How to Easily Transfer Files from Android to MacOS

Hand typing on MacBook Pro

YakubovAlim/Getty images

Yes, I am one of those people.

At any given time, I may be using Linux, Mac OS, Androidor ChromeOS.

Due to my frequent OS hopping behavior, I often have the need to transfer files between each of them.

One of the more difficult transitions is between Android and MacOS. It’s not really that hard; you just need to know the right app to use.

I will show you which app and how to make it work.

Also: 7 best Android phones

Shall we?

How to Easily Transfer Files from Android to MacOS


To make this work, you will need the following:

  • An Android device.
  • One USB cable.
  • A MacOS device.

I will demonstrate with Android 13 on Pixel 7 Pro and a Macbook Pro M1.

Double-click the AndroidFileTransfer.dmg file in your download folder to open the installer.

Android File Transfer Installer.

Installing Android File Transfer is as simple as dragging the app icon onto the folder icon.

Photo: Jack Wallen

How to use the app to transfer files

The first thing to do is connect your Android device to your MacOS device using a USB cable. When you do, you’ll see a message that says Charge this device via USB. Tap to expand that message and then tap Tap for more options. In the results page, tap File Transfer / Android Auto.

USB settings for File Transfer.

Configure Android USB connection for file transfer.

Photo: Jack Wallen

Once connected, you may see a pop-up asking you to allow accessory connection. Click Allow.

Prompt Allow accessory to connect in MacOS Ventura.

You may be prompted to allow connections between your Android phone and MacOS device.

Photo: Jack Wallen

Next, open Launchpad in your dock, search for Android File Transfer, and click the icon to open the app. When the Android File Transfer app opens on MacOS, you’ll see a single window with your Android device’s folder structure.

Android File Transfer window.

My Pixel Pro 7 folder hierarchy.

Photo: Jack Wallen

You will then have to open a Finder window. With Finder open, navigate to the folder where you want to contain the transferred file. Next, navigate within the Android File Transfer app to find the file you want to transfer to MacOS. Once you’ve found the file, click and drag it into a Finder window and it will copy to the folder.

You can do the same to transfer files from MacOS to Android by dragging them from the Finder to the destination folder in the Android File Transfer app.

Also: 4 ways Windows users misunderstand MacOS

When you’re done transferring files to or from Android, be sure to close the Android File Transfer app.


The whole Android to MacOS File Transfer experience isn’t perfect. In some cases I’ve noticed that after disconnecting my phone, when I try another connection, I have to restart my MacBook before I can make the connection. I still haven’t found a solution to this problem. But even with this warning, Android File Transfer is one of the easiest ways to transfer files from your Android device to MacOS without having to go through an intermediary like Google Drive.


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