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Windows can’t see my Android phone


We explain how to connect your Android phone to a Windows computer using Device Manager

Question: I have a Nexus 4 smartphone running Android 4.4.3. Android’s developer options are switched on and USB debugging is enabled. When I connect this to my desktop PC with a USB cable I can see (or rather I could see) the phone via Device Manager, and the contents of the phone via Windows Explorer. I bought my wife the same phone and started experimenting with ways to copy and paste data from my phone to hers. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line my phone has stopped being recognised by Windows – it doesn’t show up in Device Manager or appear in Explorer. My wife’s phone does appear as usual.

I think that I have managed to lose some important drivers on my Windows 7 Home Premium PC or corrupted my phone somehow, and I can’t seem to find a way to restore them: updating with the latest drivers makes no difference. Can you help?


Answer: It’s highly unlikely to be a problem with your PC given that your wife’s phone is visible when connected. More likely, at some stage you’ve switched off your phone’s default USB behaviour, which is to act as an MTP media device in Windows. You can re-enable this without having to disable USB debugging: connect the phone to your PC, slide down the status bar from the top of the screen, tap the menu icon and tap SETTINGS.

Android MTP not enabled

In the settings menu, tap Storage then tap the menu icon at the top right and tap USB computer connection. You’ll probably find that Media device (MTP) isn’t ticked: if so, tap it to tick it and you should immediately find that your phone appears in Windows as a storage device and that it’s visible again in Device Manager.