Transfer Files From Android To Mac With Bluetooth File Exchange

There are lots of ways to move your files between a Mac and Android device. The easiest way is using Bluetooth File Exchange right from the menu bar on your Mac.

There are lots of ways to move your files between Mac and Android devices. The easiest way is using Bluetooth File Exchange right from the menu bar on your Mac.

Transfer Android Files to Mac via Bluetooth

First, you’ll turn on Bluetooth on both devices. On the Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth and ensure it shows “Bluetooth: On.” If not, click Turn Bluetooth On. You should see the phrase “Now discoverable as” and then the name of your computer in quotes.

Discoverable on Mac

Next, on your Android device, go to Settings > Bluetooth. You should see your Mac listed. In this example, it’s Basestar. Make sure the pairing codes match and click “Pair” on each device. Your Mac and your Android device now make a lovely couple.

Bluetooth Pairing on the Mac Side

Tap on Pair on your Android device too.

Pairing from the Android side

After you pair your phone or tablet to your Mac, click on the Bluetooth icon on your Mac’s menu bar. Your Android device will show up, from which you can click Send File to Device. On your Android device, accept the file.

Send the File to the Android Device

If you want to send files to your Mac, you’ll enable Bluetooth Sharing. Go to System Preferences > Sharing. In the sharing preference pane, check the box for On next to “Bluetooth Sharing.” From here, you can set where you want the downloads to go and what to do when you get a transfer request. In this example, it goes to the Downloads folder.

Bluetooth Sharing on the Mac

After setting up Bluetooth Sharing on your Mac, go to your Android device and click the share icon. The file will go to the folder you specified in Bluetooth Sharing on your Mac. Again in this example, it’s the Downloads folder.

Android share file

Now you can move files between your Mac and Android device without cables and third-party software.

Android Bluetooth device chooser



  1. Cay

    Mac book pro w/retina display will not accept incoming Bluetooth files, error msg says network is unavailable, make sure network access is enabled. I can transfer to my desktop mac computer and there is no network on it at this time either. It will not recieve Bluetooth files from my desktop mac either. Says the same error msg.

    • Kelvin

      I know it’s a year later, but I may have found the answer to your issue…

      If you are trying to transfer files from a Mac to an Android device over BlueTooth after doing everything here and can’t, because you keep getting the error “network is unavailable, make sure network access is enabled” then you have to follow these steps to fix it :

      1. Plug your android phone into your mac with a USB
      2. Go into notifications (Slide finger down from top revealing notifications)
      3. Look for a recent notification that says something like “USB for file transfer, touch for more options” and tap it
      4. Select the option : “File Transfers, transfer files to windows or mac (MTP)”

      …and that’s it, you should now be able to transfer files over USB, AND BlueTooth. I’m not sure why, but it blocks BlueTooth too. So go back up to the bluethooth menu, select your android device, and select “Send files…”

      It’s a newer security feature in the newer Material design versions of Android OS. You will have to do this EVERY time you update. It will reset the security feature.

      • Kelvin

        Quick note for #2, (incase it’s not obvious), you are going into Notifications on your ANDROID DEVICE, not the computer :)

      • Blah

        Doesn’t work. It was already to MPT (you can change this from developer options).

      • Claudio

        When you get this error about network (even on) just remove the device from the list and re-pair. It’s a bug for sure but this procedure worked for me.

  2. Cay

    I had Bluetooth file sharing checked and selected when receiving items , Adk what to do, but didn’t choose folder for accepted items, when I chose desktop it fixed the problem.

    • Peter

      Choosing the desktop for files solved my problem.

  3. Tarun

    Thanks a lot :)

  4. Nocare

    Had to google elsewhere to find the “share icon”.
    For me on my galaxy s4, going to gallery, holding down on desired file, then clicking the “V” with dots on ends is what worked.

    Not everyone knows what that is… so a screenshot or something would be nice here. I take it you had the share screen up in your screenshot, but I didn’t know how to reach that point lol.

    Anyway, you helped me out with everything else so thank you for this post.

  5. Harrylane

    Thanks so very much. Fav-ing you now because you’re onto the whole range of devices which helps heaps.

  6. yevgeniy zhikharev

    Thank you! worked like a charm!!!

  7. diwa

    i am a newbie mac user, i had problem for transferring data from android to mac, found your article, and it does really helpful, thank you :)

  8. Anirudh PV

    Hey There,

    Thanks a lot, man!

    This helped!

  9. Tom

    Thanks so much, couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong before I read this, sorted me out a treat!

  10. Suraj

    When i try to browse files on device, i get the error as “you cant view the contents of this folder due to general error, try again later”. Is there any workaround for this error??

  11. DMC


  12. AJAX

    Install Flick. application on your devices and sharing files will be fun. Its available for all platforms and sharing files between different platforms is also possible.

    It solved a lot of stress for me.

  13. danketorja777

    thanks you bruh, i try to send pictures from my android and always failed, until i read this article and everything fix..
    nice share bruh

  14. alisofnas

    Thank you!

  15. brunski

    B’tooth works faultlessly with everything every other device except for Mac. Big clue, don’t buy Macs, they’re too user unfriendly & try to insidiously trap people into their ecosystems.

    • brunski

      btw, I’ve never been able to transfer TO Macs & I’ve had various androids & these settings on. I used to be a Mac fan, but these days I hope they crash & burn. They Oooze pretentiousness & are way worse as a corporate than Microsoft used to be.

      • Fred

        couldn’t agree more. these instructions don’t work for me. I use an app that works well over WiFi (Web PC Suite) but often just try bluetooth ‘cos it would be simpler IF IT WORKED … MacCrap

        • Fred

          p.s. just unpaired (from phone) and re-paired (again from phone) and suddenly the Mac prompts me to accept the file (multiple times ‘cos I tried multiple times). Obvious NOT, but an answer of sorts at least.

      • Leo

        I own a Samsung Galaxy A20s and transfer small files to my mac every single day using bluetooth. It worked flawlessly as the tutorial said. I’m currently on Android 10 and MAC OS Catalina. I don’t know what the problem is on your end.

  16. Allen

    Thank you. Great article. Files transferring over now.

    Honor 5X -> MBP17

  17. Tony

    Thanks Very Much for posting this. Now I can finally get pix off my phone to my Mac

    Best Regards,

  18. declan

    And my thanks too

  19. S

    Thanks so much! A simple bit of information so hard to find! Everyone always suggest fancy apps when there is an easy way! :-)

  20. Erik

    This is the one that finally worked, awesome, thanks!

  21. Leo

    Thank you so much, that saved my life. Bigger video files take too long on bluetooth (up to 45 minutes), so I still use the free app Android File transfer with an USB cable (takes 1 minute for 1GB on USBC cable) but for everyday photo files etc Im basically sending pictures I take on my phone to touch them on Photshop everyday using your tutorial/article. You’re the boss!

  22. LJF

    Thanks! No one else showed how to do all this so simply! Bravo!

  23. Tim

    What if you don’t have a USB port on your Mac? Any suggestions? I can get my Galaxy s6 to pair with MacBook Pro, but then it immediately disconnects?

  24. Melimel76

    Thanks so much! This worked perfectly!

  25. Wefaa

    Dave is the best!!!!thank you

  26. F A

    Thank you so much, really appreciate. Worked immediately, after all these years !

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