› USB Connection Problems

Common Android USB Connection Problems And Possible Solutions

In this section, we will deal with the most common Android USB connection problems.

Even though Android devices are (in my opinion) almost trouble-free, some of you (in most cases users of Windows) report USB connection problems. Unless you are an advanced developer using an Android dev phone, some problems may surprise you. 

I also had some problems connecting my Android phone via USB but, fortunately, I found at least a few reliable solutions I will share with you. 

Let's check them out!

Most Common Symptoms

In fact, there are a few different symptoms of Android USB connection problems. The most often problem is that you can't transfer files between your device and your computer or manage your device through your computer.

Here is the list of the most often reported USB connection problems

  • the computer doesn't recognize your plugged Android device
  • the computer does recognize it but you still can't access its memory
  • either the phone or the computer hangs up after plugging in your device
  • you plug your Android device in but  "nothing happens"
  • you plug your Android device in but Windows fails to install necessary drives so you can't access phone storage
  • the automatic installation of PC suite provided by your device's manufacturer fails

Possible Solutions to Android USB Connection Problems

After dealing with a really great number of USB connection problems, I came up with the following list. One of these solutions must work (if it doesn't, please let me know) for you  as they were tested on various Android phones and tablets with really different issues.  

The simplest solutions are at the beginning of the list (I always suggest starting form them because some Android USB problems are really trivial  and can be solved within seconds).

There are at least a few ways of solving problems with USB connection of Android devices.

Restart your phone and your computer

This may sound too trivial and simple but it actually helped in some cases. If you've been using your computer or Android phone for a long time without restarting, they may be simply overloaded.

That's why the first thing to do is to restart your computer and then restart your Android phone. In the video below, you can see how to restart your Android phone:

Update your phone

Sometimes there may be some bugs in the software and updating your Android version  may indeed help. I had problems with my HTC One X when I was still using Ice Cream Sandwich version (it took a few minutes before my computer "saw" my device.)

After I updated it to Jelly Bean the problem disappeared and it now takes a few seconds before my computer recognizes my phone.

In the video below you can see how to check if there are updates for your phone:

It would be ideal if you could have the latest Android version for phones installed on your device. 

Update your computer

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

That's why it's always a good idea to update your system. Remember not to install too many updates at the same time (not more than two or three), though.

Use debug mode

In most cases when nothing works, this method DOES work. This is the mode intended for developers (who,  by the way, usually have Android developer phones).

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

Go to Settings > Developer options
Click OK
Check debugging
Confirm and it's done!

Kill processes using task manager and try again

One of my visitors suggested such a solution. All you have to do it download some Android app killer and kill apps (clean cache, too) and then plug in your device.

Here you can see a short video  in which I kill processes using Android Assistant and GO Power Manager widgets:

Clean up your USB devices using USBDeview

Sometimes the problem lies with the computer (if you use Windows) which simply goes dumb because of a great number of USB devices and their drivers installed.

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 know "what" it is.

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.

Manually install an accompanying PC suite together with a set of drivers for your device

Sometimes automatic installation of PC suite may fail or be interrupted. One of my visitors said that every time he connected his Motorola device, the installation process of PC software failed. In this case, it's  best to manually download software for your device from the website of its manufacturer.

Here is the list of the best known Android manufacturers (in most cases you just have to type in name of your device, download and install the package):

Samsung  USB drivers

HTC software and drivers

Motorola USB drivers

Sony Ericsson USB drivers

LG drivers

Is your USB cable OK?

One of my visitors tried all of these solutions but none of them worked. The computer simply didn't see the device and vice versa. However, when he plugged the device in using a different cable, everything went back to normal. So are you sure your USB cable is not damaged?

Is your USB cable OK?

Did You Solve Your Android USB Connection Problems?

Were these solutions helpful? Did you get rid of the connection problem? Which solution worked? Do you know any other solutions to USB connection problems with Android devices?

Let me know by either leaving a comment in the comment box below or by contacting me directly.

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