Full Fix: Android phone not recognized by PC [Windows 10/11]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 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.
solve Windows 10 doesn't recognise Android phone

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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 detect Android devices such as Lumia, Samsung, or Huawei phones. However, the situation can be different for each user.

For some, the phone is not recognized by the PC no matter what they do and they cannot perform any action. Meanwhile, others can at least fuel up their devices despite the detection issue. In other words, the phone is not detected by PC but charging.

The phone is not connecting to the PC, only charging

Like so many other users who struggle with this scenario, you might be wondering: Why will my phone charge but not connect to my computer?

It might be a software conflict somewhere, incorrect settings, or even a failing hardware component. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Try connecting your phone directly to your PC instead of using intermediary devices such as splitters, switches, or hubs
  • Check if you have the Media Transfer only enabled and tweak it a bit
  • Clear the data on the USB settings of your mobile device and see if that helps

While there may be a lot of reasons for which a phone is not connecting to the PC – including a faulty USB cable – we reckon there are high chances to get it sorted with our solutions.

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.
  3. From the list of options select Media device (MTP).
  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.

2. Install MTP USB device driver

2.1 Update the driver manually

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the menu.
  2. Locate your Android device, right-click it and choose Update driver.
  3. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
  4. Now click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  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.

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. Here’s how to do it:

  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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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

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 universal USB cable, or try connecting your Android device to a different computer using the same USB cable.

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.
  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.

8. Turn on the Airplane mode

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

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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 a USB 3.0 port on your computer fixes issues with Windows 10.

Sometimes, USB 3.0 can be slow, or it won’t be recognized. 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.
  8. Find Composite ADB Interface and right-click it.
  9. Choose Update driver.
  10. Click Browse my computer for driver software.
  11. Find the location where Google USB driver is extracted, and check the Include subfolders option.
  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

Android devices get clogged like any other device that runs an operating system, so restarting it can also refresh it. Moreover, this standard procedure clears its memory and fixes common temporary issues, like crashing apps.

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your Android device, simply reboot the system by pressing the power button, which is usually located on the top or right side of your phone. The onscreen power menu will launch and you can tap Restart.

Alternatively, in case this option does not appear in the power menu, you can turn off your device completely and press the power button to turn it back on.

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 tool to make sure your PC will always recognize your Android device:

Get WonderShare MobileGo

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.

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.

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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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