Google Nexus 7: How to Access Files from a Mac

   Posted August 13, 2012 by Jimmy Selix in Android

nexus 7 logo

If you are a Mac user and have a Nexus 7, you probably have already noticed that the tablet does not seem to be accessible when connected via USB to the Mac.  By following these steps you can mount the tablet and transfer files between your Mac and Nexus without difficulty.

The Nexus 7 uses the MTP file transfer protocol and Macs do not support this out of the box.  By switching the file transfer mode on the Nexus to camera, you can transfer images off the device through iPhoto. However, moving documents or other files through this method is not possible. Instead, by installing the Android File System app, you can gain full access to the file system of the device.

1. Download the Android File System application.


2. Install the Android File System app by opening the DMG file, and then dragging the App into your Applications folder.


3. Once installed, connect your Nexus 7 to your Mac via the USB cable.  Open up the Android File System app.  It should recognize your tablet and then open up a Finder type window.


4. You can drag and drop files and media into the window. Additionally, you can create new folders and delete files. Be sure you know what files your deleting as you can break the OS by deleting or altering essential system files.


5. If you get a “No Device Found” message, be sure your Nexus 7 is in Media device (MTP) transfer mode. You can do this by swiping down to open the notification tray and then tapping on the Connected As… message.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

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  • Poppy

    This doesn’t work if you have an older Mac running OS 10.5.8 or earlier. Are there any solutions for us?

  • Jimmy

    Hmm, per the google site it says that it should work w/10.5.1 or above. Are you on Tiger still? You may be out of luck if so. let us know 🙂

  • Guz

    It works fine for draggin files from mac to the device, but you can’t actually move files or folders that are in the device, which seems kinda pathetic…

  • Marilyn Grace

    I want to transfer some files, not images, videos or photos, but mainly books, from My Nexus 7 to my Mac Notebook. I am not very computer literate. I have followed the instructions down to #4. The file I wanted did not show up in the Finder-type window. The folder called Books said ‘0 items’ when i opened it, even though I haver several books on the Nexus. I tried dragging and dropping a different file but when I opened it, it was either in hieroglyphics, or looked like a ‘program’. Can you help me any further? I appreciate any help I can be given. My Mac is 10.5.8.

  • MiguelFranco

    I made the download some weeks ago, and it worked fine until today.

    The mac just won’t recognize the nexus 7. It only charges the battery. Also, there is no “USB computer connection” on the tablet. Help?

  • AdamV

    Thank you, works like a champ!

  • TheMirandirose

    thank you so much, this was so helpful!!!!! muchly appreciate

  • Peter

    Installed Android file system application’ on Mac running Mavericks and my Nexus 7 just won’t show up on desktop. Charging is fine

  • pipples

    Many thanks – worked beautifully.
    I downloaded a 400mb onto my n5 which I was then able to drag across to my macbook air..

  • Christian Bjork

    Thank you, this helped a lot! Back to Mac after many, many years and this was really helpful.