PC doesn’t recognize cell phone – you can do that

If your PC does not recognize the smartphone via USB, there may be several reasons. How to solve the (typical) problems.

What could be the reason if the connection between smartphone and PC fails? In order to enable data transfer at all, you must first find the right one


set on your phone. When you connect it, it usually automatically displays the possible USB connection types, for example “mass storage” or “data transfer”. This gives you access to the phone’s internal memory. If that doesn’t work, continue with the tips below.

Tip 1: restart your mobile phone

A reboot has already eliminated many problems, why not in this case too? Disconnect the USB connection to the PC and restart the mobile phone. A restart is always the first approach to correcting various errors. If the PC still does not recognize the mobile phone, change the USB cable in the next step.

Tip 2: swap USB cable or change port

With USB cables, there can be two reasons that prevent a connection to the PC:

1. No data transmission planned:

The USB cable can only charge devices, but cannot transfer data.

2. Defects:

Years of use and minor damage from kinking can cause the USB cable to no longer transfer data correctly. A new cable is already available for a few euros, for example from Amazon.

USB-C cable for 12.99 euros at Amazon

2 micro USB cables for 7.99 euros at Amazon

Lightning cable for 7.99 euros on Amazon

If there is no defect – in other words: a new USB cable does not work either – try a different USB port on the computer. If that doesn’t help either, try to connect the smartphone to another PC if possible. So you rule out that it is due to your computer.

Tip 3: reinstall cellphone drivers

If your mobile phone is still not recognized by the PC – or if it identifies the smartphone but does not display any content – then certain drivers could be missing, out of date or simply no longer work. You should therefore delete the USB entries for connected devices saved on the PC.

To do this, use Windows under

Start> Control Panel> Device Manager> View

the hook at

Show hidden devices

. Then tap

USB controller

, search for the USB entry on your smartphone and uninstall it – the driver is often already displayed with the manufacturer name such as “Samsung” or as “Android device”. Restart the computer and reconnect the phone to the PC via USB. The system will then automatically search for the latest driver and install the latest version.

Look for your phone's USB entry in Device Manager


Look for your phone’s USB entry in Device Manager

Tip 4: Update the driver for the MTP connection

Since the Windows Anniversary Update of 2016, smartphones can no longer easily connect via MTP. If your mobile phone tries to do this anyway, see in the device manager under

Portable devices

a yellow warning sign. In this case, right-click the entry and then click “Update driver software”. Then select “MTP USB device”. The computer will then install the latest driver, which is required for the connection between the mobile phone and the PC.

Tip 5: turn off USB debugging

USB debugging is a function that is primarily used by IT support or developers to connect a smartphone to the PC and read out certain data, for example. Sometimes, however, activated USB debugging can cause problems, as the mobile phone is then automatically connected via the debug mode. How to disable USB debugging:

  1. Go to the


    Your cell phone and there under



    Telephone info.

  2. Look for the

    Build number.

    This can usually be found under “Software information”.

  3. Tap

    7 times

    on it to unlock the developer options. Often you have to enter your lock code again beforehand.

  4. Back in the settings menu, select the new field at the bottom

    “Developer Options”

    and scroll there to the point

    USB debugging.

    Check whether the function is activated or not. If so, you should try switching it off and then trying again to connect your mobile phone to the PC.

USB debugging can be found in Android Developer Options


USB debugging can be found in Android Developer Options

Tip 6: reset your phone

If the problem “PC does not recognize mobile phone” still exists, a reset can also help. Before doing this, however, you should back up your data. Resetting to the factory settings often eliminates software errors and you can then connect the mobile phone to the PC as usual.

Tip 7: If nothing works anymore – repair

If your smartphone is not recognized by the PC even after the reset, contact the manufacturer. The probability is high that the USB port on your smartphone is defective. A repair is required to fix the problem.

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