How to upload songs to Google Music from your smartphone or tablet using Dropbox

Google Music (now officially known as Play Music) is an incredible product. Google allows you to upload your personal music collection to their servers and stream it from your web browser or any Android device absolutely free! The only bummer is that Google has overlooked an important feature: the ability to upload music purchased outside of the Google Play Store to your Google Music account from your smartphone. Naturally, Google is trying to push users to purchase their music from Google Play, but what if you want to buy your music from the Amazon MP3 store, or download it using some other quasi-legal method (shame, shame).

If your looking to upload music from your Android device, (or even your non-Android device…gasp!), you’ve come to the right place. Jump past the break to learn how!


You will need a computer of any kind for this workaround to function properly. Got one? Good! We’ll break up our guide into two parts: Part 1: Setting Up Your Computer, and Part 2: Setting Up Your Phone


Setting Up Your Computer

Step 1: If you don’t already have it, download and install Dropbox on your computer (this will entail creating a free account, and they will give you 2GB of free storage for life).

Step 2: Once Dropbox is installed, create a folder within Dropbox called “Google Music from Phone” or something that will make it easy to identify later.

Step 3: Once you’ve got your folder created inside Dropbox, use your web browser to navigate to Google Music. If you don’t already have a Google Music account set up, do that now (it’s free).

Step 4: In the upper right hand corner of your Google Music page, click “Upload Music”. This will prompt you to download Google’s “Music Manager”.

Step 5: Once the download completes, double click the file and let it install on your computer. After it’s installed, it’ll ask you to log in using your Google account. Do that, and then select “upload songs to Google Play”.

Step 6: It’ll ask you where you keep your music collection. Select “other folders” (it’s the last option), then “add folder”. When the window pops up, navigate to your newly created “Google Music from Phone” folder (that should be in your Dropbox) and select it. Click next.

Step 7: This is very important! After you select your “Google Music from Phone” folder as the place that you want Google Music to upload from, the Google Music Manager will ask you: “Do you want to automatically upload songs that you add to your selected folders in the future?” YOU MUST CLICK YES!

Ok, your computer is set up and we’re ready to move onto part 2.


Setting Up Your Phone

Step 1: Download the Dropbox mobile application for your smartphone platform (hopefully Android!) and log-in.

Step 2: Download Astro file manager and link it to your Dropbox account.

Step 3: Using Astro file explorer, navigate to the folder where your downloaded music is stored and use the “copy” function to copy the folders that you want uploaded to Google Music.

Step 4: In Astro, click the Dropbox icon, find your “Google Music from Phone” folder, open it, and paste your folders there. (What this does is upload your music files from your phone into the Dropbox folder on you computer, where Google Manager will find them and automatically upload them to your Google Music account!  Give it a few minutes and your music will all be stored on Google’s servers.)

Step 5: If you haven’t already, download the Google Music app, select your account, and enjoy streaming your new music from your phone! All done! Good job!

Hopefully Google will add this feature to their mobile apps in the future, but for now, you just hacked the system! Congratulations!


Disclaimer: This will work with Google Drive or any other like service as long as autosyncing is on.

Disclaimer 2: This method will also work with iOS, Windows, and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets

About the Author: Alexon Enfiedjian

Alex Enfiedjian is an Android enthusiast and tech journalist from Central California.

  • Andy J

    I use ES File Explorer on my phone and copy music files directly into the music folder on the PC across the network. Dropbox is a good workaround but it means uploading music tracks twice – first to Dropbox, which then downloads them to the computer and then uploads them again to Google.

    • Alexon Enfiedjian

      That’s a good idea Andy, but it will only work when you are at home. This method works from anywhere.

      • NorskHelgen

        Still only works if you home computer is on all the time. If it’s offline the method is useless.

  • ddh819

    if you were going to use Google Drive, would you be uploading files using the Drive app, or would you be copying files to a folder on your mobile device that Drive auto syncs with?

  • Thomas Daniels

    Hey man your a genius. I just downloaded the new pbay app and added like 10 new albums to my phone. It was funny because the google music app on my phone showed all the albums that had been downloaded, but not the google music manager on my desktop. I updated, uninstalled, refreshed the whole gammbit but could not figure that sucker out. Until I realized its only updating from the computer, not the phone. Your dropbox idea was exactly what I needed to do, and works flawlessly. Cloud segregation no more!!! Thanks!

    • Alexon Enfiedjian

      Sweet! No problem. Glad it helped!

  • Thx84

    Yes man! I’ve been looking for an app that does that ever since I got Play music on my phone. Thanks a lot!

  • Stu8080

    This does not sound like a great idea at all?? You need to duplicate all your music on your phone, you need that all duplicated on your PC, which needs to stay on 24/7, then that duplicates again on Google’s servers??
    If you buy your music, buy it from Google, problem solved. No upload necessary.

    If you “acquire” your music from other methods, then simply download it remotely to the PC (e.g have Utorrent monitor a Dropbox folder on your pc etc)
    If you are talking about a collection you already own, plug your android in by USB, copy it all to PC and leave it to upload.

    If you found a way to transfer music already on some cloud server like Google Drive or Dropbox then it would be useful.

    Am i missing something or is this trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist?

    • Sergio

      I agree this method is not a silver bullet, but yours aren’t either. In my case, I make recordings with my phone and I’d like to upload them to GMusic directly from it, without needing to plug my computer in. The question should be WHY Google doesn’t let us direct upload from our android devices with a Play Manager app or something. Since it doesn’t exist I’ll keep waiting…

  • Jessica

    I have a question. I tried this and when I shut my laptop off and I upload my music to dropbox via mobile, it won’t upload to my play music account. Does my laptop have to be on the whole time when I do upload my music via mobile? I would really appreciate your comment and help. :)

    • Jessica

      Maybe you could email me your response.

    • Graham Carroll

      I have the same problem. Anyone got an answer?


      Computer needs to be on, but whati would use issplashtop to wake the computer up, handle whati need to handle, then put the computer back to sleep or shut it down via splashtop

  • Rooting Android

    It takes time when you upload all your music in dropbox specially if you have a low internet connection in your home.

  • Ty Buchanan

    Not available in Australia – the b______s.

    • Jake

      Just register using a US proxy after that you will be able to use google music even without a proxy. I am from Austria and it worked for me :)

  • Rick

    I wonder if you can add this drop box folder as your default download location from Amazon mp3 downloader…..

  • rob

    technically you arent uploading from your phone you are just adding an extra step to add the music from your computer. I am very disapointed in the misleading title

  • JM

    I am from india and google music is not avail for my country. I used some tricks from proxy server to get access, but google asking me to set payment method. Can anyone help me to set Google music with my gmail account???

    • David

      On your android, get the Google Wallet app, open it, and sign in. That helped me, at least.

      • JM

        i did it but not working. any other option please?

  • blue_sunrise

    Its “If you are looking for” and not “If your looking for”….This IS a professional site, is it not??

  • En Ding Ding Värld

    Too bad GMusic is only available at “selected territories”, AKA MPAA approved regions. F*k DRM!

  • End

    I think the reason google does not allow this currently is because they have no feature of online only music while they do have offline only music.

    So if u decided to upload from the phone directly you would be seeing two copies of every song, which just makes for a crappy interface.
    However google could solve the same by providing two modes, online/offline.
    Or infact three modes online/offlinebutgooglemusic/sdcard.
    and you be able to select 1 or more of the three.
    removes the entire confusion.
    As for this dropbox method it seems too long winded a process. As one guy put it might as well plug in your usb, or use airdroid or bluetooth to send to your laptop.

    No googlemusic needs a lot more improvements

    • javf

      I’m not sure that’s true, I just downloaded some music directly to my phone not through play music and a few of the songs were already on my play music(from the same file kinda) but they aren’t showing up as duplicates. Also even if it is true it couldn’t be too hard to fix. When you upload a song, just remove it from you’re current library and move it to wherever the stored offline music is, with the appropriate file name.

      Also, that’s exactly why I try to avoid using apps and instead go to the site and request the desktop version(I tried doing that for this it didn’t work). For some reason, they insist on excluding useful features because they create minor bugs with easy workarounds.

  • justingoldberg

    Someone could make an app that connects with Google Drive for cloud music.

  • Matt

    This is not how to upload music from your phone. This is how to get songs from your phone to your computer, and then upload music from your computer.

  • LittleSmasher

    CloudAround will satisfy many of you for what you want to do.

    Using Box (you could use other cloud services) I upload my music directly from my phone. I use CloudAround to play them directly from that online space.

    No other computer needed.

    Hope this helps


    • LittleSmasher

      I also use the superb ES File Explorer, which also has its own music player and playlist management functionality, to directly upload music to the cloud (all the popular services catered for).

      ES File Explorer: superb

  • john

    Help you assess

  • Hunae

    Although it’s not for direct transfer from phone, this was still perfect for me haha :D Thanks a lot!

  • metz2000

    This is a timewaster, it isn’t about uploading from phone but about how to send files from phone to a PC, and even for that it’s too complicated.
    Just plug in a USB cable and copy files from phone to Google Play sync folder. No upload to cloud and no download from cloud required.

    • Vinny

      No it’s not. This method is for uploading music to Google when you are away from your computer. Everybody knows how to use a USB we wouldn’t be here if we wanted to use one. And this isn’t just sending files from phone to pc it’s sending files from phone to pc to cloud for all of your devices.

      • metz2000

        It is a timewaster because title says upload from phone not upload from PC so lots of people click on link in google only to find that it isn’t what the title says because a PC is needed what is turned on all the time.
        It is an ad for Dropbox because it works with any cloud service what syncs with a PC, i.e. Google Drive what everybody using Android has because it’s part of Google account.

        • KcKepz

          I agree with Metz. It’s only going from cloud to cloud (phone to dropbox to pc to Google Play).

          You need PC on to sync with Dropbox before Google Play can sync.

  • Someone

    Two words, BitTorrent Sync

  • Kael Wilson

    While I’m visiting friends on the east coast, this is exactly what I needed to transfer music to my google play account. Works like a charm, and very quickly too. Thanks for posting.

  • Jeff S

    I have a question. I link my Dropbox account using Astro File Manager but that is pointing to the cloud so its not accessible locally on phone without data. I have my original music folder on phone but if I update that or if I update Dropbox I have to manually sync the folders??? Sorry if I am not understanding method correctly.

  • Brebenel Silviu

    or you can use google drive instead of dropbox..

  • Kaitie

    I am assuming this doesn’t work for Canadians? All I get is this message “The Google Play music player is currently available in select territories.”

    • helpful

      google play music canada JUST opened its doors in Canada, yay!

  • Tony Conz

    How do I do this without a computer. I didnt think people used computers anymore ;-)

    • Lisa Marie

      Don’t know if this will work for ya, but my music is on my micro SD card so I can move it around. I had it in my phone already when I first hit up (google) play music and it’s almost like the 2 hit it off and voila!

      • Armaan

        Google Music will play local files on your phone as well as songs stored on the server. The songs on your SD will play fine on your phone since they’re local, but they will not be uploaded to the server, so you won’t be able to play them from any other devices.

        • Lisa

          Oh. Thanks…I have yet to come across that problem bur appreciate that heads up. :)

  • Jordan

    This seems like a really complicated way of saying “You can’t upload to google music from your phone, you have to do it from your computer”.
    Why wouldn’t I just plug my phone in with the included USB cable?

    • Alex

      Hey, did the trick for me. I’m not home a lot and i don’t have to be next to the computer to upload songs. This is a win for me. Thank you alexon, much appreciated.

  • tom2

    i cannot my nexus 5 upgraded to lollipop to my older macbook running snow leopard. USB, bluetooth, nothing could solve it. So this worked for me to get my music from phone to puter. thanks

  • Kimbino

    If i have all my music files on an sd card on my phone, and I use Google music as my music app on the phone already, will this cause duplicates to show up on my app?