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, Bluetooth, WLAN or cloud services.

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.
  • There is a support article for file transfer between Sailfish and Mac that works around these limitations.

1. Transferring files over USB with MTP

  • 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 (MTP) mode. You might also see Developer mode there.

    Picture 1:  Sailfish device connected to a PC via USB.

  • Choose  "Media transfer (MTP)"
  • After a successful driver installation (if not done previously) your device should appear by its name, e.g., as "Xperia XA2 - Dual SIM" device (or whichever device running Sailfish OS you may have) under "This PC" on Windows 10.  The File Manager of Ubuntu has a similar view. In case of trouble, various web sites (e.g. this one) may provide help for you.
  • Click on the device name. You should now see Mass storage (residing inside the device) and SD Card if you have connected a memory card to your device. The nickname of the card is shown (if exists) - in the picture below it is "SD128GB".

    Picture 2:  Showing a Sailfish Phone at Windows File Explorer.

  • You are now able to browse your Sailfish device on your PC. Move files using the well-known copy/paste method between the phone memory, the SD card and the PC.
  • When the transfer of data is complete you can detach the USB cable. Make sure that no video transfer (especially) is still ongoing.

Changing the default action for attaching the USB cable

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

  • Go to Settings  > USB (under Connectivity)
  • Tap on 'Default USB mode'
  • Tap on the action you wish to perform automatically when connecting a USB cable. Take 'Always ask' if you are in doubt.

2. 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. Most likely this works best if you initiate the transfer from the PC.

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



3. Transferring files over a WLAN connection

a) SCP

If you are familiar with working on the command line then you could rely on SCP with developer mode enabled on the Sailfish phone. It is fast and works over WLAN.

The following may work on Windows 10 if you have installed the support for SSH and SCP protocols to it. Then the commands below can be given in PowerShell application or in the CMD terminal but it may be best to install PuTTy to Windows and then the add-on PSCP (see this web page).

In the Terminal app of a Linux PC, the following command is known to work fine.

Use the following command to download files from the phone to the PC's current directory - you need to replace u.v.w.x with the actual WLAN IP address of your phone now - check it at Settings > Developer tools.

In this example, we copy all pictures from the phone folder "Pictures/Camera" to the current directory on the PC:

scp -r nemo@u.v.w.x:/home/nemo/Pictures/Camera/* ./
scp -r defaultuser@u.v.w.x:/home/defaultuser/Pictures/Camera/* ./

The two command variants above are due to two different usernames possible for the primary user of a phone. Note that the option -r implies copying recursively, i.e. the contents of a directory.

The example below shows how to copy the file 'Outlook.jpg' from the current PC directory to home storage area on the phone:

scp Outlook.jpg nemo@u.v.w.x:/home/nemo/
scp Outlook.jpg defaultuser@u.v.w.x:/home/defaultuser/


Note that SCP works over a USB connection, too. In this case, replace "u.v.w.x" with "".


b) AirSail Transfer

OpenRepos store has a clever application named  AirSail Transfer for transferring files to/from your Sailfish OS device using your computer's web browser. Install the latest rpm file - for this, you will need to allow untrusted software in Settings > Untrusted software. Jolla Ltd. cannot however guarantee that this solution would make the connection between your PC and Sailfish device work.


4. Transferring files via cloud-based services

Your computer operating system probably supports the integration of cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Nextcloud or OneDrive into your File explorer –application. Dropbox will be used as the example service here, but we encourage you to try a service you are 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:

a) Downloading files from the cloud to your device:
1. Open the Sailfish browser, and browse to
2. Find your media file(s) inside your Dropbox and download.
3. You will now find your downloaded media in the appropriate apps (Media for music and videos, Gallery for pictures).

b) Uploading files from your device 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.



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