Why doesn't my computer recognize my device?

Last modified : Nov 23. 2018

Firstly, check the USB cable you are trying to use to connect your device to the computer. It's always best to use the cable that came with your device, but please check the following:


  • The cable is free from damage and is not worn down.
  • The speed of the cable is fast enough for the USB port on your computer. For newer computers, you may need to purchase a USB 3.1 speed data cable. If you're not sure, please get in touch with the Samsung Care team on 1300 GALAXY for assistance.
  • If it's not the original cable that came with the device; you know that is a data cable

Please Note: Not all USB cables are created equal! There are cables that will charge a device, but won't be able to sync information. If you find that your cable is only charging your device when you plug it in, you may need to try another cable that capable of transmitting data.

1 Try to plug the USB cable from the device directly into the computer (ie. not into an adapter, dock or USB hub). If your computer has multiple USB ports, try each of them a couple of times, giving each port at least a couple of seconds to recognize the connection.
2 Make sure your device is on and the screen is unlocked. The device should vibrate or make a sound when it recognizes the USB cable has been plugged in.

If your device is not responding to the USB cable being plugged in at all, there may be a problem with the USB port. If you think there might be somethng wrong with the USB port on your phone or tablet, you can find the closest Service Location to have your device assessed.

3 Check what USB mode the device is in:

Slide your finger down from the top of the screen on your device to access the notification panel. If your device is recognizing a USB connection you should see a notification from ‘Android System’ about USB for file transfer, or Cable Charging. If you select this notification you will be able to change the USB function of the device. Select the option that shows as MTP or Transfer Files.

USB Options
4 If the device is plugged in and set to the correct USB option and the computer is still unable to recognize the device, it may be an issue with the computers' device driver.

While individual device drivers are not available to download; the installation of Smartswitch Mac/PC  will automatically install device drivers.

Please Note: Smartswitch for Mac/PC is a great tool to backup all of your Samsung devices, however it is not designed to transfer content to or from your device. Installation is a requirement only to install the drivers if no other troubleshooting steps have resolved the issue. 

If these steps have failed to resolve your issue or you need further assistance in finding the files you wish to transfer between your device and computer, please call 1300 GALAXY (1300 425 299) within Australia or scroll to the bottom of the page to find other ways to get in touch with our Samsung Care experts. 

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