The computer does not see the smartphone via USB: ways to solve the problem

The way to connect peripheral devices to a computer using a standard USB interface is by far the most convenient. By connecting a smartphone using a USB cable to a laptop or PC, you can quickly transfer the necessary information from one device to another in any direction. The connected device is detected as a removable drive, and the user can perform all the operations he needs. But there are situations when the computer does not see the phone via USB, which, to put it mildly, absolutely does not add comfort. In this position, each user can be, regardless of the reliability of the devices used, their capabilities or all the more cost. We will consider the possible reasons why the computer does not detect the smartphone and what to do in such cases.

Solving problems with connecting a smartphone to a PC via USB.

Reasons for not connecting the phone via USB

The source of this problem may be various factors. Understanding why the computer does not see the phone connected to it, it is important to track the moment of the occurrence of a malfunction, this will help narrow down the range of possible causes and resolve the issue more quickly. For example, the day before you installed any software, reflashed your smartphone, used custom firmware from an unknown source, or there were difficulties during the installation, etc. It is also possible that you reinstalled the OS on the computer, and now the computer or laptop does not see the phone. All these details are important and can affect the normal functioning and interaction between devices. The pairing of devices via USB may not be physically or the smartphone is connected and charged, but not detected by the computer, respectively, and there is no synchronization. Both hardware and software reasons can lead to a problem, and the effectiveness of the solution depends directly on the identification of a provoking factor. Considering in more detail why there are situations when the computer does not see the devices connected via the USB interface, we highlight the following reasons:

  • One or more USB ports do not work on the computer due to a physical malfunction, software problems, power problems, controller operation, etc.
  • The USB cable is damaged or designed exclusively for charging the device.
  • Drivers do not match, are damaged or missing (this may apply to both drivers on the computer and on the smartphone).
  • Incorrect system settings in the phone.
  • Incorrect firmware smartphone.
  • Software conflict, blocking of the connected device with security software on the computer, including related to the presence of viruses.
  • Malicious programs block connection.
  • Failure of the application to synchronize devices, if it is used to interact.

The reasons, as you can see a lot. If you don’t know for certain what exactly provoked the problem, you will have to look for the culprit, try various methods, check the equipment, etc.

The phone does not connect via USB to a computer, but only charges

There are often cases when the connection is still carried out, as evidenced by the indicator of charging the battery of the smartphone. Most often, if the problem is provoked by physical defects, there is no contact with the device at all, although it is possible that only the information transmission lines do not function. Normal charging does not yet indicate the health of the cable or even the connectors. When it comes to software malfunctions, the device also charges, but is not detected by the system and the computer does not see the memory of the phone. So, if the USB connection fails and there is no synchronization of devices, you need to follow a series of actions:

  • We try to connect to another computer connector. If you have a laptop, it is preferable to use port 2.0, in the case of a stationary PC, connect to the USB input on the back panel of the system unit.
  • Inspect the device connectors for contamination, oxidation, debris that interferes with contact, and damage. If necessary, clear, but it may be necessary to replace the connector on the phone or computer in the presence of a physical defect.
  • If you can use another smartphone-compatible USB cable, connect with it. If a connection with this cord occurs, then the previous one has become unusable.
  • We check the pairing of the phone with another PC or laptop, and also try to connect another USB device to the computer, for example, a USB flash drive.

These actions will help identify the source of the trouble, in any case, by eliminating possible causes, you can significantly narrow the circle of "suspects." Thus, you will determine which of the devices caused the connection problem, or whether it was a cable.

Do not connect to the computer and flash drives? Then you will have to search for reasons why the USB ports of the PC or laptop do not work and take the necessary steps to correct this problem.

The computer does not see the phone via USB: software reasons

So, after the diagnosis, it will be clear in which of the devices there is a malfunction, so the actions will be aimed at eliminating the problem in the smartphone or computer. Software reasons are much easier to eliminate than hardware and the user is able to cope with this independently. Consider in stages what to do if the computer does not see the phone.


Do not ignore the simplest way to solve a problem, which in most cases helps with occasional failures. Before resorting to more serious methods, try to restart the device first, especially since it is not difficult to do this. Rebooting is really the most effective way to automatically eliminate errors and helps quite often, including in this case. Remove the smartphone battery, then after five minutes, put it back in place and reboot, and then try to connect to the computer.

Correct phone settings

When the physical connection through the cable is made, but the computer does not recognize the connected device, do the following:

  • Go to the settings of the smartphone, select "Memory".
  • Click "Properties" (three points above) and select the item "USB-connection to a computer."
  • Among the options for connecting a smartphone (only charging, drive, modem), you need to change the parameter. We note the "Media Device" (or "USB-drive").
  • In the case of a marked use of the phone as a modem, deactivate the mode.

Clearing the cache and removing conflicting applications

If special software is used for synchronization, clearing its cache can help. You can also use the debris removal tool on your smartphone, for example, CCleaner. In case of a problem after installing any application on the phone, a simple solution would be to delete it from the device’s memory.

USB port power settings

She of the reasons why the connectors are disconnected, it is an automatic power cut on them. You can change the situation by changing the parameters:

  • Go to the "Power" section of the Control Panel.
  • Go to the subsection "Changing the parameters of the scheme" and open additional parameters.
  • We find in the list “USB Parameters” - “Parameter of temporary disconnection of USB-port”.
  • In both options "From the network" and "From the battery" change the value to "Forbidden", apply the settings.

USB port drivers

Damaged or failed port drivers are a common cause of this problem. They may cease to function under various conditions, for example, as a result of software failures, which leads to the inability to detect USB devices. You can reinstall the drivers automatically (the system will find the necessary software itself) or manually, for which you will need to specify the path for the installation. If the drive goes to the motherboard, you can install drivers from it, or find them on the official website of the manufacturer of the motherboard.

Going to the Device Manager on the computer, you will see a list of equipment, expand the "USB Controllers" branch. To update, reinstall the drivers, you can go to the device properties (double click on the name), where in the "Driver" tab perform the procedure. Using the context menu (RMB) you can also update the driver, as well as use the device if it is disabled. Another method involves the removal of the controller, after which a reboot is required, during which the system will return a functioning controller.

USB cable problems

One of the common reasons why a computer does not see a smartphone is a damaged, unsuitable USB cable. If you use a cable that is not durable, of dubious production, then it is possible that the essence of the problem lies in it. It is better to use the original cord that comes with the device, although high-quality branded products are not protected from damage. However, not all damage is visible, and sometimes the lack of contact cannot be determined externally, so you just have to try another cable. So, if one of the wires of the twisted pair is damaged, the phone can be safely charged, but not detected by the computer.

There are no drivers for the phone on the computer

If the PC or laptop does not see through the USB phone, it is also possible that the driver of the Android device itself is missing. Check in the Device Manager the presence of the name of the smartphone in the list of connected equipment (in our case, the section "Portable devices"). A yellow exclamation mark or “unknown device” instead of a name indicates a malfunction. By analogy with manipulations with USB controllers, here you can update the driver for the phone, activate a disabled device, etc. If the system did not find a suitable software and did not automatically update it, use the second option (manually). Your device driver can be found online, and products for other manufacturer models are often compatible.

Effect of viruses

Sometimes the connection is blocked by malicious software that could penetrate the computer. Also, if the user has connected a device that has viruses, the connection may be blocked by system protection, respectively, the laptop or PC does not see the connected phone. Under Android viruses are not often written, but the situation with the Windows operating system is reversed. Check your computer for pests with the installed anti-virus and special utilities, such as Dr.Web CureIt, etc.

If the problem is not solved, reset to factory settings.

In the case when none of the above methods was not effective and the computer still does not see the smartphone via USB, the Hard Reset function can help. On Android devices, the hard reset feature is present in the settings in the backup section, besides resetting the parameters is also available through the Recovery menu, where you can enter using the buttons on the device case (each device manufacturer can assign an entry to the menu with a combination of different keys). The Hard Reset option allows the phone to reset the ballast, is cleared of system garbage, errors and other elements that interfere with the normal functioning, thereby bringing the device to life, while everything in the smartphone will look as if it was just from the store.

This is an extreme measure, because the procedure involves a return to the factory settings with the loss of all data in the phone memory. You should back up the device data first. Information from the SD card will not disappear, but all contacts, messages, installed applications, settings, and other contents of the device’s memory will be deleted. The smartphone will return to its original appearance, so this method should be used as a last resort, when more benign options have been tried, and the problem has not been solved.


As a rule, the above methods allow you to rectify the situation yourself, but if it is a matter of equipment malfunction and it is required, for example, replacement of a socket, then it is better to contact the service. You should not try to solve the problem with your own hands without special skills in order not to get even more problems with the device. If you need to transfer information very urgently, then you can use other means of pairing devices. One of the most popular and effective ways today is the use of cloud storage. To synchronize devices with the cloud, you need to connect to the Internet. In addition, you can create an FTP server on your smartphone, connect Android as a network drive to Windows. Physical connection by cable in the implementation of these features without the need, but the presence of Wi-Fi is required.