Android File Transfer not Working on MacOS (Fix)

Android File Transfer stops working because of faulty USB cable/ports, invalid settings, outdated OS, conflicting applications and corrupted installation of Android File Transfer.

Android File Transfer Not Working

Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is used by the Android to transfer files. But Mac does not support MTP by default, and Mac users install “Android File Transfer”, an app especially designed for Mac to copy files between Android & Mac.

When Android File Transfer is not working, it shows errors like:

  • “Could not connect to the device. Try connecting or restarting your device”.
  • “No Android device found.
  • “Can’t access device storage”.
  • “Could not copy the file”;
  • “Try reconnecting or restarting your device”.

What Causes Android File Transfer not to Work?

After careful review, our team was able to identify the following leading causes of this problem:

  • Disabled File Transfer Feature: If The file transfer feature on your Android device is not enabled, it can cause this error.
  • Defective/Non-supporting USB cable: If the USB cable you are using is defective or does not support the file transfer feature, then it can cause this issue.
  • Non-Supported Devices: Mac OS 10.7 or above support “Android File Transfer”, and Android device 3.0 or above support Android File Transfer”, if you are using any device below that then you will encounter this problem.
  • Damaged USB ports: If the Mac’s USB port or of Android Device got damaged, then you will face this issue.
  • Conflicting Applications: Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch are known to have conflicting issues with Android File Transfer, and if you have installed Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch then you are bound to suffer this error.

But before moving on with the troubleshooting make sure that

  • You are connecting the USB cable directly with the Mac, not through a USB hub.
  • Reboot your Mac.
  • Reboot your Android Device.

How to Resolve the Android File Transfer Issues on a Mac?

1. Check the USB Cable and Mac’s Port

Not all USB cables are manufactures equal, some cables support file transfer and some do not. Make sure that you are using a cable that supports the file transfer operation.

It is better to use the original USB cable provided with your Android device. And if that is not available then use a genuine and compatible one.

Moreover, if the USB cable is faulty then you would not able to transfer the file successfully. To check if the USB cable is not faulty and supports the file transfer, test the same with a different pair of devices. If it does not work fine there, replace the USB cable.

Remember that thunderbolt cable will not work with file transfer. You should use the mac USB C cable.

Also, make sure that the USB port of the Mac is not faulty. To check the port, use another USB device on the same port. You can also use the different port of the Mac for file transfer.

USB ports

After changing the USB and port, and recheck if the Android File Transfer is working fine.

2. Update Android OS on device

Android version 3.0 or above and Mac OS 10.7 or above is required for the proper operation of Android File Transfer. If you are using any OS which is lower than the required one then it can result in the Android File Transfer not working. To transfer files between your Android device & Mac, it is essential to update the Android OS. Also, it is a good idea to update the OS as it can solve several problems including file transfer.


Update the Android OS at your own risk as this step, if gone wrong, can cause irreparable loss to your device.

  1. On the Android OS, browse to ‘Settings’.
  2. Then scroll the Settings menu down and tap on ‘About Phone’.
  3. Now in the list of options tap on System Update/Software Update.
    Update Android
  4. Follow the instructions mentioned on the screen to update the OS.
    Android Update is Running

After updating the device, launch Android File Transfer if it has started to work properly.

3. Uninstall Samsung Kies/Smart Switch

Android File Transfer has known combability issues with Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch application installed on your device or Mac computer. If you have any of these apps on your devices then uninstalling them may solve the problem.

  1. Visit the Official site to download the installer.
  2. After the download is completed, launch the downloaded file and in the file package, click on the “uninstall” option.
    Uninstall KIES
  3. Follow the instructions showed on screen to uninstall the application.
  4. Restart the system.

Launch the Android File Transfer to see if the problem is solved.

4. Enable USB debugging on your Android device

USB debugging is essential for data transfer between the Android device and Mac. If you are using Android File Transfer without enabling this feature, then the file transfer will not work. Enabling USB debugging can solve the problem.

  1. Detach the USB cable from the device
  2. Open Settings and go to About Phone (usually at the bottom)
    About Phone
  3. Then press on Build Number repeatedly 7 times.
    Press Build Number 7 Times
  4. A pop up saying that you are developer now will show.
    You are now Developer
  5. Exit Setting and Open Settings again and go to Developer Options.
  6. Enable USB debugging.
    Developer Options
  7. A pop up will appear asking to Allow USB Debugging, click on OK to allow it.
    Allow USB Debugging
  8. Lock the Android device (turn screen off).
  9. Connect the Android device to the Mac computer using a USB cable
  10. Unlock the Android device
  11. Swipe down from the top of the screen to see notifications and tap on “USB charging this device
    USB charging this device
  12. From the pop-up, select File transfers or MTP.

    File Transfers
  13. Lock the device and unlock it again and you will see USB debugging connected in the notification area of your device.
    USB connected

Now launch Android File Transfer to see if it is functioning properly.

5. Reinstall Android File Transfer

Corrupted/outdated installation of the Android File Transfer can cause the application to stop working. To overcome this corruption/outdating, the user should uninstall and reinstall the Android File Transfer.

  1. Uninstall Android File Transfer. Please visit our article on How to Uninstall an App on Mac.
  2. Please download the Android File Transfer from its official website.
    Download Android File Transfer
  3. Launch the downloaded file and follow the instruction displayed on the screen. After installation is complete, restart the system.

After the system is restarted, launch the Android File Transfer to check if the problem is solved.

6. Use Alternate Software

If Android File Transfer is still not working then you can try other applications to get the same functionality. These applications could be

  1. Cloud Applications. Using cloud service can solve our problem of transferring files between Android and Mac. 
  2. Android File Explorer Applications: Android File Explorer apps running FTP can solve the problem of transferring data between your Mac and Android device.
  3. Screen Mirroring Applications: Screen Mirror applications can help you in transferring files between your Android devices and Mac. Please read our article on Methods to Wirelessly Transfer Files from Android to PC.
  4. Bluetooth: Remember that you can use Bluetooth to transfer files between Mac and Android.
  5. Handshaker: You can use the Handshaker application to transfer the files between your Android device and Mac. For details please visit the official Apple page.

The Last Words:

Hopefully, you have rectified the Android File Transfer Not working issue successfully. Do not forget to check back later on our site for new tips and tricks.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.