Want to access your Android device from a computer?
Maybe to transfer some files, execute commands, tethering, root your device or backup your important data?
You will need to learn how to install USB drivers for Android on your computer so that your PC recognizes your Android smartphone or tablet PC. A driver is a software that communicates with the handset to retrieve the information that an application needs to carry out your requests. A driver acts as a bridge between the two, making it possible for them work hand-in-hand.
It’s important to have the proper drivers installed when connecting your Android smartphone or tablet via USB to your computer. Without drivers—or when they are not installed properly—the computer won’t be able to detect your device. You simply wouldn’t be able to transfer data such as music, pictures, documents and other files between your PC and your Android device. It’s possible that you will also not be able to root your Android device.
Sometimes Windows-based operating systems can detect and install drivers for Android automatically when you plug in the Android device. But sometimes that fails.
To install a USB driver for Android, you will need…
- An Android phone or tablet
- A PC or Mac
- USB cable
- Access to the Internet
- Basic computing knowledge
Method 1: Installing 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. 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. Here is the procedure:
Disconnect Android from PC
Make sure that your Android gadget is disconnected from your PC.
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.
Follow Wizard Instructions
Follow the directions and click Next as prompted. Eventually, you’ll get to a window that tells you about installing drivers for your phone.
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.
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.
At this stage, you’ll probably get a scary dialogue box raising questions about the validity of the software publisher. 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.
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, including rooting, transferring files or even loading custom firmware.
Checking the USB Driver Installation
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.
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.
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.
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: Installing Drivers Automatically
This method is nice 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.
Method 3: Installing Drivers Manually
Installing the drivers manually is a process that varies for almost every handset, but it is relatively simple. For example’s sake, we are going to use Samsung as our manufacturer. If your device came with a desk, place it in your CD-ROM drive and follow the directions.
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 different.
Select Cell Phones
It’s located under the Mobile section.
Choose your Provider
Locate your Model Number
Like the picture on the website shows, the model number can be found on the back of your phone.
Click the Get Downloads Button
Select the Download (EXE) Button
Click on Continue to agree to Terms and Conditions.
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.
Proceed through the wizard.
Specify your Language and Country
Hit Next again.
Click on 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 so much more lightweight, it takes only seconds to install usually. You will still need the proper Windows driver from Methods 1,2, or 3.
Download the All-In-One Installer
Run it as Administrator
Type Y and Press Enter
This permits the installation and sets the environment variables.
Repeat Step 3 to install system-wide, or type N to decline.
This time, you are installing the drivers.
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
This is if you don’t necessarily care about the full installation of ADB/Fastboot at the moment; right now you are in this for the drivers. Here’s how you can install those drivers.
Run as Administrator
Right-click the file and select Run as Administrator.
Type N to decline the installation of ADB/Fastboot. Entering N for no will skip this step.
Press Y (Yes) to install the drivers. The Device Driver Installation Wizard will start.
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, here’s a website for you.
Go to Semantic.GS’s Website
Download: Android Bootloader Interface Driver
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.
Click Download Button
Click the appropriate Download button, based on what we discussed in Step 2.
Did this help open up the lines of communication between your Samsung Galaxy S6 and your computer? If you went with one the methods to 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. If you are using a USB hub, try connecting your device more directly to one your computer’s USB ports. Now you can get busy transferring all sorts of data between devices!
Next Read: Android File Transfer
Which method worked best for you? Did you experience any issues during or after? Send us your thoughts on all of these topics.