Transferring Files Between Android and Mac: 5 Simple Methods

You might want to transfer files from your Android device to your Mac for more than one reason. It could be that you want to enjoy media across platforms or prefer using your Mac device more than your Android. Or you may want to learn how to import photos from Android to Mac because your Mac device has better photo editing applications. The same can be said about wanting to transfer videos because macOS supports advanced video editing software. 

So, without further ado, let’s quickly delve into the different methods you can use to transfer files between Android and Mac. 

Using the USB Cable

This classic wired method of transferring files is the simplest and most reliable. Here’s how to get started:

  • Use a USB cable to connect your Android device to your Mac. Ensure that you use the same cable that came with your device, or you can use a certified equivalent. 
  • The next step is to unlock your Android device and choose one of the two options – MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) or File Transfer. 
  • On your Mac device, you will see a window displaying the storage of your Android device. If you cannot see this window, open Finder and search for the device under Locations. 
  • The file you want to transfer can be dragged and dropped. Remember, you can transfer files in both directions. 
  • Once the transfer process is complete, you must safely eject your Android device. This can be done by dragging the device icon to the eject icon in the Finder toolbar of your Mac computer. 

You must fully charge your Android device to ensure no interruption during the file transfer process. Please note that transferring large files may significantly drain the battery. 

Using Android File Transfer 

Do you want to transfer files wirelessly? If so, you can use Android File Transfer. This is Google’s official application. 

To get started, you must install this application on your Mac by going to Google’s website. Then, connect your Android device and Mac to the same Wi-Fi network. Once this is done, follow these steps:

  • Open the app on your Mac device. 
  • Unlock your Android device and enable MTP or File Transfer. 
  • The storage of your Android device will be displayed in the Android File Transfer window. Then, you can drag and drop the files you want to transfer to Mac. 

Please note that this isn’t the fastest transfer method. If you need to transfer large files, opt for the USB route. 

Use Google Drive or other Cloud Services 

When it comes to enjoying cross-platform convenience, Google Drive and other cloud storage services come in handy. 

On both your devices, install your chosen cloud storage application. Sign in to your existing account or create an account. Upload the files you want to transfer. Then, on your Mac, you can sign in to the same cloud storage service to download the files or access them. Similarly, you can upload files from your Mac and access them on your Android device. 

Use NearDrop 

With NearDrop, it is possible to transfer files between Android and Mac without a fuss. However, the developers of NearDrop have yet to find a way to use the app to transfer files from Mac to Android. 

The app uses Nearby Share’s protocols, and you can use it by following these steps:

  • Download and install NearDrop on your Mac.
  • On your Android device, open the file you want to share and tap on Share > tap Nearby Share from the available options. When your Mac’s name appears, tap on it. 
  • On your Mac, you must approve this request from your Android device by clicking Accept. Then, the files will be transferred. 

Use Snapdrop 

Snapdrop is a browser-based transfer solution, perfect for transferring without installing an additional app or creating new accounts. 

On both your devices, visit and ensure your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Choose the files you want to transfer and then drag and drop them onto the web page on your Mac. Then, the chosen files will be transferred wirelessly. 

Please note that this transfer method is best for small transfers. 

Use an SD Card 

You can transfer files from Android to Mac using an SD card, but this method is a bit more complicated than the others on this list. 

Your Android device must have a slot for an SD card. You need to copy the files on this SD card from your device’s storage. Then, you must have a Mac SD card reader. The SD card must be inserted into the card reader. On your Mac, insert the SD card slot. Then, copy the files from the SD card to your Mac. 

If you don’t have an SD card reader and an SD card, refer to the other methods mentioned in this guide. 

So, these are the best methods to transfer files between Android and Mac. Which one would you choose? 

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