What is Android File Transfer and How to Use it

If you have never used your Android device with your Mac machine, you probably have no idea what the Android File Transfer utility is. This guide tells you exactly what this tool is and how you can use it to transfer your files.

By Faye Clarke | Posted on: Aug. 21, 2019, Last Updated: Aug. 21, 2019

As long as you use a Windows computer, most of the basic things are pretty easy to do on your machine. For example, you can attach almost any device to your computer and have it show up in the Explorer. You can then transfer files to and from the attached device on your machine. But when you make a switch to a Mac, things no longer remain easy.

If you need to transfer files from your Android device to your Mac, you will find that your device does not come up as a storage device in the Finder on your Mac. It is simply because your Mac does not recognize each of your attached devices as a storage device. However, that does not mean you have no way to transfer files between your Android device and your Mac.

Android has developed a dedicated tool that you can run on your Mac and exchange files between your Android and your machine. In the following guide, we take a look at the tool and how you can use it on your machine.

What is Android File Transfer

The tool that allows you to mount your Android device as a storage device on your Mac is called Android File Transfer. As the name implies, it helps you transfer files between your Android and your Mac.

It is actually a regular Mac app that you can download from the official Android website and install on your Mac. Once you have installed the app, all it requires you to do is connect your device to your machine and you are ready to start transferring your files.

Despite having a large number of users, Android has not updated the Android File Transfer tool for a long time. And because of that, you are likely going to encounter issues once in a while with the tool on your machine. We have you covered for that as well, though.

How to Use Android File Transfer on Mac

Now that you know what the tool is, you may want to learn how you can use the Android File Transfer tool to start exchanging files between your Android and your Mac machine.

Using the tool is extremely easy as it does not come preloaded with a ton of options to configure. It is a basic tool that requires minimal configuration, and you can even use it out of the box if you do not want to configure anything at all.

The following shows how you connect your Android phone to your Mac using the aforementioned tool:

Step 1. Head over to the Android File Transfer website and download and install the app on your Mac.

Step 2. Launch the Android File Transfer app from the Launchpad on your Mac.

Access the utility on your Mac

Access the utility on your Mac

Step 3. When the app launches, connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable. Make sure to use the cable that came with your device as third-party cables may cause issues.

Step 4. The app will recognize your device and let you explore your device files from your Mac. You can now copy files from your device to your Mac and vice versa.

Android File Transfer provides you with an easy way to connect your Android device to your Mac and transfer files between your devices.

The Common Android File Transfer Problems and Fixes

Although the tool has not been updated for months, it still works great most of the time. There are some occasions, though, when it may not work the way it is supposed to.

If you ever encounter any issues with the tool, the following common fixes should help you resolve the issues and get the tool to help you transfer your files.

Fix 1. Update the macOS Version on Your Mac

The Android File Transfer app requires your Mac to be running at least macOS version 10.5. If you are not running this version of macOS, you will need to first update the version before you can use the app.

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner and select About This Mac.

Get to the Mac information panel

Get to the Mac information panel

Step 2. Click on the Software Update button on the following screen to update the macOS version on your Mac.

Find software updates for the Mac

Find software updates for the Mac

Once the macOS version is updated, launch the app again and it should work flawlessly on your machine.

Fix 2. Reboot Your Mac

It may be that there is a small temporary glitch in the system of your Mac. Most of the time, these glitches can be resolved by rebooting your machine.

Restart the Mac

Restart the Mac

To reboot your Mac, click on the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen and select Restart. Your Mac will reboot.

Fix 3. Reboot Your Android Device

It may also be that there is a temporary issue in the system of your Android device. Rebooting your device should fix the issue and the following is how you do it.

Restart your Android device

Restart your Android device

Press and hold down the Power button on your device. Select Restart from the menu that appears on your screen to restart your Android device.

Fix 4. Update the Android Version on Your Device

The app requires your Android device to be running Android 3.0. While most devices run greater versions of Android than that, it is still a good idea to check the version of Android you have.

Step 1. Head to Settings > About phone on your device and check the current Android version you are running on your device.

Restart your Android device

Restart your Android device

Step 2. If the version is an older one, head to Settings > System > System updates and download and install a newer version of Android on your device.

Check for newer Android versions on your device

Check for newer Android versions on your device

Reboot the device and connect the device to your Mac. The app should be able to recognize your device and let you transfer your files.

Fix 5. Replace the USB Cable

If it has been a long time since you bought your Android device, the USB cable you use with the device may have got tear and wear.

It is worth checking if the cable has any issues. If it has, gets it replaced with a new and working one.

Fix 6. Enable USB Debugging on Your Android Device

You should have the USB debugging option enabled on your device for the app to be able to recognize it on your Mac. This option is located in the Settings app but it is hidden by default. You will need to first unhide it before you can enable it, and here we show you how to do just that.

Step 1. Head to Settings > About phone and tap on Build number for 7-8 times. It will say you are a developer.

Step 2. Head back to Settings and tap on Developer options. Then, enable the option that says USB debugging.

Turn on the USB debugging option on your device

Turn on the USB debugging option on your device

Your device should now connect to your Mac without any issues.

The Bottom Line

Connecting an Android phone to a Mac is not as difficult as you might think. As long as you meet the minimum requirements, you can easily connect your device and transfer files to and from it on your Mac machine.

Faye Clarke

Member of iMobie_Inc, an enthusiastic fan of Apple and Jazz music, always ready to offer advice and solutions to any iOS & Android related issues.

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