Both my phone and my SD card (exFAT formatted) support big file sizes. However, the Android File Transfer app does not allow sending 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
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 4:36
  • 2
    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
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 6:53
  • Did you ever find a way to get around the 4GB limit?
    – geffchang
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 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
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 3:20
  • 2019: No longer an issue. I transferred an 8gb file to my OnePlus 6T phone seamlessly. Android File Transfer v1.0.12
    – Ray Foss
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 17:29

8 Answers 8


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 using the Android SDK, adb pull to transfer from the phone and adb push to transfer to the phone. Source.

  • So how do you actually transfer the files from your Mac? I tried this adb pull /storage/sdcard0 ./Desktop/TheFolderIWantToMove but I get adb: error: failed to get feature set: device unauthorized..
    – bsky
    Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 12:17
  • did you want to say adb push? because we need to copy file to android device. I tried this but it doesn't work adb: error: failed to copy *': remote File too large
    – user924
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 22:07
  • For me the storage path was completely different, you can use adb shell to connect to your phone then navigate around to file the correct file path you need
    – TMH
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 13:10

You can install android-platform-tools with Homebrew to install ADB.

brew cask install android-platform-tools

And then use adb pull or adb push like the geffchang's answer above.


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.

There are also other apps besides AirDroid that serve as analogs, but I have found this app to be the easiest to use, the most reliable, and the fastest.

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

  • There are also other apps besides AirDroid that serve as analogs, but I have found this app to be the easiest to use, the most reliable, and the fastest.
    – JCount
    Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 22:28
  • 1
    For one reason I do not use AirDroid, it asks way too many permissions.
    – ohho
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 2:59

Another limitation with Apple systems. Just install Windows via Boot Camp or Parallels. Connect and go. Will save you time and effort.

  • Installing Windows just to transfer a file seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 11:58

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 around double the space temporarily (depending on the 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 from your phone.


Use Xender (available for both iOS/Android). Worked like a charm. Can transfer on all platforms, provided you have WiFi connectivity.


On Mid-2012 MacBook Pro, Catalina (10.15.3), I couldn't use Homebrew; needed additional downloads that weren't found on the server.

Instead, I used Wondershare Dr.Fone (Mac App Store and USB-C cable). On Moto Stylus 5G (2021), Android 11, I got ~1 GB/minute (24 minutes for 23 GB) using the Export function.

Also, have "Android File Transfer" and "HandShaker" for smaller jobs.

  • The question is about the size not the speed. It is not clear whether you are implying that your file was 23Gb large (or even larger than 4). Commented Jan 6 at 3:26
  • You are correct; my single file size was 23GB. Different softwares and setups affect the transfer speed of data, and that is what i was trying to convey - that this setup was able to copy at a rate of 1GB per minute, direct from Android phone. Commented Jan 10 at 17:15

Connect using an ethernet cable and copy it.


  • 1
    How is this relevant to Android in any way?
    – Gokul NC
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 14:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .