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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

Sebastian's picture

thanks man it was driving me crazy i thought my usb port was broken or something

Just a random user's picture

Saver!!!!!!!

Anirban's picture

Thank you so much!!

Ahmed's picture

I was having the same exact problem, and that helped me a lot.
Thank you.

agasti's picture

Thank you :)

Shaan's picture

It worked, Thank you sooooooooo much....:-)

vseeker's picture

!!!

Rachit's picture

Thanks for sharing.. I did the same and put my self in trouble! Your help is highly appreciated on this. Keep up the good work!

RalleN's picture

Hey man ... you saved my day ... thanks a lot for your info!

Bertan's picture

Hi,
I am afraid there is nothing like that on S4 under the storage section. Ids there any other way to put MTP off for Samsung S4?
Thank you

Chi-Yu's picture

I don't own one, so I don't know. Sorry.

Just a random user's picture

Thanks a ton!!

Scott's picture

Thank you so much, you're a life-saver :):)

Just a random user's picture

It don't work with note 3

Dave's picture

Thanks. Also had 'lost' it (literally) trying to find it.

Cristian's picture

man i was about to give up looking for this when i remembered that "google knows everything", Thank you very much

Chi-Yu's picture

Did you mean: Google knows everything except how to create a straight-forward user interface for their Android operating system

Just a random user's picture

I was searching for this option for a week. Thanks a ton.. should have visited this site before :(

ciaobello's picture

Really strange true ... after playing around with my smartphone the whole day i could quick find it be google it. Thanks for this entry!

Troy's picture

Thanks Dude, very helpful

Im not a bot's picture

I don't know how long I would have been looking for the option if it weren't for you. Many thanks!

Daniel's picture

I was going crazy trying to find this think. You save so many of us! Thanks!!!

Doc's picture

If you disconnect the USB cable from the phone (or computer) then reconnect it, there will be a message that the PHONE IS CONNECTED AS A MEDIA DEVICE...
1. go to your quick menu (don't know what that is called - pull your finger down from the top of the screen to get the menu you usually use to turn on wifi, bluetooth, etc).
2. Press on the message that says it is connected as a media device.
3. Choose the box next to MTP (this will uncheck the box next to PTP)

I also downloaded Kies at the same time. I have an S4, but only running on Vista, so I downloaded Kies 2.6. Not sure which did the trick, but my phone now appears in my Windows Explorer (old File Manager) list.

Under Control Panel/Device Manager/Portable Devices, my phone is not listed okay, without any ! next to it. And by right-clicking, it says the drivers are okay.

Chi-Yu's picture

This message does not appear anymore on the Nexus devices when both options have previously been unchecked, which you do in case you only want to charge your phone while it is connected to a PC without any type of data connection. This is what this post is all about.

Samsung devices are probably different as they use customized Samsung software and not just vanilla Android like the Nexus 5.

clavicle44's picture

This is what worked for me Thank you

Anurag 's picture

thax a lot mate a silly place to put that option in ...

Pankaj Maheshwari's picture

thanks

Om kunwar's picture

Thanks dude!

Herman's picture

I just got my nexus 7 and I can't turn back to the usb mode PC without your help.

Deepu Thomas's picture

I spent ages looking for this setting....You saved Me...:-)

rahul's picture

hi guys i dont know but my MTP is not connecting while i connnect to my pC it is connecting only in camera and it is so horrible so can any one know what should i do to enable MTP and access in my laptop is this a usb problem or the pc problem or my mobile problem.. please do help

L's picture

Worked after turning Bluetooth off!

Just a random user's picture

Thanks!

Muhammad Ali's picture

You really saved me there. My Windows 7 laptop makes a USB conection sound when I connect it with both the Camera and mass storage disabled. It was really annoying. I'm using a Nexus 7 2012 running KitKat 4.4.4

renny's picture

Thanks for the information.. i have same problems :D

D's picture

you saved my day

ashish's picture

no such option available

Chi-Yu's picture

This blog post is mostly targeted at users of vanilla Android versions without any manufacturer modifications. The Nexus 5 uses an unmodified stock Android.

Although the Android version on the Unite 2 seems to be very close to a stock Android, Micromax definitely modified it and probably removed that option from their version or placed it somewhere else.

Let me know when you found it. People who find this page might find that information quite useful.

Just a random user's picture

I want to tell u an anyone who is going through hacking into their cell phone through their computer the SMTP device is what my husband is using to find out my new number I've been going through hacking into my cell for three years an I'm looking for help

Chi-Yu's picture

You are confusing basic technical terms here. MTP and SMTP are two different things.

Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is a protocol for copying files from and to your phone. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a protocol for sending eMails.

Regarding your "hacking" problem, this blog is not the right place to look for help and since we are talking about your own husband and he is apparently not supposed to know your mobile phone number, you obviously have more problems than just a compromised mobile phone.

This is definitely not my field of activity. Sorry.

Just a random user's picture

Thanks Chi-Yu, you saved me from soldering on a new USB connector :)

Chandan Pansari's picture

I have had the same issue. I am running Beanstalk .I cannot find the more options button under the storage tab at all? help!

Chi-Yu's picture

Since Beanstalk is a customized Android version, you should probably be asking the Beanstalk developers where they put those MTP settings. This blog post only covers the stock Android 4.4 shipped with my Nexus 5.

Just a random user's picture

Kudos bro...

aerrow's picture

thanks bro....

zoey's picture

Thank u so much for your help!

Just a random user's picture

thanks

Dennis Neal's picture

I thought I was going crazy - thanks

Just a random user's picture

Thanks bro ! You owe me one :)

Noel's picture

I use android 4.2.2 and i face the same problem.
Can you tell me how to re-enable MTP mode?

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