Your Computer Cannot Detect Connected Android Device

Have you ever tried to connect your Android device on PC using a USB cable only to come across the irritating error that says your PC could not connect to the device? In some other cases, the error may not show up but you may not see your Android device in File Explorer. Well, this is an error which happens frequently and it can be solved. Being an ardent Android user myself, I have faced the problem a countless number of times. There are these times that you just want to have some of your PC files on your phone or you want to move some files from phone to PC but the devices just can’t connect. Do not despair when faced with such a challenge because there is a solution to it.

Check the type of connection established

If you cannot see your Android phone in File Explorer, the problem could be lying in the manner in which the phone is connected to the computer. The USB cable may have properly connected these two devices but the mode of connection could be something different other than file transfer. The most common default connection mode which causes this problem is “Charge only” option. Just as the name says, this option will only charge your device and not facilitate the exchange of files.

There are a couple of other options which normally popup depending on the kind of Android device. These include MIDI, Media device (MTP) and Camera (PTP). Our interest is in the option that allows you to transfer media files on Windows and this option is the Media device (MTP) one. Please note that the wording may be different across Android devices. So the keyword that you would be looking for is ‘files transfer’ as you prepare to choose the right connection mode.

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•    With the connected cable, open the drop-down window on Android and click on “USB for Charging” option. This will open the USB computer connection window from where you can select a range of options. The other way to get to USB computer connection for some Android devices is to
o    Click on settings then storage
o    Tap the three dotted lines on the top right-hand corner then select USB computer connection

•    Within this new window, you need to locate the USB storage or Media device (MTP) option and choose it

•    Your connected Android device should be recognizable after performing the described steps. The image below may popup from your computer on the bottom right-hand corner, indicating that the device is connected in a manner that will facilitate the transfer of files

There are some scenarios where the connection may not be as automatic as it was in my case. Rather, you would have to connect the Android device to computer using USB cable then make a couple of switches from one option to the other before the computer recognizes this device as a media.

Change the USB cable

Sometimes it is the USB cable which causes connection problems between the Android device and the PC. Therefore, before you do anything radical, consider changing the USB cable that you are using.
If you had not connected the original cable that was bought alongside with the Android device, consider doing so. There are some USB cables which are designed specifically for charging the phone and not for transferring files. These are mainly the cables which are bought alongside Power banks. In order to get a hint as to where the problem could be, begin by getting at least three different cables from friends for trial. You may also connect the Android device on a different computer with the same USB cable.

Updating Relevant Drivers

Even though the Android device is connected in a manner that would make it possible to transfer files, it is not always a guarantee that your device will be visible in File Explorer. In such a case, the problem could not be on the phone’s side. Rather, you may want to tweak things a little bit in your computer. These changes have to do with MTP device driver update. The outdated driver is another popular reason why the Android device is unrecognizable.
To update the drivers, perform operations in the following order:

Step 1: Simultaneously press the Windows key and X from the keyboard. This opens a list of items. Select Device Manager from the list.

Step 2: Go through the listed devices and when you see your Android device. Some computers may name this device by the actual phone’s name while others will simply have “Android Phone” as the default name.

Step 3: Right-click on it then select ‘Update driver’

Step 4: A dialogue box will open up asking the manner in which you would like to get the driver software. If you previously had the driver on your computer, you can select the second option which searches the computer for this driver software. If not, select the first option that the computer automatically searches for updated driver software. My recommendation is to download a reputable driver updater tool and use it for getting the drivers you need.

Step 5: Once you have updated the driver, your computer should be able to recognize the Android device.

Reinstall Composite ADB Interface

The PC may also fail to recognize Android device as a result of a problem with this Composite ADB Interface. A solution to your computer cannot detect connected Android device could be reinstalling this component. While still in the Device Manager, look for the Android Composite ADB Interface. This is normally given different names, hence you need to carefully scan through the devices to find it.
Right-click on it then select uninstall. You do not have to trouble yourself with reinstalling it. Simply restart your computer. While powering on, Windows will attempt to reinstall the component.
Hopefully, your phone will be recognizable on the File Explorer after completing the above steps.

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