Options to transfer photos from an Android device to the Mac

Transfer files android mac

¿How to transfer photos from Samsung mobile to computer? Although a very high percentage of Mac users own an iPhone, this rule is not 100% true. On several occasions, especially with the time it took the Cupertino-based company to launch devices with larger screens, which happened with the arrival of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in 2014, many were the users who before the launch of the models with 4,7 and 5,5-inch screens had already grown tired of the 4-inch screens, which had also been slow to reach the market.

Apple has never been known for innovating in terms of the size of the screens, but it seemed that the idea that the size of 5 inches was the ideal according to the company claimed in the ads, since with our thumb and with one hand we could access all the options displayed on the screen. In particular, I almost included myself in that group of people when the company released the iPhone 5s with the same ridiculous screen size compared to what the competition was presenting.

Currently both natively and from third-party applications we have a variety of options that allow us to extract all the photographs and connect Android to Mac. The software that manufacturers offer us to copy content to the Android smartphone, as long as they have an application for Mac, only allow us to copy files to the device, not extract it, so it will never be a real solution to our needs to extract the photographs and videos that we have on our smartphone.

Connect Android to Mac to transfer photos

For, transfer files from Android to Mac, first of all we must connect our Android device through the USB connection of the device. Next, depending on the version of Android that we have installed on our Smartphone, we will be shown several options, so that we can select the type of connection we want to establish with the Mac.

In which case that brings us we have two options to select: Transfer files (MTP) and Mass storage mode (MSC). Both options allow us to transfer content from both the phone and the SD card to our Mac. Once we have connected the device to our Mac and we have selected one of the two options, in some terminals only one option appears, we will proceed from one of the following options .

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Transfer photos from Android to Mac with Image Capture

how to transfer photos from samsung mobile to computer

The Image Capture application that is installed natively in OS X, allows us to obtain the images that we have stored in any device that we connect to our Mac, including scanners. To do this we go to Launchpad> Others and click on Image Capture.

The application window will then be displayed, where the name of the connected device will be displayed on the right side and the left side all images will appear that are currently on the device.

Now we just have to select all the images and videos that we want to extract from our Android Smartphone and move them to the folder where we want to store them just dragging them. Or we can import them directly to the Images album on our Mac with the option shown at the bottom of the application.

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Send photos from Android to Mac With the Photos app

connect android to mac to pass photos

The Photos application is another option that we can use to extract the content from our Android Smartphone. If we have not disabled the Photos application so that it opens automatically every time we connect a device that contains photographic material or videos, when we connect our smartphone Android will automatically open the Photos app and it will show us the content of the device from which we want to extract the content in the form of videos or photographs.

If it does not open, we just have to click on the Photos application so that all the content stored on the SD card of our terminal is displayed. From the application itself we can select the stored content and import it into the folder we decide, by default the so-called Import. Once the import has finished, from Photos we can proceed delete all the files that we have imported to our Mac. We can also drag the content of our smartphone to a folder on our Mac.

Through Preview

The Preview application available within the Launchpad also allows us to obtain the images stored on our device. To do this we just have to open the application and go to File> Import from "SD card name". Then all images stored on the device will be displayed and we will proceed in the same way as with the other options, selecting the images and videos that we want to extract and dragging them to the directory where we want to store them.

Android File Transfer


Google makes the Android File Transfer application available to Mac users, an application that allows us to connect our Android device, whether it is a tablet or smartphone to a PC or Mac and thus be able to extract the content stored on it. Before installing and running it, we must go to System Preferences> Security and privacy and within the option Allow apps downloaded from: Any site, since otherwise we will not be able to run the Android File Transfer application.

In order to extract the content from our Android Smartphone, we just have to select the elements that we want to extract and drag them to the Finder folder where we want to store them. This app is the only way we have to access the content of our device if that is where we have stored the photos and videos that we want to transfer and not on the memory card.

Wireless with AirMore


AirMore is an application for the Android ecosystem that allows us to manage not only the photos and videos of our Android device, but also allows us manage any type of file stored on our smartphone or tablet Android and allows us to transfer large amounts of information at high speed without using cables.

We just have to download the application in our terminal and open the AirMore website. Once opened we have to scan the code that appears in the browser to link the Mac with the smartphone. It is essential and on the other hand logical, that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Once linked, the browser will show us all the information we have stored in our Android terminal sorted by categories, be they photos, videos, music, movies, contacts, messages ... Once we have selected the images that we want to extract, we just have to click on download so that they begin to download on our Mac.

doubleTwist Sync


doubleTwist Sync is an application whose operation is very similar to iMazing better known by the name DiskAid, which allows access to all the content of our device as if it were an iPhone. This application allows us to extract all the content of our device quickly and easily, like the other options, dragging all the images and videos that we want to download on our Mac.

Directly from the SD card

This process is the fastest and easiest of all, since we only have to extract the micro SD and insert it into an adapter for larger SD cards and insert it into our Mac. Then an icon with the name of the data card that we have entered will appear on the desktop of our Mac. By clicking on it, different folders will be displayed, where all the data of our device is stored. Most likely, the photos and videos are stored in the DCIM folder, where all the photos that we receive via WhatsApp, Telegram, email are also usually stored ...

Alternatives to transfer photos from mobile to computer

When it comes to just a few images ...

When we only want to extract two, three or four photos from our smartphone, it is likely that doing all this is a hassle, and we need a quick solution to be able to share or store those photos. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is send them the images by mail and download them to your Mac.

Use Google Photos

Google Photos

The best option to quickly consult and have access to all the photographs that we take with our Android terminal is to use the Google Photos application in our terminal. This application upload all the photos and videos that we take from our terminal to the Google cloud, Google Drive, so that we can quickly access it from our Mac through our favorite browser.

Google allows us to store in its cloud all the images that are made from our smartphone unlimited as long as they do not exceed 16 mpx of resolution. In addition we can also store all the videos that we record. In this case there is a limitation, since all the content recorded in 4k quality will be automatically transformed to Full HD resolution if we want to continue storing it for free in our Drive account.

Dropbox, OneDrive, Mega ...

If you do not want to use Google, because they are against continuous interference in our privacy every time we send or receive an email, you can make use of other cloud storage services such as dropbox, OneDrive, Mega, Box They also allow us to automatically upload all the photographs that we take from our terminal to be able to access through the browser. Unfortunately, the only service that offers us unlimited storage for all our photos and videos in Full HD resolution is Google.

Do you use a different method to transfer files from Android to Mac? Tell us how you do it and the procedure you follow to transfer photos from mobile to computer.

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  1.   Toni said

    The device does not appear to me, therefore, I do not know how to do it ... thanks in any case.

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      Hi Toni, what device is it? Did you try the Android File Transfer app? What OSX do you have?


  2.   Pep said

    Android 2.3.6

  3.   Francisco said

    trash. do not waste your time, I have a Galaxy S5 and a last generation Macbook Air and none of the options in this forum do not work. don't waste your time here.

    1.    Karin said

      I have bought a Galaxy S5 and I would like to know how you solved it. Thank you.

  4.   gustavo said

    Good night Jordi, how can I download the photos from my motorola iron rok to a mac pro and then download them on a pendrive from now on thank you very much

    1.    Jordi Giménez said

      The best option today seems to me to be PhotoSync, we will make a post with it 😉


  5.   paola said

    Hello! I use "Android file transfer" but I can't see thumbnail images to know which ones I want to pass. What I do?

  6.   yanett said

    Hi there!!! How can I transfer photos from Android to MacBook via Bluetooth?

  7.   deiby said

    I pass the photos in the middle and the worst thing is that I gave it to delete when passing them.fffff I lost almost everything with the capture image. This of the mac is boring me its lack of compatibility with others.una m ……

  8.   Pirate said

    Same problem. The device does not appear, it just charges the battery. The android file transfer is useless. When it recognizes the device (normally old android) The option to convert it to a hard disk and mount it on the desktop without problems appears in the android, in an option called activate mass storage. Therefore you don't need any extra applications to work with folders normally. At the moment it happens to me in Galaxy tab 2, a new phone from Woxter ... and surely anything moderately modern. I have a crappy tablet from fnac that works from Pm.

  9.   amolestalo referee said

    Excellent!! Thank you very much, luxury pull, the only detail that remains to be clarified is that it must be put in the phone «PC connection via USB, in Camera mode (PTP), at least in a ZTE Blade V580. and with that without any problem the transfer began.

  10.   juancography said

    Under my humble contribution to say that I have not tried all those alternatives that you expose in the post, very good on the other hand, but I will expose my current form since I am in the same situation (mac-android).

    I use everything through the Chrome browser itself, I added the extension / application "airdroid" and if you do it in your chrome session much better but or it is imperative, to say that it also has its app for the mac, but I use it as Chrome application, you must also have the airdroid installed in the android, then you open the application in the chrome, open in the android, and putting the url or better as I do using the qr code scan that the mobile app has (airdroid ) I scan the code that appears on the chrome screen on the mac and «vuala» all the mobile folders photos images, documents, crontrol of the mobile itself and almost everything you can do with the mobile without the need for cables as long as the mobile is and the mac on the same network, since I don't connect them by cable. (which can also be done)

    From my point of view it is quite complete and also very effective, I previously used other systems and for at least 1 year this is my way and I do not change it because if you use it in chrome as an extension, it is simply to open your session in any pc or mac of the world and you have that tool ready to use,) that's why I said before about whether you use it with your session much better, but it is not mandatory.

    To taste the colors and surely another user will open a better one, but this is the one that I recommend you at least try.

    Greetings and what was said very good post

  11.   Aldo said

    Thank you very much for your explanations, but I have the same problem as almost everyone. An android Galaxy (new) and a Macbook air (too) and nothing ……… .Apple does not understand more than with Apple.
    For the rest, you always have to resort to some strange trick or someone who has it very clear.-

    1.    Ignatius Hall said

      To do the article I tried all the options with an Xperia Z3 and a normalized Smartphone with Android 4.4. Android File Transfer doesn't work for you either? That works on all terminals without problems.

  12.   Adrian Gonzalez said

    Try Sunshine, the truth is that it works very well between Samsung S5 and Mac. It does not use cloud service so you can transfer the files faster and they are saved on the device. But then, just like in the cloud, you can access the files from the mobile without downloading. The truth is that Sunshine is very good

  13.   Gaby muñoz said

    Hello ! I have tried to transfer the photos from my smartphone, a Samsung J7, to my desktop mac, I even downloaded the "Android File Transfer" application and my images or preview do not come out, not in photos, or anywhere ... Can you support? Thank you!

  14.   Caro said

    Hi, how did my photos pass to my Mac when I saw them, they look tiny, any solution, thanks

  15.   Laura said

    It has been a great help, thank you.

  16.   Hugo Pineda said

    I used AirMore and it solved what I hadn't been able to do with anything or anyone for a long time. Thank you very much for the recommendation!.

  17.   George said

    completely useless, the problem is that the android device does not appear when I connect it to the mac.

  18.   laucli said

    This is fine, but before I have had to watch several YouTube tutorials until I find the key for my Huaweii to be seen on the Mac. Now finally, this works for me. By the way, I'm still very new to mac and I'm not clear. Where are imported photos supposed to be stored?

    1.    Ignatius Hall said

      It all depends on which method you use. If you extract them directly from your smartphone you can copy and paste them wherever you want, the desktop without going any further and then move them wherever you want.
      If you use the Photos application, the imported photos will end up in that application, although of course, you can later move them wherever you want.

  19.   ladies said

    Hello, I am quite nil in this and I would like help, I have a sansung galaxi tab 2 and I need to take the photos and transfer them to the external card but I have not been able, if someone can help me I will appreciate it very much

  20.   Lucia said

    I have tested the AirMore with Xiaomi and Mac and it is perfect!
    Thank you very much for the post 🙂

  21.   Nohelia said

    It's a shame to believe that they helped me but I don't think they understood me, I have a Huawei brand cell phone,

  22.   NAVARRO said

    Excellent, I tried a thousand ways and downloaded applications and nothing, I did it with image capture and everything was perfect. Thank you very much.

  23.   shareitjava said

    I use a more practical app called shareit, I use it to transfer files from any platform to my phone very easily, it does not even require a cable if not a kind of pairing between devices, similar to bluetooh but with higher speed, if you want download shareit They can do it from the play store since it is free and without annoying advertising