Android Phone Isn’t Showing Up When Connected to Computer [FIXES]
One of the best things about your Android phone is the ability to transfer its media to a computer. However, you first need to link the two devices, which can be prone to errors. The PC may not show the smartphone after establishing a connection, preventing you from viewing the content.
This problem can be incredibly inconvenient. In this article, we’ll will list several ways to solve it.
Android Phone Isn’t Showing Up When Connected to Computer
While this software issue might seem like a dead-end, many methods can help you overcome the obstacle:
Restart Both Devices, Use Another Port and Cable
You should first try to deal with the most obvious cause —a faulty USB port. The easiest way to do so is to restart both devices:
- Disconnect your cable.
- Reboot the computer and smartphone.
- Re-connect the cable with a different USB.
Is Your Phone Connected as Storage?
If the Android phone doesn’t show up in the PC’s File Explorer as it should, the problem may be with how it’s linked to the computer. Instead of showing up as storage, the smartphone appears to be in charging mode. There’s an easy way to resolve the issue:
- Plug the phone into the computer.
- Pull up the notification bar.
- Choose “USB,” “USB for file transfer,” or “USB charging this device.” The wording may vary, depending on the phone’s make and model.
- Hover over the menu with a list of options.
- Choose “Transfer files,” and the computer should recognize your phone.
Clean the Micro-USB Port
You should also ensure there are no foreign objects blocking the port and preventing the exchange. For instance, lint can accumulate in the USB slot if the device spends too much time in your pockets. This can impede electricity transfer and prevent the phone from transferring data. Cleaning the compartment should be a thorough process:
- Examine the port with a flashlight and look for any unwanted particles.
- If there’s any debris, power off the phone and find a needle, toothpick, or tweezers.
- Drag out the lint or other substances out of the opening.
- Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and place it inside the port.
- Rotate the swab to remove any lingering dirt.
- Let the smartphone dry for at least two hours before powering it up and attempting the transfer.
Update the MTP Driver
You also might be facing some driver problems. First, you’ll need to confirm that the computer sees the smartphone as an MTP (media transfer protocol) device:
- Head to Control Panel.
- Click the “Devices and Printers” option.
If you can locate your Android phone, the MTP link is working correctly. But if the device is flagged “Unspecified” or “MTP,” you need to update the drivers:
- Right-click on the “My PC” or “My Computer” icon, depending on your Windows version.
- Choose “Device Manager” (“Manage” on Win 10).
- Expand the “Portable devices” option and look for your device. If you can’t locate the “Portable devices” tab, find an entry containing “ADB” in its name. You’ll now be asked to browse the PC manually or search for drivers automatically. Select the former.
- If the phone’s real name isn’t shown or features an exclamation mark, right-click on it.
- Tap “Update Driver.”
- From the location box, press “Let me pick from a list of device drivers from my computer.”
- Browse the hardware types and choose “Android Device.”
- Click “MTP USB Device” and press “Next.”
- The computer should upgrade the old driver to a new version. Wait for the process to complete.
- File Manager should now list the Android phone as a media device.
Re-Install Android Drivers
You should also ensure that your PC has the necessary Android drivers. They may not have been installed correctly, and ADB or other services might have corrupted them. Follow these steps to re-install Android drivers:
- Connect the Android phone to your computer.
- Right-click on “My PC” or “My Computer.”
- Start “Device Manager.”
- Find the device’s name in the “Portable Devices” section. If you can’t find this entry, relocate the search to the “Other devices” tab.
- Right-click on your phone and choose “Uninstall.”
- Once the Android phone has vanished, unplug the cable.
- Re-connect the cable and wait for the system to install the drivers.
- Your device should appear in the “My PC” or “My Computer” icon. You can now initiate your media transfer.
Download Media Feature Pack
If updating the MTP or Android drivers doesn’t do the trick, another culprit may be preventing the smartphone from showing up on your PC. As previously mentioned, Android devices use MTP protocols to exchange data with your PC. This type of transfer interacts with Windows Media Player to complete this operation, but it’s not a default program on some Windows 10 versions.
To fix the issue, you’ll need to download and install the Media Feature Pack on your KN and N Windows 10 versions:
- Open your browser and click this link.
- Select your language and press the “Download” button.
- Choose the file you want to download and press “Next.”
- Start the installation by clicking “Run.”
- Finish the installation and try to connect your Android phone to your PC.
Connecting as a USB Mass Storage
Some Android versions, especially older ones, allow for USB Mass connections. They use different drivers from the MTP protocol and are similar to linking your flash drive or SD card to the computer. Rather than recognizing the device as a smartphone, the computer will consider it a mass storage option and install it accordingly. While this doesn’t let you connect your phone PC suite, it should enable you to exchange files.
Here’s how to link your Android phone as a USB mass storage device:
- Head to “Settings,” followed by “More Settings.”
- Choose “USB utilities” and press “Connect Storage to PC.”
- Select “Turn on USB storage.”
- Wait for the system to install the necessary drivers.
- Open “My PC” or “My Computer” and check if the phone shows up as Windows volume.
- Proceed to transfer your files.
Enable USB Debugging
The final option is to activate USB debugging, a process designed for advanced activities, such as testing and decompiling apps. However, it may solve your issue since it comes with special privileges:
- Access your “Settings” and find the “About phone” section.
- Tap “Build number” until developer mode is enabled. In some Android versions, you’ll first need to press “Software information” to access the “Build number” tab.
- Head back to the “Settings” screen and choose “Developer options.”
- Tap the “USB debugging” option to activate it.
- Connect the phone to your computer.
- Agree with the notification to permit USB debugging on the smartphone.
Transfer Files at Your Convenience
Your Android phone not showing up on your computer screen can be a huge let-down. But now you know how to deal with the difficulty and address a variety of potential causes. Whether encountering incompatible drivers or a dirty port, they should no longer keep you from sending files back and forth between your devices.
Have you tried any of these methods to pair up your phone and PC? How long did it take you to establish a successful connection? Are you familiar with other ways to solve the problem? Let us know in the comments section below.