Android USB Debugging Mode, is also called Developer Mode in some Android versions, is to facilitate a connection between an Android device and a computer with Android SDK (Software Development Kit). When you enabled USB debugging on Android device, you will have higher level access to your Android phone or tablet. For example, you can copy newly programmed apps to Android phone via USB for testing, you can access your Android phone by running terminal commands through a computer, take a log of your phone, etc. In an earlier guide, we showed you how to enable USB debugging on Samsung Galaxy smartphone, so you can recover lost photos and videos from Samsung Galaxy phones. For advanced Android users, they have to enable USB debugging on their phones from time to time for various purposes.

Want to know how you can enable USB debugging on Android phones? In this article, we will demonstrate how to turn on USB debugging on various Android versions, including Android 4.2 and later, Android 4.1 and 4.0, Android 2.3 or earlier. The instructions below apply to different Android powered phones and tablets, such as Samsung Galaxy smartphones, Sony smartphones, LG phone, Nexus, Motorola, HTC smartphone and more. If you are a Samsung S5 user, you can also refer to this guide: how to enable USB debugging on Samsung Galaxy? HTC smartphones users can refer to this guide to turn on USB debugging on HTC.

Part 1. enable USB debugging on Android 2.3 and earlier
Part 2. enable USB debugging on Android 4.0 and 4.1
Part 3. enable USB debugging on Android 4.2 to 5.2
Part 4. enable USB debugging on Android 6.0 and later

Enable USB debugging on Android 2.3 and earlier

Android 2.3 also known as Gingerbread. Since 2009, Android versions have been developed under a confectionery-themed code name. Android 2.3 – 2.3.7 is also known Gingerbread, Android 3.0 – 3.2.6 also called Honeycomb.

For Android 2.3 or the earlier versions, to enable USB debugging on them, navigate to Settings on your phone, then scroll down the screen, tap on Applications, in the bottom of the Application settings screen there should be a Development item, choose it you will then find the USB debugging option sits at the top of this menu. You can enable USB debugging on Android 2.3 or the earlier versions from there. If you are still confused, see screenshots as below.

enable USB debugging on Android 2.3 and earlier

Enable USB debugging on Android 4.0 and 4.1

Android 4.0 – 4.0.4 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.1– 4.3.1 is also named Jelly Bean. To enable USB debugging on Android 4.0 and 4.1, you can open the Settings on your mobile phone, then scroll own the screen to the bottom on your phone, you will see a Developer options there. Tap on this option, you should see the USB debugging option immediately. Tap to turn on USB debugging for Android 4.0 or 4.1 on your phone, you will then see a prompt as following:

Allow USB debugging?

USB debugging is intended for development purpose only. Use it to copy data between your computer and your device, install apps on your device without notification, and read log data.

 

Once you have enabled USB debugging under the developer options for Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, you will see a pop-up window notifying that you’re now a developer.  

enable USB debugging on Android 4.0 and 4.1

Enable USB debugging on Android 4.2 to 5.2

Android 4.4 – 4.4.4 is also known as KitKat, and latest Android 5.0 also called as Lollipop. To activate USB debugging on Android 4.2 and newer versions (Android KitKat and Jelly Bean), you can follow below illustrations.

enable USB debugging on Android 4.2 to 5.2

Since Android 4.2, enabling USB debugging on Android phones differs a lot from previous versions. More steps required in order to turn on the USB debugging now. Firstly open the Settings, scroll down to the bottom on your mobile phone screen and tap on About Phone, scroll to the bottom again to find Build number, then tap on this Builder number for seven (7) times. You’ll get a short pop-up in the lower area of your display saying that you’re now a developer. After that, go back to Setting, the Developer Options shows up, you can find it from the bottom of the Settings window. Tap to open the Developer Options window, finally you will be able to check to activate USB debugging on Android 4.2 or later versions.

Enable USB debugging on Android 6.0 or newer

Run the Settings app on your Android phone, go to “About phone”, then find and click “Software info”, find “Build number” and tap on it 7 times in a rapid succession till you see a prompt that says ‘You are now a developer!’ Go back to Settings home screen, you should see a newly added entry says “Developer options” right above the “About phone”.

Enable & Disable USB debugging on Android Extra Tips

You should turn on USB debugging whenever you need it. Otherwise, you need to close or turn of the USB debugging on Android phones or tablets. You can go to enable and disable it at the same place in your Android phones or tablets’ settings.

How to Identify the Android version on your device?

To find out Android version on your smartphone or tablet, tap on Settings, then in the Settings menu, normally at the lower section of it, you should find the About Phone or About Device option. Different Android phones may differ in appearance. Once you open this About Phone or About Device option, you should find various details of your mobile phone which includes software update, status, legal information, model number, Android version, Baseband version, kernel version, the built number and so on.
identify Android version on mobile phone

42 thoughts on “How to enable USB debugging on Android?

  1. ravi

    hello sir how i recovery my photos from lenovo k6 and i deleted my internal memory

  2. Krunal

    I am using Motorola 2nd generation and lost my all 5 months whatsapp data. Want to recover. Please guide

    • Matt

      you can refer to this link to recover WhatsApp data. scroll down to the lower section of previous linked page, there will be a Android phone data recovery software you can try. Download it on to your computer, and use it to scan your phone see the lost data can be found or not. not all phone models can be supported, or if the deleted data has been overwritten by new data, the Android phone recovery can’t help you get them back.

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