Windows 10 doesn’t recognise Android phone [Full Guide]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
Last update:
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  • If the phone is not showing up on your PC, you might have a problem with the USB connection.
  • Another reason why the phone is not connecting to the PC may be a problematic USB driver.
  • A fix for the PC not recognizing the Android phone is to update the drivers automatically using a dedicated solution.
  • You can also get to the bottom of this by trying another USB cable than the original.
 
 
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Sometimes you need to connect your Android device to your Windows 10 computer in order to transfer certain files, but users have reported certain problems with Android devices and Windows 10.

It seems that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android devices, and today we’re going to see how to fix that.

Why is my phone not connecting to the PC via the USB cable? There may be a lot of reasons including a faulty USB cable.

What can I do if Windows 10 doesn’t recognize my device?

1. Check USB computer connection settings

  1. On your Android device open Settings and go to Storage.
  2. Tap the more icon in the top right corner and choose USB computer connection.
    android-storage-1
  3. From the list of options select Media device (MTP).
    android-storage-2
  4. Connect your Android device to your computer, and it should be recognized.

In order to transfer files from your computer, you need to connect your Android phone as a media device (MTP).

In certain cases, you might have to connect your Android phone to your computer and switch between different connection options a few times before your computer recognizes your Android device as a media device.


Can’t transfer files from your phone to the PC? We’ve got you covered with the best apps.


2. Install MTP USB device driver

2.1 Update the driver manually

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the menu.
    device-manager
  2. Locate your Android device, right-click it and choose Update driver.
  3. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
    browse-my-for-driver-software
  4. Now click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
    browse-for-driver-software
  5. From the list choose MTP USB Device and click Next.
  6. After the driver has been installed, your Android device should be recognized.

Sometimes your Android phone isn’t recognized due to driver issues, so you might want to try updating your drivers.

2.2 Update drivers automatically

Downloading drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions of your  PC. Thus, we recommend an alternative tool that will do it for you.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows computer is by using an automatic tool like the one recommended below that will fix and update them automatically in just a few seconds.

DriverFix Updater Results Most of the time, the generic drivers for your PC’s hardware and peripherals are not properly updated by the system. There are key differences between a generic driver and a manufacturer’s driver. Searching for the right driver version for each of your hardware components can become tedious. That’s why an automated assistant can help you find and update your system with the correct drivers every time, and we strongly recommend DriverFix. Follow these easy steps to safely update your drivers:
  1. Download and install DriverFix.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the detection of all your faulty drivers.
  4. DriverFix will now show you all the drivers that have issues, and you just need to select the ones you’d liked fixed.
  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
  6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
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To avoid future driver related problems, here’s how you can keep all of them up to date.


3. Download and install Media Feature Pack for Windows 10

We already mentioned that in order to transfer files from your computer to your Android device you need to use the MTP protocol.

MTP protocol is related to Windows Media Player, and some versions of Windows 10 don’t have Windows Media Player and support for related technologies such as MTP protocol.

If your version of Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android devices, download and install the Media Feature Pack for N and KN versions of Windows 10.


4. Use a different USB cable

If you aren’t using the original cable that came with your device, you might want to consider switching your USB cable.

In some rare cases, some USB cables are just designed for powering and not for file transfer, so you might have one of those USB cables.

In order to be sure, try using a different USB cable, or try connecting your Android device to a different computer using the same USB cable.


Your USB cable is getting old? Replace it with a new one to avoid any connectivity issues.


5. Uninstall Android drivers

  1. Connect your Android device to your computer and open Device Manager.
  2. In Device Manager locate your Android device. Usually, it’s located in Other Devices or in Portable devices section, but the location might be different on your computer.
  3. Right-click the device and choose Uninstall.
    uninstall-driver
  4. After the drivers have been uninstalled, disconnect your Android device.
  5. Reconnect it again and wait for Windows 10 to install its drivers again.
  6. Check if your Android device is now recognized.

Sometimes you might not have the latest drivers, or your drivers might not be properly installed, so in order to fix issues with Android devices and Windows 10, it’s advised that you uninstall your Android drivers.

Keep in mind that sometimes, Windows cannot find and download some drivers. In this case, you can check out this guide to make sure that your Android drivers will be installed properly.


6. Connect your Android phone as a USB Mass Storage device

  1. On your Phone go to Settings and select More Settings.
  2. Chose USB utilities and tap Connect Storage to PC.
  3. You might be asked to unplug and plug your Android device in order to install the necessary drivers. In addition, you might also get asked to turn off USB debugging.
  4. After you’ve completed all the steps, check if your Android phone is recognized.

To connect your Android phone as USB Mass Storage device you will need to perform the steps above.


7. Enable USB debugging

  1. Go to Settings and tap Developer Options.
  2. If you receive a warning message, click OK.
  3. Now you need to enable Developer Options and check USB debugging.
  4. After the warning message appears, click OK to close it.

If you are using Android 4.2 or newer, USB Debugging option might be hidden on your device. To enable USB Debugging, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and tap on About phone.
  2. Scroll to Build Number and tap it seven times.
  3. After doing that, you’ll be able to turn on USB Debugging.

Users have reported that enabling USB debugging can sometimes help with this issue. To enable USB debugging on your Android phone, do the following:

After you’ve enabled USB debugging, check if your Android phone is recognized. In the particular case that you own a Samsung Galaxy device, we’ve covered the same issue in this dedicated article.


Interested in more info about USB debugging and other developer options on Android? We’ve got you covered.


8. Turn on the Airplane mode

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If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your Android phone, you might want to turn on Airplane mode.

Users have reported that after turning on the Airplane mode, your Android phone will be recognized by your computer and you’ll be able to transfer files without any problems.

After you’re done with file transfer, just turn off the Airplane mode. As you can see, this is a simple workaround, so you might want to try it.

Furthermore, if you bump into some weird Airplane mode errors, here’s a usefull article that will help you solve them.


9. Reboot your phone into ODIN mode

  1. Hold Volume Down + Home + Power to turn on your phone.
  2. Press Volume Up.
  3. Connect your phone to your PC and let it install the necessary drivers.
  4. Remove the phone’s battery and start your phone normally.
  5. Check if your Android phone is now recognized by Windows 10.

This solution applies only to Samsung’s devices since they are the only devices with access to ODIN mode.

We have to warn you that ODIN mode is in charge of flashing your Android phone, and if you’re not careful, you can cause permanent damage to your phone.


10. Install KIES software / use USB 2.0 ports

If your Android phone isn’t recognized by Windows 10, you might want to download KIES software. We have to mention that installing KIES software only works for Samsung’s devices.

Update: Samsung KIES is now part of Samsung Smart Switch.

Users have also reported that plugging in your Android phone to USB 2.0 port instead of USB 3.0 port on your computer fixes issues with Windows 10.

Sometimes, USB 3.0 can be slow, or it won’t be recognised. These issues can also trigger the connection problem with Android, so make sure to fix them first.


11. Reinstall Composite ADB Interface

  1. Open Device Manager and locate Android Composite ADB Interface.
    • This device might have a different name sometimes, such as ACER Composite ADB Interface, so look carefully.
  2. Once you’ve found Composite ADB Interface right click it and choose Uninstall.
  3. Make sure that you check the Uninstall driver software for this device option.
  4. Restart your computer and reconnect your Android device. Check if your device is recognized. If it’s not, proceed to the next step.
  5. Download USB Driver from Google and extract it to your computer (Remember the extract location because you’ll need it later).
  6. Open Device Manager.
  7. Click the Scan for hardware changes button.
    device-manager-hardware-changes
  8. Find Composite ADB Interface and right-click it.
  9. Choose Update driver.
  10. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
    browse-my-for-driver-software
  11. Find the location where Google USB driver is extracted, and check the Include subfolders option.
    browse-for-driver-software
  12. Click Next to install the driver.
  13. Open Command Prompt as administrator
  14. You can do that by searching for cmd and selecting Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
  15. When Command Prompt starts, type the following lines and press Enter after each line:
    • adb kill-server
    • adb start-server
    • adb devices

Sometimes, Windows 10 doesn’t recognise your Android phone due to problems with Android Composite ADB Interface. If your device isn’t recognised by Windows 10, you might want to reinstall it.

This solution works with Android 5.0 and newer devices, but it should work with older versions of Android as well.

Some users have reported that there’s no need to download USB Driver from Google and that this issue is resolved in most cases simply by following the first four steps of this solution.

If you can’t run the commands because Command Prompt isn’t working, follow the steps in this detailed guide to repair it.


12. Restart your Android device

Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious one, and some users have reported that after restarting their Android device it was successfully recognized by Windows 10, so it won’t hurt that you try that.

Android devices get clogged like any other device that runst an operating system so restarting it can also refresh it.


13. Connect your phone directly to your computer

Certain USB devices might not be recognized if you connect them to a USB hub, and this is a relatively frequent problem.

Users have reported that their certain devices, such as Android phone or external hard drive, aren’t being detected if they are connected to a USB hub.

If you use a USB hub, unplug your Android phone from it and connect it directly to your computer in order to resolve this issue.


14. Delete cache and data for the External Storage and Media Storage app

  1. Open Phone settings and go to Apps.
  2. Tap the dots in the top right corner and choose Show system apps.
  3. Select the External Storage and Media Storage app and delete its cache and data.
  4. After you’ve deleted cache and data, restart your phone and connect it to your PC again.

This solution works on Android 6 devices, but if you have an older version of Android, you can try it out as well. To delete cache and data for External Storage and Media Storage app, perform the steps above.


15. Use a third-party app

This is not the Holy Grail but for some users, it worked. You simply install a sync app that might make your PC recognize your phone due to its functionalities.

We would recommend the following tools to make sure your PC will always recognize your Android device:

Get WonderShare MobileGo (free version download*)

Get Syncios (free version download)
*Note: download will start immediately from the official websites

These are some of the best apps on the market. They synchronize and transfer data from both Android and IOS to PC. Download them and try to sync your phone with your computer.


There are many reasons why Windows 10 won’t recognize your Android device, and in most cases, the issue was fixed by downloading Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 or by updating your drivers.

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We hope that our solutions were helpful to you and that you’ve managed to fix this issue. If any of them worked, feel free to leave some feedback in the comments section below.

This article covers:Topics:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Try plugging it into your PC directly instead of using a USB hub. If that doesn’t work, follow our guide if your Android device is not recognized.

  • It might be a problem with your USB cable. Check our selection with the best USB cables to replace the faulty one.

  • If you’re trying to connect your phone through Bluetooth, here’s what to do if your laptop can’t detect Bluetooth devices.

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The question was “windows-10-doesnt-recognize-android”

How can you “Locate your Android device, right click it and choose Update Driver Software” if as the question states “windows-10-doesnt-recognize-android”, its not there to update the driver .

“From the list of options select Media device (MTP).” Newer Android phones don’t show MTP

KIES is outdated and is now part of Smart Switch.

Tried all the other options and none worked.

The only thing I can get to work is open MS Photos App on my laptop. This recognizes my phone I can browse to photos and videos on my phone from my laptop and import from my phone however, whilst connected my Phone is still not recognized in Windows 10 in either Device Manager or from within File Explorer.

Problem with MS Photos App, once you have browsed to the photos on your phone and imported and selected to delete the photos from source once imported, it doesn’t actually delete them. If I import and delete the photos and then disconnect the phone and close down the photo app. Then got to my phone and check the source folder for my photos they are not there. Thats correct as I have just deleted them on import.
I f I reconnect my phone and open MS Photo and click import it searches my phone and displays all the photos its just deleted which according to the phone are not there.
Have tried resetting the app have tried uninstalling the app adn installing from new but hits the same problem.

Errr, if my laptop isn’t recognising my android device, how am i supposed to find the device on the list of things to update drivers on??

Thank you for your post. It was very frustrating to go to heaps of different sites with fewer suggestions that did not work. It’s taken ages to get this damn S8 to connect to my pc (it used to work fine then one day just stopped connecting). Your suggestion of turning on ‘airplane mode’ on worked and has meant I can back up some very important baby photos that we otherwise stuck on my phone. Thank you for taking the time to make posts like this to help people like me.

None of this works. Step 1: there is no button “more” in my storage menu. Step 2-3: Windows says “best drivers already installed”. Downloading the Driver Update Tool that you suggested: red flag, “file contains viruses or malware”. Get a real job, man, stop wasting my time and bandwidth.

Wow, I would never have guessed that a USB cable could be charge-only. That suggestion was a lifesaver for me.

After going through a lot downloading useless adb drivers on the internet that did nothing but cause more trouble, your article is a life saver. The instruction on reinstalling the mtp usb device made it work again. Thank you so so so much.

hi my phone is micro max android one ,now it is recovery mode so i want to connect my mobile to PC but my pc didnt show my phone in device manager

I had same problem. I did the following to solve that and it worked.
(1) Go to C:\Windows\INF
(2) Type “wpdmtp.inf” in search bar provided to the right of the address bar in Windows 10.
(3) Once you found it, just right click on it and select install. It will take a very few seconds.
(4) Connect your device to the pc.
Done.

Thanks a lot,
It was very helpful to me as I was unable to access my phone but now it’s all done.

Very helpful to me as I was unable to access my phone but now it’s all done in just on a click go????????????????????????

Simple solution

I installed the driver manually.
So
1) Install drivers manually in the device manager
2) Klick “search from a list”
3) Then ADB interface
4) Then you have to pick the right one. It was “MTP-USB-Device”.

Incredible! I just changed the cable and it works. I bought a couple of longer charging leads on fleebay which indeed do allow charging but won’t allow data transfer or recognition by Windows 10.

thnx friend. u are awesome. I was having this problem since many days and visited many sites and also changed my usb cable too but in the end nothing. but now my device is being recognised by my pc. Thanx a lot

Unfortunately none of these solutions worked for me.
Of note: during solution 2 I didn’t see the MTP driver (only Android composite ADB interface).

Thanks for this tutorial. It seems to be my Driver is malfunctioning and doesn’t read my external devices (just showing up an installer instead of automatically connecting). Just update your driver if you have the same problem like me. This tutorial seems to be outdated for windows 10 because the controls aren’t as exact as this tut but still the same, just figure it out yourself.

Awesome article.

Thanks, solution 2 worked on all three of my android devices. For some reason the latest build of Windows 10 insists on repeatedly trying to install the wrong MTP driver and never reverts to the correct one until you choose it.

solution two is working but that is not easy to find out, why? my device manager in windows 10 get changes after I follow it I don’t why I did not find the word I click it take like a puzzle before I click the right word directly to its right way in mtp usb devices. I’m being thankfull and lucky but all In this instruction one word Is what I looking for that is the mtp usb device, that is the last part of solution two instruction ogf this page, I took 3 hours just to find out the correct timing and path to make success.. the forgot what way I get it but it is in portable device or software device in device manager I get confuse because the loptop getting changes its device manger and hiding something in software device I hope you will not experience what I got to make my phone be compatible in my loptop file manger,
in others word it looks like encrypted when I experienced it.

don’t get up guys or maybe buy a cable support a otg file.

for me non of these work…. Strangely enough, only my desktop is having this problem. All tablets and phones no longer get seen by WIndows Explorer. There are no errors with the USB driver. In fact, I just reinstalled the latest drivers. The Device Mangager lists no items in error. Everything looks fine on my laptop. What could it be? Non of the solutions above are applicable to me.

Windows 10 vs Android 6.0 …Turn on the MTP USB thing and still nothing, not even an unrecognised device , nada. wtf ?! Then use a different cable and BINGO !

Notice : The layout of Android 6.0 is definitely not as the above pictures show. In Settings-Storage of Android 6.0 you can only switch default storage between device or SD card. USB mode is not there. You must do settings-tap ABOUT 7 times and so activate the Developer Options . Exit back out and go again Settings and scroll all the way down there is a new one called Developer Options . Activate Developer Options and also activate the USB as MPT..it is in there about half way down. Now plug your phone again in any USB port or otherwise change the damn USB cable . Try another cable.

Cheap USB to microUSB cables have only two wires , red and white , + and – . A real USB cable has FOUR wires . I have cut a few USB wires until I came to know this. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Obviously the ones with only two wires only work as charging. You bought a CHARGING cable and you want to use it for USB connecting ? It ain’t gonna work. Change the cable.

I’m hoping your solution helps as I can’t connect to PC (Win 10) with Android 6. But, I’m lost at the “about” step (tap 7 times) If I click “about device” it opens a menu.

Solution 2 worked for me.
P.S. If you see your phone in my computer but when you open it, it says it’s empty, unlock your phone. If your phone is password/pin/whatevs protected you should be able to access it

My Note 4 with Android version 6.0 Marshmallow and a Windows 10 computer showed connected as a “media device”, but doesn’t see any media on the Note.

But then found in Settings, Developer Options (which you can activate if not already by dialing *#0808#), under the Networking subcategory, long-press on USB connection (which had said “charging” while connected to my PC) and selected MTP, then “Allow”, and presto! it worked! I can see both parts of my phone now, the device, and the SD card, and explore, copy and paste, etc.

I have a better and ultimately faster solution than literally days of troubleshooting every new hardware device windows 10 refuses to recognize. In my case it was a new dvd-rom drive; 2 external usb storage drives; my Nikon Coolpix digital camera and now it’s my Samsung phone which still does not work after trying the methods above. My solution is format the drive and reinstall windows 7 which by the way, worked with ALL my devices instantly. It’s no wonder M$ is giving windows 10 away, it’s a terribly flawed OS and I’m not ever migrating back to junkware until they FIX it themselves instead of having the consumer do it for them.