Best 6 Ways to Connect Samsung Android to Mac
If you have a Samsung phone, you may be intimidated by the concept of connecting it to your Mac. Nevertheless, transferring files to and from your Samsung is often a necessary task, whether because you need to free up space or you just want to move some photos to or from your phone. Here are a few ways to connect a Samsung phone to Mac that will work with a variety of Samsung devices, including the Galaxy s9, S23, Samsung Galaxy Note, and other popular models.
Perhaps the most popular way to connect your Samsung to your Mac is via USB cable. This is a relatively simple task in and of itself – as long as you have a USB cable that fits both your Mac and your Android, you’re pretty much set, but you will also need to install an app to serve as the file manager in which you can see your Samsung’s files when you connect it to your Mac. Here are a few options for file manager apps you can use to connect Samsung to Mac.
Samsung Smart Switch
Samsung Smart Switch is a simple choice by virtue of the fact that it is designed specifically for Samsung devices, making it reliable for working with your Android phone or tablet. In addition to being free to download and install on a variety of devices, it offers simple functionality and the ability to do one thing really well – transfer files from Samsung to Mac.
The bad news is that you won’t be able to use it with non-Samsung devices, and your Mac won’t be able to transfer data to your phone or tablet through this app, so it’s less universal than other options in this article. That said, it’s a solid option for anyone who wants to move data between a Mac and a Samsung device without having to pay or use older apps.
- Free and easy to use
- Works without internet connections
- Limitations for data are restricted to your Mac’s hard drive size, allowing you to back up virtually anything if you have the room
- Samsung-proprietary architecture restricts this app to Samsung devices
- File transfer speed is noticeably slow in some cases
- App is reportedly unreliable when it comes to maintaining a connection
- Can’t receive files from non-Samsung devices
MacDroid is the best all-around option for USB connection. Because it processes your Android device like a drive, you can connect your Samsung and then treat it like a file location in Finder, allowing you to click and drag files back and forth without having to worry about transfer speed, moving between your phone and your computer, and browse quickly through your phone’s file system in a clean and intuitive interface. Since MacDroid was designed for macOS from the ground up, it will work reliably with any Samsung device every time.
There is a free version of MacDroid, but it only allows you to transfer files from your Samsung to your Mac; paying for the Pro version, which costs $19.99 per year, unlocks the ability to move files from your Mac to your Samsung. However, even without this option, MacDroid is still the easiest, fastest, and most reliable option for managing your Samsung’s files via your computer.
- Works with virtually all Android phones and devices
- Allows you to edit files both on your Mac and without moving them from the phone
- Contains both MTP and ADB cable support
- Shows phone as a drive, allowing you to manage its contents
- Free version only allows transfers from Android to Mac
How to Use MacDroid
Your first step should be to download and install MacDroid on your Mac. Once you have done that, go ahead and connect your Samsung to your computer via a USB cable; then, do the following:
1. Click the MTP option on your Mac.
2. Click Next in MacDroid’s window, then confirm the File transfer option on your Samsung if necessary.
3. Wait for your Samsung to appear in the MacDroid window, then click Mount next to it.
Once your Samsung is officially mounted, it will appear in MacDroid as a drive. This means that you can move files between your Mac and Samsung as different file locations.
Android File Transfer
Android File Transfer is a time-tested option for anyone wondering how to connect Android to Mac. Creating a Samsung connection to Mac with Android File Transfer only takes a few easy steps: connecting your Samsung via the cable, opening the app on your Mac, and finding your device in the Android File Transfer menu. It’s a process that’s so simple, it sometimes fails to work properly, resulting in your Mac not recognizing your phone at all; however, when it does work, you can attach your Android to your computer and navigate through its files in a matter of seconds.
It’s worth noting and commending that Android File Transfer, despite being an old app with ongoing support, is completely free to use, and while its interface may be simple, it is also easy to use.
- Officially created and supported by Android
- Free to use and easy to navigate
- Fast transfer speed
- Doesn’t come with any solutions if it doesn’t work with your specific software
- Android connections can be unreliable
If using a USB cable to connect Samsung to Mac isn’t an option for you – or if you want to be able to transfer files without having one or the other on you at the time – there are a few reputable wireless options as well. While none of these options will be as quick or intuitive as using a cable and file manager, it is hard to deny the convenience of being able to open your Samsung, select a few files, send them to your Mac, and then access them there (or vice versa). Here are the best options for connecting your Samsung to your Mac via a wireless medium.
AirDroid is a fast and robust way to create a Samsung connection to Mac if you’re up for installing some software. This app lets you manage the data on your Android device by transferring files to and from other devices with AirDroid installed, including your Mac, as well as giving you some Android control options should you want to monitor your phone from your Mac. To wit, you can install the AirDroid app on pretty much any conceivable desktop or smartphone platform.
There are some drawbacks to AirDroid, of course. For one, the premium features–namely smartphone control–are locked behind a paywall that starts at $29.99 per year. AirDroid also has some advanced functionality that may be more confusing than helpful to newer users.
- Both Mac and Windows compatible
- Usable on most major platforms as well as online
- Allows basic file transfers as well as screen control and mirroring
- Premium features are costly, but may prove necessary for some users
- Sharing speed can be unpredictable
Connecting your Samsung to your Mac through Bluetooth isn’t an ideal option, but it is possible.
It’s also fast to open and requires no additional setup past what your Android phone and Mac computer already have built into them. The trade-off is that Bluetooth is infamous for phenomenally slow transfer speeds, and the limited effective range of this connection type means that you’ll need to keep your phone near your computer for the duration of the transfer. However, if you just need to move small text files or a single photo between your Galaxy device and your Mac, this is a viable option.
- Free and quick to set up
- Perfectly suited to small file transfers
- Requires no additional software
- Slow transfer speeds make this method unsuitable for any file or backup larger than a few megabytes
- Bluetooth’s extremely short range means you have to stay near your computer until the transfer completes
- Some models of Android phone may not be compatible with Apple Bluetooth devices
How to Use Bluetooth
When connecting a Samsung phone to MacBook in this way, you will need to make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on both of your devices; then, follow these steps:
- Open your Mac’s Bluetooth menu: Go to System Preferences, then click Bluetooth
- Note your Mac’s name in the Bluetooth menu.
- Find your Mac’s name in your Android’s Bluetooth menu and tap it.
- Select Pair when asked to confirm, then follow any on-screen prompts on your Mac or Android.
- Enable Bluetooth Sharing on your Mac: Open System Preferences, then click General, click Sharing, and turn on the switch next to “Bluetooth Sharing”
- Select the “Share” icon on your device, then select files.
- Confirm the decision to share.
Google Drive is the default cloud storage service on Android phones, and for good reason: It affords a hefty 15 gigabytes of storage for free, it integrates with all of Google’s other creative apps, and, like other cloud storage apps, it allows you to access your stored files from anywhere with an internet connection. Since Google Drive is free to use by default, you should be able to access it on your Mac, making it easy to find and view or download any files you have stored there from your Samsung.
- Easy and free to use in its default configuration
- You should already have an account with Google if you have a Samsung, so you shouldn’t need to set up any new software
- Uses cloud storage, so you can access your files anywhere without using space on your Mac
- The free version of Google Drive only allows for 15 gigabytes of storage space, which may not be enough to back up your phone
- Uploads and downloads can be extremely slow depending on your internet connection
- Some users may be uncomfortable uploading sensitive or private documents to the cloud
How to Use Google Drive
Using Google Drive to connect Android to Mac is as simple as logging into Google Drive in your Mac’s browser. From there, you can access, manipulate, and download any files stored on your Samsung’s Google Drive app; if you want to add a new file to Drive, you’ll need to follow this easy four-step process:
- Open the Google Drive app on your Samsung.
- Tap the plus icon in the corner of the screen.
- Tap Upload, then select the type of file(s) you want to add to Drive.
- Confirm your selection and wait for the upload to finish.
Once your upload completes, you will be able to see your file on your Mac in the Google Drive window.
There is a sufficiently varied number of quick and easy ways in which you can connect your Samsung smartphone to your Mac. The simplest ones – Google Drive and Bluetooth, for example, are effective, but slow and generally inefficient for more than the smallest of files. USB cable connections require third-party programs to bridge the gap between your Android phone and your Mac, but these connections also enable fast file transfers, on-Mac backups, and more; this is why MacDroid is our primary recommendation if you want to connect your Samsung to your Mac, though other apps like Android File Transfer and Samsung Smart Switch are also viable.