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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.

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 make sure 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 you set 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

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21 Responses to Transfer Files From Android To Mac With Bluetooth File Exchange

  1. Cay November 19, 2015 at 12:05 am #

    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 June 23, 2016 at 9:45 am #

      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 June 23, 2016 at 9:47 am #

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

      • Blah May 18, 2017 at 7:41 am #

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

      • Claudio July 29, 2017 at 7:43 am #

        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 November 19, 2015 at 12:08 am #

    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.

  3. Tarun January 22, 2016 at 2:59 am #

    Thanks a lot 🙂

  4. Nocare February 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    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 February 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

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

  6. yevgeniy zhikharev April 20, 2016 at 3:27 am #

    Thank you! worked like a charm!!!

  7. diwa July 11, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

    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 August 12, 2016 at 1:48 am #

    Hey There,

    Thanks a lot, man!

    This helped!

  9. Tom September 23, 2016 at 5:11 am #

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

  10. Suraj October 8, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    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 October 28, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    thankyou

  12. AJAX December 6, 2016 at 7:58 am #

    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 April 1, 2017 at 7:16 am #

    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 May 21, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Thank you!

  15. brunski June 15, 2017 at 7:31 am #

    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 June 15, 2017 at 7:34 am #

      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.

  16. Allen June 28, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    Thank you. Great article. Files transferring over now.

    Honor 5X -> MBP17

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