How to Transfer Pictures From an Inactive Cell Phone to an Email

By Serm Murmson

The pictures on an inactive phone can be transferred to a computer.
i Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Your old cell phone may contain a lot of important pictures you wish to save. Just because a cell phone is inactive does not mean its data is lost. In fact, your pictures may even be salvageable from a broken phone. You can upload pictures from your phone to your computer using an SD card, USB connection or Bluetooth. Then, you can email those pictures from your computer.

SD Cards

Many phones save user data such as pictures on a microSD card, a small, removable memory card. In order to access your phone's microSD card, you may have to open up your phone. Some phone models feature a microSD slot on the side, whereas others hold the card near the phone battery. Once you have taken out the microSD card, you must use an adapter to connect it to your computer. Some computers have an SD card slot, but this will not accept microSD cards. You must use an adapter that changes the size of the microSD card to one that your computer will accept. If you do not have this adapter or if your computer does not have an SD card slot, use a USB adapter. A microSD USB adapter connects to your computer's USB port and reads the contents of the microSD card that has been connected.

USB Connection

Many phones feature the ability to mount as an external drive on a computer through a USB connection. Because it is also possible to power many phones through USB power, some phone power adapters also function as USB cables. If you have a power cable of this nature, detach the power adapter portion of the cable. Then, plug the cord into your computer's USB port and connect your phone to the other end of the cable. If your phone can mount as an external drive, it will appear on your computer screen as such. Open the folder that stores your pictures and save the desired pictures to your computer.


Bluetooth networks are short range data networks that enable different devices to communicate with each other. If your cell phone has Bluetooth functionality, you may be able to send pictures to your computer even if the phone is inactive. You can pair a Bluetooth cell phone with any Bluetooth-compatible computer. If your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth capability, you can use a USB Bluetooth adapter. Once the devices have been paired, you can upload your pictures to your computer.

Wireless Connections

When you do not have a cell phone contract, the hardware of your device is still functional. If you have an inactive smartphone, it probably still functions as an Internet-capable device. While you may not be able to make calls or use a data network, you can use its wireless Internet capability. In this case, connect your phone to a wireless Internet connection and send your desired pictures as email attachments. This will allow you to bypass using a computer entirely.