Tips & Tutorials

Google Pixel 3 USB Drivers for Windows and Mac

Here is a comprehensive guide which shows how to download Pixel 3 USB drivers and install them on either Windows or Mac computers. Google’s new smartphones come with Android Pie, top-end hardware and one of the best smartphone camera systems out there. Now, in order to start transferring data to your new Pixel 3 or even ripping the excellent photos you have been taking, it is pretty essential that you first configure your computer properly. By configuration, you first need to install correct USB drivers for your phone. Once installed, these will ensure that your Windows or Mac system recognizes the new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL correctly and allow you to transfer data without any connection drops. In our guide ahead, we have linked latest Pixel 3 USB drivers for download along with a complete installation tutorial.

Apart from the usual data transfers, drivers play a pivotal role for tools and programs such as Android Studio or ADB that communicate with Android devices directly. Without proper drivers, these tools don’t work at all. Further, despite having same communication port — USB Type-C — as other smartphones, Pixel lineup has its own set of unique drivers which differ from other brands. However, once you implement this guide for your Pixel 3, older Pixel smartphones would also be usable with your computer.

Install USB Drivers, Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL

Download Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL Drivers and Transfer Files

With the steps ahead, we will show you how to configure Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL drivers on your computer. These drivers would help your computer in properly recognizing the device and would also help in setting up a stable connection between the two. For users who have just bought the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL, this is the first thing you should do before you proceed to transfer all your data. Further, it also applies when you are trying to backup your files from the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL.

How to Allow Access to Files on Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL

If you are new to Android, you may find it slightly difficult to transfer files between the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL and the computer. It is not as easy as plug-and-play after you connect your phone with a cable to a PC. There is one small option on your phone that you need to change to enable transferring of files. This is done as a security feature in Android to protect files on a locked phone.

Step 1 – Connect your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL to the computer with a Type C cable.

Step 2 – Once connected, there will be a pop-up saying “Allow access to your data“, tap on Allow.

Step 3 – This will reconnect the smartphone to your computer but with this time, you would be able to see all your data.

Step 4 – If you missed the pop up, you can just scroll down your notification bar, tap on the Connection Mode and set it to Transfer Files / Media Device.

That’s it. You should now be able to access the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL’s phone storage from your computer and easily transfer files between them.

Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL Drivers for Windows

Once you install proper USB drivers, your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL will be properly recognized by your computer hence allowing other utilities such as ADB / Fastboot to work correctly as well. Further, these drivers would ensure that all data is properly transferred to your smartphone without any corruption.

We have listed down these simple steps to connect the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL with Windows PC:

  • Step 1 – Download USB Drivers for Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL and install it on your computer too. As these are just drivers and not a program, you wont be required to run anything after you have these installed.
  • Step 2 – Connect your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL with the computer using a USB-C cable.
  • Step 3 – Now wait for the computer to recognize the device and install / setup necessary files and drivers.
  • Step 4 – You will notice several files being installed. Once completed, open My Computer or This PC to find your phone.
  • Step 5 – Double-click on your phone and now you are ready to browse through your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL on the Windows PC.

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Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL USB Drivers for Mac

Connecting Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL’s internal storage is relatively easier on macOS / Mac OS X. If you have been a Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy or Nexus user on a Mac previously, then setting up the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL should be no different for you. Android File Transfer is a free utility by Google to connect your Android phones (and tablets) to transfer data between the phone and the computer. Android File Transfer misses out on a number of important features and feels very outdated, but it gets the job done and is compatible with almost every Android device out there.

Android File Transfer - Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL Drivers for Mac

There are known problems with Android File Transfer and the newly launched phones with Android Oreo. Google has yet to announce a major new update to Android File Transfer, but hasn’t done anything to improve this app in the last 5-6 years. To get around this, we discovered a fantastic new free alternative called as HandShaker. It works with macOS and Windows PC. We will talk about that in a bit below.

Make sure you have a Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL and a Type-C cable (preferably, the one that came with the phone). Then follow these quick steps:

  • Step 1 – Download Android File Transfer and install it on your Mac computer.
  • Step 2 – Connect your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL with the computer using a USB-C cable.
  • Step 3 – Now wait for the computer to recognize the device. It may take a few seconds more if this is your first time connecting a new Android device.
  • Step 4 – Tap ‘Allow‘ on your phone screen to allow the phone to communicate with the computer.
  • Step 5 – Android File Transfer window will automatically open up with your internal phone memory directories.

This is it! You will have a working Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL connected to your MacBook so you can transfer media content or other files to and from your phone.

Transfer Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL Files to Mac / Windows with HandShaker

HandShaker for Android and Mac

HandShaker is the beautiful alternative we mentioned earlier that you can use on Mac (and even Windows) to transfer files from the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL. This app lets you work with your Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL phone files on your Mac computer just like how you would do on a Windows PC. It has a beautiful UI with large icons that makes it very easy to browse through your photos, videos, downloads and all the other files in your Android phone. HandShaker also allows you to connect your phone wirelessly and transfer files.

If you need a complete step-by-step guide, follow our tutorials here on how to setup HandShaker for Windows and Mac OS X.

Transfer Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL Files Wirelessly on Windows & Mac

Even though every other gadget and chargers are moving to USB Type-C, there may be times when you do not have a cable around you. Most probably when you are out of office, home or are traveling. You should also set up your computer to work with wireless transfers. Transferring files wirelessly may be slow, but at times when you really need to connect your phone to a Mac or Windows PC for media content, it should be sufficient enough and get the job done.

We have a couple of tips and guides on how to transfer files between Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL and your computer wirelessly. For starters, you can look into the following apps and install them on your computer or phone:

That’s it! Pretty easy solutions, eh? Let us know if you run into any problems and we’ll try our best to sort it out.

Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL ADB / Fastboot Drivers for Windows & Mac

Now for those of you who plan on developing Android apps, testing, debugging or install any custom ROMs on the Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL, you will need to have ADB and Fastboot drivers installed and working in your computer. We have done tutorials on how to set up ADB and Fastboot using Android SDK / Android Studio on Windows and Mac for any Android device

Download Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL ADB, Fastboot Drivers - Android SDK Platform-Tools

The above mentioned tutorials are very detailed and require you to set up Android Studio / Android SDK on your computer. If you want to skip the long tutorial and just want the SDK Platform Tools package with ADB and Fastboot in it, download that from here:

Again, for any help you need or if you get stuck with an issue, you can always contact us below in the comments and the team of Team Android will be happy to help you out.

You may also like to check out our Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL section for official firmware updates, custom ROMs, tips and other tutorials.

About the author

Taimur Akmal

Devoted writer, enjoys developing code. Appreciates excellent food, exceptional coffee and great company. He is also into sublime design and nicely built cars.