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How to Use Android With Mac



When it comes to accessing files or music from your Android smartphone or tablet on a Mac, many users don’t realize just how easy it is to actually use Android with any Mac PC or laptop. There’s a common misconception that the two don’t work well together, and Macs only like iOS devices, but that isn’t the case.

These days users have tons of options to transfer files, folders, pictures, music and more from an Android device to their Mac, or even from their Macbook to a smartphone. Plenty of 3rd party options are available, but for those wanting the simple beginners information, read on to see how to use Android with Mac.

Read: How to Switch from iPhone to Android: The Google Way

Many different services or how to articles are available for those looking to use an Android device with a Mac, but the truth is that all you need is a simple program right from Google themselves, and the micro-USB cord that comes in the box with your new Android smartphone and tablet. Below we’ll go over the easiest method, as well as a few tips to transfer your iPhone to Android.


Unlike with the iPhone and iTunes, Android users don’t have one app to handle all the tasks when it comes to moving around files or doing certain things. This is both a pro and a con. iTunes is great for many (but a program I hate using) and at the same time being able to simply drop and drag (or copy and paste) with Android and Windows or a Mac is much easier. To each his own.

There are fancy programs around like AirDroid which recently was updated to AirDroid 3, offering tons of advanced features for not only transferring data and info to your Mac, but actually controlling your Android phone from a computer. A lot of that is for advanced users, and below we’ll go over the basics for using Android with a Mac.


All you really need to do in order to use Android with a Mac is have the internet on your Mac of choice and download one simple program created by Google. It isn’t fancy like iTunes, and is more of an easy program that lets you drag and drop files to and from Android and Mac devices. This is called Android File Transfer.

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Install the application to your Mac desktop or laptop, and connect it to your phone using the charger’s USB cable that was included in the box. When it’s ready, your phone will appear as a drive on your computer. A plain popup similar to what you see below will appear, and you’ll be able to control everything on your device from a Mac. From transferring pictures for backup, saving music or videos, and much much more. Whatever you need to do, this is the easiest way.

Using Android File Transfer

  • Use the USB cable that came with your Android device to connect it to your Mac.
  • Double-click Android File Transfer to open it the first time (subsequently, it opens automatically).
  • Browse the files and folders on your Android device, add folders, copy files up to 4GB to or from your Mac, delete files, and more.

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A file will popup with a complete list of applications and files. To open or view these, simply drag them to your desktop, and then move them to a directory of your choice. Import videos to iMovie or pictures to iPhoto. You can transfer more than 4GB of files to or from your Mac, but individual files need to be no larger than 4GB at a time.

Users may see an option and USB notification asking which type of connection you’ d like the computer to use. By default this should be “MTP” and recognize your smartphone or tablet as a “Media Device” which will allow Android File Transfer access to any and all files. There’s also a camera option that will open the default image viewer on your Mac you can use just to view photos and video. The former is the more powerful tool, but if all you’re after is photos, try selecting Camera (PTP) as the USB computer connection type.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with Android File Transfer you can use this tool to transfer all your pictures, video, downloads, documents, and more from an old iPhone to your Android device, or even use Google Music Manager to transfer iTunes music to your Google Play Music account. It’s all rather easy, and using an Android device with a Mac isn’t nearly as difficult as many make it sound.

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