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PC Does Not Recognize Mobile Device (when attempting to transfer files)

Whether you’re connecting your phone or any other mobile device to transfer photos, videos, or any file type, you may find that computer doesn’t recognize the device when you connect the smartphone to a computer, laptop or tablet. Your phone may also connect to your computer but your computer shows that the phone file is empty, showing no files to transfer to your PC.

Numerous things can cause this issue but here are 3 of the most common mistakes you can quickly check:

1. Check your phone to see if it’s asking for a password when you plug it in.

If you have to enter a password or a pin to access your mobile device, then the PC will be prompting you to enter that. Plug in the device and watch for any prompts on the phone asking you to enter the password/pin.

2. Make sure the cord you’re using is able to transfer data.

You may have a cord that only has the ability to charge. You want to use a cord that can charge AND support data transfer, otherwise the device won’t show up. The cord your device came with will typically support both, or you could also search for a cord from your mobile devices manufacturer.

Check out these USB cables that allow data transfer (note: these are affiliate links, we will make a small commission if you purchase these on Amazon):

For Android:

For iPhone:

3. Change your phone settings to allow charging AND data transfer.

Sometimes the cord does support data transfer but the settings need to be activated.
Once you plug in your device, at the top of your screen where all your usual notifications typically come in should be a notification alerting you that the device is connected to the PC.

The notification will say something like ”Charging this device via USB” notification.

On your device, tap the notification.
Next, under “Use USB for,” select File Transfer.

These are the most common problems to this issue. If you still need help after trying out these methods then it might require more in depth troubleshooting. You can submit a ticket to our team of techs who will stay in contact with you while they work to resolve your issue.

If this troubleshooting process doesn’t work then consider reaching out to HelpCloud Technician by-the-hour.

The best in remote support. Connect with us from the comfort of your own home and let us fix the issue.