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Android USB Connection Problems, Possible Fixes & Ways To Connect Android To PC

Trying to connect Android to PC but experiencing problems? Is your phone not showing up on PC? Want to know how to connect Android to PC so that there are no disruptions? Let's solve all these issues and more! 

Even though most of us have access to broadband Internet and various cloud services, lots of people still prefer to physically connect their phone to the computer to transfer files. 

This is, without doubt, the quickest and the safest method to transfer music or documents between our devices. Unfortunately, sometimes not everything is working OK and users experience different USB connection problems

Some of you report that your phone is not showing up on PC (even though it's been connected) or that the computer is not recognizing the phone.

Based on lots of your questions I have managed to create the list of possible fixes of USB connection problems and I am happy to share it with you here. 

How to connect Android to PC (problems & fixes)

My Computer Won't Recognize My Phone. Who Is This Tutorial For?

Please note that most of these fixes are for users of Android phones who have problems connecting their device to their PCs (running  Windows).

If you use different operating systems than Android and Windows, please post your question in the comment box. I will do my best to find the solution for you.  

Computer Not Recognizing Phone: No. 1 Reason & Fix 

Before you move on with this tutorial, I need you to at first check if the number one reason and fix of the problem works for you.

Do you know what it is? You guessed it!  

The top reason why your computer is not recognizing your phone is the faulty USB cable. 

That's why the first thing I want you to do is take a different USB cable and try to connect your Android phone to your computer once again.

If it's the cable that is to blame, here is the cable your should buy yourself: 

If it's not the cable, we can move on with this tutorial. :) 

Know how to connect Android to PC without problems?

Know how to connect Android to PC and avoid these problems? Contribute! 

For most of you at least one of the fixes present here will work. If it does, please share your thoughts in the comment  box so you will help other visitors as well. 

Top Problems Users Experience When They Connect Android To PC

Based on literally hundreds of questions I have received from you over a few years, I have created the list of top USB connection problems you experience and described possible fixes to each one. 

The list of 4 most often problems with connecting Android to PC (with a USB cable)

  1. When you connect Android to PC, the phone is not showing up on PC (you hear the sound of  the device being connected but nothing else happens when you connect your phone to your computer). This looks like the computer is not recognizing USB/phone. 
  2. You can't access your phone from PC even though your computer recognizes your phone (you see your phone in the list of connected devices but you cannot transfer any files to it).
  3. When connecting your Android phone to PC, either the phone or the computer freezes.
  4. Your computer (or rather Windows) is not recognizing the phone/USB (nothing happens when you plug in your phone).

Seven Fixes To Android USB (Computer) Connection Problems

After dealing with a really big number of USB computer connection problems with either my own devices (I am a heavy Android user) or devices of my friends, I've come up with the following list.

In 99,9% of cases, one of the below solutions will work. 

Please note that the list is OPEN and you can add a new fix to it any time. Just let me know! 

The simplest solutions are at the beginning of the list.

I always suggest starting form them because they are also the most common ones and can save you a lot of time and peace of mind.

Enough talking. Let's begin! 

#1: RESTART both devices if your phone is not showing up on your PC

This is the simplest fix and you won't believe how often it helps.

People often struggle and get nervous when their devices become unresponsive while all they need to do is reboot their phone or computer. 

If you've been using your computer or Android phone for a long time, you should start from rebooting both of them. 

Want to connect Android to PC? Start from rebooting your devices.

That's why the first thing to do is to restart your computer and then restart your Android phone (click to read the full tutorial).

In the video below, you can see how to restart your Android phone (I know the video is a bit obsolete but I will soon shoot a new one):


#2: UPDADE if your phone won't connect to the computer

Sometimes there may be some bugs in the software and updating your Android version  may indeed help.

I cannot count how many times all the weird problems magically disappeared once I ran an update of my phone. 

The advice here is simple:

Update if phone won't connect to PC

In the video below you can see how to check if there are updates for your phone (I know the video is a bit obsolete but I will soon shoot a new one)


#3: UPDATE your computer if it's not recognizing the phone 

Is your computer not recognizing your phone? It may be all because of your computer which is not up to date. 

Sometimes outdated system (most often Windows) will not recognize any Android device (or any USB device) or will keep disconnecting them.  

The piece of advice here is very simple:

Update the computer if it's not recognizing the phone
  • Go to the settings of your computer and check for updates.
  • If there are any updates, install them.
  • Make sure that automatic update is enabled. 

Below of the screenshot from settings on Windows 10 (the automatic update is enabled here by default).

Why doesn't my computer recognize my phone? Update the system.

#4: Still cannot connect Android to PC? Use USB DEBUGGING

In most cases when nothing works, this method DOES work. Remember that USB debugging is intended for advanced users who know they are doing. 

It allows you to directly access your phone, transfer and install apps without notification.

Here is what you need to do to allow USB debugging in your phone:

Connect Android to PC: USB debugging
  • If you haven't already, enable developer options on Android (click to view the tutorial how to do it). 
  • Go to Settings > Developer options > and check USB debugging.  Plug in your device.  In the screenshots below, you can see how to activate debug mode.
  • When you see the warning, click OK. 
How to connect Android to PC and avoid problems: USB debugging
How to connect Android to PC and avoid problems: USB debugging

#5: KILL processes before connecting Android to PC

This is the fix that one of my visitors suggested. I see that it can help in some cases (especially if you have an older Android phone which has less RAM memory).

If the memory of your phone is getting low, it will become slower or unresponsive. The best way to deal with it is free up some memory. 

Here is what you need to do:

Kill processes when phone won't connect to computer
  • You can install some Android app killer. 
  • Use the built-in feature that lets you kill apps and optimize your device. This feature is present by default in all newer phones running Android 7.0. All you need to do is go to Settings > Device maintenance and apply the fix. 
Use the optimization feature if your Android phone is not showing up on PC.
Use the optimiation feature if your Android phone is not showing up on PC.

#6: Windows still not recognizing USB? CLEAN UP your USB devices with USBDeview

Sometimes it's your PC that goes dumb because it "remembers" a lot of different USB devices and has drivers for each one of them.

This is most often  true for older computers running older versions of Windows (like Windows Vista). 

If many people use your computer and plug in different USB devices (e.g. pen drives, cameras etc.), the number of installed drivers may be in hundreds. That's why when you plug in your Android device the computer doesn't recognize it. 

Clean USB devices if your computer doesn't recognize USB

However, thanks to USBDeview (you can download it here), you can easily manage all your devices and uninstall the unnecessary ones. Here's what you need to do:

  • Download and open the program (you don't have to install it).
  • You will most likely see a number of Android devices (even if you have just one).  Unplug your device and uninstall all Android devices, mass storage devices, tablet devices etc. from the list. Just right-click on them and then click Uninstall selected devices
  • Now reboot your computer.
  • Plug in your device. If Windows doesn't recognize your device and doesn't automatically (Windows 7 or higher) install drivers, you may want to do it manually (the next solution below).
USBDeview. An easy way to manage all your USB devices.

#7: My computer won't recognize my phone without PC SUITE installed 

This is very often the case with older phones which won't connect to your PC unless you install (or reinstall)  their PC suite.

The advice here is to manually download software for your device from the website of its manufacturer.

Any newer Android phone (with Android above 5.0) probably won't need any PC suite as your computer will recognize it as a regular USB drive. 

Install PC suite if your computer doesn't recognize your Android phone.


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