Resolving ADB Device Detection Issues on macOS

Resolving ADB Device Detection Issues on macOS

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

If you’re developing Android applications on macOS and facing issues with ADB not detecting your device, despite the device being recognized by Android File Transfer, you’re not alone. This guide will help you troubleshoot and resolve this common problem.

Initial Checks

Before diving into more complex solutions, ensure you’ve covered these basics:

  • Enable Developer Mode on your device.
  • Activate USB Debugging in Developer Options.
  • Verify that your USB cable works for data transfer, not just charging.
  • Ensure ADB is installed and accessible from the command line.

Changing USB Mode to PTP

A common solution is switching the USB mode from Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) to Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP):

  1. Connect your device via USB.
  2. Swipe down from the top to open the control center.
  3. Tap on “Media device (MTP)” and select “Send Images (PTP)”.
  4. Enable USB debugging if prompted.

This should allow ADB to recognize your device.

Revoking USB Debugging Authorizations

If the above method doesn’t work, try revoking USB debugging authorizations:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options.
  2. Tap on “Revoke USB debugging authorizations”.
  3. Reconnect your device and grant debugging permissions when prompted.

Checking the USB Cable

Not all USB cables support data transfer. If your device is still not detected, consider using a different cable, preferably the one that came with your device.

Resetting System Management Controller (SMC)

As a last resort, resetting your Mac’s System Management Controller (SMC) can sometimes resolve connectivity issues:

Follow the instructions provided in Apple’s official guide to reset the SMC.


By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to resolve most ADB device detection issues on macOS. For more detailed troubleshooting, you can refer to our comprehensive guides on ADB and Android development:

Automating Your Testing with Repeato

If you’re looking for a more streamlined approach to testing your Android applications, consider using Repeato. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that simplifies the creation, execution, and maintenance of automated tests. It integrates seamlessly with ADB, allowing you to execute ADB commands efficiently through script steps. This ensures proper timing and sequencing of commands, making your testing process faster and more reliable.

For more information on how Repeato can enhance your testing workflow, visit our documentation section.

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