How to enable USB debugging on Android?

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. 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.


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 and 7 Part 5. enable USB debugging on Android 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

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, Android 7

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”. Then click on “Developer options“, and toggle on the “USB debugging” mode.

Enable USB debugging on Android 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

If you want to debug the Android phone running Android 8 or later, you can follow these steps.

Open the Settings app, click the “System” > “About phone” option, and hit on the “Build number” 7 times. You will need to enter your device’s PIN or password to confirm if prompted. You’ll see a message like “You are now a developer!” indicating that Developer Options have been enabled.

Return to the “System” screen, and click the “Developer options“. Scroll down in the Developer Options menu until you find the “USB debugging” option. Toggle the switch or check the box next to “USB debugging” to enable it.

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?

identify Android version on mobile phone

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.

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

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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

    1. 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.

  4. Hi,
    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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

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