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Enable "Media device (MTP)" USB mode on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and 5.0 (Lollipop)

Android "Media Device (MTP)" mode notificationSince I only wanted to charge my new Nexus 5 at work rather than having my phone content exposed to company hardware, I disabled "Media device (MTP)" USB mode there. This is actually easy since there is a shortcut in the notifications which let's you do just that.

The tricky part is to turn that back on when you are back home and want to connect your KitKat phone to your private computer. The system won't find the phone unless "USB computer connection" on your Android is either set to "Media device (MTP)" or "Camera (PTP)". The notifiction which used to be there in MTP mode is gone so there is no shortcut to get back to that setting.

Android "Storage" overview screenAfter looking for that setting for ages, going through every possible menu and exploring the deeps of Android 4.4, I was about to give up when I finally found the menu I was looking for, well hidden as a tiny "more options" button within the "Storage" overview screen.

Android "USB computer connection" settingsTouching that will finally bring you to the "USB computer connection" settings where you can choose either one of the available options to make your phone visible to your computer again.

I guess providing a "Select USB connection mode" notification with a shortcut to that screen would have been too easy.

Update 25.11.2014:

This issue is still present in Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and the solution is still the same. I will never understand why they reworked the user experience but didn't fix this annoying usability problem.

Update 15.10.2015:

Almost two years later, this issue has finally been fixed in Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) by introducing the previously missing notification which now allows the user to choose between "Charging only", "Transfer files (MTP)", "Transfer photos (PTP)" and "MIDI".

Samsung / Sony / <insert brand here> phone owners:
Please read the comments if you are having trouble finding the settings on your device. Some manufacturers go their own way in user interface design so everything looks and works a bit different. I cannot cover all those devices in this blog.
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Comments

Nevisu's picture

Thanks you bro ! you save my life :D i had that same problem, like you wrote. I have nexus 4.

J's picture

What a silly place to put that button. Thanks so much!

DomiChi's picture

if you have the button it is minimum trouble. I have not the button on my gallaxy s3.

Johnny Mann's picture

same here

Andras's picture

IT took me 2,5 hours. I almost gave up!

Gianini's picture

Thank you for the trick, I had the same issue with my new Nexus 5 !

Joseph Li's picture

It very helps...... after a long day of debugging that damn assignment that I have been working on... I thought I went mad when I can't find/recall the way to re-enable MTP. Thanks, you just saved me a trip to the mental institute.

Chi-Yu's picture

No one likes mental institutes, maybe except the people who work there. =P

Gorka's picture

Thank you ! I've been looking for a way to bring this notification back :-D

Arpad's picture

Did you by any chance find the button for enabling the camera? I disabled it by accident
Thanks Arpad

Chi-Yu's picture

I didn't even find a button to disable it.

Just a random user's picture

he he he

Don's picture

Hello...Do you recall how you disable the camera? or where approximately you were at the time...that is, in what part of the phone info?
Good luck.
I have not been able to get my Nexus 5 to play any of the music stored on it....I was able to finally get my computer to recognize it, thanks to the first questioner in this line....

Martin's picture

I needed this. Was worried I needed to factory reset.

Koen's picture

Same here, WTF I had to search for ages. Thanks for this clearup!

eua's picture

exactly what I was looking for! many thanks!

vaijiro's picture

Thank you! That was a great tip:)

Mayank's picture

This was much needed. I was about to install rom again

Chi-Yu's picture

It's sometimes hard to tell whether you guys are spam bots or real people.

Thanks for the comments to those who are not run off an infected dedicated server in some abroad data center.

NUi's picture

thank you !! one of the single most useful blogs ever!!! and it wasn't about flashing/rooting android. lol!!:)

Billy's picture

In my case, the tiny "more options" button itself, does not appear in Storage screen. I m using Sony Xperia Arc S. Any idea where it could be.

Chi-Yu's picture

I don't have a pile of smartphones lying next to me, but I think the "more options" button might actually be the "menu" button.

The Sony Xperia Arc S appears to have a dedicated hardware menu button which the Nexus 5 doesn't have. Maybe you could give that a try. It should be the rightmost button below the display.

Joe's picture

Samsung Galaxy S3, Android 4.3 - there is no "more options" button on this screen, and the "menu" button does nothing. Have looked everywhere else I can think of to try and get a USB "charge only" mode in effect, but no go. :-(

Clueless's picture

Hi - I also do not have the three dots button under storage. However, when I plug the USB cable in (and connect the other end to my PC) there is displayed at the top of the phone's screen (where I get status notifications etc.) a tiny USB symbol (devil's fork thingy). Drag down and the full notification for the USB status will be "Connect as (a media device/camera)". Tap that and a screen entitled "USB Connection" will come up allowing you to choose the mode you want. This is on my S4.

Jim lange's picture

@ Clueless (not so Clueless)—Well, that solved it, and so simple a solution! A thousand thank you's!

adelazero's picture

I don't have that menu in my Storage settings, and I also am not getting that notification. This is also on S4... Any idea what the issue could be?

GinnyPotter's picture

Yeah, that notification used to come up for me, but doesn't anymore for some reason. Anyone know how I could've accidentally turned it off?!?

Dreyer's picture

Xperia Connectivity - USB Connectivity - USB connection mode

Xperia z user's picture

Thanks man, you saved my life. Needed this to update my phone with Sony PC Companion, which said that it couldn't connect to my phone or to the update server.

Just a random user's picture

Thanks for providing the solution , it is a trouble some thing when one like to enable MTP , Personally found kit Kat 4.4 sucks , problems with file system.

Aapje's picture

Thanks man, I couldn't figure it out my self, this is definitely not intuitive by Google!

Michael Strutt's picture

Had been trying to find that for ages, nice writeup!

J., Steve's picture

You, sir, have just saved my life! Thank you so much!

Rajeev's picture

Thank You..You Saved me..

Matias's picture

I did factory recovery and was about to take the Nexus back to the LG people. Thanks for the tip!

AK's picture

How about on an S3 with 4.3? I can't figure out any way to transfer my files. Tried Kies, didn't work. Can't find any way to set MTP!

oways's picture

i have s3 i dont have this menu....!!! what to do???

brijesh's picture

its worked for my Samsung galaxy s3
" After that dialing *#0808# gets you to the USBSettings Menu. "

Note by the blog author:
Please be aware that codes like this one appear to be specific to some Samsung phones. They will most likely not work for other brands and might have unexpedted effects.

In general, codes like these are not meant to be used by end users but by qualified service personell. Using them without knowing what they do might cause more trouble than a non-working USB connection.
Jennifer's picture

So... none of these suggestions seem to be working so I was hoping to find the rest of the string that included "After that dialing *#0808# gets you to the USBSettings Menu.". I can't see to find it anywhere. Do I just randomly dial this or what?

jesus's picture

Wow that worked. Thanks - You rock.

gino's picture

Dialing* #0808# solved my problem after opening the hidden switches

DomiChi's picture

Iwill try this system tip. Not a normall procedure for a phone.

Ares7425's picture

When you plug your device in to a computer the notifications bar at the top of your screen will show a USB symbol. Pull down the bar and then tap the usb symbol. There you will see the option to chang it from PTP mode to MTP mode or any other mode your device has.
Hope it helps.
Ares7425

Aatish's picture

Thanks Bro It Worked For My Galaxy Grand Duos too!

Bryan's picture

http://www.random-host.com/comment/379#comment-379

joey's picture

thanks alot bro really helped :)

Jannik's picture

Thanks to you I got my sanity back! :D

Prasanth's picture

Thank u, it was very useful

Palanivelu's picture

Thank you verymuch bro... Thanks a lot...keep it up..

Greg's picture

That was a huge help- thanks so much!

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