Android File Transfer Not Working on Mac? Fix it Easily!

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As an Android user, you likely need to transfer files between your device and computer regularly. The official Android File Transfer app for Mac seems like the perfect solution.

Unfortunately, it can be frustrating when Android File Transfer stops working suddenly. Don’t worry – with the right troubleshooting, you can get it fixed in no time.

Follow these tips and you’ll resolve Android File Transfer problems for good. Let’s dive in!

Why Is My Android File Transfer Not Working on Mac?

There are a few common culprits behind Android File Transfer failing to connect your devices properly:

  • Wrong USB mode on Android: By default, plugging your phone into a computer just charges it. You need to manually switch to file transfer mode.
  • Damaged USB cable: Frayed, bent or faulty USB cables can disrupt the connection. Try a different cable.
  • Software conflicts: Samsung apps like Smart Switch sometimes clash with Android File Transfer.
  • Pending updates: Outdated macOS software can cause compatibility issues.
  • Connection problems: Intermittent USB port or WiFi dropping can break transfers.

Now let’s look at quick troubleshooting steps to try first.

Quick Fixes to Attempt

Before you try in-depth solutions, attempting these basic troubleshooting tips could get Android File Transfer working again quickly:

1. Switch Your Phone to File Transfer Mode

When your Android connects to a computer, it defaults to charging mode. To change this:

  • Swipe down and open your notification panel.
  • Tap the “Charging this device via USB” notification.
  • Select File transfer / Android Auto.

This allows file transfer capabilities over the USB connection.

2. Try a Different USB Cable

Damaged or faulty USB cables are often the issue with Android File Transfer problems. Switch to another high-quality cable and see if that fixes it.

3. Restart Your Devices

A simple reboot of your Android device and Mac can clear out temporary glitches causing connection issues.

If you still can’t get Android File Transfer to work after trying these, don’t worry – some proven solutions will get it fixed for good.

Effective Ways to Fix Android File Transfer Not Working

If quick troubleshooting didn’t work, these methods will help identify and resolve the problem:

1. Reinstall the Android File Transfer App

Corrupted app files can sometimes disrupt Android File Transfer. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app cleans out these issues:

  • On Mac: Delete the Android File Transfer app via the Applications folder.
  • On Android: Delete Android File Transfer from the Play Store app list.
  • Reinstall Android File Transfer on the Mac from

After reinstallation, restart your devices and reconnect them. This often resolves stubborn connective issues.

2. Disable Conflicting Apps Like Smart Switch

If you’re on Samsung, apps like Smart Switch and Kies can interfere with Android File Transfer.

To test this, uninstall Smart Switch/Kies from Applications folder on Mac. Then reconnect your phone and see if Android File Transfer works properly without conflicts.

3. Update Your macOS to the Latest Version

Outdated operating systems can sometimes have compatibility issues.

Updating macOS is easy:

  • Click the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Software Update.
  • Install any available updates and restart your Mac when prompted.

With the latest macOS, Android File Transfer should connect successfully.

4. Factory Reset Your Android Device

For persistent connection problems, a factory reset gives your Android a clean slate:

  • Back up important data first like contacts and photos.
  • Go to Settings > System > Reset options.
  • Choose Erase all data (factory reset) and confirm.
  • Set up your Android from scratch after the reset completes.

This wipe eliminates any software issues preventing file transfers.

5. Clean the USB Ports and Connectors

Dusty, damaged USB ports on Android or Mac can obstruct transfers:

  • Use compressed air to blast out any debris in the USB ports.
  • Inspect the ports for damage like bent pins.
  • Clean any corrosion on the connectors gently with isopropyl alcohol.

After cleaning, connect your phone and Mac using a new USB cable. This resolves many physical connection issues.

With persistence, one of these proven methods should successfully get your Android File Transfer working properly again.

Handy Alternatives for Android File Transfers on Mac

While the stock Android File Transfer app works for basic needs, it has limitations. Power users often want more advanced capabilities:

  • Wireless transfers without cables
  • Cloud syncing across devices
  • Transfer queues for batch file movement
  • Encrypted transfers for private files
  • Cross-platform transfers between different operating systems

Here are some excellent Android File Transfer alternatives providing these useful extras:

  • dr.fone – Phone Manager (Android) – Manage the Android device on the computer
  • AirDroid – Encrypted wireless file transfer via web browser.
  • Pushbullet – Easy cloud syncing and transfer of links and small files.
  • Portal – File transfer app with queue support.
  • Snapdrop – Open source local file transfers via web browser.
  • Feem – Uses WiFi P2P to share files between devices.

For maximum convenience and flexibility, it’s worth trying out a dedicated transfer app like AirDroid rather than relying solely on the stock Android File Transfer utility.

Top Tips for Managing Android Files on Mac

Here are some handy tips for smoother Android file management when using your Mac:

  • Use a file manager app on your Android like Solid Explorer for easy file organization. It integrates neatly with cloud storage services too for backup.
  • Enable developer options and USB debugging on your Android if you frequently transfer large files. This removes some transfer restrictions.
  • Set up automatic photo syncing to services like Google Photos so your memories are always backed up.
  • Use the native Files app on your Mac when transferring data instead of Android File Transfer. It has handy integrations with cloud storage too.
  • Transfer files wirelessly whenever possible. This prevents cable wear-and-tear or disconnects.
  • Disable antivirus software temporarily if you suspect it’s blocking transfers. Add an exception for Android File Transfer to prevent this.

With these handy tips, you’ll master file management between your Android device and Mac in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are quick answers to some common questions about fixing Android File Transfer problems:

Why does my Android say “USB charging” when connected to a Mac?

By default, Android enters charging mode only when plugged into a computer. You need to manually switch to file transfer mode in the notification panel.

How do I enable file transfers on Android over USB?

Open the notification panel, tap the “USB charging” notification, then select “File transfer / Android Auto” to enable data transfer capabilities.

Why does Finder not show my Android phone?

If your Mac doesn’t detect the Android device, try a different cable, changing USB ports, restarting your devices or reinstalling the Android File Transfer app.

Does Android File Transfer work wirelessly?

No, Android File Transfer requires a wired USB connection. For wireless file management, use apps like AirDroid, Portal or Snapdrop.

Why does my Android say “USB accessory not supported” on Mac?

This generally occurs due to an incompatible USB cable. Try using the original cable that came with your Android device.

Key Takeaways

To recap, here are the key tips to remember:

  • Android File Transfer relies on your device being in correct file transfer mode over USB.
  • Quickly rule out faulty cables, outdated software and app conflicts through basic troubleshooting.
  • Reinstalling Android File Transfer, updating macOS and cleaning ports are simple fixes.
  • Factory resetting your Android eliminates any device-specific issues persistently blocking transfers.
  • Advanced wireless transfer apps provide more flexibility and convenience than the stock option.
  • Keep your software updated, use file management tools, and enable USB debugging for smoother Android file handling on Mac.

With this handy guide, you can swiftly troubleshoot any Android File Transfer problems on Mac. Just follow the step-by-step solutions to get it working reliably.

What tips do you have for fixing Android File Transfer connection issues on a Mac? Let me know in the comments!


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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