I'm trying to get photos off a Nexus 5 and into OSX. When I plug it in, it says "connected as a media device" on the device screen, but no USB drive shows up in Finder, no new folder shows up in /Volumes, and neither Image Capture nor Picasa see it as a camera.

How can I connect the Nexus 5 as a USB device?

4 Answers 4


You can use Mac's Image Capture after setting your Nexus 5 USB connection to Camera Mode. To do it do the following:

  1. Swipe your screen from top to bottom.
  2. click on the little avatar icon on the top right.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Go to Device > Storage
  5. Click on the Options icon (the 3 dots, on the very top right).
  6. Choose USB connection and change it to Camera (PTP).

Now if you open Image Capture with your Nexus 5 plugged you will be able to preview and import your pictures and videos.

  • Works! Setting the Nexus USB to Camera Mode also enables it to be recognized by other programs, like Picasa. Jul 26, 2015 at 21:58
  • 5
    I just tried to do this again and the options had changed. I'm now on Android 6.0. I finally found out that, after connecting, if I swipe down from the top, it shows "USB for charging - touch for more options", and I can select "Transfer Photos (PTP)" Dec 5, 2015 at 18:29

Use Android File Transfer

If you install Android File Transfer (http://www.android.com/filetransfer/), you can use it to access the phone's memory and copy off files.

To quote Android.com from the linked page:

Android File Transfer is an application for Macintosh computers (running Mac OS X 10.5 or later) you can use to view and transfer files between your Mac and an Android device (running Android 3.0 or later).

It also says:

For Mac users only. You don't need extra software to connect your Android device to a Windows computer.

I found this phone's photos under DCIM > Camera.

  • perfect thank you! not sure why there's downvotes this worked perfectly. Feb 20, 2014 at 2:11
  • 3
    if you had followed others' instructions and disabled "Media device(MTP)" , you must re-enable it for this to work. See @leandro rossa 's answer on how to get to the USB Options.
    – Mike Graf
    Mar 31, 2014 at 3:03
  • 1
    AFT doesn't work for me even with MTP enabled
    – cja
    Jan 8, 2015 at 12:34
  • 1
    Yes it does - the cable didn't support data
    – cja
    Jan 8, 2015 at 12:44
  • 1
    Buggy confortless stuff. No way to manipulate the files nor view them outside its UI without copying to the mac and back to the phone. Where are you, old good usb storage mode...
    – Equidamoid
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:53

You can also do it without USB. Airdroid and Web PC Suite are both wireless connection app for Android and pc. Conennect the two devices by scanning a QR code, then you can transfer files via WiFi.


Transferring files between macOS and Android or any other MTP devices has always been a nightmare. I have tried a lot of apps and was disappointed with the poor support for Android phones on macOS. Either they were too slow, bug-ridden or too expensive. Finally, all these made me sit and write a macOS MTP app for myself. Well, then I thought to give it to the community.

OpenMTP | Advanced Android File Transfer Application for macOS is safe, transparent, open-source and shall be free for a lifetime!

Download latest version of OpenMTP from https://ganeshrvel.github.io/openmtp

GitHub repo: https://github.com/ganeshrvel/openmtp


  • Plug and Play. No hassles, easy and instant connection.
  • Connect via USB cable - Highest data transfer rates.
  • Transfer multiple files which are larger than 4GB in one go.
  • Select between Internal Memory or SD Card.
  • Split pane views for both Local Computer and MTP device.
  • Drag 'n Drop, Grid/List views and the other advanced File Manager features are available.
  • Safe, Transparent and Open-Source.
  • It's FREE and shall ALWAYS remain FREE!!

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