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

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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.

  3. Katie

    My phone screen is black and non responsive to touch, I would like to get my contacts and pictures etc. onto my new phone but am not able to enable USB debugging because the phone (galaxy s5) screen is cracked to the core…any advice?

  4. Harjeet kaur

    Hello… my hp undergo reset factory.. this is because i couldnt enter the right password after i encryt the device… can u help me to retrive al my data.. i am using samsung note 3 with android version 5.0

  5. Mark

    Hi Matt,
    need some help please. I have truly messed up my phone. its a Huawei g510. I tried to root it and must have done something wrong. it switches on but gets to home screen and just hangs. wont even go as far as enter sim code.
    connect it to my pc and only the mobile partner icon shows up. there is no internal storage or SD card showing.
    Help please

    • Matt

      Hi Mark, You can try to press and hold the power button, then shut down the phone completely, after that wait for couple of minutes and power on the phone again see if any help. If no luck, power off the phone first, then boot your phone into the Recovery mode by press and hold volume up + Power key at the same time, then choose Restart system.

  6. Rohit

    I have samsung E7 i lost all my data. my phone got factory reset. I can get my lost data using this software and and following the steps?

    • Matt

      Is the phone rooted? Can you please provide the specific phone model number? The best way to find it out is to download the free trial version of the Android data recovery on to your computer and use it to scan your phone see if any lost data can be found. Since the phone was reset, the chance to get those deleted files is slim.

  7. Harsh

    it stopped on analyzing device at 90% after restarting phone several times
    Asus zenfone 5

    • Matt

      we have not tested this recovery software with Asus Zenfone 5 yet. you can follow this screenshot to submit the log files to our support team, so they can look into this issue and offer more specific instructions. sorry for the inconvenience caused.

  8. Afnan

    Mine was Samsung Galaxy note 3 Neo Android.

  9. Afnan

    Not working! I tried multiple times it is analyzing the mobile till 36% and then stops working.
    It stops working every time. Please help me. I’m in very much need of that data. Please…..

    • Matt

      What’s the specific phone model number and Android version please?
      Also you can refer to this troubleshooting page see if any help.



    • Matt

      you can refer to the steps as specified in the “Enable USB debugging on Android 4.2 and later” section see if any help.

  11. mohamed anwar

    please i cant open usb debugging in my phone its lenovo a 6000 it not appear

    • Matt

      It seems Lenovo a6000 is powered by Android v4.4.4 (KitKat), so you can follow above instructions as specified in the “Enable USB debugging on Android 4.2 and later” section.

  12. Dianne Olarie

    I have Android lg phone, I factory reset it because it kept trying to find service. Lg lite continually on, so as a result bought another phone. No one could turn it off, went to my mobile phone dealer and they couldn’t reset or turn phone off either. As determined as I am I tried one more time to stop or turn phone off, and voila, after I bought another phone, I factory reset my older lg phone. Now I would like to see if I could retrieve all my contacts pics and old texts. Is it possible with the downloads you are mentioning?

  13. heather

    sorry that was it won’t get past “identifying the device”

    • Matt

      can you please provide us the specific phone model number and Android version?

  14. heather merritt

    I cannot get past the “detecting my device” on the software (or step 3). It runs up to 40% and then switches back to the screen before. I have already activated debugging.

  15. Samantha

    I need help recovering my pictures and i cant find the USB debugging thing. I have the Blu Life One phone

    • Matt

      this is a hidden option by default. Android users need to enable Developer options on the phone first, USB debugging is one of the several items under “Developer options”. You can try the Blu phone official site see if any online guide or manual shows how to do it.

  16. Thet Aung

    Hi Dear,Matt
    i need yr help my ph is samsung galaxt grand 2 now auto resart i can`t lose of my data for eg.Connect Ph No
    Memo Note pad and so on so what i can doing now pl sugg and idea give me

    • Matt

      Can you please specify your specific phone model number and Android version?
      How did you lose the data on your phone? Have you tried to use our recovery software to scan your phone?

  17. anil vajpayee

    i restored my sony xperia m on factory setting and lost data stored in notes.
    how can i get my lost notes data.

    • Matt

      The current version of our mobile phone recovery software doesn’t support notes recovery. If you have any email account set up on the phone before, maybe you can check your email from a web browser on computer, as we can see other smartphones like iPhone has the note sync via email feature on the phone. However I am not sure whether you can find this feature on Sony xperia or not.

  18. Josie

    Hello, I have a samsung S5 and I can’t remember the password, however Im scared to do a factory reset in the case that i will lose all my photos of a recent holiday. What can I do to get my photos back, Please help?? Thanks

    • Matt

      Do not reset your phone as you will have very slim chance to get the data back after reset.
      Have you ever backed up the phone?
      If you backed up the phone to a cloud service or your computer, you can easily restore the data.

      Was USB debugging enabled on the phone?
      If USB debugging enabled, you can refer to this guide to backup data from Samsung phone to computer, even the screen is locked.

      Are the photos saved to SD card other than internal storage?
      If so, you can refer to this guide to recover data from SD card.

  19. azhar

    Lenovo s850…version 4.4.2 my videos are deleted in my lenovo s850 model…and i installed this software in my computer…and i follow this phone is detected successfully.. but the last scaning step my phone is not scanned…please help meee…please help mee…reply me plzz

    • Matt

      Please try below tips see if any help:
      1. restart the mobile phone recovery software on your computer;
      2. disconnect and reconnect your Lenovo phone to computer via USB;
      3. close unnecessary software or apps on your computer or mobile phone before recovery;
      4. you can find more tips from this android phone data recovery troubleshooting page.

      If the issue persists, please kindly send us some screenshots through email to illustrate the issue.

  20. JUNAID

    please guide me how i can recover my contacts on samsung grandprme..andriod version 4.4

  21. Swathi Gokulan

    Hi, I cannot seem to get past the enable USB debugging stage. The software doesnt detect the phone after that.

    • Matt

      Hi, What’s your phone model and Android version please?
      You can enable USB debugging on the phone before connect it up to computer via USB and run the Android phone recovery software to scan it. Please give it another try see if any update.

    • Jennifer

      ikr me too!!

  22. krishna

    It is not working and i am not able to take the backup of my messages ?

    • Matt

      What’s your phone model please? Do you mean to restore messages from backups you have saved on computer or elsewhere?

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