As the name suggests, Android File Transfer is a popular app that allows Mac users to move files between their computer and Android smartphone. For the most part it's a robust and reliable piece of software, but if you should find that it stops working, what can be done to rectify the situation? In this article we show you a few fixes to try that will hopefully get your devices talking once more.
Check your cables and connectors
Before delving into any complicated software solutions, it's always best to see whether the simplest parts of your setup are working correctly. All USB cables are not equal and you may find that one that will happily charge your phone might struggle to connect with other devices.
Try plugging the USB cable into another PC to see whether it registers or not. If the latter is true then it might be worth using a different cable to see if that solves the problem. Should your phone register on the other PC, then it might be worth trying a different port on your Mac to see if that helps at all.
Update your software
Another common problem is certain versions of software not working nicely together. We've seen reports in the past of macOS Catalina 10.15 not liking Android File Transfer while users updating to 10.15.1 found the issues went away.
Try updating both Android and macOS to the latest version, and/or search online for any known issues specific to the versions you're currently running.
On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update and check if a new version is available. For Android, go to Settings > Software Update (or on some phones it will be Settings > System > Advanced > System Update) and see if you're up to date.
The Android File Transfer site states that the app supports macOS 10.7 and higher, so you'll need to be at least on that version if you want to use the software.
Make sure your phone is in the right mode
When you connect your smartphone to your Mac, it doesn't automatically go into file sharing mode. The default is to simply charge from the laptop's battery or the desktop mains supply.
On most phones you'll need to swipe down to open the Notification section then look for a section something along the lines of USB for file transfer and tap on it to open up the options.
Next you should see, depending on your device, either an option for Transferring Files or using MTP mode. Select this and check whether Android File Transfer can now access your phone.
Reinstall Android File Transfer
If all of this proves unsuccessful it's worth removing Android File Transfer from your system and reinstalling it to see if there was an issue with the first version. To do this, open Finder and select the Applications section. In here, find Android File Transfer and right-click (or two-finger click) to open up the contextual menu.
Select Move to Bin then right-click on the Trash Bin and select Empty Bin. Now you can download Android File Transfer and try again.
For more ways to get the most out of your smartphone, read Android 10 tips & tricks.