How to Share Files From Mac to Android
Using your Mac and Android together is fun until you need to do something like move files between them. Luckily, several methods are available to share files between the two operating systems. Techniques include Google’s FTP app, Bluetooth, and many third-party apps.
Read on to learn some of your options when transferring files from Mac to Android and vice-versa.
The following options can be used to transfer files in either direction.
Android File Transfer
The first Mac to Android file transfer option we’ll look at is Google’s Android File Transfer app. Your Mac must have OS X 10.5 and up installed to use it. To transfer your Mac files to Android, follow the steps below:
- Download and install Android File Transfer onto your Mac.
- Launch Android File Transfer. It will open automatically whenever you connect your phone again.
- Unlock your Android device and connect it to your Mac using a USB cable.
- Press the “Charging this device via USB” notification on your phone.
- Beneath “Use USB for” choose “File Transfer.”
- A file transfer window will pop up on your Mac. Use it to move your files around.
- Once you’re done, disconnect the USB cable.
Bluetooth is a worthwhile option for wirelessly transferring files between Mac and Android.
Set Up Pairing
First, you’ll need to pair your Mac to your Android device, which only needs to be done once as they’ll remain paired until you unpair them. Follow these steps to pair your Mac and Android device:
- On your Mac, go to the menu bar or “System,” “Preferences,” then “Bluetooth” to enable Bluetooth.
- Also, enable it on your Android device in “Settings” then “Bluetooth.”
- On your Mac, go to “System Preferences” then “Sharing,” enable the “Bluetooth Sharing” option. Here you can choose the location for received files and what to do with incoming file transfer requests.
- On your Android device, choose your Mac by going to “Settings” then “Bluetooth,” and the passcode will appear on both screens.
- The passcodes should match. To complete the pairing, click “Connect” on your Mac.
Send Files From Mac to Android
The method for file sharing using Bluetooth on your Mac is slightly different. Although macOS has a similar share menu to Android, Bluetooth isn’t an option in the list of available transfer methods. Luckily, “Bluetooth File Exchange,” the built-in app, can get the job done. Follow these steps to send files from Mac to your Android device:
- Navigate to “Applications” then “Utilities” to open the “Bluetooth File Exchange” app.
- Find and click on the file you wish to send, then click “Send.”
- Click on your paired Android device you wish to send it to, then click “Send” again.
- Tap “Accept” on your Android device to receive the incoming transfer.
The files you receive on your Android will be available under the relevant default files app or other related folders. For example, an image file sent from Mac should show up in the Photos app on your Android device.
How to Share Files From an Android to a Mac
The first file transfer option we’ll look at is Bluetooth. Once you’ve paired your Android device and Mac, you can use Bluetooth to transfer files between the two. Use the “Set Up Pairing” steps in the section above, then follow the steps below to send files from your Android device to Mac:
- Ensure Bluetooth is enabled on your Android device and Mac.
- On your Android device, find and tap on the file you wish to send to your Mac.
- Choose the share icon.
- Tap “Bluetooth” as the transfer method, then select your Mac.
- When prompted on your Mac, accept the transfer.
Files received on your Mac will go to the location you stated in “System Preferences,” “Sharing,” then “Bluetooth Sharing.” Or in the default folder “Downloads.” To send files from Mac to Android using this method, check out the “How to Share Files From Mac to Android Phone” section above.
File Transfer Protocol
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard communication protocol used to download, upload, and transfer files from one location to another. It can be used to transfer between computer systems or over the internet.
First, to share files between Android and macOS, you’ll need an FTP client on your Mac. FileZilla is amongst the best and most popular used. There are plenty of alternatives, but we’ll use FileZilla to demonstrate. On your Android device, you’ll need to download and install a file explorer like Solid File Explorer to create the FTP server.
Once FileZilla and Solid File Explorer or similar apps are installed, here are the steps to transfer your files from Android to Mac:
- On your Android, open Solid File Explorer, press the hamburger icon, and then choose “FTP Server.”
- Tap the three-dotted menu icon at the top right corner. Then decide whether to enable or disable anonymous access. It’s up to you which option you go for; however, disabling anonymous access will ensure no one else can connect to your Android.
- Now press “Set User,” then create a username and password to access your files.
- Next, tap “Start” to start the FTP server.
- On your Mac, open FileZilla.
- Enter the IP address shown on your Android device in the Solid File Explorer app and the username and password you created in the hostname field.
- In the “Port field,” enter the port number. The port number is the one after the IP address in the SFE app.
- Now click the “Quickconnect” button.
- You can choose to save the password if you wish.
- Now you will see your Android files in FileZilla’s “Remote Site” area. Drag the files you wish to share into your Mac (Local Site) or vice versa.
Open MTP – Plug-and-Play Solution
For a slightly more straightforward method to transfer your Android files to your Mac or vice-versa, consider using a plug-and-play solution OpenMTP. OpenMTP is another example of an Android file transfer app. It is open-source and completely free to use, which means you have the option to look at the source code if interested.
To get started, you’ll just need to download and install OpenMTP on your Mac, then follow these steps:
- Open the app and connect your Android phone to your Mac using a USB cable.
- The app will display your Mac files on the left pane, and on the right, your connected Android device.
- You can just drag and drop files between your Mac and Android to transfer them.
AirDroid is another file transfer example with a few extra features that you may find interesting. With AirDroid, you’ll have the ability to control your Android device using your Mac, receive notifications, and much more. Once AirDroid is installed on your phone, follow these steps to transfer files between your Android device and Mac:
- On your phone, sign in to AirDroid.
- Tap “AirDroid Web,” then “Scan QR Code.”
- Next, on your Mac, launch AirDroid’s web app.
- A QR code will be displayed on the website. Scan it with your smartphone, then press “Sign in” when prompted on your phone.
- Your Android device is now connected with your Mac so that you can share files between the two devices. And when your smartphone and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network, your data won’t be sent over the internet, which is an excellent security plus.
Can I AirDrop from Mac to Android?
Unfortunately, you can’t use AirDrop to transfer files from an Apple device to Android or the other way around.
Mac to Android File Transfer Complete
macOS and Android are two of the best operating systems. When it comes to file sharing on the same OS, files are transferred effortlessly. However, sharing files between these two operating systems is not as straightforward. Thankfully, Apple and Android developers have thought about those who enjoy using devices in different OS worlds and may want to share files between them. Several methods are available to transfer your files from Mac to Android and vice-versa. Methods include Bluetooth, FTP, and third-party apps.
Which operating system do you prefer, macOS or Android? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.