HandShaker for Android and macOS Files Transfer

HandShaker is an Android File Transfer alternative app that lets you work with your Android phone files on your Mac computer. OS X doesn’t have that many apps available that work with Android devices. The only easy way to transfer files from your phone to your Mac is by using the Google built Android File Transfer app for macOS and Linux.

For some reason, Android File Manager is giving problems to users who have been trying to connect their Google Pixel phones with their Mac computer. Our post on setting up Windows and Mac computers with USB drivers have received several comments where users are unable to connect their Google Pixel phones. We have used HandShaker several times before, but never really recommended it since it makes you install their own APK first on your phone first; and honestly, Android File Transfer worked just fine.

For Windows users: Download HandShaker: Android Files Manager for Windows

HandShaker was built by Smartisan for their Android devices, but luckily, it works with almost all the phones and tablets. As mentioned earlier, Android File Transfer is very old and in need of an update by Google. Smartisan has designed and developed an all new sync transfer protocol to fix a lot of the problems with existing Android sync transfer protocols. This provides much better security, stability and improved transfer speeds.

HandShaker for Android and Mac

The screenshot you see above is what you get once you are done setting up the app on your Android phone and Mac. We’ll get to that later, but first let us see how to set it up.

Step 1 – Download HandShaker for Mac (or Windows) and install it on your computer just like any other app.

Step 2 – Once the installation is complete, you will see the following screen on starting the HandShaker app.

HandShaker for Android and macOS Files Transfer 1

Step 3 – Now connect your phone using the USB cable to your Mac computer. As soon as you do, you will be prompted with a screen as shown below. Tap View to continue.

HandShaker on Android

Step 4 – Next your Android browser (Chrome or any other) will open and you will be prompted to download a file called HandShaker-official.apk – alternatively, you can get it from here: Download HandShaker.apk

Step 5 – Install the app on your phone.

HandShaker for Android and macOS Files Transfer 2

Step 6 – After the app installation, you will need to remove and plug in the USB cable (from your phone or computer) to reset the connection.

Step 7 – As soon as you plugin your phone again, you will see a prompt on your Android phone screen asking if you would like to set HandShaker as the default action. You can skip this part for now (if you just want to try out) and tap OK to proceed.

HandShaker Android Default Selection

NOTE: If the above step doesn’t work and nothing appears on your Mac screen, make sure you have enabled USB debugging option in your device. Read: How to Enable USB Debugging Option in Android Devices.

Step 8 – That’s it! Next, you will be able to see all your Android phone files on your Mac computer as the screenshot below.

HandShaker Mac Android Files

Once you get the app working, you will not have to repeat the above steps again. Everything will be working just like Android File Transfer whenever you connect your phone with your Mac again.

As you can see in the screenshots, this app will give you a nice interface to access your Android phone files from your Mac. You will access to all your photos, music files, videos and files you have downloaded to your phone. And there is also a section for browsing all your phone memory files.

You can select individual files and open them directly from your phone, unlike Android File Transfer where you have to transfer each file to your computer first to open it. You can select your photos, videos and other files to delete or copy them somewhere else easily.

You can also download HandShaker from Mac App Store.

Once you start using the app, you will notice it is much better than the default Android File Transfer. It is a great app, and we are sure you will enjoy using it.

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Haris Nadeem
Haris lives on everything Android; has countless devices, apps and games to play with everyday. Currently serving as the Chief Editor at Team Android.
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  1. this software on mac says is not updated when I download it from the app store. I have done the debbug on my note 4 and still doesn’t work. Any tips how to sort it ou please ?

    • I just downloaded this to my late 2011 MacBook pro and it works great. If you have an previous traces of kies or android file transfer try deleting them. Even just the original download file can stop you.

    • It is designed to be read-only because that folder is belong to Android system, changing the content of that folder could lead to unusable mobile phone. There is no way to override it from HandShaker.
      If you really want to change it, you could use adb to do it.

  2. handshake doesn’t allow me to connect via usb. (Android version 6.0.1) Wifi works but not for bigger files (>600 MB). What could be the problem? (HandShaker version on Mac is 2.0.2 and on the phone v1.0.193).

  3. Thank god for this app. Just sunk 2 hours of my life down the drain trying to get the useless Android File Transfer app to work with my Google Pixel which just does not work but for some reason is the app Google say you should use for transferring files between Mac and G Pixel. Luckily some nice internet soul recommended this and it’s work straight away!

  4. I just tried this our and it works perfectly. I’ve suffered at the hand of useless Android File Transfer, AirDroid, and some others. Great App!!!

  5. Thanks for the walkthrough. Can’t believe in 2018 the Android->Mac transfer system requires so many hoops to jump through but this finally worked — just spent 30+ minutes on support with Pixel team and even they couldn’t solve it, then found this article. BOOM! done.
    I’m on a Pixel XL btw.
    Thanks again!

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