The computer does not see the phone’s USB

What to do if computer does not see phone via USB?

It is a common practice to use a USB cable to transfer data from the phone to the computer. But sometimes when you connect your smartphone via USB the computer does not see the device. Such problem can be caused by the defect of both the phone and PC. Is it possible to solve the problem by yourself or is it necessary to apply to the service center, where the phone is repaired

If computer does not see your phone via USB you must first perform diagnostics of your mobile device. The smartphone can not connect to PC for several reasons at once. Most often it happens because of errors in the system settings of the phone. Another common reason for this problem could be a failure of the OS of the smartphone. This problem usually occurs right after flashing the phone, cleaning from viruses, uninstalling applications, etc.ะด.

If the problem is in the settings of the smartphone, it can be solved fairly quickly. To do this you need to go to the settings section “USB connection to PC”. It will offer you several options for connecting your smartphone:

Each of these modes is intended for performing different tasks. If the user has a task to transfer the information from the phone to computer (or vice versa), he should select the mode “USB Drive” or “Media Device”. If after performing this action, the computer still does not see the phone, the user needs to continue to look for the causes of the problem and ways to fix it.

In some Android smartphones such a problem may be due to the modem mode. In such phones this parameter controls not only the modem but also the connection of the device to the computer. To solve the problem, you need to go to “Wireless Networks” and turn on the modem mode. If it is already on, the user can switch it off and try to reconnect to the computer.

There is also a tab “For developers” in the settings of smartphones. In this tab you can try to debug the smartphone via USB. If even this solution does not solve the problem, the user has not many options left. First, it can uninstall the applications, after installing which this malfunction occurred. Secondly, you can reset the OS of your smartphone to the factory settings. But the best way to solve such a problem is to seek the help of specialists from service centers, which will be able to diagnose the exact cause of the problem and fix it as soon as possible.

The problem may lie not only in the settings, but also in the physical condition of the smartphone. For example, there may be a problem with the connectors. Even with the highest quality smartphones the connectors often become loose and break. Such a problem occurs due to frequent use of these connectors. Another reason may be the loosening or damage of the connector, resulting from dropping the gadget. Regardless of the causes, this kind of malfunction can only be eliminated in the service center. It is usually eliminated by replacing the connector.

Sometimes there are more simple problems. For example the smartphone does not connect because the connector is dirty. This problem is eliminated very simply. by cleaning the connector.

Why Android phone is not visible on the computer via USB and only charging occurs. simple reasons and solutions

Before proceeding to additional methods of solving the problem when the phone is not visible through the USB connection, I recommend paying attention to the following simple points: very often the cause turns out to be something of the above:

  • If you took a USB connection cable from a non-original cheap charger or coming with another device (for example. to charge wireless headphones or another device not designed for receiving and transmitting data), the reason may be exactly this: not all cables can transmit data, there are no appropriate contacts, and you can not notice it externally. The solution is a serviceable cable with guaranteed data transfer capability.
  • If you are faced with the fact that when you connect your smartphone to the computer it is not visible, and if you have recently had phone repair and have repaired something connected with the board or jack, the high probability that the repair caused the problem: very often the connectors are soldered so that after that only the charger works correctly. The only solution is to redo.
  • If you have a Mac OS, just install the Android File Transfer app to be able to transfer data, official website:
  • If you still have Windows XP, install the MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) driver.

Additionally please keep in mind that even if you connect the cable through the USB hub (USB port splitter) to the faulty USB connector of the PC or notebook, or sometimes to the front panel of the PC, the problem in question may occur. Try a direct USB connection, a different connector, the back of your PC, if you connected to a USB 3.0 connector (usually blue). see if the problem persists when connecting to USB 2.0.

And the last simple point: once the phone is connected to your computer, it needs to be displayed in Explorer with the ability to view photos, videos and other files in order for it to start showing up:

  • Unlock your phone when connected, if it’s locked. you can’t access data on locked modern Android phones.
  • Tap on USB connection notification in notification area (by default most phones are connected for charging only). If the notification does not appear, or rather it does not say that it is a USB connection, but only a text about charging, it means that from the “point of view” of the phone connection does not serve for data transfer (wrong cable, damaged cable, connector on the phone or computer). Below are screenshots of what the notification looks like on pure Android 9 and 8, on Samsung Galaxy and on Android 6-7.
  • Select MTP file transfer mode for USB connection. On older versions of Android there may also be an item for connection as USB Mass Storage, it will also work, and can work even better.

If the above methods did not help, let’s move on to more complicated ways to fix.

Connectivity issues on your iPhone

Apple has its own vision of how their devices should be connected to computers. You can do most things with just one program. iTunes. In some ways this simplifies things, but some things remain similar to Android phones.

Problems with the cable

As we explained above, the first thing you should do is examine the lighting cable for damage. It shouldn’t have any cracks or fissures. If you are not sure of the quality of your cable, buy a new one. Again, you don’t want to look for a good lighting cable in underpasses or at bus stops. Go to the nearest electronics store and buy a good analog from a well-known manufacturer if you can not afford the original lightning cable from Apple.

Problems with your computer

All iOS smartphone operations in the “big” computer need to be done through iTunes. The program itself installs all the necessary drivers and checks their relevance, the user has only to connect the phone to the PC.

Most problems with iPhone connection to the computer can be solved by trivial reinstallation of iTunes. After uninstalling the previous version, be sure to restart the PC.

As in the case with Android, it is better to use the sockets on the back of the system unit when connecting iOS devices.

Problems with your smartphone

The iPhone doesn’t have any special settings for choosing between smartphone and PC mode. When you connect the lightning cable between the smartphone and the computer, the automatic synchronization starts. Your phone should be unlocked. If the connection problems do not disappear after gently cleaning the phone connector and rebooting, you should contact the service center.

Alternatives to a wired connection between your phone and your computer

If you need to transfer files to your smartphone, and you do not have time to deal with problems with a wired connection, you can bypass this problem by using the internet.

The easiest thing to do is to use a cloud file storage service. As a rule, users have an average of 10 gb available immediately after registering and installing the program on your computer and smartphone. Synchronization is done automatically.

If the files are small, it is easier to send them to yourself by mail or messenger (Telegram or VK have this feature).

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There is also a possibility to synchronize files via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi using special programs for smartphone and PC. For example AirDroid or Wi-Fi File Transfer for Android smartphones.

Software reasons for the impossibility of pairing devices

This is the most extensive class of problems, leading to the inability to synchronize devices via USB interface, which itself is much less stable than wired. On the other hand software malfunctions are much easier to correct than physical ones and in most cases with some skills and knowledge even an insufficiently qualified user can cope with them.

Let’s consider the main ways of troubleshooting.


Strange as it may seem, but in some cases restarting the PC does help to eliminate the problem if the failure was accidental, caused by a conflict at the software level, which occurred due to a rare set of circumstances. Alas, it happens even with carefully tested and simple programs consisting not of tens and hundreds of thousands, but several hundreds of lines of code. Sometimes a hard reset is needed, which on a smartphone is done by removing the battery and on a PC/laptop by pressing the Power button. After a couple of minutes of inactivity, turn on both devices and try again to connect them via cable.

Correctness of phone settings

Sometimes the failure is caused by wrong settings of the cell phone. If everything is OK with the cable but your smartphone is not recognized, try the following (we are talking about Android devices)

Getting rid of conflicting software, clearing program cache

For synchronization of some phone models brand-name software is used, that can work incorrectly due to the presence of cached data. In such cases, often helps to completely clear the cache. On the smartphone this can be done via the settings of the appropriate application, on the PC / laptop for this there are specialized utilities such as CCleaner. If the problem appeared after installing a new application or program on your smartphone/computer, the obvious way out of the crisis situation is to uninstall this software.

Power settings of USB connectors

Now let’s see what to do if the computer does not want to synchronize with the phone due to errors with the power supply. Such situations are rare, but they happen. Algorithm of actions is as follows:

Reinstalling the port drivers

Experienced users know that the drivers responsible for computer peripherals occasionally “fly off”, which causes these peripherals to stop functioning correctly or not work at all. In our case we are talking about USB port drivers. If they have been corrupted by a software malfunction (for example, due to a power failure in the network) the computer will not be able to detect devices plugged into it via the cable.

Windows has tools to search for these kinds of problems, and if it finds a driver that is not working, it will try to reinstall it on its own. If for some reason it fails to do so, it will ask you for the path to install the drivers manually. Usually the computer is supplied with the installation disk with drivers; if you have lost it, you can download the necessary software from the motherboard manufacturer’s official site.

You can also perform the same procedure yourself:

Here you can also turn on the device if it happens to be disabled. You can try to remove non-functional controller and reboot the PC. the system will find and install the missing controller by itself.

What other ways are there to connect

You always have a backup option. services with which you can transfer files between your computer and mobile device over the Internet. These are AirDroid, Pushbullet, and cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. They let you do without Bluetooth and USB if those options don’t work or don’t fit.

This was first published in August 2017. In February 2021, we updated the text.

Media Feature Pack

If you have Windows 10, then download and install the Media Feature Pack (preferably from Microsoft’s official website). This solution is due to the fact that the stripped-down versions of Windows 10 may not have Windows Media Player, the presence of which is necessary for the full functioning of the MTP protocol, without which you can not do without when connecting a cell phone to a laptop.

Why the phone is not visible to the computer?

At first let’s consider the situation when during connection of the phone and PC nothing happens. That is, the phone is not detected, and charging does not automatically begin. This phenomenon is explained by the violation of the connection at the physical level, with only three possible reasons (if we do not consider unlikely scenarios):

  • Damaged connection cable. To check the version you need to take another cable and connect the PC and the smartphone with it. If the connection is successful, then the initial connection failure was caused by the poor condition of the old cable.
  • The phone charging jack is damaged. Check by connecting your smartphone to another PC, notebook, or hot standby bank. If the phone is not detected, the problem is in the charging jack of the smartphone. In this case you need to order the repair of the device in a service center or (as a cardinal variant) buy a new smartphone.
  • PC USB port is damaged. To check it is enough to connect other devices (mouse, keyboard or other smartphone) to a particular USB port of the computer. If there is no response you will need to either repair the USB port on your computer which is not working or make further connections via other (working) ports.

The order of testing is random. But we want to note that in most cases the reason of “invisibility” of the phone can be explained by a bad cable or malfunctioning of the charging slot on the phone, therefore it is recommended to check these options in the first place.

What to do if computer does not see phone through USB, but charges

There are many ways to solve this problem:

  • Connect a different wire. If nothing changes then the cable is working.
  • Possibly the port is broken. To check this, connect the wire to another slot. If after that the synchronization is still not done, it means that the slot is faulty.
  • Connect it to another PC or laptop. If other devices do not recognize the device, the problem may be in the elements of the device, for example, broken microUSB. In this case you should take it to the service center.
  • One of the reasons why the computer does not see the phone is an old Windows XP. You need to download MTP. Media Transfer Protocol for your Android mobile device to work with this version of OS. You need to download the program from the official Microsoft website.
  • This item refers to devices with password. In order for the PC and the gadget to work properly, you must first unlock the latter.
  • You may need to install or update drivers. You need to go to “Device Manager”. If you see an exclamation mark inside a yellow triangle right-click and click “Refresh. There are different variations of the name of the line. If you are missing a driver, before you connect your phone to your laptop via USB, download the software from the official website of the mobile gadget’s manufacturer. After downloading you need to activate the installer.exe.
  • Try running USB debugging.
  • Another way to solve the synchronization problem is to remove the old driver, reboot the PC and install the new software.
  • Check the connection mode. Processor does not recognize the device if it is in charging mode.
  • Deactivate the modem mode. To do this, go to the settings of the gadget, select the item “Wireless Networks”, then click “” and turn off the device as a modem.
  • Personal computer can not see the phone if storage mode is not set. This should be viewed in the notification bar of the device.
  • Reboot both devices. Sometimes this works.
  • Check your PC for viruses.
  • Perform a factory reset. Backup all contacts and necessary data on the SD card beforehand. Built-in memory of the device is not suitable in this case, since it will be erased.
  • Reflash Android. This can be done with or without PC using the ROM Manager. Just like with the reset, first you have to save files on the SD card.

PC or laptop does not see the phone with a less common operating system. To solve this problem, the device must be connected to the processor turned off. Turn the device on after the cord is inserted in the slot. In that case, Windows will see the unknown device and automatically load the drivers.

All these actions will help even if your device is not charging.

Causes of synchronization failures and other data transfer methods

There are several reasons for errors in the recognition of portable devices. First of all it can be hampered by mechanical or stochastic damage of the cable. The port on the processor or laptop may be damaged. It will not be possible to connect your phone to your laptop if the battery is defective or there is a software failure.

If the synchronization error is connected with destruction of structural elements of the processor or the gadget you’ll have to replace them. In case of software failure on the device you need to reflash it. You can do it yourself or use the service center. If the failure is due to Windows, you need to reinstall it.

Before synchronization you should check the activation of Windows Update and detection of new devices. Now you can try to connect the phone to the computer via USB.

There are other methods by which you can transfer files to your computer’s hard drive:

  • Using cloud storages such as Google Drive, Yandex Drive, Dropbox, etc.
  • Installing special programs, such as AirDroid. This service is convenient for beginners.
  • Connecting the mobile device as a network drive in Windows. For this you need to create an FTP server in your gadget.

Now you know what to do if you have problems with device synchronization. As you can see, you can connect devices even if the PC can’t see the phone. For this purpose in most cases you need to do some simple manipulations.

Connecting a mobile device to your CPU or laptop gives you more options. You can transfer large amounts of data and free up memory of your gadget. You can also use it as a webcam and modem. It’s so easy to set up. Android and Windows offer intuitive interfaces and prompts.