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How to Connect the Galaxy Nexus to a Mac



If you want to connect your Galaxy Nexus to your Mac to transfer pictures, backup files or transfer apps to your phone, you’ll need a free utility to make the phone show up on your Mac.

Because there is no SD card, the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t show up like earlier Gingerbread phones did.

The good news is that the Android File Transfer App for Mac is free and easy to use.  I used this app to transfer my photos and videos over to my Mac before doing a hard reset of the Galaxy Nexus.

Android to MacRead: Galaxy Nexus Review

Even though your information is backed up to the Google servers and you can send your photos and videos to Picasa, it makes sense to connect and make a local backup of important photos and files from time to time. Unfortunately this won’t allow your phone to show up in iTunes, so you’ll need to Import the photos later.

How to Transfer Files from the Galaxy Nexus to a Mac

  1. Download the Android File Transfer Utility.
  2. Double click on the androidfiletransfer.dmg file.
    Android to Mac Galaxy Nexus
  3. Drag Android File Transfer to Applications in the window that pops up.
  4. Plug your Galaxy Nexus into your Mac with your USB cable.
  5. Double click Android File Transfer in the LaunchPad.
  6. If asked, allow the program to open. In the future it should open automatically.
    Android File Transfer Galaxy Nexus
  7. Browse the file structure to find the folder or folders you want to backup or add files to.
  8. Drag the files to or from your Mac and they will be copied.

You’ll find your photos in the DCIM folder, which is where most users will need to go.

It is important to note that you can only transfer files up to 4GB, so keep that in mind if you are moving around very large video files.




  1. Anonymous

    12/29/2011 at 2:26 pm

    This is pretty pathetic. Any Android user knows that you don’t EVER have to plug your phone into ANYTHING because all transfers are done over the air.

    Okay, well you have to plug into power.

    • Vega250

      01/04/2012 at 3:04 pm

      Can’t transfer over the air when you don’t have service….

    • Oliver Green

      01/18/2012 at 1:43 pm

      Sorry but I’m new to Android and Mac. I just got my Nexus the other day and I wanted to upload my pics to my girlfriends Mac. Couldn’t figure out why the Mac wasn’t recognizing my Nexus so I had to google it, and I came here. If you could enlighten me how I could transfer almost 500MB of pics and video to the mac over the air, I would love to know.

      • Wer4gzs

        01/18/2012 at 7:31 pm

        Oliver…the market has an app called isyncr for mac thats a free download. There is an add on isyncr wifi so you can do both usb or wifi. The tutorial will guide you thru it. There will be a link that will have a download for the mac as well to connect to the server and it’s very simple. Any questions just ask.

  2. WER4GZS

    01/11/2012 at 2:53 pm

    How do you transfer to an older version of Mac?

    • Guest

      02/04/2012 at 2:17 pm

      update to lion

  3. Aitha ALbraiki

    03/16/2012 at 3:46 am

    I’m kind of like Oliver, but with the galaxy tab 7.7, i need to transfer music and movies from my mac to my tab. Thanks!

  4. Lamia

    03/25/2012 at 10:13 pm

    you seems like you know a lot about Galaxy,, I downloaded that and it worked perfectly, so thank you for that.
    I have question I’d really appreciate it if you could help me with that, I need an Arabic language to be added to my Galaxy Note, do you know how to do that?
    Thank you again..

  5. aaron

    07/28/2012 at 7:27 pm

    First off i have a galaxy nexus and this doesn’t recognize it at all. My cable is fine it works with only pc but i own a mac. are u telling me im the only nexus owner that has this prob? FYI if u want to transfer large data use bluetooth…

  6. Angel F

    08/16/2012 at 8:31 pm

    the douche bag that posted at the top must be an iPhone dork, you can transfer anything over air thats true but why in the heck would you want to transfer large files over the air and take hours when you could do it in minutes over wire.

    Not like the iPhone you can’t transfer a dam thing to it and from it without iTunes…

  7. GNEX user

    08/26/2012 at 4:42 pm

    Hey angel F apples way of doing things is good yes you need itunes but now you can transfer files over Wifi and all you need an app to transfer to…. for android.. you have a choice of 50-100 apps…. now being a person who doesnt give a fuck or have the time to test out 50 apps… i like the way apple does it or for that matter samsung with kies air or whatever that was called (does not support gnexus sadly)

  8. Nerak

    09/18/2012 at 9:12 am

    Hi folks. Certainly not a real techie here but I like to research anything to do with my toys!

    Oh, and to start, Mac owner, OS 10.5.8

    I read this is MTP. Wiki can explain it better than I can, but if I’ve got it right, a problem for your actual computer? Doing backups? If its drive blows up completely? That’s kind of an issue.

    Wiki: By design, MTP devices (like PTP devices) are not treated as a traditional removable drive. The actual file system is implemented by the device, not by the computer’s operating system. In theory the operating system may hide this difference, but this is not the case on Windows or Mac OS. This also means that conventional file system recovery tools will be of no use if the drive is corrupted, or crashes.

    Thanks to anyone who can tell me if connecting to my machine is going to cause any epic (or even minor) disasters. Right now, I’m using Time Machine for backups which would definitely be deemed “conventional.”

    I just downloaded FF the other night and would like to get my bookmarks and such but I don’t know if I need this. Hell, just plug the stupid phone in and see what happens? Blow everything up at once? o.O

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