I have a Nexus 5 and I have to use Android File Transfert to copy/check my files.

It's working but it's not enough for me.

For example, if I want to see my picture, there is only a list view, no thumbnail. Also, if I want to upload a picture on a website, my phone doesn't shows up in Finder so, first I have to copy my file to my SSD then I can see it.

Maybe it's possible to use Samba or anything else to make my Android device shows up directly in Finder ?

  • This probably isn't what you're looking for but facing the same issue I've settled with AirDroid.
    – Huey
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 11:23
  • @Huey Thanks for your comment, I discovered AirDroid during my researches and it's really awesome! The only issue here is the Premium feature, I want something free (for large file transfert mainly)
    – SJU
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 11:26
  • I've had some luck with Portal for large files. Though honestly there really should be some straightforward way to mount the device on OSX.
    – Huey
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 11:27
  • There is also the alternative mightytext.net but as you said, I'm looking for something more "native", directly on Finder, as in Windows.
    – SJU
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 11:34
  • Create a FTP/SSH server on Android and mount the server on OS X. See Map FTP server as a (local) drive in Finder, mount_ftp -- mount a FTP filesystem. In Linux, one can use curlftpfs, but it seems not to be available for OS X. But anyway, you got the idea.
    – Firelord
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 21:13

10 Answers 10


Transferring files between macOS and Android or any other MTP devices has always been a nightmare. I have tried a lot of apps and was disappointed with the poor support for Android phones on macOS. Either they were too slow, bug-ridden or too expensive. Finally, all these made me sit and write a macOS MTP app for myself.

Well, then I thought to give it to the community.

OpenMTP | Advanced Android File Transfer Application for macOS is safe, transparent, open-source and shall be free for a lifetime!

Download latest version of OpenMTP from https://ganeshrvel.github.io/openmtp

GitHub repo: https://github.com/ganeshrvel/openmtp


That is how Android File Transfer works for Mac, since Apple doesn't support MTP mode by default.

The only way for this is to mount your device in USB Mass Storage Mode (because by default, Mac supports FAT32 and vFAT file systems).

This mode was available in Android till Jelly Bean.
Since KitKat (4.4+), USB Mass Storage (UMS) mode is removed.

To enable UMS in Android 4.4+, there are a few apps that you can try, which needs root access, like:

a) USB Sharer (This is a paid app, but really works. There's a evaluation version of that app which is free for 7 days; you can try that before buying)

b) USB Mass Storage Enabler (This is an app that can mount the memory card in UMS mode, created by me)


It is possible to use the "Android Debug Bridge" command line tool. It is intended to test and install apps, however it enables developers to run commands like adb ls to list all files, and adb pull <remote> <local>. See more here https://developer.android.com/studio/command-line/adb.html


There is an application called SyncMate that claim:

SyncMate can easily sync personal data, media files, folders and lots more between your Mac and Android device. Mounting Android device as Mac disk or managing phone’s SMS on Mac - SyncMate has it all handled perfectly.

But you have to pay to obtain this application.

Another solution is to use jmtpfs:

jmtpfs is a FUSE and libmtp based filesystem for accessing MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) devices. It was specifically designed for exchaning files between Linux (and Mac OS X) systems and newer Android devices that support MTP but not USB Mass Storage.

The goal is to create a well behaved filesystem, allowing tools like find and rsync to work as expected. MTP file types are set automatically based on file type detection using libmagic. Setting the file appears to be necessary for some Android apps, like Gallery, to be able to find and use the files.

It's free but less user friendly.


Recently I've been using HandShaker. It's a little bit tricky to install because I had it from a Chinese forum but maybe this is not the only place where to find it.

What is good is that it is wireless (WiFi), and fast. A little bit like AirDroid but without limitation.

I just found a nice and easy to follow tutorial.

It is a little bit off topic because this doesn't resolve the initial issue of USB but it's worth a look.


Try using sshfs.

See the answer for this question: https://askubuntu.com/questions/893090/how-do-i-mount-my-androids-filesystem-over-the-network-with-sshfs


ADB (android debug bridge)

The fastest and officially supported method to transfer files to/from an android device is via adb (Android Debug Bridge) which will be installed automatically if you install Android Studio. Once you activate Developer Options on on your phone and enable Android Debugging in settings, and connected to your android device via adb, in Android Studio you can 'mount' the device via View > Tool Windows > Device File Explorer.

For details see https://developer.android.com/studio/debug/device-file-explorer

Mounting an android device in Finder via ssh

There are no ootb ways to do it, but as mentioned in other answers you can achieve it by starting an ssh server on android and then mounting the android file system on your computer with something like sshfs.

The steps below are approximate and might need tweaking and adjusting for your specific case.

  1. On your android install https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.termux and then start sshd as described at https://wiki.termux.com/wiki/Remote_Access#Using_the_SSH_server. You'll need to configure either password or rsa-key based authentication. As an alternative you might also want to check out other SSH servers for android.
  2. On your computer install sshfs — for debial-like linuces: apt install sshfs; for mac brew install sshfs.
  3. Note down the IP address of your android device, the termux user name (type whoami to see it), and the port of the ssh server (on most androids the IP can be seen by viewing the details of the wifi connection under Settings > Wifi). Also set a termux user password by typing passwd.
  4. Mount the android filesystem on your computer with a command similar to (replace with the correct ssh server user and IP):
    sshfs -p 8022 [email protected]:/ ~/some_existing_folder -oauto_cache,reconnect,defer_permissions,noappledouble,negative_vncache,volname=myandroid

(the flags are specific for macos, for linux you'll need to adjust them). For mac you'll also need to install osxfuse.


I was looking to accomplish the same thing - mounting some part of my S4's filesystem on my Mac - and was looking at the range of SMB servers available for Android. The one I've been using that checks off the most "just works" boxes is SAMBADroid, which runs an SMB server on my local LAN over WiFi. The free version shares the external SD card by default, but I'll be checking the capabilities of the paid version to see if there are more export options. The only criticism I would have is that it's kind of slow, but from the standpoint of simplicity it's the best of the lot I tried.

  • Something to note, Requires your device to be ROOT enabled Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:02

On Android 6, the following worked for me:

Enable developer options (settings > about phone > keep tapping on 'build number')

Settings > Developer options > Networking > Select USB Configuration > MTP (if it's already on MTP, switch to something else, then switch back to MTP).

  • 2
    On my Nexus 6P this was the default. How do you mount the phone as a drive in MPT mode? Mine only seemed to work with Android File Transfer anyway, so I wonder if there is some way to get it to mount as a drive.
    – tborzecki
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 5:06
  • 3
    and then how to mount? Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 20:05

LG G4 Verizon, running Android 5.1: had the phone a year, and still unable to connect to 2008 Mac running Lion. Verizon, LG and Apple technicians have all failed.
I finally "fixed" the problem by getting a USB card reader and mounting the SD card on the mac. For quick transfers, I got a Verbatum convertible thumb drive. But I miss the convenience I had with my Droid2. It worked.

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