2 easy ways to connect an Android phone to a Mac computer

All you need is the USB cable from your phone charger or access to Wi-Fi, and a little bit of know-how.


All that creative energy can come to a screeching halt when it’s time to transfer videos and pictures from your Android phone to your Mac computer or laptop. It’s like locking your keys in the car—you can see them, but you can’t touch them.

The web offers a ton of how-to articles with sometimes confusing instructions and suspicious software download links. Here are two easy and safe ways to connect your Android phone to your Mac computer.

1. AirDroid app

Look, Ma—no wires! The AirDroid Android app connects your phone to your Mac wirelessly. Once you set it up, it basically works like a website: navigate to your phone, download files, and send and receive texts—all from a web browser on your Mac. And it doesn’t require downloading software to your computer.

For the basic free service, AirDroid connects your phone to your laptop using Wi-Fi. Once you install the app, go to AirDroid.com, sign in and access all of the data on your phone—from videos to your contact list. The site is a perfect hybrid between the way you use your Mac computer and navigate your smartphone. With an upgrade to a premium account, you can even make phone calls directly from your laptop.

Lost your phone? No worries. Open your laptop, hop on the AirDroid site and ring the alarm to find your phone.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Install the app on your smartphone.
  • Go to your laptop and visit AirDroid.com.
  • Create an account.
  • Sign in using your email and password; using your Facebook, Google or Twitter account; or by scanning the QR code.

After you’ve set yourself up, you’ll be able to easily move computer files to your smartphone and vice versa.

For more information, visit the AirDroid Android app and AirDroid.com.

2. Android File Transfer

If you’d rather not use Wi-Fi to transfer files, then consider Android File Transfer, a simple wire-based file-transfer program. Install the application to your Mac desktop or laptop (running Mac OS X 10.5 or later), and connect it to your phone using the charger’s USB cable. When it’s ready, your phone will appear as a drive on your computer.

Follow these steps to start transferring files:

  • Download Android File Transfer to your computer.
  • Remove the USB wall charger adapter from your phone charger, so that you have just the USB cable.
  • Connect the phone to your computer’s USB port with the charging cable.
  • Open Mac Finder.
  • Look for the Android File Transfer on the list of drives.
  • Double click the Android drive icon.

A file will open with a complete list of applications. To open or view the files, simply drag them to your desktop, and then move them around as needed. Import videos to iMovie or pictures to iPhoto.

You can also use your phone as an external hard drive if you want to transfer files between, say, your work computer and your home computer. Of course, the receiving computer would also need to have an app like AirDroid or Android File Transfer installed.

Now you know how to connect an Android phone to a Mac. Easy peasy.


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