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Phone won't connect to PC

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Greum, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I used to be able to connect my phone and PC via USB but lately the PC doesn't seem to recognise the phone. The phone will charge but nothing else.

    Phone's a Huawei P20 lite running Android 9 and the PC has Windows 10.

    I'm not sure if this is a PC or phone problem. I set USB debug mode but haven't got further than that.

  2. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Just to rule out any one-off USB connectivity glitch, have you restarted both your phone and your PC?

    Also in your Developer Options, below the USB Debugging option, is there a Select USB Configuration option too? If it shows Charging as the default, try MTP or one of the other options.

    When you try to mount your P20 Lite to your PC, if you look in the Windows Device Manager is there anything flagged in the USB section?

    .... and this might not fit in with your needs but I use the AirDroid app to connect my mobile devices to a computer. It does require both to be connected to the same local network but it uses WiFi connectivity instead of a USB cable. You only need the AirDroid app installed on your phone, and you use your web browser on your PC to access your phone remotely. Works with Linux, Mac, and Windows computers/laptops and your preferred browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Brave, Edge, etc.) so there aren't any driver or settings issue (MTP/PTP/mass storage) or need to carry around a USB cable if you want to connect to computer outside away from home.
    (tip -- They prefer if you sign up for an AirDroid account, which would give you online storage capability, but the app is fully functional without restrictions just connecting directly over a local network. A lot of people don't want to involve any online connectivity for privacy and security reasons.)
    ocnbrze, Hadron, Greum and 1 other person like this.
  3. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. Yes, they've both been rebooted recently.

    When I go back to Developer options, USB debugging is not on any longer. I don't see Select USB Configuration.

    When I connect the two, in Windows device manager a new item appears Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed). Perhaps I need to find and update the driver.

    AirDroid sounds interesting, although I'm not on a LAN - just the PC and phone.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Yeah, not every Developer Options menu is going to have all the same features as every phone has its own unique hardware configuration and some manufacturers will include/exclude options in the menu.

    Previously, when you were able to just mount your phone to your PC, in the Windows Device Manager any chance you noted if the USB driver was shown as Huawei, or Google, or Android? Windows drivers for USB devices don't get defined all that well at times. And looking at Huawei's site for a Windows driver just confused me even more:


    -- and just some reminders in case you haven't already tried them
    Try using a different USB cable
    If you're plugging your phone into a USB hub, try plugging it directly into a USB port on your PC
    If you're plugging into a USB 3.x port try a 2.x one if there is one, or vice-versa.

    Also, since WiFi isn't an option, have you tried Bluetooth connectivity?
    Bandwidth speed will probably noticeably slower but works as a 'last resort' option. If your PC doesn't have Bluetooth support, an adapter is pretty cheap.
    Or you can always just pick up a basic wireless router. Plug it in and connect your phone and your PC to your own little local network. Online access isn't a necessity, a typical consumer router will be fully functional as is for your own, isolated from the Internet, network.
    ocnbrze and Greum like this.
  5. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Hah, yes, I got confused Googling for drivers. Unfortunately I didn't think to look at the device manager before now.

    Funnily enough I was just thinking I might try bluetooth.

    The phone's outside taking a time-lapse video of the sunset at present, so I'll have to wait till tomorrow to try! :)

    Thanks for your help.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  6. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Given Microsoft's now infamous history for sloppy support for Win10, I wouldn't be surprised if you problem is due to a Windows issue. If you have access to a different computer, running a different platform, it would be interesting to just do an impromptu test and see if your phone mounts up seamlessly like it should.
    ocnbrze likes this.
  7. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks again @svim.

    Bluetooth didn't seem to be a great success. I managed to pair the devices but then they wouldn't connect.

    I thought I would try the automatic update f device drivers, figuring that Window might know what driver it already had, but it came back and said I already had the most up-to-date.

    AirDroid is still a possibility. I'm showing my age. When you said a local network, I was thinking of a LAN. I have a router, so I'll give AirDroid a go.

    I also have an old Linux Mint machine in the cupboard somewhere. I can always wind it up and try that.

  8. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, I have managed to get transfers by Bluetooth working. It was operator trouble! :(

    I have tried connecting via USB to another Win10 machine (not updated for a couple of years) and to an old Linux box. Neither of them recognise the phone.

    I'm thinking it's the phone that's the problem. I found a setting to change the USB configuration, and tried MTP and PTP without success. I was wondering if there might be a setting on the phone just to treat it as a flash drive.

    I have installed AirDroid, but I cannot fathom how it works. I don't know how to connect to my phone in a browser.

    ocnbrze likes this.
  9. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Yeah, Bluetooth is more about device-to-device interactivity at a lower level than for user file transfer. As for your phone not connecting to other devices over USB, have you tried a different USB cable?

    With both your phone and your PC on the same local network, start up the AirDroid app on your phone, and then tap on 'AirDroid Web'. The next window should show you Option 1 and Option 2. Skip Option 1, that's where they want you to use set up and use the AirDroid online servers. It's Option 2 to focus on, that's a local network only option. It should show you an IP address with a port number (the IP address your phone is using when connected to your router and the port number that the AirDroid app uses). As an example, mine is shown as
    Type that exact IP address:port number into your web browser on your computer and the browser window will allow you remote access to your phone. Click on the 'Files' icon to transfer files to and from between your phone and computer. There are a number of other icons for various functions, like remotely accessing your camera. When you close the browser tab on your PC or quit the app on your phone, that kills the connection.
    ocnbrze and Greum like this.
  10. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Oh cool. That looks like fun.

    Just need to find my videos folder.

    Thanks again @svim
    ocnbrze likes this.
  11. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Don't know if your phone already has Huawei's File Manager app on it but having one on your phone makes it easier to do file/folder management. The directory setup on your phone (where folders reside, usually with more folders nested in each other) is kind of bizarre at first so it might be beneficial to get familiar with its basic layout to make it easier to just find stuff. Anyway, the app doesn't appear to be available in Google's Play Store so you'll need to side load its APK, with the caveat 'Always be judicious whenever side loading any APKs'. (... wonder if this exclusion has anything to do with Prez Fruitloop's disdain for Huawei):
    The apkmirror site has a solid history and reportedly valid source for APKs as the downloads they provide are from Google's servers:

    Or you can always just install one of the many viable, third-party options that are in the Play Store. Try Simple File Manager, it's free with no ads:
    Greum and ocnbrze like this.
  12. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Yes, I have a file manager. Can't say I know whose it is, but I can see how to move files from Videos to the file system. Easy peasey!

    (I do have the Huawei app gallery although I've never ventured inside.)

    Thanks again, guv.
  13. James L

    James L Android Expert

    Do you have Huawei Hisuite installed on the PC?
  14. Trom

    Trom Well-Known Member

    Here's something that may help, I didn't see anyone mention this. In the first screenshot, I am in "Bluetooth and device connections" probably a little different on your phone, and I am not connected to computer. Second screenshot, after I plug into computer, new category, "USB" appears at bottom. I tap "USB" and I'm third screenshot I have options on how to treat the connection, and charge only is default. Maybe this might help. Screenshot_20200624-203036.jpg Screenshot_20200624-203051.jpg Screenshot_20200624-203106.jpg
  15. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Yes, I do, but the PC doesn't seem to recognise the phone and even if I start Hisuite manually, it refuses to connect :(

    Yes, I don't get anything about USB connections under Device connectivity. However, I have found the USB settings but changing them makes no difference.

    Thanks guys
  16. James L

    James L Android Expert

    Have you tried the clockwork mod universal drivers? You can choose HTC drivers for most devices and they'll work.
    Greum likes this.
  17. James L

    James L Android Expert

    Or power off the PC and reboot them try.
  18. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, I'll give them a try.
  19. baizhou

    baizhou Member

    Maybe you can also try another Huawei USB cable. If there is no way works well, try to install Coolmuster Android Assistant on your computer. Start it, then you can connect your phone to pc via WIFI. Here, you need to make suer they are in the same network. And it can also help you manage data between them. Just have a try.
    Greum likes this.
  20. Greum

    Greum Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Finally, I managed to track down another cable and, shiver me timbers, it works. It needed to install HiSuite on my phone (I thought I already had it).

    Anyway, that seems to have done the trick. And I have AirDroid as a backup method.

    Many thanks for your help and patience, guys.
    James L and svim like this.

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