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Solving Android File Transfer not Working Problem on Windows and macOS

Solving Android File Transfer not Working Problem on Windows and macOS

Are you experiencing challenges with transferring files between your Android device and Mac computer? If Android File Transfer is not working, it can disrupt your workflow and become a source of frustration. However, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this. In this how-to guide, I’ll share the methods that have worked for me to fix this common issue and also introduce you to MacDroid, a handy alternative for transferring files between Android and Mac.


Common Scenarios:

Common Connection Issues 📌

  • USB Cable Problems: A faulty or incompatible USB cable can cause connection issues.
  • USB Port Issues: Sometimes, the problem could be with the USB port on the Android device or the Mac.
  • Software Conflicts: Other software on the Mac might interfere with Android File Transfer.

Software Glitches 💻

  • Outdated Software: The Android File Transfer application or Android operating system might be outdated.
  • Corrupted Installation: The Android File Transfer app could be improperly installed.
  • Restrictive Permissions: Permissions set on the Mac could prevent the application from working correctly.

Alternative Transfer Methods 📰

  • Third-Party Apps: Applications like MacDroid offer alternative methods for transferring files.
  • Cloud Services: Cloud-based services can be used to sync and transfer files between devices.
  • Wireless Transfer Apps: Some apps enable file transfer over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Step-by-Step Guide. Android File Transfer Not Working Mac:

Method 1: Check the Basics 🔍

  • Use a different USB cable to ensure it’s not the source of the problem.
  • Try connecting to a different USB port on your Mac to rule out port defects.
  • Restart both your Android device and Mac to resolve any temporary glitches.

Note: It’s crucial to verify the integrity of the physical connection before delving into software issues.

Conclusion: If the issue persists, then it’s more likely a software-related problem.

Method 2: Update Software 📤

  • Update the Android File Transfer application from its official website.
  • Ensure your Android device is running the latest software version.
  • Check for any macOS updates and install them if available.

Note: Outdated software may not support newer hardware or operating systems, leading to compatibility issues.

Conclusion: Keeping software up-to-date is important for maintaining compatibility and functionality.

Method 3: Enable USB Debugging ⚿

  • Navigate to Settings > About phone on your Android and tap Build number seven times to enable Developer options.
  • Go to Developer options and toggle on USB debugging.
  • Reconnect your Android device to your Mac and try transferring files again.

Note: USB debugging allows more direct access to the device, which can help with connectivity issues.

Conclusion: Turning on USB debugging can improve the connection between your Android device and Mac.

Method 4: Reinstall Android File Transfer 💾

  • Uninstall the Android File Transfer application by dragging it to the Trash from your Applications folder.
  • Re-download the application from the official Android File Transfer website and install it again.
  • Restart your Mac and attempt to connect your Android device.

Note: A fresh installation can resolve issues caused by corrupted files.

Conclusion: Reinstalling the app ensures you’re working with a clean, up-to-date version.

Method 5: Check Mac Security Settings 🔐

  • Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy on your Mac.
  • Select the Privacy tab and look for Android File Transfer in the list of allowed apps.
  • If it’s not listed, click the + button to add it and grant necessary permissions.

Note: macOS may block apps that haven’t been granted explicit permissions, hindering their functionality.

Conclusion: Ensuring the proper permissions can help resolve transfer issues.

Method 6: Use MacDroid 🔬

  • Download and install MacDroid from the official website.
  • Connect your Android device to your Mac using a USB cable.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions in MacDroid to enable file transfer mode on your Android device.
  • Access and manage your Android files directly on your Mac through MacDroid’s interface.

Note: MacDroid is a third-party application that offers an easy and reliable way to transfer files between Android and Mac.

Conclusion: Using alternative software like MacDroid can bypass issues with Android File Transfer.

Useful info: Transferring files between a Google Pixel smartphone and a Mac.


Precautions and Tips:

Always Prepared ⚙

  • Regularly back up your Android files to prevent data loss during transfer issues.
  • Use high-quality, branded USB cables that are known for their durability and compatibility.
  • Clean USB ports gently with a soft brush or compressed air to remove any dust or debris.

Additional Insights

Understanding the intricacies of file systems on different operating systems can also enhance your troubleshooting process. Macs primarily use the APFS or HFS+ filesystems, while Android devices use exFAT or FAT32. The Disk Utility on Mac can sometimes be used to inspect and even repair connected drives that appear to be malfunctioning.

For those interested in a more seamless and integrated solution, services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive provide a platform to effortlessly sync files across devices, including Android and Mac. These services operate in the cloud, allowing you to access your files from any device with an internet connection.


When faced with the aggravating issue of Android File Transfer not working on your Mac, remember that patience and a methodical approach are key to troubleshooting. From trying different cables and ports to exploring alternative software like MacDroid, there are many avenues to explore. It’s always important to ensure you have the latest software updates and appropriate permissions set. Ultimately, if these solutions still don’t solve your problem, consider reaching out to the support teams of Android File Transfer or MacDroid for professional assistance.


Check if both devices have USB debugging enabled, ensure the Android device is not just charging, and that your Mac has file transfer software installed.

Go to Settings > About phone on your Android device, tap Build number seven times, return to Settings, and enable USB debugging in the Developer options.

You'll likely need Android File Transfer or alternative software like HandShaker. Ensure they are compatible with your macOS version.

Yes, updates can affect compatibility. Check if the file transfer app needs an update or look for an alternative solution compatible with the latest macOS.

Try different USB cables and ports, restart both devices, and check for software updates on both your Mac and Android.

Yes, alternatives include HandShaker and open-source tools like OpenMTP. They offer similar functionality with distinct interfaces and features.

Possibly. Ensure that your security settings or third-party firewall do not block the connection or the file transfer application.

Ensure the application is properly installed; if the problem persists, try re-installing it or using an alternative transfer tool.

With Android File Transfer, there's a 4GB file size limit. For larger files, consider using cloud services or other transfer apps without such restrictions.

You can download it from the official Android File Transfer page or explore alternatives suited for your needs.