Download files to your Mac that you find on your iPhone

With Transloader, you can use your iOS device to initiate downloads on your Mac.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

Matt Elliott/CNET

I spend an increasing amount of time browsing the Web from my iPhone or iPad and less time doing so on my MacBook. I occasionally come across a ZIP, PDF or another file that I'd like to download but can't on my current device. In such instances, I either make a mental note to double back to the page with a file the next time I'm on my Mac or I'll email myself the link. With the Transloader app, I can streamline the process and initiate downloads on my Mac immediately from my iPhone or iPad.

The Transloader Mac app costs $5.99 but is currently discounted to $1.99 | £1.49 | AU$2.49 as part of $2 Tuesday. The companion Transloader iOS app is free. Your Mac and iOS device do not need to be connected to the same network -- they need only to share the same iCloud account.

You can use the Transloader iOS app to copy and paste or enter a URL that contains a file you'd like to download on your Mac. A better way, however, is to use the Action Extension in Safari so you don't have to leave the Web page you are currently visiting.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To add the Action Extension, tap the share button in Safari and scroll to the right on the bottom row of icons and tap More. Next, turn the slider on for Inspect with Transloader, which adds a button to the share menu. Now when you come across a link to a file you'd like to download, you can tap that button to have Transloader inspect the page. You can then tap on the link to begin downloading it to your Mac. It's that easy.

On the Mac side, you can choose to have Transloader run in the Dock or as a small icon in the menu bar. Also in preferences, you can choose a destination for your downloads. On you Mac, the Transloader window shows you the progress of your download and any completed downloads. Next to each download is magnifying glass button that opens the file in Finder.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You can have Transloader notify you on your iPhone or iPad when a download is complete, and there is a widget for the iOS Notification Center if you'd like to keep a close eye on your downloads that way.

Also from the same developer is Yoink, an app I wrote about last year that lets you drag and drop files on your Mac with ease.

If Transloader doesn't grab you and you are more in the habit of mailing links to yourself, check out Mail To Self, an app I wrote about last year and use with regularity.