Fix: ADB Devices Not Found

With smartphones being present everywhere, the need for transferring files from your personal computer to your smartphone and vice versa arises. Not only that, you might need to debug certain apps or install new ones, etc. for which a command-line utility called ADB or Android Debug Bridge is often used.

Occasionally, people end up with the issue of not being able to connect to their smartphones, even though, according to them, they’ve done everything right. Well, don’t worry, this is what we’re here for. This guide will let you in on how to solve the ‘Error: device not found’ problem — so sit back, relax and follow the instructions.

ADB Device not found

What Causes the ADB Device Not Found Error?

Before we jump into the solutions, you might want to know what causes this problem. Well, many things can result in this issue —

  • The drivers are not updated. The drivers are the actors responsible for communicating with the interface and your OS. If it is not updated, you might encounter this error.
  • USB debugging is not enabled. This mode is necessary for ADB to work on your Android device.
  • Selection of wrong connection mode. A correct connection mode should be selected for the type of transfer you want to initiate.

Note: Make sure that you have ADB installed.

Method 1: Enable Developer Options and USB Debugging

To start, make sure you’ve enabled USB Debugging on your device since ADB doesn’t work otherwise. To do that:

  1. Go to your phone Settings and select About.
  2. In About menu, tap on ‘Builder number’ seven times which enables Developer Options.
  3. After that, go back and select Developer options.
    Enable Developer Options
  4. Scroll down and tap ‘USB Debugging’.

Method 2: Change Connection Mode

Android has different connection modes which can sometimes cause this problem. In the case of adb, we need MTP (Media Transfer Protocol). One thing to note is that your smartphone might have Transfer files instead of MTP which is the same. For this, what you have to do is:

  1. Make sure your device is correctly plugged in.
  2. Pull down the notification window and select the USB connection notification.
  3. There, select MTP as the connection mode.
    Select MTP as the connection mode

    Note: Some people have reported that selecting the PTP mode worked for them, make sure to try that as well.

Method 3: Update ADB Interface

Sometimes, the issue is due to an outdated ADB interface driver. To update the driver, what you have to do is:

  1. On your computer, right-click on ‘My Computer’ and select Device Manager.
  2. Under Other Devices, you’ll see ‘Android ADB Interface’ or ‘Android Phone’. Right-click it and select ‘Update Driver Software’.
    ADB Interface Driver Update
  3. After that, select ‘Browse my computer for driver software’.
  4. Then, select ‘Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer’.
  5. A window will pop up, make sure ‘Show all devices’ is highlighted and click Next.
    Highlight Show All Devices
  6. Click the ‘Have Disk’ option.
  7. Go to where you’ve installed your SDK which is usually
    C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\extras\\google\usb_driver\

    where you’ll have to double click android_winusb.inf

  8. Select ‘Android ADB Interface’ from the list.
    Select Android ADB Interface
  9. Click ‘Yes’ and then click ‘Install’.
  10. Wait for the installation to complete and then close the window.

You can try reconnecting your device if it doesn’t recognize it already.

Method 4: Install Universal ADB Windows Driver

If you are sure that the above-mentioned solutions are not going to work for you or didn’t work for you, installing Universal ADB Windows Driver might be the solution for you. It is pretty simple, download the driver from their official website and install it.

Method 5: Reset the ADB Process

It sometimes happens that everything else is working but you still can’t list your smartphone – meaning you have installed the USB driver, enabled USB debugging, etc. In such cases, killing the server and starting it again might help you out. To do that, type the following commands in the command line

adb kill-server

adb start-server
ADB Kill/Start Server

Method 6: Change the Cable

Finally, if nothing works out for you, getting a new cable might be the way for you. The chances of your cable being faulty are high which means no matter what you do, your problem will remain as the problem is not with your driver but rather with the hardware. To check whether your cable is faulty or not, try the following:

  1. Connect your cable to a port on a charger.
  2. Try charging your smartphone with that cable.

If it doesn’t start charging, this means your cable is at fault and you’ll have to get another.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.