Troubleshooting ADB Device Recognition Issues

Troubleshooting ADB Device Recognition Issues

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing for Android, the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) is an indispensable tool for communication between your development machine and an Android device. Occasionally, ADB might not recognize your device, which can hinder your development process. In this article, we’ll walk through some troubleshooting steps to help you resolve this issue.

Initial Checks

  • Ensure that you have the latest version of the Android SDK Platform-tools installed.
  • Verify that your device has USB debugging enabled. This can usually be found under Settings > System > Developer options > USB debugging.
  • Check your USB cable and make sure it supports data transfer, not just charging.

Restarting ADB

Sometimes, simply restarting ADB can resolve the detection issue:

adb kill-server
adb start-server

After restarting ADB, use the following command to check if your device is now recognized:

adb devices -l

Driver Installation and Configuration

On Windows, driver issues are a common cause of ADB recognition problems. Here’s a step-by-step guide to address driver-related issues:

  1. Install the Google USB Driver from the Android SDK Manager.
  2. Open Device Manager and locate your device. It might be listed under “Other Devices” or “USB Devices”.
  3. Right-click on the device and select “Update Driver”. Then, select “Browse my computer for driver software”.
  4. Navigate to the %ANDROID_SDK_HOME%\extras\google\usb_driver directory and install the drivers.
  5. After installing the drivers, restart ADB as shown in the previous section.

USB Configuration

Different USB configurations can affect how your device is recognized. Try toggling the USB configuration to “File Transfer”, “Media Transfer”, or “Charging only” mode and see if that helps.

Using Repeato for Automated Testing

Once your device is successfully connected, you might want to automate the testing process for your applications. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android that lets you create, run, and maintain automated tests with ease. It uses computer vision and AI to simulate user interactions and can execute ADB commands via “script steps”. This feature can be particularly useful when you need to time and sequence ADB commands accurately within your automated tests.

For more information on how Repeato can streamline your testing process, visit our documentation page or download the tool from our download page.


If you’ve followed the steps above and your device is still not recognized by ADB, consider trying a different computer or reaching out to the device manufacturer for support. Remember, ADB issues are often solvable with a bit of persistence and the right troubleshooting steps.

For further assistance with ADB or Android development environment setup, explore our blog for a variety of guides and articles.

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