your computer or possibly through a web-interface ( for Dropbox users).

On your Sailfish device:

Downloading files from the cloud to your device:
1. Open the Sailfish browser, and browse to
2. Scroll down the page until in the bottom left corner you see the option to switch to Desktop view.
3. Find your media file(s) inside your Dropbox and download.
4. You will now find your downloaded media in the appropriate apps (Media for music and videos, Gallery for pictures).

Uploading files from Sailifsh to cloud
1. Sign in to your Dropbox account (if not done by now).
2. Open Gallery and select an image or a video (unfortunately multi-selection is not supported).
3. Tap on Dropbox in the sharing menu. Tap Upload at top right corner.

Note: at the time of writing this article, there are some promising up-and-coming Dropbox clients in the Jolla Store, and we expect our resourceful community members will come up with apps for more services. Be sure to check them out as well as an alternative to this method.



Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Krisztian Olah

    Sailfish uses MTP just like recent Androids, unfortunately it is a protocol developed by MS.

    Linux users can download libmtp from the repositories, it might be called differently in your distro so use apt-cache search, yum search, pacman -Ss or whatever you'd normally use, then install it with your package manager. You can find out more here:

    Sadly I can't test how well libmtp works with Sailfish as I am still waiting for mine:(


    OSX users can install third party MTP software; I have no idea how well/if these work but take a shot:

    Alternatively both OSX and Linux users can use SSH in developer mode, they can use either scp or sshfs to copy files over or mount filesystem respectively.

    Hope this helps someone;)

  • Avatar

    "How do I transfer files from a PC? - Use SSH!"

    I wasn't able to copy anything to my phone in Windows 7 Home 32bit. Seemed to mount the home directory on the phone (/home/nemo) fine but it wasn't seem writable. Upon copying, Windows complained something about the device no longer being connected. The SD card was nowhere to be seen. I got my copying done thanks to Vilho Raatikka pointing out SSH is available in developer mode.

    At another Windows 7 workstation, a Professional 64bit this time, the home dir mounted upon USB connection and file copying worked fine. Still no SD card though. Using the terminal available in developer mode (bash over SSH will also work of course), I was able to link the card mount point to /home/nemo. This showed up in Windows too and I could finally write/read my SD card.

    So to access my SD card, I did

    • Switch to developer mode

    • Start Terminal

    • ln -s /run/user/100000/media/sdcard .

    • Connect USB

    YMMV, of course.

  • Avatar
    Jaakko Timonen

    I got text documents to tranferred from Nokia phone to Jolla by Bleutooth, but don't know how to move or store them to Jolla's note or documents folder or somewhere to find later.

  • Avatar
    Alexander Goeres

    This doesn't work for Linux-Computers.

  • Avatar

    I could use ssh to transfer file from MacOS through wifi, but it doesn't work through usb.

  • Avatar

    Finally, I could transfer file from MacOS through usb. One driver was missing:

    -Install the Horndis driver on Mac

    -After a first plug of the Jolla, set the IP of the connection Sailfish to (in network setting of Mac)

    -ssh nemo@

  • Avatar
    Raimo Koski

    Thanks for the info about developer mode and using ssh. One thing was however unclear or missing. You can use also WLAN. My Jolla offered 2 connection options: USB and WLAN. I chose WLAN of course because it was already set up.

Powered by Zendesk