How to Transfer Android Files to Mac with OpenMTP

Transfer Android Files Mac Openmtp

If you own an Android device and a Mac, then you know the pain of trying to transfer files between the two! Although Google has released an official Android File Transfer application for macOS, this application has its limits, including the inability to transfer any files larger than 4GB!

While there are workarounds and alternatives available, wouldn’t it be nice if moving files between your smartphone and your laptop didn’t feel like an uphill battle? You’ll learn in this article how to set up and use OpenMTP, a free macOS application that aims to take the pain out of transferring files between Apple and Google products. 

Transferring files with OpenMTP

OpenMTP is a free macOS application that makes it possible to transfer multiple files between Android devices and Macs, even if those files are larger than 4GB.

To try this app for yourself, head to the OpenMTP website and download the latest version. 

Once the app has installed, launch it, and after a short introduction, you should see the main OpenMTP screen with your macOS file system on one side and a set of instructions on the other. 

You can transfer files between Android and Mac, using the free OpenMTP application.

Connecting your Android device to OpenMTP

Your first task is connecting your Android smartphone or tablet to OpenMTP:

  • Make sure you’ve completely closed any other Android File Transfer apps that are installed on your Mac. 
  • Unlock your Android device and make sure the screen remains powered on. 
  • Connect your Android smartphone or tablet to your Mac using a USB cable.
  • Drag to open your Android device’s notification drawer and tap the “Charging this device via USB” notification.
  • In the subsequent pop-up, select “File Transfer.” 
  • Switch back to the OpenMTP application on your Mac and click the “Refresh” button.
Find the "Refresh" button in OpenMTP's toolbar, and give it a click.

You should now be connected to your smartphone or tablet and can transfer files between your Mac and your Android device using simple drag and drop.

Troubleshooting: struggling to make the connection?

If you own an Android device and a Mac, then you’ll know the pain of trying to transfer files between the two! Although Google has released an official Android File Transfer application for macOS, this application has its limits, including the inability to transfer any files larger than 4GB!

While there are workarounds and alternatives available, wouldn’t it be nice if moving files between your smartphone and your laptop didn’t feel like an uphill battle? Here I’ll show you how to setup and use OpenMTP, a free macOS application that aims to take the pain out of transferring files between Apple and Google products. 

Transferring files with OpenMTP

OpenMTP is a free macOS application that makes it possible to transfer multiple files between Android devices and Macs, even if those files are larger than 4GB.

To try this app for yourself, head over to the OpenMTP website and download the latest version. 

Once the app has installed, launch it, and after a short introduction you should see the main OpenMTP screen, with your macOS file system on one side and a set of instructions on the other. 

You can transfer files between Android and Mac, using the free OpenMTP application.

Connecting your Android device to OpenMTP

Your first task is connecting your Android smartphone or tablet, to OpenMTP:

  • Make sure you’ve completely closed any other Android File Transfer apps that are installed on your Mac. 
  • Unlock your Android device and make sure the screen remains powered on. 
  • Connect your Android smartphone or tablet to your Mac using a USB cable.
  • Drag to open your Android device’s notification drawer, and tap the “Charging this device via USB” notification.
  • In the subsequent popup, select “File Transfer.” 
  • Switch back to the OpenMTP application on your Mac, and click the “Refresh” button.
Find the "Refresh" button in OpenMTP's toolbar, and give it a click.

You should now be connected to your smartphone or tablet, and can transfer files between your Mac and your Android device using simple drag and drop.

Troubleshooting: Struggling to make the connection?

Fragmentation has long been a major headache for Android developers and end-users alike. With so many different makes and models of Android device on the market, plus different versions of the Android operating system, it’s increasingly difficult to create an application that plays nicely with every single Android device.

If OpenMTP is refusing to connect to your Android smartphone or tablet, then there are some tricks that can help kickstart the connection. 

Is your Android device blocking OpenMTP?

If OpenMTP is displaying a “Your phone may be locked” message, then:

  • Drag to open your Android notification drawer, and look for an “Allow access to phone data” message. If you see this message, then tap “Allow.”
When the "Allow access..." popup appears, tap "Allow."
  • Switch back to OpenMTP on your Mac, and click the “Refresh” button.

OpenMTP should now successfully connect to your Android device. 

Is your device using the Media Transfer Protocol? 

If you don’t see a “Charging this device via USB” notification on your smartphone or tablet, then:

  • On your Android device, navigate to “Settings -> Developer Options.” 
The "Settings" menu contains a "Developer Options" sub-menu.
  • Tap “USB Configuration.”
  • Select “MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).”
  • Switch back to OpenMTP, and click the “Refresh” button.

If Android’s “Settings” application doesn’t contain a “Developer Options” then you’ll need to enable it:

  • On your Android device, navigate to “Settings -> About phone / About tablet.”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen, until you see your device’s “Build Number.”
  • Tap the “Build Number” repeatedly, until you see a message informing you that you’re now a developer.
  • Head back to the main “Settings” screen, and you should see that “Developer Options” is now available. 

Using a Samsung device?

According to OpenMTP’s developer, some users have reported encountering issues when trying to connect OpenMTP to certain brands of Android device, with Samsung devices being among the worst offenders.

If your Android smartphone or tablet is refusing to play nicely with OpenMTP, then you may want to try AirDroid, an alternative file transfer app that can communicate with Android and macOS wirelessly.  

You will need to download a separate app for your Android device and your Mac, and register for an AirDroid account, but if your device is proving to be incompatible with OpenMTP then AirDroid can provide a solid alternative. 

On your Mac: 

  • Download the AirDroid app.
  • Launch AirDroid and click “Sign up.” Follow the onscreen instructions to create your AirDroid account. 
  • Sign into your new account.

On your Android smartphone or tablet:

  • Download AirDroid for Android from the Google Play store.
  • Launch the AirDroid app on your Android device.
  • Log into your account.

Sending macOS files to Android

At this point, you should have AirDroid installed on both your Mac and your Android, and be logged into the same account on both. You can now transfer files between your devices:

  • On your Mac, select AirDroid’s “Nearby” button.
In AirDroid's left-hand menu, select "Nearby."
  • After a few moments, your Android device should appear in the left-hand menu; select it.
  • Make sure the “Device” tab is selected. 
  • You can now send files to your Android device by dropping them into the “Device” tab and then clicking “Send.”
Send a file to your Android device, using drag and drop.

Sending Android files to macOS

To transmit Android files to your Mac:

  • On your Android smartphone or tablet, select the “Nearby” tab.
  • Tap the screen to search for nearby devices.
Search for nearby devices on the same network.
  • Once the search is complete, tap the “My devices” tab.
Search for nearby macOS devices, using AirDroid.
  • Find your Mac in the list and give it a tap.
  • Tap the little paperclip icon and select the file that you want to send to your Mac.
  • Tap “Send.”

AirDroid will now beam this file to your Mac.

While AirDroid does require more setup than OpenMTP, once the connection is made you should find transmitting files between your devices is faster and more reliable than the Android File Transfer application, making it a viable alternative if your device is incompatible with OpenMTP.  

Now that you can transfer files from Android to your Mac, it is time to free up storage on your Android device.

Fragmentation has long been a major headache for Android developers and end-users alike. With so many different makes and models of Android devices on the market, plus different versions of the Android operating system, it’s increasingly difficult to create an application that plays nicely with every single Android device.

If OpenMTP is refusing to connect to your Android smartphone or tablet, then there are some tricks that can help kickstart the connection. 

Is your Android device blocking OpenMTP?

If OpenMTP is displaying a “Your phone may be locked” message, then:

  • Drag to open your Android notification drawer and look for an “Allow access to phone data” message. If you see this message, then tap “Allow.”
When the "Allow access..." popup appears, tap "Allow."
  • Switch back to OpenMTP on your Mac and click the “Refresh” button.

OpenMTP should now successfully connect to your Android device. 

Is your device using the Media Transfer Protocol? 

If you don’t see a “Charging this device via USB” notification on your smartphone or tablet, then:

  • On your Android device, navigate to “Settings -> Developer Options.” 
The "Settings" menu contains a "Developer Options" sub-menu.
  • Tap “USB Configuration.”
  • Select “MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).”
  • Switch back to OpenMTP and click the “Refresh” button.

If Android’s “Settings” application doesn’t contain “Developer Options” then you’ll need to enable it:

  • On your Android device, navigate to “Settings -> About phone / About tablet.”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen, until you see your device’s “Build Number.”
  • Tap the “Build Number” repeatedly until you see a message informing you that you’re now a developer.
  • Head back to the main “Settings” screen, and you should see that “Developer Options” is now available. 

Using a Samsung device?

According to OpenMTP’s developer, some users have reported encountering issues when trying to connect OpenMTP to certain Android device brands, with Samsung devices being among the worst offenders.

If your Android smartphone or tablet is refusing to play nicely with OpenMTP, then you may want to try AirDroid, an alternative file transfer app that can communicate with Android and macOS wirelessly.  

You will need to download a separate app for your Android device and your Mac and register for an AirDroid account, but if your device is proving to be incompatible with OpenMTP, then AirDroid can provide a solid alternative. 

On your Mac: 

  • Download the AirDroid app.
  • Launch AirDroid and click “Sign up.” Follow the onscreen instructions to create your AirDroid account. 
  • Sign in to your new account.

On your Android smartphone or tablet:

  • Download AirDroid for Android from the Google Play store.
  • Launch the AirDroid app on your Android device.
  • Log in to your account.

Sending macOS files to Android

At this point, you should have AirDroid installed on both your Mac and your Android and be logged in to the same account on both. You can now transfer files between your devices:

  • On your Mac, select AirDroid’s “Nearby” button.
In AirDroid's left-hand menu, select "Nearby."
  • After a few moments, when your Android device appears in the menu on the left, select it.
  • Make sure the “Device” tab is selected. 
  • You can now send files to your Android device by dropping them into the “Device” tab and then clicking “Send.”
Send a file to your Android device, using drag and drop.

Sending Android files to macOS

To transmit Android files to your Mac:

  • On your Android smartphone or tablet, select the “Nearby” tab.
  • Tap the screen to search for nearby devices.
Search for nearby devices on the same network.
  • Once the search is complete, tap the “My devices” tab.
Search for nearby macOS devices, using AirDroid.
  • Find your Mac in the list and give it a tap.
  • Tap the little paperclip icon and select the file that you want to send to your Mac.
  • Tap “Send.”

AirDroid will now beam this file to your Mac.

While AirDroid does require more setup than OpenMTP, once the connection is made, you should find transmitting files between your devices faster and more reliable than the Android File Transfer application, making it a viable alternative if your device is incompatible with OpenMTP.  

Now that you can transfer files from Android to your Mac, it is time to free up storage on your Android device.

Related:

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.