Like so many Mac operations, getting pictures from a Bluetooth phone
to your Mac is actually very simple once you have done it once. If
you've never done it, you may not have a clue where to start, and your
phone's manual probably sends you off to get some piece of Windows
software that won't help you at all. That's OK: everything you
need is already built into your Mac. Here I'll lead you through
the whole process, complete with screenshots. With your phone,
the procedure may be slightly different on the phone side, but
I'll show two examples.
Note: your cell phone provider may have deliberately crippled
your ability to do this so that they can charge you more money
for emailing your photos!
Note: the usual instructions you find have you SENDING
files from the phone to your computer. Here, we're doing it
the opposite way: GETTING files FROM the phone with our computer.
The first thing to do is to turn on Bluetooth on your phone.
On my Motorola phone, that's Settings -> Connection ->
Bluetooth -> Setup. On my wife's Nokia, it's Settings ->
Connectivity -> Bluetooth.
Back on the Mac, open System Preferences -> Hardware ->
Bluetooth. Click on Devices and then Set Up New Device. Select
Mobile Phone as the Device type. After clicking Continue, your
phone should show up in the next screen. If it doesn't, power
cycle your phone and then try again. Click continue there,
and your Mac will make an initial connection to your phone to
Still not working?
If you still have trouble, check that some other program isn't
already using your phone. For example, I have to turn off
my BluePhone Elite software before I can do this.
The next step is "pairing". Your Mac is going to show a
screen like this:
Pay attention to your phone now: it will be asking you
whether it is OK to pair with your computer. When you
affirm that it is, it will ask you to enter the passkey
that your Mac screen is displaying. Type that in with the phone's
keyboard. If you do that correctly, the two devices will
be "paired". Your phone may ask you once more if it's
OK to accept the connection; you say that it is.
The next screen on your Mac would allow you to use the phone to
access the Internet (assuming you have that feature with
your phone service) and with Address Book. As we're just
after pictures here, we'll skip those features.
Back at System Preferences -> Hardware ->
Bluetooth -> Settings, click "Show Bluetooth status in menu bar".
A Bluetooth icon will appear and disappear in your top menu bar
as you click that on and off. It's the same icon shown for
Bluetooth in System Preferences -> Hardware but won't be blue.
Click on that Bluetooth icon in your menu bar and choose
Browse Device. Your phone should be in the list; select it
and click Browse. Your phone will probably again ask you
if it's OK to connect with the Mac (it may have a setting
where you can tell it that it's always all right to do this).
After getting permission if necessary, your Mac will display
folders on the phone. Navigate to the appropriate place
(different on every phone), select your pictures, and click
Get. A Save dialog will pop up, and that's it: the pictures
will transfer to your Mac. This picture shows my Motorola
phone; your screen may look slightly different and the path to
your pictures folder is probably different too.
After I transfer them, I hit the "Trash" icon to delete them all.
Before you leave a comment, please read ALL the comments. If
this doesn't work for you, I CAN'T HELP YOU and quite possibly no one
else can either. READ THE COMMENTS!
Got something to add? Send me email.
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© 2013-09-13 Anthony Lawrence