Using an app named CheetahSync, I can browse the folders of my Mac, and even create folders, from my Android devices, when both the Mac and droid are connected to the same WiFi network. This requires the CheetahSync client to be running on my Mac.

I would like an app that, using a similar method, lets me browse the OS X filesystem from my Android, and also lets me open files and also transfer files, to and from my Android device.

For example, my Mac is running and connected to WiFi. I am in another room of the house, connected to the same WiFi, holding my Android phone. I want to be able to play movies stored on my Mac, transfer files back and forth, etc.

Oh, and I'm using OS X 10.10.1 and Android 4.4.4 rooted.

  • 1
    Just for clarification: you're looking for a file manager which runs on your Android device and is capable of browsing the files on your Mac, right? I'm not a Mac user, so: can your Mac "serve" its file system via Samba, WebDAV, SFTP (SSH), or something similar? Because then there would be tons of possibilities from which I could name some.
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2016 at 12:16
  • I'm not sure either, until now I have been unfamiliar with all these services that you mention... I might look into them. I'm sure some of them can run on Mac. Almost everything has a Mac version these days.
    – Fiksdal
    Mar 6, 2016 at 14:56
  • I'm pretty sure you can share your disks on a Mac via SMB (saw that in several screenshots) as well as SFTP (same). I just don't know if any of the two is available out-of-the-box. There are several good file managers working with these protocols. Shall I go ahead with a recommendation – or do you prefer checking the Mac part first?
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2016 at 15:00
  • 1
    OK, so I took the enormous effort of 30s Google to find a howto for your Mac, and included that as well :) Should be "easy going" for you now. Hope you'll enjoy it!
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    Took me 30 seconds to find that howto :) Nevermind, I'm used to search for stuff like that, so maybe my Google-Fu is a bit stronger. Glad I was able to help (thanks for accepting my answer) – and enjoy the solution! // Btw: If your main target is streaming movies and music, you might wish to look for some DLNA server software for your Mac. There are plenty of DLNA Clients available for Android. For this purpose, they might be more convenient than file managers :)
    – Izzy
    Mar 6, 2016 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


There are several good file explorers available which offer network access. To have them accessing your Mac, you just need to setup shares. Here is a little howto which explains the Mac part1 for the first candidate I'll recommend you.

ES File Explorer

This is what I've used for years, and it's pretty convenient. Not only it allows you to browse your local files, it also allows to browse images (slideshow), videos, has an app manager, and more. In the context of your question, it supports a load of protocols to access the network and browse remote resources. I've successfully used it with SMB (it even auto-detects resources for this) and SFTP (see the howto I've already linked). To setup the connection, you simply open the app, goto Menu › Network › FTP

Setup network connection with ES File Explorer (source: MJD; click images for larger variants)

… hit the + button, and fill in your data: "server" is the IP your Mac showed you (in the example1, it was, Port is fine with 22, Username/Password are your Mac credentials, Encoding you can leave on "auto", and in Display you can give it a name of your choice. Done: Now you should be able to browse your Mac files tapping the corresponding entry in the second screenshot above.

It will work similarly with other network-enabled file explorers. Two other candidates I could recommend you here are …

Open Explorer

Completely open source and free, so no ads inside. Offers about the same features as ES File Explorer:

OpenExplorer OpenExplorer
Open Explorer (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

You can see the networking section in the lower-left of the screenshots, where you can add more connections. I've used this one successfully with my Linux machine, so it definitely works.

Solid Explorer

I have not used this one myself, but saw it recommended quite frequently:

SolidExplorer Solid Explorer Solid Explorer
Solid Explorer (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

Here you see the networking capabilities in the second screenshot. Procede as described above.

All three apps are well rated in the stores. Which one to take depends on "personal preferences" (check a bit closer for additional features provided by each, as well as maybe requirements (they all work with Android 4.0+ at least), and maybe read some of their reviews (linked from my list). I'm pretty sure you'll find them all satisfying.

1: Basically: Open System Preferences › Select Sharing › In left hand pane check Remote Login › To the right you will now see something along the lines of To log in to this computer remotely, type "ssh [email protected]" (this is what you will need to setup the file explorer afterwards)

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