PC doesn't recognise Samsung phone or tablet

Last modified : Apr 10. 2019

If your computer is running macOS™, you may need to install Android File Transfer to move files between your Apple™ computer and your Samsung device. Please note, Android File Transfer cannot run while Samsung Smartswitch for Mac is installed on the same computer.

USB Cable Troubleshooting

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.

Mobile Device Troubleshooting

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 something 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. 

Update Windows 10 device drivers:

1 Select Start in the bottom left corner or press the Windows button on your keyboard
2 Type Device Manager and select the application from the results
3 Find the Samsung driver under USB (Universal Serial Bus) Controllers
4 Right click on the Samsung Mobile USB Composite Device driver (the Samsung driver may be named differently depending on your device)
Right click on the Samsung Driver and select Update
5 Select Update Driver and follow the prompts

Please Note: An internet connection is required to search for available driver updates

If these steps don't work, try reinstalling the driver: Open Device Manager, right-click (or tap and hold) the name of the device, and select Uninstall. Restart your PC, and Windows will attempt to reinstall the driver.

If these steps have not resolved your issue - there may be a hardware fault with your device. To organise a free assessment of your device, please call 1300 GALAXY (1300 425 299) - Toll Free in Australia or contact Live Chat Australia to speak to our Samsung Care experts. 

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