How to connect your Mac to Android without Android File Transfer

Olga Weis

It is known that Android devices and macOS don’t get along very well, and even native Android File Transfer for Mac is not of much help here. The functionality offered by the application is way too basic – it does not go beyond your simple copy-paste. Besides, we hear a lot of users complaining about Android File Transfer not working in certain cases. So if you have to transfer files from Android to Mac regularly, you better figure out how to connect Android to Mac in a more efficient way.

connect Android to Mac

What options do we have?


If you prefer to connect Android phone to Mac via USB cable, check out Handshaker. To access Android from Mac via this app you will need to enable USB debugging on your phone.

Handshaker’s UI will remind you of Finder, here you will see the content of your phone – Gallery, Music, Video, Download and general files and folders. Some of your phone’s files can be opened from within the app. To move files, select required files and click ‘Export’ button. The app also supports basic file management operations.

access Android from Mac

If you prefer wireless connection, there is Portal – this app helps you with Android wifi file transfer. You’ll need a web-browser to do it – launch it and go to portal.pushbullet.com. To establish connection between your phone and Mac, scan the code displayed by Portal on your phone. Now you can drag-and-drop files to the browser window, they’ll get transferred to your phone over network and will be sorted into respective folders – images to Gallery, audio and video files to Music, etc. The app is very reliable, however it only supports moving files from Mac to your phone, not the other way round, i.e. it won’t be of use if you need to copy files from Android to Mac.

Android USB connection

There is another app that proved to be of great help for using Android with Mac – Commander One. It features a dual pane interface, invaluable when it comes to moving files from one location to another. Use simple drag-and-drop and your phone’s content gets copied to your laptop or desktop in a matter of seconds.

The app enables exploring your phone’s file system directly from your Mac – via Android USB connection it displays images, audio and video files and text documents stored on the phone as if they were kept on your computer. Moreover, since the application is essentially a file management solution, it offers functionality such as working with archived documents, previewing files in various formats, locating computers and devices in the network and searching for files and folders. Its History and Favorites help you navigate quickly to recently or frequently visited locations. The app is even capable of granting your root access, i.e. full control over your Mac’s content. PRO edition of the application has more advanced features such as connecting to remote servers via FTP and mounting cloud storages on your Mac.

That’s it for now, we hope this write-up was helpful for your ‘How to connect Android phone to computer?’ quest.

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Commander One

Requirements: OS X 10.10+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 1.7.4(2445) (21st Sep, 2017) Release notes
Category: System Utilities