How to install Android USB drivers
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The advent of cloud services now offered by many companies has greatly reduced the need to connect mobile devices to a PC via USB. However, this latter feature is certainly very useful when it comes to transferring large or small amounts of data without relying on the Internet. If you came to this guide of mine, then you certainly had to connect your smartphone to your computer via a USB cable, and obviously the data transfer will not always be successful.
It must have irritated you greatly. On the other hand, no one likes to waste time. You probably wondered why it broke, and then you may have let it go with contempt. Well, in today’s tutorial, I’m going to tell you about one of the reasons that can hinder an effective connection between smartphone and PC. In fact, I will tell you how to install Android USB drivers , among the main accused, when a mobile device (be it a smartphone or a tablet) is not recognized by the computer.
How to install Android USB drivers
Before entering the tutorial, it is worth clarifying that drivers are nothing more than software components needed to transfer information to the hardware about controlling other devices (be they peripheral devices such as mice, printers, keyboards or microphones or smartphones and tablets), allowing a dialogue between them and the computer’s operating system via a USB cable connection. This connection can be used to transfer files from one device to another, to root a phone or to back up data, pictures, videos, recordings, or more generally for all those procedures that require USB debugging .
In short, drivers essentially provide communication between mobile devices and computers, which gives them a really important role if you’re used to using a USB connection to transfer files in any direction. For this reason, in the following paragraphs, I will tell you in full about the types of USB Android drivers, what is needed for correct automatic and manual installation of the same. I will describe the main directories from which you can scoop the official drivers for each device, and then I will devote a few lines to how to install Android USB drivers manually. Finally, but not least, I will try to give you a quick overview of the main errors that can occur during driver installation. Let’s start!
What are Android USB drivers for?
In the introduction to this article, I have already anticipated the key role of USB drivers for Android devices. The latter are nothing more than a necessary interface for connecting devices with the Android operating system and the computer (be it a desktop or laptop) to which you want to connect them.
Fair enough, so you might be asking yourself why I talk so much about the importance of the USB cable connection between devices. On the other hand, data can be transferred, for example, via Bluetooth, or even better, using one of the many cloud services provided by many IT companies.
However, you are correct, because in truth, USB cable transfer is still very useful for doing a lot of things correctly, such as, for example:
- Make Android backup on your computer;
- Perform USB debugging of the smartphone, in order to perform more complex actions on a mobile device using the Android Debug Bridge , and then ADB (installing or removing applications, changing some kind of software to perform more complex operations or to test applications under development) ;
- Rotate the device (after activating USB debugging);
- Make unplanned updates ;
- Transfer data by USB cable between devices and create backup copies of videos, photos, chat and more;
- Install a custom ROM or recovery moddate (like TWRP);
- Project Android screen to PC.
Now let’s see what types of Android USB drivers are available on the web, how to download them and how to install them.
Types of USB Android Drivers
Once the usefulness of Android USB drivers has been determined, I would like to clarify that they play a fundamental (and essential) role on all computers running Windows , macOS, and Linux operating systems . However, it should be said that while driver kits are usually installed automatically on Windows, macOS and Ubuntu, some versions of Linux are not always fully supported.
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If you are using a specific Linux distribution, then you may need some preliminary work before you can install the Android USB drivers. It would be too vague to talk about this now, but I can suggest that you search the Internet for a specific procedure for this version. Of course, I only recommend doing this if the instructions below do not help you.
However, in addition to what has been said so far, it should be noted that there are two main types of drivers:
- Generic ADB Drivers , which act as generic software that can “adapt” to most Android devices;
- OEM drivers , abbreviation “Original Equipment Manufacturer”, i.e. a series of specific drivers for different devices (and sometimes for different models of the same brand), offered by the same manufacturers and available in a special section of the Android developers site (below I will provide you with all the information you need).
At this point, you may be wondering what are the basic requirements for installing Android USB drivers. Actually, you won’t need to purchase any particular device. In fact, you just need to keep these things close at hand:
- The smartphone or tablet you want to connect, keeping in mind the brand , model and possibly serial number (rarely useful, but always better to know);
- The USB cable is working (make sure it is intact and of the correct length for ease of use);
- If you are using a laptop or tablet, make sure it is charged or plugged in. Make sure the USB port to which you want to connect your portable device is fully functional.
Android USB OEM Drivers Download
First of all, I’ll start with a small premise : if you decide to install (or already have it on your computer) Android Studio (using the Android SDK), then you can skip the next two paragraphs, which are about downloading and installing drivers.
If you would like to know more about how to download Android USB OEM drivers and manually install them, then keep reading. I promise I won’t take more of your time than I need to!
DOWNLOAD FROM ANDROID DEVELOPER SITE
As a handful of lines have announced, you will have the option to download the kit to get the generic Android USB drivers if you need them. Plus, you can rely on OEM drivers from leading device manufacturers.
To download the correct one, you just need to know the brand of your device, and then go to this page of the Android developers site , where there is a large list of USB drivers to install on Windows.
As you will see, on this page you will find links to directly download drivers from the official websites of manufacturers such as Asus, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony Mobile, Xiaomi and others.
DOWNLOAD FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE MANUFACTURER OF ANDROID DEVICES
If you cannot find a direct download link on this page, I suggest you visit the manufacturer’s official website , trying to perform a targeted search in the Support section .
I’m sure you can easily find USB drivers for your Android devices. Anyway, to make it easier for you, I will bring some of the most common:
- Samsung – a link to this address on the Samsung website;
- Sony – connect to this address on the Sony website;
- Huawei – a link to this address on the Huawei website;
- LG – link to this address on the LG website;
- Motorola – a link to this address on the Motorola website;
- Oppo – link to this address on the Oppo website;
- OnePlus – Link to this address on the OnePlus website.
Alternatively, you can try to search directly on a trusted search engine through your browser by entering a string driver [device name].
OEM USB Android Driver Installation Guide
So, you have found the OEM USB Android driver you need and downloaded it to your computer. Well done! Now all you have to do is install it manually .
Below I will try to best explain how to install Android drivers on your Windows or Mac computer using the package you just downloaded. In this way, I can give you an overview of the operation, which can make you independent, next time, from a guide like this.
MANUAL INSTALLATION ON WINDOWS
If you have a computer with a Windows operating system, such as a Windows 10 PC, simply double-click on the driver icon you just downloaded. This will be an EXE file , a typical Windows software extension. For convenience, I recommend placing the installation package on your Desktop, where you can easily find it.
Immediately after starting the package, the driver package installation wizard will start . Follow it step by step to complete it.
After completing the procedure, you can connect your phone to your computer (in some cases, you may need to restart your computer before using the drivers).
Alternatively, you can complete the installation (or update) of the Android USB drivers you just downloaded using the procedure I will now show:
- Connect your Android device to your computer with a USB cable;
- In the search box on the Start menu of your Windows 10 computer, type “Device Manager ” and click on the first result to access the Control Panel section about managing all devices and connected devices or part of your computer;
- Then you will open a window called Device Manager , where among other things you can find a window dedicated to Portable Devices . By clicking the mouse, you will notice the model of the phone that you connected to the computer;
- Now right click on the phone model (in the example I bring you back to the screen where I used the Xiaomi Mi A3) and select Properties ;
- Then go to the Drivers section and click Update Driver ;
- Then select “Search for driver software on your computer ” and then “Browse ”. At this point, all you need to do is locate the driver package you just downloaded , double-click it and continue with the Android USB Driver Installation Wizard.
Note that you can skip steps 4 and 5 if you right-click on the phone’s name and select Update Driver Software when the menu opens.
MANUAL INSTALLATION ON MAC
Plus, with your Mac , you’ll have the option to manually download and install Android USB drivers within minutes. In fact, most manufacturers make Android USB drivers available for Apple bitten devices.
The addresses I gave you above are usually for Windows, as macOS will often recognize the driver automatically. However, if this is not the case, you can always use the manufacturer’s website to find the latest USB driver for your device.
However, before completing this point, it is worth taking a few seconds for Samsung devices, for which there is an official Smart Switch software , created specifically for optimal connection and control of all devices in a South Korean home. The software is available for both Windows and macOS and can be found on this Samsung support page .
After downloading the DMG extension package, simply follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation and start using your Samsung smartphone freely.
Installing Android USB Drivers via Android SDK
If by chance the manual installation methods I just described didn’t work, or for some reason you don’t like them, you can try installing a developer software package called Android Studio .
In that case, just download the package from this section of the Android Developers site . After that, you need to complete the installation, following the instructions of the wizard.
After the installation is complete, when you open the welcome window, proceed by clicking the Configure button and then select SDK Manager . Then click the SDK Tools button and check the Google USB Driver folder . Then select “Apply” and “OK” .
Then we will continue to perform the operations that will be offered to you by the automatic procedure for installing common drivers.
After completing these settings, you can find the driver file in the directory located at this path:
Alternatively, you can access Device Manager and then enter the directory
usb_driverwhere you can select the appropriate driver .
ANDROID SDK FOR MACOS, CHROMEOS AND LINUX.
The Android Studio installation procedure described so far also applies if you are using computers running non-Windows operating systems such as macOS , ChromeOS, and Ubuntu / Linux, or other distributions.
Alternatively, on Linux and Linux distributions, you can run this command to install ADB:
apt-get install adb
If you cannot run it, try running the command first
upto gain administrator rights.
Problems installing Android USB driver
Well, for now, you will no doubt have a clearer understanding of what Android USB drivers are, their usefulness, and hopefully also how they can be manually installed if they are not present or updated on your computer. Of course, it is possible that, no matter what, something could go wrong. That is why I thought to summarize in paragraphs some of the most common Android USB driver installation problems and provide a quick solution.
Below are some examples:
- Unstable or faulty USB cable : this is one of the most trivial possibilities, but should not be overlooked, especially if you notice that after plugging in the phone, in addition to not being recognized, does not charge;
- Enabling the “Developer” mode on a smartphone : the first thing to do in case all of the above strategies turn out to be in vain is to go and check that USB debugging is active in the developer settings. This can be done through the developer options, which will be activated by 7 clicks on the “Information gathering” element.
Finally, I recommend verifying that the Android Studio installation was successful and redoing or fixing the installation if necessary.