Under SettingsWireless and networks, USB internet will not highlight nor will it let me activate it. Therefore, I can't connect my smartphone to the PC.

Is there an alternate way to check why this is occurring and fix it?

  • For what purpose do you want to connect your Android mobile to PC? For USB storage you need to use the Media device while connecting your device to PC.
    – Lucky
    Oct 5, 2015 at 12:19
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    Please make sure your data cable is functioning properly. There are also some USB cables that are not for data use. Perhaps try a different cable. Please also specify your device/OS/PC OS.
    – paulmz
    Oct 5, 2015 at 13:56
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    Don't know why I can't post an Answer but for me it was USB-C. That little USB is flippable, you can use it upside down or right side up. I plugged it into a regular USB adapter to plug into laptop. Well regular isn't flippable, and the adapter doesn't cover that; flipping the USB-C and then plugging it back into the adapter fixed it. Sep 18, 2019 at 2:03

11 Answers 11


I wrestled with greyed-out USB tethering for 3 days. I factory reset, changed VPN settings (when for an unknown reason I lost data capacity), read all the forums, etc.

It's embarrassing. Despite having a $40 metal-braided, multi-tipped cord with amazing mall-metal jacks that works for charging, for tethering it wouldn't. Trying the $3 cord I had the same effect, I discovered it was the cord. That's all.

The expensive cord obviously isn't made to do anything but charge, and the cheap factory cord was simply defective. (When I wiggled the wire where it goes into the hack, my phone beeped and all the charging/tethering options appeared.)

That whole time it was the cord, poorly manufactured or damaged.

Try a brand new cord. It's likely just that. (My defective cord was only 1 day old!)


It was my usb cable which was causing the problem, I changed my USB it started enabling and disabling the option seamlessly.

  • I had a similar issue sort of. My Dell laptop was connected to a dell docking station via a USB-C connection. I had the phone plugged into one of the USB ports on the docking station. In trying different cables, it was a bit difficult to reach around the back of the dock so I started connecting to the laptop directly bypassing the dock. Every cable worked when directly connected to the laptop. Every cable did not work when plugged into the doc. Go figure.
    – HPWD
    Dec 30, 2019 at 16:45

When "Data saver" is turned on USB Tethering is not allowed. Turn it off and you may be able to USB Tether (Android AOSP 7.1):

  1. Settings
  2. Data usage
  3. Tap "Data saver"
  4. Tap "Off" to turn it on.

You're steps may be different, you know the OS guys like to move the cheese: (https://www.quora.com/Buzzwords-What-exactly-does-Who-moved-my-cheese-mean)

  • And apparently as I found out, not all USB type-c cables that advertise themselves as DATA cables will allow USB tethering Apr 23, 2019 at 4:56

I faced the same problem of USB tethering option being disabled when I updated the software on my Samsung Galaxy On5.

The solution was simple though.

When you connect your phone to the PC with a USB, a message will pop up on your phone "Allow access to device data - An MTP connection will be established to access the data on the connected device - DENY ALLOW " (Please note this message did not pop up prior to the software update...which means the phone was directly connected to the PC via USB)

When you select the ALLOW option on this pop up, then only the USB tethering option will be available for selection. If you select DENY, the USB tethering option remains disabled.


For sony xperia c4, unplug the usb, from settings > developer options, enable it by switching the "on" option at the top. Connect the device with usb, when asked choose "mtp" then the usb thethring option will be available.

  • 1
    thank you ali jan. khoda kheiret bede. i forget that i enable then disable developer option Jun 15, 2021 at 18:01

I called up MI Customer Care, and this is how it worked out for me.

  1. Install the latest system update
  2. Go to Installed Apps> System Launcher> Clear Data and/or Clear Cache

Simple, gray means connection error (any how).

In my case,

  1. Connect my PC & smartphone by a USB Cable.
  2. Under Setting>Tethering & Mobile Hotspot>USB Tethering check the radio button.

That's it.


Tried different cables. One of the cables worked. The greyed out "USB Tethering" was enabled. I turned it on and voila.


This turned out to be a hardware issue. Tried a couple of cables, but they were all the same. After removing the phone from its case and blowing in the connector and trying again it showed up. Presumably the charging pins were OK but there was some crud on the data pins (or maybe the case was not letting the plug go all the way in).


I was using a USB connection on the front of the PC house, it seems it's only connected with power because the phone didn't connect to it. As soon as I plugged it in to the back of the house onto the motherboard's backpanel, everything worked.


For people still looking for the answer, connect the USB cable to the PC. This enables USB tethering and it longer is greyed out. Hope this helps.

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