Move Files from Android to Mac OS X and Vice Versa with Android File Transfer

Nov 28, 2011 - 13 Comments

Android File Transfer app for Mac OS X Have an Android phone or tablet that you want to transfer files and movies to and from your Mac with? Maybe you got a new Kindle Fire that is freshly rooted, and you’re looking to move some of your own movies and pictures to it? No sweat, there are some really easy ways to do this, one of which is Google’s free Android File Transfer app, which is compatible with almost every Android smartphone or tablet out there.

By far the simplest solution for Mac users to move files between Android devices and any sort of Mac, Android File Transfer (AFT) works very similarly to a standard FTP program, without the login, and it provides a simple interface for accessing and modifying items on the Android device, making it a virtual no brainer to use.

Using Android File Transfer with Mac OS X

If you’re new to this app, here’s all you need to do to get file transfer between Android working with OS X:

  • Download Android File Transfer tool and install the app by dragging it into Launchpad or the Applications folder
  • Connect the Android device to the Mac via a USB cable
  • Launch the Android File Transfer app and let the app detect the connected device, this may take a few seconds
  • Once connected, you can browse around the Android device, drag and drop files to move or copy them, add folders, delete files, etc

This is what the AFT app looks like in OS X when it has been connected to a device, as you can see there are a variety of folders accessible:

Transfer files from Android to Mac

Creating new folders with AFT is just a matter of clicking the little folder icon with a plus on it, and you can use the arrow keys to move forward and backward. Renaming files is the same as native OS X, just click into any file/folder and hover with the mouse cursor until it becomes changeable. The app has full drag & drop support, so you can copy things from just about anywhere in the Finder, or even transfer them from apps that also support drag and drop.

After it has been used and setup once, subsequent connections between the Android to the Mac will cause the app to automatically launch, you can adjust that in the settings though if you would rather it not auto-launch. This app does the job with ease, and the only real limit is a 4GB file size limitation for transfers, that is due to Androids file system which uses FAT32 for it’s storage portion. A huge benefit to the FAT32 file system in use is that it can be accessed from Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, without any modifications, giving access to files from just about any computer imaginable.

Do note that if you’re using this app for image and photo management, there are better ways of moving pictures from an Android smartphone to a Mac, and the best way is to basically treat it like a camera as described here because it will give you thumbnails of each image and the entire importation process is handled for you.

Android File Transfer says “No Android device found”, now what?

When you are attempting to mount certain devices with the AFT app you may encounter an error that says “No Android device found – Please connect your Android device with a USB cable to get started.”

No Android Device Found error

If you see this error, don’t sweat it. For most Google, Samsung, and Motorola devices, all you need to do is:

  • Disconnect and reconnect the device through USB
  • Quit and relaunch Android File Transfer app

Everything should now work as intended.

If that doesn’t work and you still see the error message, it usually just indicates that the app isn’t compatible with the device you’re trying to use it with, which means it’s not even necessary with that specific Android device. Instead, it can be mounted as if it was a disk drive like any other USB storage device, allowing you easy access to files through Finder without the need for the Android File Transfer app at all, something which is increasingly common with devices from certain manufacturers like HTC, and with smartphones that have storage expansion options.

Other Android & Mac Syncing Abilities

If you opted out of the iOS route, AFT and WinAmp for OS X will make your Android & Mac life easier, since you can move files and documents around easily, and even sync your iTunes collection to the Android device with WinAmp. Don’t forget you can also easily sync the important stuff like Calendars, Notes, and Mail between Macs and Android smartphones too, a process which is also quite simple to configure. Happy Androiding!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

13 Comments

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  1. Mackenzie says:

    Shouldn’t this work without rooting the Fire? It’s Android after all?

  2. hodinix says:

    it does not work on Lion & Samsung Galaxy S II :(

    • Dougie says:

      Same here – very poor :(

    • Lavern says:

      For samsung galaxy s2 user only.Try this… After installing the android file transfer software. Then go to phone settings>wireless and network>more>USB utilities> then press ” connect storage to pc”, then connect the USB cable to pc or Mac. Then click the USB mass storage. Wait for a sec, then your hard drive phone will appear on screen.

  3. Kevin Crompton says:

    Hahah this is a hilarious stick figure. I tried it out and really had a good laugh after. Seriously, my kids will surely love to try this Draw A Stickman figure too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nic says:

    i downloaded n installed, but it just don’t work.. it says “..had close unexpectedly..”
    any other way?

  5. Walid Shaari says:

    does not work anymore with OSX 10.8 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

  6. Walid Shaari says:

    I use dropbox or google drive to share documents all over board, more convenient and practical

  7. John says:

    Hello,

    I’ve been trying to find a way to transfer my files from my Android and MBP. I have a Galaxy Nexus and I will have to connect MTP.
    http://www.android.com/filetransfer/
    Pressed “Download Now” button
    I got directed to
    https://dl.google.com/dl/androidjumper/mtp/371389/*
    where it says “Not found”

    Is there a more RELIABLE source?!?!

  8. […] File Transfer is a file management app that lets you copy files to and from a Mac to an Android device, and naturally that means you’ll also have access to photos and movies too. If for some […]

  9. Csaba says:

    Seriously. This sux big time!
    Picasa cannot import photos? There’s no FUSION support for the Android filesystem?
    I have to use a cranky tool to move files to and from my Android phone?

    Android guys, think it over again pls!

  10. […] all Android OS devices support this ability, and some devices will require usage of the dedicated Android File Transfer app to move files around. This is particularly true with older devices, those without storage expansion […]

  11. Kitty J says:

    Wow, seems I have another option for wireless file transfer! I used to employ Web PC to do the job for me.

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