Trying to connect your phone to your computer but disappointed to find out that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone? Here’s the complete guide to helping you establish a connection between your PC and Android with a list of viable solutions.

After months of advertising and delivering on their promise of free Windows 10 updates for a year, Microsoft finally stopped their free Windows 10 upgrade on July 29. This so that millions of the company’s customers around the world enjoy a free OS software update, which was unprecedented. But the upgrade has resulted in massive issues for some users.

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Among other things, Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone sometimes when connected via a USB cable. If you’re experiencing this issue, it means you won’t be able to copy files between your phone and PC, use the mobile suite software to create data backups and so much more. The good news though is that you can easily fix this problem (and if not, we’re here to help) in almost no time at all.

Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your Android phone? Here’s what you should do:

Despite the fact that Windows 10 is arguably the best version of the operating system to date, it does have its own set of issues. When it comes to establishing a connection between your Android device and a Windows 10- powered computer, there’s more than just one factor that could be causing the connection error.

We have sifted through the internet to find you the best solutions to the issue of why Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone when connected via USB cable.

Solution 1: Reboot your Windows 10 computer

As simple as it may seem, you’d be surprised by how many software and even hardware related issues on your computer can be fixed with a simple refresh. By rebooting your Windows 10 PC, you end up closing all applications, programs, and processes.

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Some of these issues might be a very reason Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone right away. In order to reboot your Windows 10 PC, simply press the Windows icon and use the cursor to press the Power button on the bottom-left corner and select Restart.

Solution 2: Check USB settings on your Android

To be able to transfer files from your PC, your Android device needs to be connected as MTP (Media transfer mode). While most devices are set to MTP mode by default, you might have to manually enable it when you connect your Android device to the computer.

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  • From the home screen, head over to the app drawer and open the Settings app on your Android device.
  • Scroll down to find the Storage menu option and tap the three-dot menu icon located at the top-right corner then select ‘USB computer connection’.
  • You get a list of options for USB connection, such as MTP and PTP. Choose Media device (MTP) to enable your computer to recognize your Android device as an external storage device.
  • Now connect your Android device to your Windows 10 PC. In most cases, it should be recognized and you will find it under This PC tab in the File Explorer.

In some cases, you might need to switch between the various connection options a couple of times before your PC is able to recognize the Android device.

Note: You won’t be able to set the default connection type on Android 7.0 Nougat devices by accessing the Settings app. Instead, you will have to specify the purpose for which you want to use USB connection for what purpose every time you connect it to the computer.

Solution 3: Install Android MTP USB driver

The second possible solution that you should try involves installing the USB device driver for MTP. While the Windows operating system is designed to automatically recognize and download the compatible drivers for the connected device, this could falter every now and then. Simply follow the steps below to manually download or update the MTP drivers:

  • On your Windows 10 PC, press the Windows logo key + X, then select Device Manager from the menu that shows up on the screen.
  • Locate your Android smartphone on the list of the connected device, right click on it and then select Update Driver Software.
  • You’ll be presented with two options. You can browse your computer for the driver software, or search automatically for the updated version online.
  • Hit ‘Browse my computer for driver software’ if you have the latest MTP driver updates of your device saved on the computer (or download them here).
  • Once you have the latest drivers downloaded, choose ‘let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’.
  • Select MTP USB Device from the list using the file explorer pop-up screen and then click Next.

Once the driver has been installed, your Windows 10 PC should be able to recognize your Android phone. You might need to restart your computer in order for the driver update to take effect and solve Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone problem.

Solution 4: Enable USB Debugging on Android

The Android OS comes with a built-in feature that is designed for developers to solve USB issues when connected to the computer. A large number of users have reported that the USB debugging feature inadvertently helps solve the USB connection issue on Windows 10 PC and Android device.

Enable USB Debugging on Android

However, you will need to enable Developer options on your Android device before you can use the USB Debugging option. So here’s how you do it.

  • From the home screen of your Android device, head over to Settings > About phone.
  • Scroll down to find the Build number tab on the screen and begin quickly tapping it for 7 consecutive times.
  • You will see a message pop-up indicating that the Developer options has been activated.
  • Now head back to the Settings app on your Android device and scroll down to find the Developer options menu option.
  • In the Developer options menu screen, scroll down to find the USB Debugging option and tap the toggle switch right next to it to enable the option.

Now that you have USB debugging enabled on your Android device, you can try out to see if the problem of Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone is solved or not.

Solution 5: Install Media Feature Pack (only for N and KN versions of Windows 10)

MTP protocol is needed to be able to transfer files between your computer and Android device. From the PC side, MTP protocol is associated with WMP (Windows Media Player) and some Windows 10 versions do not have it, such as the N and KN versions. In order to make your Android device appear as a compatible storage device, you need to have the Media Feature Pack installed.

In order to make sure that your Windows 10 software version supports MTP protocol, you will need to download and install Media Feature Pack for both N and KN versions of Windows 10. The Media Feature Pack for the N and KN versions of Windows 10 can be downloaded here.

Solution 6: Try using a different USB cable

Are you using the original cable that you got when you purchased your Android device? If not, the culprit behind the failed connection could have to do with the cable, so you might want to try a different one altogether.

Try using a different USB cable

In some cases, (although rare) the USB cable is optimized to power the device, not transfer files. For instance, most USB cables that come with power banks are not compatible with devices for data transfer. You just might have one of those cables. You probably find that Windows 10 starts recognizing your Android device immediately after you change the cable.

Solution 7: Uninstall Android drivers

Although it may seem counterproductive, in some cases, uninstalling Android drivers can tackle the problem of Windows 10 doesn’t recognize the Android phone. The drivers you have might not be the latest version, or you just weren’t installed properly. To fix issues with Windows 10 and your Android device, uninstalling drivers sometimes does the trick.

  • Simply connect your Android gadget to the PC then head over to the Device Manager menu.
  • In Device Manager dialog, locate your device (usually under Other Devices or Portable Devices).
  • Right-click then choose Uninstall to remove the device and its saved drivers from the computer system.
  • After the uninstall process is complete, disconnect your Android device, reconnect it then wait for Windows 10 to install these drivers again.
  • Make sure that your computer has an active internet connection, which should enable it to locate and install the latest compatible drivers automatically.
  • Hopefully, your device should be recognized now.

Solution 8: Check to see if your computer is the problem

Have you tried connecting your Android device to another computer system to see if the problem still persists? Before you do that, try changing the USB port on your computer that you’re using the USB cable and Android device to connect with. If the connectivity issue is not resolved by this, try connecting your Android device to another computer.

Check to see if your computer is the problem

However, it wouldn’t be completely unheard of that the USB port of the Android device itself may be damaged. In several cases, a faulty USB port of the mobile phone would be able to charge the phone, but the connector pins that allow data transfer might have gotten damaged under regular wear and tear.

If your Android device suffers the fate of a faltering USB port, hardware repair might be your only option to fix Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone issue.

Solution 9: Reboot into Odin Mode (Samsung devices)

For the uninformed, Odin is a leaked Samsung-built software which is used for restoring, updating, and rooting Samsung Galaxy devices. Samsung Galaxy devices come with Odin mode, also known as Download mode, which needs to be activated to use it with the Odin tool for PC.

Reboot into Odin Mode (Samsung devices)

  • Press and hold the combination of the Power button + Home button to turn off your Samsung Galaxy device.
  • Once turned off completely, press and hold Volume Down + Home + Power button on your device and keep holding it down until the Download mode screen appears.
  • Press Volume Up button to enter the Download mode, and connect your phone to the computer using the USB cable.
  • The computer should now detect your Android device and download the compatible settings and drivers automatically.

Once your phone is detected in download mode and the compatible drivers are loaded, reboot your Galaxy device. The phone should now be detected as normal by the computer and you can access your phone data on the PC using the MTP storage mode.

There’s a high probability that any of these solutions will do the trick for you and get you back to using your Android and computer together. You might want to try connecting your smartphone as a USB mass storage device, and make sure to enable USB debugging first, as they are the most common ways for fixing USB connection issues on Android.

Which of these helped solved your problem that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize Android phone when connected via USB? Do you of a solution that has worked for you in the past that we have forgotten to mention?  Help out your fellow Android comrades and tell us all about it in the comments section below.

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.



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View Comments

  • md tanvir chowdhury

    it worked thanks a lot :D

  • Andrei M.

    After searching for ages, I finally found what was causing my issue with my Nexus 6P: a broken cable. At a glance, it worked fine (the phone was displaying it was charging), but it was actually faulty. New cable and BAM! my Windows 10 laptop can finally see and talk to my phone.

    Great idea pointing out the forum, Bethwel! I’m a huge fan of http://forum.updato.com/

  • Gerry

    Many thanks, was driving me mad but you fixed it

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