Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum

Support Computer not recognizing USB connection to S4

I got a new Verizon S4 a few nights ago at walmart ($0.97!) and so far it's a huge upgrade over my thunderbolt. I wish it were a little smaller but looks like Verizon doesn't offer the mini, and pretty much all the others have no more SD card which was a big deal to me.

Anyway, when I connect it to a computer (Windows 7) the computer is not recognizing the phone. It does recognize my thunderbolt so it's not the cable, and I've tried 2 different computers. The phone beeps that it's been plugged in but the computer does not. The phone does charge.

I've tried using Kies and the drivers but the computer simply does not "see" the phone at all. Is there some setting on the Galaxy to prevent this communication? I haven't been able to find it, and haven't found any info in search.



#1 mackguy, Sep 5, 2013
First, make sure when you install the USB drivers or Kies, the phone is not plugged in. Note that Kies will ask to install the drivers separately, you must select yes.
Second, the S4 will show up as a device, and not a mass storage device (removable HDD) as most people are used to. It will be listed under My Computer as an attached device, which you can enter to move items back and forth from.

There is nothing that can really prevent the phone from being seen other than a bad install of the drivers or not installing them at all. By default, when connected it will show up. It isn't like previous versions of android where USB mode had an option in the settings menu.
#2 Darnell0216, Sep 5, 2013
just as of recent, my phone will not connect to my computer either...???

never had a problem before, and just out of no where this started happening. tried numerous USB cables.

when I connect my phone via a USB cable, the phone will make it's connection sound, and I will see "connected as installer" scrolling in the status bar of my phone then nothing happens. I have putzed around with it and have had no luck.
#3 ShanDroyd, Sep 5, 2013

so I re-downloaded / installed the USB drivers, still no luck.
downloaded KIES software and did a trouble shoot, no fix.
played around with the developer settings on phone, no luck.

I just can not figure out why nothing is working. the pc must know it's connected to the phone based on the kies troubleshooter, and the phone definitely acknowledges a pc connection.

#4 ShanDroyd, Sep 5, 2013
This worked for me. Use the Samsung USB cable that came with the phone. Plug into a slower USB port on your PC (not USB 3.0). On your phone go into developer mode and turn on USB debugging. When your phone connects (make sure your phone is unlocked) swipe down to view the notification pane. Check "Camera". Drivers may install. Unplug the USB cable. Plug it back in a few seconds later (phone is still unlocked) swipe to view the notification pane. Select connect as media device (now the drivers you really need will install). Done.
#5 jclake, Sep 5, 2013
yeah... Nope... lol
did no resolve my problems. when I selected camera mode, it installed drivers on my pc, then did nothing. then switched to media mode, installed drivers, then nothing.

I even completely un-installed everything Samsung on my laptop, including drivers, then redownloaded and installed drivers, no luck. I googled up this problem, and many people are having the same problem, but none of their fixes will help me.

Is there maybe a setting that got goofed up when I rooted and de-bloated?
#6 ShanDroyd, Sep 5, 2013
Make sure that USB Debugging is enabled on your phone. Plug the USB cable into your phone and then your PC.

Right click over My Computer on your PC and then click on Manage. When that opens click on Device Manager. As long as the phone is plugged in to the PC you should see a listing for the Samsung. Double click on it and choose the tab on top that says Driver. Click on the bottom button to uninstall the Samsung Driver. Once uninstalled, reboot the machine (leaving the phone plugged in).

When the computer boots back up it should see a new device and install a new driver for you. If not, check the Microsoft Updates to see if there's something there by Samsung to install. If that doesn't have anything, manually install the drivers like before and see of that helps.

If all else fails and you have access to WiFi, you can give this a try:
#7 Petrah, Sep 5, 2013
I have this problem every day !!! however I have windows 8 so perhaps Kies haven't caught up yet lol

I end up troubleshooting connection 2 or 3 times in a row then a complete reboot of PC !! drives me nuts :(
#8 Tgaine, Sep 6, 2013
OK, well I don't get this at all but. I switched to the Samsung USB cable that came with my phone and the computer recognized it right away. The other cable I was using worked fine with my HTC Thunderbolt, why would the Samsung cable be somehow unique?
#9 mackguy, Sep 6, 2013
Samsung designed this cable specifically for the phone, in both function and charging. So far no third party cables can supply the full power of the adapter, causing slower charges or not charging at all. I use the stock cable for everything and have ordered spares for both me and my wife.
#10 Darnell0216, Sep 6, 2013

nope... :(

did not work at all.
I can use Kies or Samsung Link wirelessly, but its rather slow for large files even on my dual-band 802.11N network.

I wonder if upgrading to windows 8 is messing with my computer. I upgraded few weeks ago. ( and yes I was able to connect my phone via USB after upgrading to 8 ) I also notice since upgrading to win8 my chrome browser on my laptop doesn't work right either, even though I did a clean install...

Wow... I wish tablets would get to the point of where I can dump everything windows based...:thinking:

So I connected my wife's GS3 which is completely stock, and same problem.
Apparently my laptop is showing that I have an external USB Samsung optical drive connected ( cd/dvd drive) with no disk/media inserted. can not seem to fix it...
this has something to do with the phone trying to launch the VZW installer when connected via USB.

update: still no luck.
tried my daughters laptop, and same problem...
#11 ShanDroyd, Sep 6, 2013
It's not uncommon for some companies to make it specific to the device or company (proprietary).
#12 Petrah, Sep 7, 2013
Your experience mirrors mine. USB cables that work with other phones may not work with current phones. And I'm not talking just about the GS4. I learned this sometime back when I had a phone that would charge but not pass data when connected to a USB cable that worked on the prior phone.

Apparently, USB cables are not created equally. As you discovered, I would suggest making sure you are using the OEM USB cable before I start any other troubleshooting.
#13 speedlever, Sep 8, 2013
Well......... I fixed the problem, but my method was a bit extreme.:p

I wiped my computer and went back to Windows 7. The Samsung USB connectivity problem was not my main reason for doing this. My laptop is about 4 years old, and really didn't seem to perform well with Windows 8. A lot of freezing, buggy, etc. :secruity: ( even with updated drivers )

after getting my PC fully updated and running, my S4 still would not connect!!! WTF???:thinking::mad:

So I connected my wife's S3 via USB ( which would not connect when I was running WIN 8 ) and it worked, it then installed the VZW recovery software. That helped my phone show up as an actual USB device and not an optical drive ( after selecting the MTP file transfer mode on phone ) then I used the VZW software to do a "repair" function and reset my phone to stock, and all is well now.

:thinking:I still can not figure out why out of no where, both of our phones would not connect while running WIN 8, ( keep in mind my wife's S3 was totally stock, never once rooted or unlocked ) and what happened to my S4 that even after going back to WIN 7 it would not work???

How do these things just happen????:thinking:
#14 ShanDroyd, Sep 10, 2013
I have had the same problems that mine stopped randomly working and have compiled a list of things to try such as the USB cable, debuggins mode, and changing the usb options. You can check it out here
#15 jabbatwenty, Feb 22, 2014
Using the Samsung cable fixed it for me. Thanks!
#16 Goodspike, Feb 23, 2014
Is that a hardware problem?
#17 Witrigs Vege, Mar 17, 2014
Oh man... after weeks of trying trying everything, turns out it was the USB cable. Didn't know there were different types of USB cables. The one I used would power it but wouldn't connect it to my PC. I finally switched to a new one and works perfectly now.

Hopefully this helps someone out there.
#18 kevingalaxy24, May 13, 2014
Hi all - I read through the post, and I am going through the same thing, but nothing helps. Weird thing is, it WAS working fine, until about 2 weeks ago when I updated to KitKat.

I used to use a non-Samsung USB cable (it was left over from a previous Motorola device) to connect to my MAC, and the phone would connect and bring up Android File Transfer. It would give me the option of connecting as a camera, media device or installer.

But since the update, when I connect it to my MAC, it will only charge it. It will not give me the options to connect as anything - it will only charge it.

I tried the S4 USB cable, and that didn't work. I uninstalled AFT and reinstalled Kies, and that didn't work either. I'm at a loss.

The phone is on de-bugging mode, and I also tried it with that mode off - still nothing. Tried connecting in "Safe Mode" and that didn't do anything either.

Any suggestions? Ideas? Thanks!
#19 LV_Dizz, Jun 10, 2014
There are many weird claimed solutions to this, but i think most will find that it is because you have uninstalled, or never installed (n versions) windows media player.

It appears that the samsung drivers are not stand alone, Shame on Samsung, and use stuff which in windows appears to be only in WMP.

Install windows media player, I assume like me you don;t want to use this POS so unselect all associations you can except mpt probably right at the bottom.

You will now find your phone and its storage is available.

New problem may be that you lose all your preview images when viewing folders. More WMP crap (although other multimedia programs also screw these up.
Get babelsofts free media preview program, select everything and apply and watch your previews reappeasr without losing access to your phone.
#20 dk2011, May 5, 2015
i have the same problem ...
exactly the same
and i think i just know why the computer is not showing
i have tried for all the ways everything kies original cable boot *#0808# believe me everything

i'm almost sure its from your phone port the port is repaired and the port is not original i think

when i repair my s4 port i didnt check if the usb port is working or not but i only checked the charge
#21 Fadi hajjar, Jun 24, 2015
All of a sudden my S4 won't connect to the laptop (win7) via USB either (for data - it charges fine). I don't think its the computer or the cable (using OEM cable). My wife has an exact same S4 and it connects to the laptop fine via USB and I'm able to view that external device. Some setting specific to my phone is the culprit. And yes, debugging mode for USB is turned on. Any thoughts?
#22 nssa, Jul 5, 2015 Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
woohoo thanks I switched cables to a Samsung and comp saw my phone thanks
#23 cristen, Aug 11, 2015
Thanks for the tip about the oem Galaxy s4 cable... It's the only one that worked of the 5 that are in my house... I truly thought that all micro USB cables were the same.
#24 nyrmetros, Aug 25, 2015
Once again thanks for the tip in regards to the oem cable.
#25 nyrmetros, Sep 8, 2015