One of the many great things about Android is that you can easily copy and paste files to and from a desktop PC or laptop, simply through your phone via USB to connect. Unfortunately, it's not that easy if you have an Android phone and a Mac.
The official solution is Android File Transfer – a Google-made app for macOS that lets you browse and transfer files between your Android device and a MacBook or iMac. The problem? It is buggy, inconsistent and generally a bit awful.
Below we will show you how to use Android File Transfer, but stick with it and we will also show you a few options that make moving and copying things from Android to Mac much easier!
How to transfer files from Android to Mac using Android File Transfer
Do you want to stick to the official method? That's no problem! Here you can read how to download and use Android File Transfer:
- Download Android File Transfer for Mac from the Android website here. Please note that you must use macOS 10.7 or higher to use the app.
- Open AndroidFileTransfer.dmg .
- Drag the Android File Transfer app to the applications folder in the Finder pop-up.
- Double-click Android File Transfer . You are probably asked that the app was downloaded from the internet as a quick security check. Click on Open to continue.
- Connect your phone to your Mac via a USB cable and Android File Transfer should open automatically. If this is not the case, check your notification bar and change the USB settings in File transfer / MTP mode.
- Find the folder and / or file you want to transfer in Android File Transfer and drag it to your desktop. That's all!
How to transfer files from Android to Mac: the smarter way
The six steps mentioned above make Android File Transfer nice and user-friendly, but anyone who has tried this seemingly simple process knows that it usually takes several attempts and many error messages to let the app recognize your phone. It has been a complete overhaul for years, but as it looks now, there are old bugs that keep coming back.
It is also difficult to browse through your phone's files in the app's custom browser without previews and no quick access to your desktop folders. This is much easier on a Windows machine where you can use the native file explorer, complete with shortcuts and the like.
You can bypass Android File Transfer if you are willing to use cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and the like, but then you trust a strong and stable internet connection for decent upload speeds . There is also the excellent Pushbullet with which you can push & # 39; remotely & # 39; files, but this is not nearly as fast or reliable as a physical connection. Fortunately, there are better system-local alternatives to Android file transfer from external developers.
If you are just an ordinary user, Handshaker is a great option with a simple, user-friendly interface and it's completely free. However, if you plan to regularly transfer files to and from your phone, you want something more comprehensive. If that's the case, your best bet is Commander One from Eltima, which has an Android confirmation feature in the $ 29.99 Pro package.
We recently tested Commander One and it is without a doubt the simplest and most intuitive tool for moving files between your Android devices and a Mac computer. Here are a few reasons why!
Dual Panel Mode
The distinctive feature of Commander One is the standard dual panel layout that gives you instant access to two folders or disks. With the Pro version, one of those panels can be used to pair your Android devices. That means you can all drag and drop files between your phone and Mac in a single window.
You can actually add other tabs in each window, so if you want to throw different files into different folders or a different storage device, it's quick and easy.
Moreover, there are countless small bonuses that you get in the two windows that blow out Android File Transfer. To start with, you can preview your files in Commander One so that you know which precious photos you want to save on your desktop without checking file names. Although you unfortunately don't get mini-previews, you can view a quick preview by double-clicking and using Quick Find.
Commander One also shows you more information about each file, including the size, extension, permissions, created date and more. You can also enable or disable viewing hidden folders to prevent clutter or dive deeper into your phone or Mac's entrails.
iOS mounting also
If you already have a Mac, you probably don't like the idea of having iOS devices (I have an iPad and an iMac, but just try to pry my Pixel away from me !). Commander One also usually supports iOS device pairing, although it should be noted that the feature only works with the version of the official Eltima website, not the Mac App Store version.
Cloud services and external servers all in one place
Commander One & # 39; s command does not stop with your phone or Mac disks. With the Pro version you can fill a panel or tab with cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and / or OneDrive. Not only that, but it also supports connections to external servers via FTP, SFTP or FTPS, Amazon S3 storage, WebDAV clients, OpenStack, etc.
Extensive search tools
Android File Transfer has no search bar. This means that you have difficulty locating files manually. In the meantime, Commander One has a search function that disgraces the Finder search program with support for Regular Expressions, Spotlight and the ability to search for keywords in documents and compressed archives.
Finder, but better
All these things make Commander One a superior alternative to Android File Transfer, but in all honesty if you just have a few now and then To transfer files, the $ 29.99 Pro upgrade required for Android mount support might be a bit steep.
What Commander One really shines on, however, is a complete replacement for Apple's Finder file manager. Finder has improved a lot with macOS upgrades over the years, but it's still not great for powerful users.
Android File Transfer sounds easy to use, but there are better alternatives out there.
In addition to the double panel mode, there is a litany of other upgrades that give Commander One a head start on Finder if you are willing to pay the asking price. These include hot keys, root access, in-app access to Terminal commands and process management, a built-in archiving tool, and much more that you can find here.
Fortunately, you can try most of these functions in the free version that you can download via the button below. For more information about the difference between the free version and the Pro Pack version, there is a function checklist here.
That's it for our guide to transfer files from Android to Mac and a quick review of Commander One! We will update this article in the future if there are new ways to easily move your Android files to macOS systems or if Android File Transfer gets a long-awaited update (fingers crossed!).
More posts about Android how tos!