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How to Install USB Driver for Android (6 Methods)

Have you experienced connecting your Android device on your PC and it doesn’t connect?

We know how frustrating that is. Good for you if your Windows-based device detects your Android phone automatically. But what if it doesn’t? Because sometimes, things just don’t go your way. If this happens, don’t feel hopeless. There’s a simple solution to your problem… just learn how to install USB driver for Android.

In this article, we’ll teach you how through 6 different methods which you can easily follow.

But first…what is a USB driver?

A driver is a software that communicates with the handset to retrieve the information that an application needs to carry out your requests. It acts as a bridge between the PC and the Android device so that both will be compatible with each other, allowing you to easily access one from the other, transfer files from one device to the other, and so on.

Now that you know what’s a driver, the next logical thing to ask is…

What’s the importance of installing the drivers?

With drivers properly installed, you can transfer files, backup important data, root your device, execute commands, and do other things. Without drivers, the Windows-based computer won’t be able to detect your Android device.  That means you won’t be able to transfer files, documents, pictures, music, and a whole lot more between your PC and Android device. It’s possible that you will also not be able to root your Android device.

That’s why…

It’s important to have the proper drivers installed when connecting your Android smartphone or tablet via USB to your computer. There’s a lot you can do when you’ve got such drivers.

Here’s how you can properly install USB driver to Android. Just follow the methods and steps that we’ve prepared and you’ll do great.

Related: Type-C USB for Android

What You Need to Install a USB driver for Android

In order for you to successfully and properly install the driver, you need to have these basic things:

Once you have all these things prepared, you can then start installing the USB driver. We’ve prepared 6 methods which you can try. As to which of them is the best would ultimately depend on what personally works for you.

Check them out here:

Method 1: Install USB Drivers Using PdaNet

You can install a USB driver for Android using the PdaNet tool, an approach that works just fine for most Android gadgets and supports the majority of Microsoft-based operating systems.

What is PdaNet?

In a nutshell, PdaNet is a cool application that makes it possible for you to tether Internet connectivity to your PC using your Android phone. When you’re installing this tool, it installs with all the necessary drivers for your Android phone. This creates a platform for you to leverage on while accomplishing advanced tasks with your phone—including, but not limited to—rooting.

To install USB drivers for Android, you need to download the most recent version of PdaNet.

1. Disconnect Android from PC

Make sure that your Android gadget is disconnected from your PC.

2. Install PdaNet

Open the download PdaNet setup files and install the application. Click on the .exe file and click Run or Yes on the screen that pops up.

3. Follow Wizard Instructions

Click Next

Follow the directions and click Next as prompted. Eventually, you’ll get to a window that tells you about installing drivers for your phone.

4. Start Fresh

If installing functional drivers for your phone failed before, this setup will provide you with the option to get rid of the useless drivers and reinstall new ones using PdaNet. When prompted to do so, click Yes. Sometimes, you may be required to overwrite your previous driver installations. Do allow this.

5. Select Device

Select Your Type of Device

Now the screen will be more or less the same as given below. You’ll be asked to select your device. If your Android gadget isn’t included in the list, select the Others option, then click Ok.

6. Permit Publisher

At this stage, you’ll probably get a scary dialogue box raising questions about the validity of the software publisher. Don’t panic. Not a big deal, be sure to ignore any such warning and continue with the installation process by choosing Install. If the warning comes up multiple times, be sure to follow the same course of action until you get through this step.

install anyway
Select Install

Now that you have learned how to install the USB drivers successfully that you need for your Android gadget, you get to choose the advanced actions you will carry out on your Android smartphone or tablet. This includes rooting, transferring files or even loading custom firmware.

How to Check If the USB Driver Is Installed

If you’re not sure if the USB driver was properly installed, here are a few steps to follow so you can check it yourself.

1. Open Command Window

Open a command prompt window by simultaneously holding down the Windows + x keys on your keyboard, then clicking on Command Prompt or Command Prompt (Admin).  This method works in Windows 10, but there are a variety of ways to open a command window.

command window
Select Open Command Window

2. Navigate to Directory

Now navigate to the directory where the software was installed. If you installed the setup software as an administrator, the directory should be C:/Program Files/AppInventor/commands-for-AppInventor in a 32-bit system, or Program Files (x86) for a 64-bit system. Type the dir command and check that one of the files listed is adb.exe. If not, you are either in the wrong directory or the software did not install.

3. Try it Out

Plug your device into your computer’s USB slot and make sure that the phone shows USB connected. Type the command: adb devices. You should see the messages daemon not running, followed by daemon started successfully, and it should show your list of devices attached (I don’t have any at the moment) as shown in the screenshot below.

adb devices
Try It Out

4. Check Device List

If there is a device in the list, like HT99TP800054 for instance, then the phone is connected and the computer can communicate with the Android device. If the list of devices is blank, you will need to install the existing drivers manually like we do in Method 3.

Method 2: Install USB Drivers Automatically

This method is super easy because your computer finds the driver automatically for you. You just need to click on the driver file after it has fully downloaded and followed the directions from there. Allow it to install and then it’s recommended you restart your computer to complete the installation.

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Method 3: Install Drivers Manually

Installing the drivers manually is a process that varies for almost every handset, but it is relatively simple. Let’s just say that we are going to use Samsung as our manufacturer. If your device came with a disc, place it in your CD-ROM drive and follow the directions.

1. Visit the Manufacturer’s Website

The link to Samsung’s website is this one: Samsung Downloads, but a quick Google search should lead you to yours if it’s a different manufacturer.

download center
Samsung Downloads

2. Select Cell Phones

It’s located under the Mobile section.

cell phones
Click Cell Phones

3. Choose your Provider

find carrier
 Find carrier

Select your provider.

4. Locate your Model Number

Like the picture on the website shows, the model number can be found on the back of your phone.

5. Click the Get Downloads Button

get downloads
Click the Downloads Button

6. Select the Download (EXE) Button

Click on Continue to agree to Terms and Conditions.

downloads exe
Select Download (EXE)

7. Download the File

Click on the download file and select Yes to allow it to make changes to your computer. A wizard should appear to guide you through the installation.

8. Proceed through the wizard

You will have to hit next twice and then Install.

Method 4: Install ADB and Fastboot Along with their Associated Drivers

Rather than downloading the entire ADT (Android Developer Tools) at a whopping 500MB, use this method that requires less than 10MB of storage space. Because it’s more lightweight, it usually takes only seconds to install. You will still need the proper Windows driver from Methods 1,2, or 3.

1. Download the All-In-One Installer

Start by downloading the ADB/Fastboot. You can find the link below.

Download: ADB/Fastboot

2. Run it as Administrator

Once downloaded, click it and run it as Administrator.

3. Type Y and Press Enter

This permits the installation and sets the environment variables.

install adb
Type Y

4. Repeat

Repeat Step 3 to install system-wide, or type N to decline.

5. Repeat

This time, you are installing the drivers.

6. Proceed

The Device Driver Installation Wizard will appear. Click Next to continue. Wait until the wizard finishes doing its thing. This will only take a few seconds.

Method 5: Install the ADB and Fastboot Drivers Only

If don’t necessarily care about the full installation of ADB/Fastboot at the moment, this method is your best option. This will only download the drivers you need.

Here’s how you can install those drivers.

1. Download File

Again, you will need to download ADB/Fastfood. Click the link below to do so.

Download: ADB/Fastboot

2. Run as Administrator

Similar to the previous method, right-click the file and select Run as Administrator.

3. Type N

Type N to decline the installation of ADB/Fastboot. Entering N for no will skip this step.

no adb
Type N

4. Press Y

Press Y (Yes) to install the drivers. The Device Driver Installation Wizard will start.

Select Next

5. Click Next

Click on the Install button. Wait until the wizard finishes doing its thing. It will notify you that The drivers were successfully installed.

Method 6: Install Android Bootloader Interface Driver

If you are still facing issues with more traditional drivers, you can try this method. Here’s a website for you.

1. Go to Semantic.GS’s Website

Download: Android Bootloader Interface Driver

bootloader driver
Semantic Website

2. Scroll to Download Options

If you already know exactly what type of OS you have, you can use the drop-down tool to select it. If you don’t know your operating system, and you are okay with Android Bootloader Interface and all other outdated drivers being updated, steer to the right.

download options
Select Your Type of OS

3. Click Download Button

Click the appropriate Download button, based on what we discussed in Step 2.


What People Ask

Why USB 3.0 not working on Windows 10?

This could happen if you have recently made updates to the latest Windows version, or when you’ve upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10. This could cause conflicts with the drivers and as a consequence affect the USB 3.0.

Can you install USB drivers without the internet?

Yes, you can install USB Drivers even without a network connection. You can use a CD or disk to install drivers. You can also try a USB startup disk. Performing a factory reset could also do the trick.

How to install USB drivers in Ubuntu?

To install a USB driver in Ubuntu, just follow these steps: First, go to Software Settings, then to the menu (you can do this by pressing the Windows key); Second, check the available USB driver or other additional drivers (open the Additional Drivers tab); and Last, install the additional drivers you’ve chosen. Once installed, restart the device.


Install USB Driver – Syncronize Your Devices

Did this help open up the lines of communication between your device and your computer? If you went with download ADB/Fastboot, but you aren’t exactly sure what to do with it, here is more information about ADB and what to do with it.

If you are concerned about future updates for your driver, you might want to set Windows Update to install recommended updates automatically. Another thing, ff you are using a USB hub, try connecting your device more directly to one of your computer’s USB ports.

Now that you’re all set up, you can get busy transferring all sorts of data between devices!

Which method worked best for you? Did you experience any issues during or after? Send us your thoughts on all of these topics!

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11 Comments

  1. Hey, I used my android phone to tether 4G LTE to my windows7 laptop using pdaNet+ Foxfi. My phone does not let me do the Wifi connection however, I am able to use the USB. I was wondering if I could do the same with my android tablet which has USB connection. Please let me know.

  2. Dani,
    I have Pdanet+ , Foxfi, and the Foxfi key installed on my old LG 670 phone running 2.2 os. It worked perfectly on my Generic RCA tablet w 4.2.
    2 os.
    Here’s the problem:
    Upgraded to a Zte, Mdl#N800. It runs 4.1
    operating system. I downloaded the above to the new phone.
    Trying to activate it I get the error msg: “your not subscribed to the hot spot plan contact our carrier to subscribe.”. Then it shuts off the hot spot switch.
    Please tell me how to override this smarty phone so I can use my tablet. ( Dont say go back to using that ole dinosaur of a phone!!).
    pppppleeassee Advise!
    Thank You!!

  3. I have Sony Xperia P, I had a custom rom but I wanted a diff one so i wiped everything from my phone including the internal storage so the other rom image also got deleted by mistake now I am unable to transfer anything to my phone as it does not show up in the computer so though I have TWRP on my phone I can’t flash other ROM as i can’t move it to the internal storage,and phone also doesnt respond to adb sideload ( don’t know why ??). So any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi,
      I believe TWRP and other custom recoveries have an option to mount storage now? Have you checked to see if that is supported?

  4. Hi guys. A thanks for getting my Moto E connected ok for a brief flicker of time. I just got this phone and am still learning it. Experience on my end:

    – ran your installer, plugged in the phone to USB port as directed. When I turned the phone on, got the taskbar popup “installing your drivers” (you know the words), and suddenly the phone showed up as a drive in file explorer.

    Caveats:

    – phone has no Settings\Applications\Development area, there is “Apps” but it just has a couple downloaded things (Google Apps, Tango, etc), hence no area to turn on/off USB debugging (why is there there no \Applications folder in my phone? I see this talked about all over the place…)

    – I turned off the phone, drive disappeared (fine), turned it back on, it didn’t reappear as a drive. Unplugged the USB cable, powered down phone, back up, replugged, and still no reappearance as drive. Nothing I do now will make it show up as a drive again!! Ha ha ha. So goddamn typical of this trash.

    – adb.exe is nowhere to be found on computer.

    – Android still doesn’t show up in Device Manager as a device.

    So, apparently, the drivers installed / woke up long enough to let me copy a few music files, but now are back on strike and won’t recognize phone.

    I don’t get why Motorola and the rest of the geek-development world makes this stuff so complicated. We have better things to do with our time. (The stock Motorola Device Manager installer also refuses to install its own USB drivers over and over, it only installs the “Motorola Device Manager” (I see it in Programs). C’est le guerre. If you have a permanent antidote to driver psychosis here let me know. Cheers, jack

  5. Jack here again, just wrote on 2/4/2016 8:15am PST. Phone showed up as a drive again, woo hoo hoo. I just unlocked the thing and banged on it here and there and voila, drive. There’s your antidote. [BTW – cynical comments come from doing biz software devp for 22+ years… I’ve seen it all] . Thanks.

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