How to get photos off a RAZR onto your Mac


Given my apathy for Motorola interface, I refuse to use any of their phones, But when reader, Jonathan Hirshon, Principal at Horizon Communications, sent in this tip, I could not resist sharing it with all of you. Hopefully you benefit from his insights.

iSync is great for merging Address Book and iCal – but it took me FOREVER to figure out my photos off the phone…

The Bluetooth file utility on Tiger was useless – it always timed out every time I tried a file browse to get the pics off.

Here’s how it’s successfully done:

Go to My MEdia (Moto’s asinine caps, not mine), select pictures, view the pic, select the menu button, select move (make sure your phone is paired first) and off it goes. You can also select ‘mark all’ in the menu once you are in the gallery and then move them en masse.

The key is – you have to do all this from the PHONE, *NOT* the Mac. Also, make sure you have Activity Monitor present, as a number of threads never quit and started overheating my CPU until I force-quit them all…

Not perfect – or even close to it – but it DOES work.


Steve Fry

When I connect my Razr (black) to my eMac via USB, the Mac seems to ignore it. Using System Preferences, I can examine the USB tree and see a Motorola V3. How do I make the directory appear as a Finder item via USB? I’ve transferred files using Bluetooth on The Wife’s Powerbook, but I’d like to do the same. BTW, I’m still running Panther. I wrote Moto, by the way, about this issue. They told me to ask Apple.

chuck Cartier

I dont have bluetooth on my mac, is their any way I can use a USB and transfer photos. isync just doesnt calender and adress book.

Jason Fields

Heya all,

I have a Sony Ericsson phone and I am experiencing the same Bluetooth Time out issues. I am running the latets version of Tiger. I have about 400 images on my 256mb Memory Stick Duo, and ever since I capped the 100 image mark, my Bluetooth File Exchnage software kicks the bucket after about 15 seconds… I was thinking maybe there is a way to hack the timeout cap in the software somewhere/how… What we really need is a small app that just dumps the entire contents of your phone to your hardrive… I also tried mounting the memory card using a card reader and the Mac writes DS_Store files to the memory card directories. I had to reformat my memory card once already due to this nice bug(!). About the only thing that works is using my Multifunction Printers memory card slot and using Image Capture to grab the images and delete the ones not needed. BUt, what if I need to grab a whole mess on the road, I cant very well bring my 20 pound printer along! I think we need to write Apple on this one.

Ingomar Otter

Same here.
Mine and my girlfriends V3: Once you have significant number of pictures on the phone, bluetooth file exchange on 10.4.2 does no longer grok it.
Removing the battery (for a while) helped in my case.
Classic Motorola software quality.


By browsing the the phone from the bluetooth utility you can pull files off the phone, delete them, send files, and create new folders. No reason to even touch the phone. This can all be done from your mac.


once you’ve selected ‘move’, where does the picture go? it’s not on the desktop.



In response to Noah and Om: Before Tiger this worked flawlessly with my Razr, now I have the same issue. Last night, I reflashed my v3 to enable the video recording capability, which of course erases all your pics and ringtones. After restarting the v3 the bluetooth was able to read the phone directories without timing out (you could double click and see what was in any of the three root folders). Loaded all my stuff back on: phone numbers and email addresses, pics and ringtones; now I have the timeout issue again and I cannot get past the root directory in the bluetooth dialog. Definitely a bug. I’ve done this same procedure countless times before with razrs for myself and clients with Panther without incident. And before all you novices start to flame me: I know my way blind around Macs and Moto phones; I program them for a living. This one is all on Apple.


At first, I had no problems using Bluetooth File Exchange to and from my razr with tiger 10.4.2. But eventually it started to time out just as mentioned in the article. I attributed it to there being more pictures in the pictures directory (about 100 pics). Does anyone have 70+ pictures and NOT have a problem listing the contents of the picture dir of the phone? I now have only about 10 pics and now the Bluetooth File Exchange works fine.

Thanks for the pointer to send from the phone… it took awhile to send about 80 pics though since you have to select the device for each pic. Bluetooth File Exchange needs to be able to handle larger directory listing.


AGREE about the Motorola interface but I love my V3. I miss some of the stuff my T616 did but the size is what gets me. Anyway, I don’t have this issue. I can easily move photos, and anything else, from my V3 to and from my Mac (Tiger) using the Bluetooth File Exchange. There are some things to gripe about, such as the address book @%$!, but this isn’t one of them.


I hear people having this problem now and then and I don’t get it. I have no problems using the built in bluetooth on my PowerBook running Tiger to transfer files.

Weili W

Not to sound like a smartass but I figured this out in less than an hour… if you can’t get the files FROM your Mac, why not try to send the files TO your Mac from your phone?

But thanks, Ian for your suggestion on the master reset, I shall try that later today.

Now if only my Motorola V710 was able to transfer files via Bluetooth, a feature that was built-in to the phone but purposely disabled by Verizon…

garam chai

Using Bluetooth, I send pics from my RAZR to my other phone, Sony Ericsson T637. From SE T637 the pics get to my laptop, ThinkPad X31, via infrared. All this because X31 is not bluetooth-enabled. Hey, but it works!

ron v

Bluetooth and Razr work awesome on 10.4.1. No workarounds needed. Simply walk in the room where my iMac is and sync right up to my Razr.

Chris Ross

The “asinine caps” are Cingular’s doing, not Motorola.

Ian Ragsdale

I had the same problem with my RAZR (bluetooth file transfers timing out) until I did a master reset (Settings->Initial Setup->Master Reset). This will lose some of your settings, but after that bluetooth works great.


I’m able to use the Bluetooth File Utility to move items back and forth on my Razr without any problems. Using Tiger, 10.4.2 with the latest and greatest. Works with video, pictures and sounds.

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