Both my phone and my SD card (exFAT formatted) support big file size. However, Android File Transfer app does not allow send files bigger than 4GB. Is there a way to bypass the limitation?

  • possible duplicate of download bigger than 4 gb file on android 4.0.4 – geffchang Jul 9 '13 at 4:36
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    The linked question is about the limitation of file system of the SD card, which I don't not have this issue. I am asking about the limitation of an app, the Google Android File Transfer app. – ohho Jul 9 '13 at 6:53
  • I understand now. It is NOT A DUPE after all. See my answer. :) – geffchang Jul 9 '13 at 7:16
  • Did you ever find a way to get around the 4GB limit? – geffchang Jul 16 '13 at 2:55
  • @geffchang not yet, it seems to be a limit (unnecessarily) imposed by the Android File Transfer app. For files larger than 4GB, I pull out the SD card and copy via a USB card reader. – ohho Jul 16 '13 at 3:20

According to Android.com:

Browse the files and folders on your Android device, add folders, copy files up to 4GB to or from your Mac, delete files, and more.

As a workaround, install an FTP server on your Mac, and transfer the file via Wi-Fi or mobile data. OR, via adb pull (adb pull /storage/sdcard0/ dir here) using the Android SDK. Source.

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  • 6
    +1 for the adb pull (Note you can use the -p option to show the progress). – Jonathan Parker Dec 2 '14 at 6:51
  • Also, +1 for adb pull... though, amusing to note that the code behind the progress display seems to suffer from the same issue we're using the tool itself to get around (I'm currently at over 2000%!). – Quintin Willison Dec 13 '14 at 20:32
  • To easily install adb just brew install android-platform-tools if you're using Homebrew. – nimrodm Jan 10 '15 at 12:27
  • @nimrodm What happens when I get, "No available formula for android-platform-tool?" – Aero Windwalker Aug 5 '15 at 20:34
  • @AeroWang check that you have spelled it correctly. It's "tools" with an "s". Otherwise try "brew search android" and see if it is listed. – nimrodm Aug 6 '15 at 6:07

You can install android-platform-tools with homebrew.

brew cask install android-platform-tools

and then use adb pull (adb pull /storage/sdcard0/my_dir) like the solution above.

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  • I want to push file to Android device, not to get – user924 Apr 4 '19 at 22:08

A simple solution is to use the free app AirDroid to transfer files over your WiFi network directly to your tablet. All you have to do is install it on your phone/tablet, enable it, and then visit the device's IP address and port number from your web browser. You can then browse the device's file system and transfer files over 4 GB with no issues. The only downside is that the speed of the transfer is dictated by the speed of your WiFi network and especially your device's connection to it. Generally I have found it to take about 1.3x as long on my 2013 Nexus 7 when compared to a USB 2.0 transfer.

Hope this helps anyone who comes across this question as it is more of a layman's answer.

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  • There are also other apps besides AirDroid that serve as analogies, but I have found this app to be the easiest to use, the most reliable, and the fastest. – JCount Sep 17 '13 at 22:28
  • Analogs, man autocorrect is a wonderful thing until it is not. – JCount Sep 17 '13 at 22:41
  • To add more information or correct your answer, just click the edit link below it. – Dan Hulme Sep 17 '13 at 22:44
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    For one reason I do not use AirDroid, it asks way too many permissions. – ohho Sep 19 '13 at 2:59

Use XENDER (available for ios/android both). Worked like a charm. Can transfer on all platforms provided you have wifi connectivity.

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Another limitation with apple systems. Just install windows via bootcamp or parallels. Connect and go. Will save you time and effort.

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  • Installing Windows just to transfer a file seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. – Dan Hulme Jul 20 '16 at 11:58

Connect using ethernet cable and copy it: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18710?locale=en_US

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  • How is this relevant to Android in any way? – Gokul NC Sep 7 '17 at 14:01

Try using a split archive, you can make these with 7-zip (Windows), Keka (Mac), or using standard *nix utilities if you're good with the command line. By making the archives 4 GB, you can batch transfer and decompress on your phone using something like RAR, then delete the archives. Keep in mind you will be using ~double the space temporarily (depending on compression ratio, if any) so you need space first. In Keka (which judging by your tags, you will use), put "4 GB" in for the "Split:" option. Copy all resulting files after compression (the ones labeled .001, .002 and so on to your phone. Use RAR on the first file, and the file will decompress. You can then delete the archive files off of your phone.

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