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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

Srini's picture

Thank you bro.. u made my struggle to find the same in easy manner i was killing my white matter to find it... wow thats cool..

Aladin Z.'s picture

I can't express my gratefulness to you enough. Thank you for sharing!

vinay's picture

Made my day... Thanks Buddy

Nata's picture

Thank you very much!!!!

nishant's picture

Dear I am facing same problem with my LAVA IRIS 30+. So Pls Help Me. How to conect usb

Chi-Yu's picture

I don't own a Lava Iris.

If the above description doesn't work for you, it probably uses a customized Android version which puts things in different places.

Try contacting Lava. They are supposed to know how their Android builds work.

Their support website appears to be: http://www.lavamobiles.com/support

April's picture

Thanks, man. I did this, but my device still won't show up. Any advice?

Jesal's picture

thanks a lot... its reli stupid of google people to such a silly thing..
u saved it all thanks a lot..

Just a random user's picture

Very Helpful, Thanks

pnike's picture

This is just insane, without your help I doubt if I could ever find this setting

Chi-Yu's picture

Yeah. I still wonder why they reworked the whole UI in Lollipop but didn't fix some of the most annoying usability problems along with it.

Apparently it's all about optics now. Screw usability. Just make it look fancy.

Just a random user's picture

how about in cherry mobile magnum s? the menu still not functioning..

Just a random user's picture

Thanks

Just a random user's picture

Thanks

G's picture

for those who didnt found the "more options" button on storage...
1. Connect the device on the PC
2. Hold the status bar (top of the screen) and drag to bottom.
3. Beetwen the notifications you will find one that says "Connected as a media device". Tap it.
4. Enjoy xD

Chi-Yu's picture

There is no such notification once you turned off MTP and PTP mode and reconnect the device to the computer or to another computer. It will simply be gone. This is what this post and more than 200 comments are about.

Maybe you should catch some sleep before you write your next comment. :P

Pablo's picture

Thanks for the tip. WTF is wrong with these idiots at google?! They really should track down who was responsible for that shit and fucking fire that moron on the spot.
On all androids that MTP box is always somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It always required me to google to find it (after I tried to search through all the options). On top of that on latest lolipop the search for in settings returns whole nothing when u search for MTP

Chi-Yu's picture

I don't get it either. Sadly, horrible UI design seems to be a thing nowadays.

It's also annoying how their updated camera API in 5.0 apparently broke compatibility with apps which use it. I can't take any photos from the Twitter app anymore. Sometimes the flashlight becomes stuck and won't turn off anymore.

Android 5.0 feels a lot like banana software right now and I wish they had done some more testing, especially with their own Nexus devices which seem to suffer from multiple problems since the update.

Amrita De's picture

thank u so so soooooooooooooooooo much

Lelum's picture

Very helpful! Greetings from Poland.

Rémi's picture

Like others, many thanks, it's a little bit annoying this problem :/

Ajay's picture

Hi, I just brought a RCA 10.1 Pro Tablet 16GB Quad Core.

When I am connecting it to my computer, but the tablet does not shows USB connection options (however it is chargning).
So, I went to the Settings -> Device -> Storage -> tap Menu icon at the upper right corner. Here the "USB computer connection" always comes disabled and I can't click on it.

Please help.

shaikh's picture

Thanx a ton

soor's picture

thanx!!!!!!

nah's picture

FIXED!

Sorcy's picture

Already a lot of "thank you" messages but I had to add mine, 'cause it's cool when ppl like u take time to write an article about an issu they may encounter, with a clear solution.

Thanks m8

Just a random user's picture

you just save my nexus 9 from being hammered, this info is just useful , why dont you report it to google

dev's picture

thanks dude

Just a random user's picture

i use 4.4 too. but the thing is there's no tiny button appear in the storage setting.there's also no such thing that will pop out when i drag down my screen even though i connect my phone to pc.

rainbow's picture

guys,why i cant click on my 'usb tethering' setting'? i cant choose the mtp mode.ive connected my phone(4.4) to my pc and there's no notification telling me my phone has connected to the pc.does anyone know what is exactly the problem?help..

Taha's picture

i had this problem to , your method helped , thanks !

Hans's picture

And thank you again!

vasavi manchikanti's picture

Thank you very much for the solution

My name's picture

I'm not a bot, just wanted to get that out of the way :)
Thank you for this I really got worried for a moment, glad to find that it's something "workable"...

now to find why it keeps dis/re-connecting to the pc...

Have a great day !

ps: don't hesitate with adsense >;p

Chi-Yu's picture

My approach to detect bots usually works amazingly well so I assume that comments which make it through were indeed written by a human being.

There may be some false positives when using browser add-ons which automatically fill in form fields but this is an issue the authors of such add-ons have to take care of because if they get caught here, it's because their add-on does something humans wouldn't do.

Amit Bijave's picture

You're a life Saver. Was about to give up

Rubens Sayegh's picture

Phew!!! Thank you for this post... I had it working A-OK and then I rooted my Android Tablet. I didn't have any ideas that rooting could "wipe off" this configuration, and wouldn't remember to check it again. That's it! I am happy again!

eneville's picture

Me too! Damn, so easy to turn it off, yet so hard to locate to enable.

ponkuto's picture

Theres no showing up notifications for USB Storage in my Gionee P4, i recently updated my device to kitkat. When i connect my phone to computer it will charge only. Any help regarding my problem? I already used other usb cable, reboot my device, what else i can do???

bia's picture

What about samsung galaxy s5 ?? I couldn't do this same procedure. I'm going crazy and I just cant find how to change the usb mode.

Galaxyuser's picture

You are my hero! Thought I'd never get it back

Pp's picture

Saved my life

Arnie's picture

You are a lifesaver. Thanks!

Mitch's picture

THANKS!

Just a random user's picture

how to connect Samsung Android 4. 4. 4 mobile to LCD to view videos and photos

Noradne's picture

Had exactly the same problem. This is the first site I looked at and it solved my problem.

Cheers,
Noradne

Jai's picture

I just found a solution to activate the developer options in kitkat 4.4.2 that i using now. Just click 7 times in build number at about device in general at settings. In there you can enable the USB debugging. But the problem is, it can't connected to pc even the USB debugging is enabled. WHYYYYY....please help.

Just a random user's picture

thanks for my problem solution

Phlipp's picture

This comment is still helpful - thank you very much! :-)

Jonas's picture

Very nice!
This menu is harder than the easter egg game on Lollipop...

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