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Windows 10 Not Recognising My Android Device (FIXED)

When you connect a phone to Windows 10, you hear the familiar new hardware found chime. It indicates that drivers for the newly connected device are being installed. It only takes a few minutes at most and you can then access the device, its storage, and the files on it from File Explorer.

This is what happens when all goes well. But sometimes Windows 10 doesn’t recognise Android phones. You may hear the usual chime indicating new hardware has been deducted but the phone may never show up in File Explorer, or you might simply see a message from Windows 10 saying it doesn’t recognize the device. Because there are so many different Android devices on the market, and they run different versions and variations of Android, it’s hard to troubleshoot the problem.

Windows 10 doesn’t recognise Android phone [FIX]

1.  Check cable and port

When a device isn’t recognized, regardless of what type it is, you should always check the cable and/port that you connect it through. Run through the following steps.

  1. Change the cable out for a different one.
  2. Try connecting the cable to a different port on the computer. Try a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port.
  3. Disconnect the cable, and connect it again.
  4. Reboot your computer, and try connecting the phone.
  5. Restart the phone, and then connect it to the computer.

2.  USB Connection type on Phone

An Android phone can connect to a computer as different types of devices or over different protocols. It may be set to charge from the computer, to act as an MTP device, or to allow the transfer of files. It’s normally this third option that needs to be selected in order to access the files/photos on an Android phone. This isn’t a problem with your Windows 10 machine. It has to do with the phone.

  1. If your phone is connected to the computer, disconnect and reconnect it.
  2. Make sure the phone is unlocked.
  3. Open the Settings app on the Android phone.
  4. Go to Connected Devices.
  5. Tap on USB.
  6. Select Transfer Files.
  7. Wait for Windows 10 to install drivers, and then open File Explorer to access the phone.

3. Manually install drivers

It’s possible Windows 10, for whatever reason, hasn’t automatically installed drivers for the new device. In that case, you can install them yourself.

  1. Connect the Android phone to your m.
  2. Open Device Manager.
  3. Expand USB devices.
  4. Look for your phone either by name or as a storage or MTP device. Right-click it and select Update Driver.
  5. Install any drivers that Windows 10 finds.
  6. Disconnect and reconnect the phone.

4. Uninstall/Reinstall device

It’s possible that Windows 10 did install drivers for the device but they did not install correctly. It tends to happen. The quickest way to fix this is to remove/uninstall the drivers and reinstall them.

  1. Connect your phone to your machine.
  2. Open Device Manager.
  3. Look for the phone under USB devices or Potable devices.
  4. Once found, right-click it and select Uninstall Device from the context menu.
  5. Disconnect the phone, and restart your computer.
  6. Once you’re back on your desktop, connect the phone again and Windows 10 will look for and install drivers for the device.

5. Change connection type

Earlier, we said to connect the phone over the File Transfer mode. This works with most phones but not all of them. In some cases, you might need to select the MTP or Transfer Photos mode.

  1. Connect your Android phone to your computer.
  2. On your phone, open the Settings app.
  3. Go to Connected Devices>USB.
  4. Select Transfer Photos.
  5. Check if you’re able to access the phone. If not, repeat the above steps and select MTP instead of Transfer Photos.

6. Enable USB Debugging

Generally speaking, you do not need to enable USB debugging to access files on your Android phone but for some phones, doing so allows Windows 10 to find the right drivers for it.

  1. On your phone, open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Device or System. It varies from device to device.
  3. Look for the build number. It might be nested under another menu. It depends on phone you have.
  4. Tap the build number seven times. This will enable Developer Options.
  5. Return to the Settings app and look for Developer Options.
  6. Connect your Phone to your machine.
  7. On the Developer Options screen, look for and enable USB Debugging.
  8. Allow Windows 10 to install drivers and access your phone from File Explorer.

7. Install OEM Drivers

OEM drivers are drivers that have been released by the device manufacturer. They’re tricky to get if you have an old device but it’s worth a shot. They can help if Windows 10 won’t recognize your device.

  1. Visit the official Android Developer page. There is a table there for every type of device. Look for your device, and follow the link to download drivers for it.
  2. Look for and download the driver.
  3. Install them like a normal app if you get an EXE file.
  4. If you do not get an EXE file, connect your phone to your computer and open Device Manager.
  5. Look for your device under Portable Devices or USB Devices. Right-click it and select Update driver.
  6. When prompted to, select Browse my computer for software and select the downloaded driver.

8. Install Google USB drivers

These USB drivers come from Google and are for the Nexus line of devices. They are normally installed when you plan on developing for Android.

  1. Visit the official page for the drivers and download them.
  2. Download the zip file.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer.
  4. Open Device Manager on your Windows 10 machine.
  5. Look for your phone under Portable Device or USB Devices.
  6. Right-click it and select Update Driver.
  7. Select the Browse my computer for software option, and then follow the steps until you’re prompted to select drivers.
  8. Select the extracted folder and allow Device Manager to install it.

Android phones generally play nice. It’s a much more open OS than iOS so most operating systems and a myriad of other devices are able to communicate with it easily. That said, a Windows 10 system will still need some files to establish a connection and it’s usually there that users run into problems.

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