How to Troubleshoot: Android File Transfer Not Working on macOS

Google has developed a free Android File Transfer app to help you transfer files from your Android phone to another device, including a Mac.

Sometimes this process can be a little tricky. Here’s how to fix it if Android File Transfer for Mac doesn’t work properly.

Why doesn’t Android File Transfer work?

Unsupported devices: Mac OS 10.7 and above supports “Android File Transfer” and Android devices 3.0 and above support “Android File Transfer”, if you use a smaller device, you will encounter this problem.

File Transfer is disabled: If the file transfer feature is not enabled on your Android device, it may cause this error.

Faulty/unsupported USB cable: If the USB cable you are using is faulty or does not support the file transfer feature, this may cause this problem.

Conflicting apps: Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch are known to conflict with Android File Transfer, and if you have Samsung Kies or Samsung Smart Switch installed, this error may occur.

Damaged USB Ports: If the USB port on your Mac or Android device is damaged, this problem will occur.

How to resolve the “Android File Transfer Not Working” problem?

Enable USB Debugging

Enabling USB debugging on your Android phone is important for the connection between your Android device and your computer. More specifically, your computer won’t be able to detect your Android device if this feature is not enabled.

So, if Android file transfer doesn’t work on your Mac, you can check if USB debugging is enabled.

  1. Open and unlock your phone.
  2. Go to Settings -> About phone.
  3. Press build number 7 times to activate developer mode.
  4. Press the back button and you will see the developer options.
  5. Check the USB debugging option to turn it on.

Update your Android operating system to the latest version

If you are still using an older Android operating system, the problem of Android file transfers not working may also occur because the older version is not compatible with the appropriate drivers on your computer.

  1. On your phone, tap Settings.
  2. Tap System -> Advanced -> System update.
  3. Follow the steps on the screen of your Android device to update the operating system.

Turn on file transfer on your Android phone

If file transfer is not enabled on your Android phone, it won’t recognize your USB device. You can ignore this problem because you need to enable this feature on your Android device. But you always pay attention to your computer, not the connection.

So, take your Android phone, unlock it, and you will see a window about the USB connection. Tap on USB for charging for more options and turn on the File Transfer option.

After that, file transfer in Android should work fine. However, if the problem persists, you can update the Android operating system to fix the file transfer problem without Android reacting on your Mac.

Check the USB port and cable

The USB port and USB cable are essential components for Android data transfer. If they are faulty, the USB device will not recognize the file transfer between Android and Android, which will happen naturally.

There is usually more than one USB port on your computer. If you have a problem that Android file transfer does not work on Mac/Windows, you can try a different USB port to see if it works properly.

However, we recommend using the original USB cable to establish a connection between your Android device and your computer. But if the USB cable is faulty, you can try using a different USB cable.

Frequently Asked Questions

If Android File Transfer does not work due to a faulty USB cable, the problem may persist even after replacing the cable with a new one. This is because the file transfer settings may prevent the connection between your Mac and Android device. You can solve this problem by enabling file transfer.

  1. Download the app.
  2. Open the AndroidFileTransfer.dmg file.
  3. Drag and drop Android File Transfer into your apps.
  4. Use the USB cable that came with your Android device and connect it to your Mac.
  5. Double-click Android File Transfer.
  6. Browse through the files and folders on your Android device and copy them.

Go to Settings -> Developer Options. Turn on USB debugging. Lock the device (turn off the screen). Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable.

  1. Unlock your phone.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable.
  3. On your phone, tap the "Charge this device via USB" notification.
  4. Under "Use USB for", select File Transfer.
  5. A file transfer window opens on your computer.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.