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Google Pixel Mac transfer problems due to ancient Android File Transfer software

Issues transferring files between the Google Pixel and Mac computers have been attributed to Google's outdated Android File Transfer software.

Published onJanuary 14, 2017

Google Pixel owners have already had a fair few problems to deal with, from battery draining issues and early shutdowns to delayed notifications and camera bugs. Problems transferring files from the Pixel to a Mac can now be added to that list, but for a change it’s not a problem with the Pixel, but with Google’s outdated Android File Transfer software.

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If you use Android File Transfer on a Mac, you’ll already know the software is a bit dated. But you might not realize just how dated it is: version 1.0 from way back in 2012. Following some trial-and-error testing done by 9to5Google, the Pixel file transfer problem has seemingly been narrowed down to a lack of proper USB Type-C support in the program (although it does work for some file types).

This all sounds perfectly reasonable – after all, USB Type-C wasn’t around back in 2012 – but the problem isn’t just as straightforward as old software in need of an update. The Pixel’s USB Type-C cable also seems to have a role to play, but it’s not simply defective either. Oddly, using the Pixel’s USB Type-C cable to transfer files to other devices seems to work fine, as does swapping out the Pixel’s cable for another one.

Fortunately, an alternative file transfer app called Handshaker does work with the Pixel and its included cable, so you can just switch to that if you’re experiencing issues. Google will hopefully take this opportunity to give its own software a little attention though. If you’ve figured out the ultimate source of the issue, feel free to hit the comments below and share your findings.

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