If you happen to be one of those hybrid users who works on macOS, but for your mobile experience you opt to go with Android, you know that transferring files between the two can be a bit of a hassle. Sure you can go the Google Drive or SMB route, but why not make use of a handy app that has a singular purpose — transferring files between Android and macOS. That’s right, there is a very simple-to-install and use application that makes transferring files between your Android device and macOS an absolute no-brainer. The app, created by Google, is called Android File Transfer. The app does one thing and it does it very well.

I’m going to show you how to install and use Android File Transfer. I’ll be demonstrating on a MacBook Pro and an Essential PH-1. The process will work with any Android device, so long as it’s running Android 5.0 and higher and your laptop or desktop is running macOS version 10.7 and higher.

Let’s get this working.


The only installation is on the macOS side. Download the Android File Transfer .dmg file to your Mac. Once it’s downloaded, double-click the file and then (when prompted) drag the file to Applications. That’s all there is to the installation.

Configuring Android

There is only one configuration to take care of. On your Android device, open Settings and then go to Connected devices. Tap USB and then (when prompted) tap to select Transfer files (Figure A).

Figure A

That’s all there is to it.


Go back to your Mac and open the Android File Transfer app (from Applications). The app will open to display your Android root directory (Figure B).

Figure B

Open a Finder window, navigate to the files you want to transfer to your Android device (or to where you want to save files from your Android device) and start dragging and dropping. Once you’re done transferring files, click Android File Transfer | Quit Android File Transfer. You can now unplug your Android device and go about your day.

SEE: Google Cloud Platform: An insider’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The caveat

There is one caveat to Android File Transfer. With this app, there is no cut and paste. To transfer files, your only option is drag and drop. That’s really not a problem, as most macOS users default to drag and drop over copy/paste. And that, my friends, is the only hiccup to this one trick pony of an app that makes transferring files to and/or from Android incredibly easy.

Give Android File Transfer a go and see if it doesn’t make your hybrid mobile life a bit easier.