Android USB Options Not Showing

USB cables can be connected to your Android device to charge it or to transfer files and media. In most cases, you connect the USB cable into your mobile device for charging purposes. However, there are instances that you want to connect to your computer for troubleshooting and file transfer. The rule of thumb is that upon plugging in the USB cable it’ll display USB options. But, for some Android mobiles, Android USB options not showing. We’ll investigate this and find solutions to this problem.

USB and USB Options

The default function of the USB cable is to charge your device. But, in most cases, USB cables have a data wire and charging wire within them, so they are also capable of transferring data. When you connect your mobile phone to a power source via the USB cable, it’ll automatically charge your device. No USB options are displayed, except that it’ll notify you that your device is charging.

On the other hand, if you connect a USB cable that’s connected to your computer at one end, you’ll be notified. A notification will be displayed in the notification tray of your mobile phone prompting you to some available options you can choose from. Aside from charging (which is the default), you can find the following:

  • File Transfer — This allows you to transfer data to and from your computer or Android mobile.
  • USB Tethering — When activated, it’ll act as an external network interface for your computer.
  • MIDI — This is a choice when you connect your Android mobile to MIDI devices like the keyboard.
  • PTP — Your mobile device will act as a digital camera when it’s connected to a computer.
  • No data transfer — No action taken.

The display of USB options depends on the model and manufacturer of your phone. Apart from the notification, you can see in the notification tray, sometimes, you’ll be prompted via a popup window.

While some mobile phones display several USB options, some only display Charge, Transfer file, or Transfer photo. You can refer to your device’s manual on how the USB options should appear.

Reasons Why USB Options Are Not Showing

Once an Android device is plugged into a USB cable that’s connected to your computer, it’ll automatically charge. Additionally, it’ll display the USB options so you can select which action you need to take at the moment. However, it’s not a unique case that Android USB options not showing. It could be because of one of the reasons below:

Broken Cable or Cable for Charging Only

Even though most USB cables have both charging wire and data wire in them, there are also USB cables that are designed for charging alone. No matter how much you insert the USB, it won’t give you any option because it also has one option — to charge your mobile phone. Likewise, if you are using a broken USB cable, of course, no USB options to be displayed because it’ll not work in the first place.

Needs Proper Setup

Some mobile devices don’t allow USB connection (OTG-device) or connection to a computer via USB cable. It needs to be manually activated from the Settings. When the options aren’t enabled, no matter what you’ll do, you will never get to display the USB Options.

Android USB Options Not Showing — Solved!

Whether you have a broken USB cable or you need to change the settings of your Android mobile, this issue is rather easy to fix. This article will outline the possible ways to solve Android USB options not showing.

Plug/Unplug and Restart Device

The first thing you need to do is try to unplug and plug the USB again. If it won’t work, try to do a restart. Sometimes it may take time and needs a reboot for the USB cable or the USB device to be detected.

Change USB Cable — Some Are Power/Charging Only

Not all USB cables are made equal and you can’t assure that it’ll always in good condition all the time. There are cables that are designed for power only, and they will never transfer files. It’s a good choice to change the USB cable and replace it with something more reliable. If it works, the problem is the USB device/cable and not an internal problem.

Settings on Developer Options

Some Android devices have USB Preferences option in the Settings. You may find it and set it to appropriate choices. Otherwise, you need to go to the Developer Options and activate related Settings. If you can’t find the Developer Options, go to Settings>System>About Phone. Find the Build Number or Version, then, tap it seven times or until ‘You are now a developer!’ message pops up. Now, you can access the Developer Options.

Disabling USB Debugging

Check if the USB Debugging option is enabled. This option will enable debugging once a USB is connected. So, try turning it off and then restart your device. Reconnect the USB and see if the USB options display.

Set USB Configuration

Another thing that you can do is to go to the Select USB Configuration. For some Android devices, you can choose from the following:

  • Charge Only
  • Media Transfer Protocol (MTP)
  • Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP)
  • RNDIS (USB Ethernet)
  • Audio Source
  • MIDI

Provided that your mobile phone accepts USB connections and you are using the appropriate cable, setting to the right USB configuration is the solution. You will be able to do what you must with your phone now.

The Final Say

Android mobiles are designed to do something more when a USB cable is connected. It should give you options other than charging the device. But, if Android USB options not showing up, you might think that there’s something wrong with your phone.

The truth is, it could be the problem of the USB cable itself. Or you just need to make a few changes in the Settings. This article explained the reasons why USB options aren’t displayed and how to troubleshoot this problem. With the solutions presented above, you should be able to see the USB options showing up the next time you need to connect your phone to a computer via USB cable.

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