19 Fixes For Android Phone Won’t Connect To Computer

It can get very inconvenient if you’re trying to transfer files from your phone to your computer or the other way around and you are not even able to get your phone connected, in the first place. We feel you, fellow Android phone users.

This is why we have come up with a group of solutions to fix it when your Android portable devices cannot connect with your Windows PC. This article contains those solutions and will help you transfer those files. 

Fixes For The Android Phone won’t Connect To Computer Issue

We managed to lay our hands on over fifteen solutions that users have claimed to have worked on in various situations, with assurances from those who benefitted from these solutions. Some of them are Windows Centric, while the rest are for the macOS or common solutions for both Operating Systems (OS). 

Solutions to solve the android phone won’t connect issue on your computer

  1. Take A Look At What The USB Connection Is Used For On Your Phone 
  2. Put Your Android Phone On Airplane Mode 
  3. Try Using A Device Linking Application 
  4. Try Using A Different USB Port And Cable
  5. Download The Latest Version Of Your OS
  6. Manually Adjust The USB Cable Insertion
  7. Troubleshoot Your Windows PC
  8. Connect Your Android Device Through The Media Transfer Protocol (MTP)
  9. Update The USB Drivers On Your Computer
  10. Get Rid Of The Third-Party Android-PC Linking Tools
  11. Install A Media Feature Pack On Your PC
  12. Uninstall Drivers For Your Android Mobile
  13. Try Connecting Your Android Phone As A USB Storage Device
  14. Turn The USB Debugging Feature On
  15. Update The MTP USB Drivers On Your Computer 
  16. Launch ODIN Mode On Your Android Phone
  17. Delete The Cache Memory For The File Manager Application
  18. Remove And Install The Composite ADB Interface On Your System
  19. Use The Android File Transfer Utility For Mac

What Should I Do When My Android Phone Won’t Connect To Computer?

Method 1. Take A Look At What The USB Connection Is Used For On Your Phone

All of us know that a USB cable can be used for various purposes when used to connect mobile and computer. These tasks are separated as modes, that perform the select task when enabled. There are five modes that you can see, generally, when android devices are connected to a PC. 

When you first plug the phone cable into your USB hub, the phone goes into charging mode. This means that the computer is used as a power source for charging, by the mobile. You just have to bring the Notification tray down by swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom.

You’ll see an unmoving notification that states that your device is connected to a USB cable and is charging. Tap this option and choose the mode that allows you to carry out your tasks. 

Method 2. Put Your Android Phone On Airplane Mode

This seems like an unusual solution but it has worked for people with this phone problem. Putting your phone in airplane mode will sever all wireless connections like Cellular Signal, WiFi, Bluetooth, and infra-red emitters & receivers.

This feature is used to prevent the phone waves from mixing with the radio waves on an airplane but it can be used to disable all the above-mentioned wireless connectivity features on the mobile.

Airplane mode option in the MIUI 12.0.4 Settings interface

You can enable this feature through the phone settings or even through the toggle shortcut in the notification tray.

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Method 3. Try Using A Device Linking Application

If your android device has connectivity issues, there are chances that the phone’s OS or User Interface (UI) can be responsible for this. In such a situation, it is okay to rely on third-party applications that make a connection between the device and the computer. Some good tools are developed by developers themselves. These tools can either link your devices or fix the issue between them. 

Some such tools include Samsung SideSync, Your phone companion by Microsoft, AirDroid, and Apowermirror.

Method 4. Try Using A Different USB Port And Cable

If the USB cable or port is damaged on a computer, the connection may be unstable or the devices will not be able to create a connection.

Android Mobile connected to a laptop with compatible USB cable

If your cable is broken, you can use a different USB cable. For broken USB ports, you will have to get them fixed with the help of a professional at a service center. If the port has rusted, you will have to change the ports altogether.

Method 5. Download The Latest Version Of Your OS

  1. Open the Windows Settings application using the option in the Start menu or by pressing the Windows + I keys on your computer keyboard. 
  2. Click on the Updates & Security settings tile to open the Windows Update page. 
  3. Look for it and press the Check for Updates button. 
Windows Update page in the Windows Settings with the pending updates
  1. If there are any available updates for your system, select the Download and Install button to start the download. Make sure you have a good network connection.
  2. Once the updates have finished downloading, restart your computer to install the updates. This will take longer than usual for the reboot to end.
  3. Try connecting the phone and PC and check if the phone can be detected. 

Method 6. Manually Adjust The USB Cable Insertion 

If the USB hub is damaged and causes a loose USB computer connection or makes it hard to put the PIN inside, you can adjust the hardware with the help of a thin object. Use it to push the micro USB port in a way that you can insert the pin. 

Do not use a metallic object such as a safety pin or a needle to do this. Using a toothpick is a good idea but make sure you do it gently to not break the stick and not leave any splinters behind in the port.

Method 7. Troubleshoot The Device On Your Windows PC

  1. Bring up the Windows Powershell or Command Prompt window. These options can be chosen from the Quick Link/Power User menu (Windows + X).
  2. When either of these windows open, type in these commands and execute the below command –

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

Hardware Troubleshooter command in the Windows PowerShell window
  1. This will make the Hardware and Device troubleshooter window appear. Here, choose the Next option and make the other following necessary options, if any. 

Alternatively,  you can also take this route to troubleshoot your hardware and devices – 

Windows Settings (Windows + I) > Updates & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubelshoooters > Hardware and Devices

This will also open the Hardware troubleshooter and it will help you find and fix the issue.

Method 8. Connect Your Android Device Through The Media Transfer Protocol (MTP)

We discussed all the modes that you can connect your android mobile, to your computer. However, the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) can be specifically enabled to check if it helps connect your android phone with the computer as a  media device. This is used to transfer files that are media-related like music, videos, or images. 

To access this, you have to open the Notification tray and touch the notification that offers other USB options and allows you to switch to another USB connection mode. You will be able to see around 3 to 5 options, from where you have to select an MTP USB device or a similar one with the same attributes. 

Method 9. Update The USB Drivers On Your Computer

  1. Bring up the Device Manager on your computer, while your android phone is still connected to your computer. The easiest way to open the Device Manager is to open the Quick Link menu. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager. 
  2. Click on the Portable Devices section to unfold it and from the list of devices that are temporarily attached to your computer. 
Portable devices section with the Android device connected
  1. Right-click on your android device and select the Update driver option from the context menu. For some versions, this option is called Update driver software. 
  2. In the Update Portable device wizard, choose the Browse my computer for driver software option for a no-effort update process.
  3. If you choose the Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer option, you will have to select the MTP USB device option from the list of devices.
  4. Click on the Next option to start the updating process. This will install the necessary drivers and their updates. 
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Once this operation ends, the PC will start recognizing the android phone as a Media device and not just a phone. 

Method 10. Get Rid Of The Third-Party Android-PC Linking Tools

In Method 3, we suggested that you use third-party applications to connect your phone to the computer. However, it is also our responsibility to mention that these apps can be an obstacle to the normal way of connecting to a computer.

You may not be using these applications for other purposes like wireless connectivity & screencasting and not even realize that these tools are blocking your android device. 

To uninstall them, you can use the Add or Remove Programs (Windows Settings) page or the Programs and Features settings (Control Panel) on your Windows computer, As for android users, you will have to use the Apps settings or drag the application from the menu into the Uninstall section to remove it from your computer. 

Method 11. Install A Media Feature Pack On Your PC

For your computer to connect to your android phone and transfer files, either way, you will need the MTP mode. If you did not know, the Media Transfer Protocol is associated with the Windows Media Player, which cannot accommodate the MTP if there aren’t sufficient support files for this. The only solution to this predicament is to download a Media feature pack. 

For those who do not understand what a Media Feature pack is, these are tools that help with the functioning of the Windows Operating System (OS), with added to computer additionally. There is neither built with the OS nor can be downloaded from the Windows Store. 

You will have to download and install this from the Microsoft Website’s page for the Media feature packs. Make sure your computer is compatible with these packages. 

Method 12. Uninstall Drivers For Your Android Mobile

  1. Insert the USB cable into your computer’s USB hub and the micro USB pin to the phone port.
  2. After this launch the Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) window and expand the Portable Devices section.  
  3. Open your android device’s context menu in the device manager by right-clicking on it.
  4. Choose the Uninstall device option and confirm it in the prompt window.
  5. Once these drivers are removed, unplug the phone. 

These drivers will be installed again when the phone is connected to your system the next time. Maybe you can make the file transfer with fresher drivers for your mobile device. 

Method 13. Try Connecting Your Android Phone As A USB Mass Storage Device

  1. Connect the phone to the PC with a cable and check if this connection is detected. If it has been, your android device should start charging. 
Indication for the phone being charged through USB computer connection in MIUI 12.0.4
  1. Open the Notification that allows you to change the connection mode.
  2. If there is the option to directly make your device a USB mass storage device, select it.
  3. If there isn’t, you will have to use the phone settings. The route to this configuration can differ from each mobile’s UI, which is why we cannot give definite steps. 

Method 14. Turn The USB Debugging Feature On

The USB debugging attribute of a mobile phone plays a major role in this situation. It is an element placed by the developers on your mobile’s software for handling the transfer of files from an android device to a computer. 

  1. Open the Phone settings and go to the page that contains details about the phone. This is generally named ‘More’ or ‘About Phone’.
  2. Swipe down to the option that says build number and keep tapping this, until you start seeing a message that tells you that you are ‘x’ taps away from launching the Developer options. The number of taps is usually 7.
  3. Once you enable Developer options on your phone, enabling USB debugging is easy. Locate the option and tap on it to enable USB debugging. 
USB debugging options in the MIUI Developer options settings

If you feel like this feature is already activated, you can always open this setting and check the USB debugging status. This might sound helpful but this feature can lower the security of your computer and the phone. Therefore, if this does not help, please remember to disable this feature on your android device. 

Method 15.  Update The MTP USB Drivers On Your Computer

To update the USB drivers manually is one of the few options to update the USB drivers. If this does not work, your option is to download them through a client or a website. There are third-party applications that can be used to find new drivers and install the driver software onto your computer. Once the installation is complete

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Method 16. Launch ODIN Mode On Your Android Phone

This is a possible solution if you use Samsung smartphones. Only Samsung devices are provided with the feature to access the ODIN mode or download mode. This is usually used to run a flash recovery for the firmware image. However, this should change some configurations that will let you fix the phone not detected an issue on your computer. 

Doing this is very risky as you could be looking at permanent damage to your mobile software. So, consider your options before starting this procedure.

These are the steps to launch this mode on your computer. 

  1. Press the Volume down + Home + Power buttons on your Samsung phone.
  2. Then, push the Volume down button.
Volume and Power buttons on the side of a mobile phone
  1. Insert your mobile into the PC, directly and boot your mobile up.

The computer should now recognize your android phone. Be cautious not to do anything else during this operation. Even a misclick of any button can cause a problem. 

Method 17. Delete The Cache Memory For The File Manager Application

  1. Launch the phone settings window, which typically has a gear icon as its logo.
  2. Go into the Apps settings and if there is a sub-settings option for managing the applications, go into it also. 
  3. Navigate to the File Manager application. This could also be called File Explorer.
Clear Data option for the File Manager application
  1. Open this option and choose the option that will clear this app’s cache memory. This option should go something like ‘Delete Cache’ or ‘Clear Data’.

Method 18. Remove And Install The Composite ADB Interface On Your System

  1. Launch the Device Manager tool and find the Android Composite ADB Interface. This can be found in the System Devices section and could be even named as something similar. 
System device section in the Windows Device manager
  1. Unfold its context menu and uninstall it through the option for this. 
  2. In the confirmation dialogue box, the Uninstall driver software for this device option should be checked. 
  3. Reboot the system and reconnect the android device after the boot-up is complete.
  4. Download the Google USB driver and extract it to a safe location.
  5. Open the Device Manager again and go to the ABD interface.
  6. Choose to update the driver software and choose the ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ option in the Update driver window. 
  7. In the Browse menu, navigate to the location that contains the extracted driver updates. 
  8. Click on the Include Subfolders checkbox and then, Next. 
  9. Launch the Command Prompt tool with administrator permissions and run these commands. 
  • adb kill-server
  • adb start-server
  • adb devices

If your PC has problems with this, there are no ways to know. This solution has been reported to have worked for devices with Android versions newer than Android 5.0 (Lollipop). Simply uninstalling the driver and then, scanning for hardware changes can also help fix this issue.

Scan for hardware changes option in the Windows Device Manager

Method 19. Use The Android File Transfer Utility For Mac

  1. Download the File transfer utility for your Mac from the android website. 
Android File transfer page for Mac in the Android website with the instructions to use it
  1. Once this file is downloaded, move it to the Applications folder by clicking on it and dragging it to the destination. 
  2. Run this tool and connect the android device through the Mac USB port.

Now your android device should be detected by the Mac. 

FAQs

How Do I Get My Computer To Recognize My Device?

When your computer has trouble recognizing your phone, you can try installing a media feature pack, making your phone an MTP USB device, checking the USB port, updating the portable device drivers, connecting the android phone as a media device, enable USB debugging, modifying USB computer connection settings, update driver software for the USB device and deleting cache for the file manager. Alternatively, you can transfer data wirelessly through Bluetooth or wireless connections. 

Why Is My Phone Not Connecting To My PC Via USB?

The main reasons for the phone not connecting to my PC via USB issue on your computer are as follows – 
USB driver issues
Loose connection
Irresponsive ports
Cable damage
Misconfigured PC or mobile features
Presence of third-party applications

Why Isn’t My Phone Connecting To My Computer?

If your mobile is not connected to your computer, this issue is usually caused because of a corruption of the USB drivers, interruptions from third-party tools, damaged ports or cable, incorrect computer settings, or interference of third-party apps.