When I connect via USB (Android to PC), it automatically starts charging.

According to what I've read, a 'File Transfer' window should open. Mine just says, 'slow charging'.

How do I transfer files?


6 Answers 6


1. First, check your USB cable

a. Your cable could be a "charging only" cable (i.e. only has wires to carry power and no data wires)

This cable could be a charging-only cable, which doesn't include the D+ & D- cable streams. If you're unsure of the type of cable, try using a different cable that you're sure works.

b. If you are using USB 3.0, it could be "bad"

USB 2.0 minimum cable requirements were easier to manufacture because of the lower data rate requirements. Ever since USB 3.0, lots of USB 3.0 cables don't meet "spec" and therefore can not work or damage your phone. Make sure you have a brand that you know is good.

2. After checking the cable, you need to check your phone's settings. Make sure it is in "File transfer" mode and NOT "Charging only".

From Android 6.0 onwards, file transfer is disabled by default when a cable is connected to the device, mainly due to malicious USB hubs which pretend to be normal charging ports, but instead copy data from your device whilst charging.

To enable File Transfer Mode

  1. Turn on your device and connect it to your computer (using a cable which supports data transfer)

  2. Unlock your device and open the notification labeled "USB charging this device" - you may need to swipe down from the notification bar

  3. Select "Transfer Files" from the menu that appears.

  4. You should be able to access your device on your computer.


3. Try a different USB port on the PC

I tried a bunch of cables on one USB port but nothing was working. So I tried a different USB port and it all worked again!

4. Lastly, try restarting the phone and restarting the computer.

Some might say this is the first thing to try.

  • Is there any way to get to the window on your screenshot? i have to go to developer options to change this setting @samdd
    – Shayan
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 2:12
  • I have two notifications: one is 'cable charging' and the other is 'transfering media files'. Clicking the last one show something like your screenshot. But android file transfer is not seeing the phone.
    – commonpike
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 19:43
  • @myself: android file transfer started seeing the phone after I enabled developer options and set 'usb configuration to 'MTP''
    – commonpike
    Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 20:35

Make sure your wire supports both charging and data.

If it does, then on the phone go to Settings -> Storage -> Overflow menu (3 dots) -> USB Computer Connection -> Change the mode from Charging Only to MTP or USB Mass Storage.

If neither of these works, then make sure you have drivers installed for your device on your computer.


Generally, whenever you connect the USB, the phone is in USB charging mode by default.

To change to any other mode (File Transfer Mode in your case), go to the notification pane where a notification will tell you that USB is connected and charging. Tap on it and select the MTP or File Transfer Mode.


This works for Pixel 3 on Android 12.

Settings > System > Developer Options > Default USB Configuration > File Transfer / Android Auto

Also the lock screen has to be unlocked.


Try removing your SIM card(s). I had a similar issue and it worked fine again after restarting without them. I have checked now and it does work/transfer-files again, also with the SIMs in too.


Pick down the taskbar and tap phone charge, and in the new window, select the MTP or flash option.

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