Fix for Samsung Galaxy Note II that won’t connect to PC via USB with Unknown Device Error!

Fix for Samsung Galaxy Note II that won’t connect to PC via USB with Unknown Device Error!

I’ve broken free of the iTunes collar, the manacles of Mac and the yoke of iPhone madness… yes friends, I am back in the warm embrace of Android at last as I have now been moved to a Samsung Note II!  Despite the joy, there was one small itsy bitsy hiccup along the way and that was Windows 8’s absolute refusal to successfully install the drivers and let me browse my brand new Samsung Note II with Windows Explorer.


Every time I would connect the cable to any of my USB ports, I would get USB Driver installation errors saying Unrecognized Device Error.  I tried everything I could find on the web to no avail, so I tried the most basic concept I could think of… I swapped out the cable.  The default white cable that came with the phone would charge the phone no problem connected to the PC, but would refuse to properly install the drivers.

Method 1 – Change the cable (it really works!)

I literally used a $1 OEM cable I bought from a dollar store years ago for an old Motorola phone.  Within seconds, the phone connected, correct drivers loaded and boom, windows explorer popped up with all the phone’s files available.  So there you go, before you try anything, swap out the cable!  If that doesn’t work, then I would suggest fiddling with the other solutions found online.


Method 2 – Don’t use a usb 3.0 port

Some folks have reported that using a USB 3.0 port on the PC in question may not work correctly.  Try using a USB 2.0 port instead if possible.

Method 3 – Ensure you have the right settings

By default my phone was already set to the right settings for USB file transfers so I’ll assume most of these ship with the same configuration, hence why I have this as method 3.  I found this on a forum and while it did not work for me, it seems a few other folks declared it a success.

  1. Launch the phone key pad on your note and press *#7284# (don’t forget to start with that * symbol!)
  2. When you press the last pound sign (#) this will bring up an option that will allow you to change your USB connection settings (modem or PDA) – change it to PDA.
  3. At the bottom there is a button that says Qualcomm USB. Click on it.
  4. In that menu click on MTP + ADB option.
  5. Save and reset.
  6. Wait for your phone to restart.
  7. Plug the micro USB cable to the Note 2 and the the other end to your PC or Mac
  8. Let your computer down load and install drivers.
  9. Once installing is done, unplug then replug phone.
  10. There should be a USB symbol on your phone in the status bar – click on it. It should ask if you wsnd to use mtp or ptp. Click MTP
  11. At this point your PC should open the phone’s folders in explorer similar to the screenshot above.
  12. Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.

Remember, you do not need to use Kies or root your phone for this to work and you should not have to fiddle with manually installing and downloading drivers in Windows 8, it should work no problem as is.

Good luck!

280 thoughts on “Fix for Samsung Galaxy Note II that won’t connect to PC via USB with Unknown Device Error!

  1. For crying out loud !!! Honestly !!

    I’ve ad this problem for 4 days now and I have searched everywhere for a solution, only for you to come up with a simple (Method 3) and very effective solution.

    my note 2 just gave me the option of usb as modem or PDA no Qualcomm USB or MTP + ADB option.
    Just hit save and reset and DONE.

    Bless you for making sense and providing such a straightforward solution.
    Cheers mate

  2. Thank you very much. I have been trying to fix this problem for months. Even went as far as to call Samsung with no help. They even had me open a ticket to call them back and still no help. This was so simple to fix. Thank you again.

    1. Everytime i punch the code into my Galaxy Note 2 phone keypad it says “Signal too weak Please try again later”. What do you recommend I do? Please help?

  3. I have tried method 1, method 2 and method 3 and nothing is making it show the usb for mtp and ptp like it has in the past.. Still unable to get my computer to see my phone and it was working last week… Getting frustrated now…

    1. I was having worlds of problems until I tried accessing the phones Developer Options by tapping the devices Build Number in ‘about device’ about 6 times then you go back into general settings and the developer option should be enabled.. then in there turn on usb debugging, still a few hiccups but my phone now shows up in my computer and I am able to transfer files.

  4. Thanks. ….method #1 was the problem. The USB cable I first tried worked with my Galaxy S4 but did not work with Galaxy Note 8. Changed cable and my computer saw my Note 8.

  5. I just have the option UART – Modem or PDA, and USB – Modem or PDA. The drivers are correct, the program ok, and the rom too, already rooted and with busybox installed. What i should do?

  6. I don’t see the option of Qualcomm USB.And nothing seems to change.I changed the usb cable too.I even downloaded the drivers and the program from samsung kies

  7. Seems like Chuck and I have the same problem. I pulled op my phone pad like I was going to make a call punched in the *#7284# and NOTHING happened… what did I do wrong?

  8. OG TRIPLE OG THATS GANGSTA! for those of you having issues, check the android version on your device, you may need to downgrade to 4.1.1 (or 4.1.2) for best compatibility. I had to go to 4.1.1 to do the basic SIM unlock and I’m trying to regain 4G LTE now that I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile wish me luck or hit me up @gmail for more info!

  9. Thanks Dan, you make my day, I’ve tried different cables and nothing worked until I’ve had it change to MTP options

  10. method 2 did it for me lol. a bit annoying that i have to plug the cable into the back of my computer (where those fancy USB 2.0 ports are), but what works works.

  11. OMG everything I tried before Method 3 did not work, you are a genius I was literally this close to cry thinking my phone was broken until I tried method 3 and it worked perfect thank you so much

  12. Oh Wow.. A month ago, I went to Europe and wanted to unlock it so that I can use it over there. Ever since I came back, I was unable to connect it. Option 3 fixed it, The repair shop guys, ATT device support couldnt figure it out. You Rock.

  13. For those of you that can’t get the option when you hit the *#7284#, it’s probably because your phone carrier has it locked out on the phone. I have seen people with this problem and ended up paying their company to unlock the phone.

  14. I have Dropbox, and all it did was to pop up and say there’s nothing new to download from the cloud. Do I disable Dropbox, and do this again?

  15. For you Verizon folks, you can enable the phone utilities by entering *#22745927. Then select enable. Exit out. Then enter the *#7284# to get to the settings. While it didn’t fix my usb problem, I at least got to the phone utility. Hope it works for someone else.

    1. First and foremost Jack, i want to thank you and the original author of this post!! I have a verizon note 2 international version unlocked and flashed for CRICKET wireless (not sure if i described it right) so the basic fix of typing in the *#7284# did not work for me either but…. thanks to jack offering the UNLOCK code made me do my happy dance!! Im glad i didnt give up as i use my phone for business. If EVERYONE who has tried this and failed at typing it in, save yourself a headache and
      happy thanksgiving everyone!

  16. hi there…i am facing a different problem…when i am connecting my note 2 to pc..its connecting…but when i want to scan it for for viruses through my Computer…or i want to recover some deleted files through a software by connecting to the computer…at that time my drive is not detected…but if i connect simply to the computer for adding or deleting some files there is no problem…could u please help me out on this…

  17. Hi Dan, changed cables and did option 3 and got the autoplay box to come up but can’t get Samsung “Kies” to find it, the little circle goes round and round like the Griswalds in London. it comes up with “Device driver was not successfully installed” It worked a couple of months ago when I first bought the phone, but not now. any ideas…

  18. Littarally mannnnnnn…………………
    u r just an awesome person….
    thanks alot.. it works on samsung galaxy note 2 N7100

  19. Dan, I had this problem since I upgraded to Windows 8. Tried lot of thing. Researched. No avail. But your article fixed the problem. Thank you so much!

  20. Love you…. Thanks for the Solution…

    I searched every thread on Google for the same…

    even rooted my phone…

    Thanks Buddy… Thanks a Lot for the same…

    GOD bless you…

  21. It seems like my issue was updates in my pc, once I downloaded the updates for my computer I was able to download the current drivers for my pc to comunicate with my phone. thanks anyway!

  22. Thanks dud. My options are already pointing to PDA only. So I just press the save and reset button. Then it restarts. now my note 2 is recognized.

  23. I have had this problem and I am running windows 7, tried various fixes that did not work. Followed the advise above, and used another cable and BOOM everything is working. THANKS A MILLION!

  24. this works for my galaxy note 2 bought in toronto and unlocked by third party. thanks a lot. you saved me so much time. thank you thank you.

  25. none of the options work for my gn 2 , partner got same phone that connects ok, we have used 3 different cables still got no joy did a hard reset still got same problem any idea’s please..pulling me hair out wot little i have

  26. I have a Galaxy Note 1. I tried punching *#7284# and nothing happened. No options showed up to change my setting. So what did I do?
    Went to settings on my phone – data usage – more – clicked on USB utilities. It showed USb mass storage – connect storage to PC – I connected the USB cable and viola! it all showed up!


  27. OMG Thank you so much it really works and so simple I’ve been trying to find a solution for months, I was looking for massive storage or something like that but this is just what I was looking for. Thank you so much

    Cheers from Mexico


  28. FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVE A PROBLEM despite trying out every listed method,

    I recently bought a Galaxy Note 3 , i decided to plug in my Pc it only recognised it as a Cam Device. Plain and simple. Now i tried everything listed here AND at other various never ending tech guru sites and NOTHING helped. I tried all the *#7284 and usb 3 and 2 and samsung kies and what not.

    Out of desperation I opened Samsung Kies 3 (for Note3) and mind it this kies was NOT detecting my phone at all. Under Tools, there was an option Reinstall Device Driver. (my Note3 was plugged in with usb3 to my Pc running XP sp3). Clicking on that started a loading and waiting process for almost 5 mins and Voila ! Notification popped up that not just the Pc but Samsung Kies detected my Note3.

    I hope this helps all of you. Trust me i was almost on the edge before God blessed me!

    1. Did you open Kies on your phone and if so HOW ? Also please explain Under Tools as nothing else has worked for me.
      May GOD also bless me in like manner.

  29. I was wondering about my pics that were in my Note II but now with method 3 I can save them into my PC. Thank u so much Dan……….

  30. Brilliant……it really worked and solved a 6 month mystery on how to fix it.
    Not to be greedy but are there any other *# commands you wish to share?

  31. Awesome, phone is now connecting to pc, before changing the settings outlined in step 3 my phone would just start charging when I plugged it into the pc, now its giving me the option to select mtp and connect to the pc. Thank you very much for your help.

    1. Jesus…. Kies wanted me to update so I did and now I’m back at square one. I’m unistalling since last time I did my problems were resolved. So DO NOT USE KIES!!

      1. So I rolled back to Kies 2 from 3 and also updated following this youtube posting and switched the MTP + ADB option back to only MTP and my problems is finally resolved!!

  32. Thanksss a Ton, man!
    The method 3 really worked wonders. I don’t know why samsung guys cannot post this method in forum where many users have complained the same. No proper solution after searching a lot. Only this worked & that too with so ease…..Really worth the little dance as written in the step 12 of method 3.
    thanx once again…
    from India..

  33. Thanks so much! Method #3 worked for me. Also rebooted my computer before reconnecting the device after install. I was pulling my hair out over Windows 7 telling me the phone was a ‘modem’ and that it couldn’t find drivers! Very happy now 😀

  34. Option 3 did it for me, since I didn’t have another cord laying around and my new laptop only has 3.0 ports.. never thought having upgraded ports would be a negative issue, haha. Thanks!

  35. Dan….U are the man!!! #3 method fixed such a simple problem to which Not many seem to h and ave a clue about…….high 5s & again Big thanks

  36. Thank you so much for posting this solution. I have had this problem and been searching for a solution for over 3 years since my Note I and current Note II.

  37. Tried method 3 but no success so then I
    There is no problem with my laptop USB
    I have tried each post and many more without success.
    I have uninstalled Kies
    I have uninstalled Samsung USB drivers for Mobile phones
    I have reinstalled Drivers and attempted to have laptop recognize my phone with no avail
    I have reinstalled Kies and attempted to have laptop recognize my phone with no avail
    Windows says my drivers are up to date for
    WPD File System Volume Driver
    WPD File System Volume Driver
    But Device driver software was not successfully installed
    MTP USB device failed upon connecting my Samsung Note 2 Phone
    I then chose the Change Settings option provided in the Driver Software Installation pop up
    It seems the problem lies with the Samsung Mobile MPT Device according to Device Manager

    1. Hi Roy,
      I know this sounds pretty basic but had the same problem my note three – changed to an old USB 2 cable from the Samsung USB 3 cable and it connects with my Windows 7Pro 64 and My Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 computers. Might be the least frustrating fix ever for me and the one that made me doubt my tech savvyness the most. Good luck with this problem, Jim

  38. As Simple as using the original Samsung USB cord… I was using a non-OEM I got from Amazon. Thanks for #1 above

  39. Just received my Note 2 back from warranty repair. It was reset to factory settings…ugh. I have tried everything to get this blasted thing to reconnect to the computer so I can begin putting the data back on it backed up on my pc. That METHOD 3 did the trick. Everytime I connected my PC thought it was a modem. THANKS SO MUCH, you are a lifesaver.


  41. You don’t know how I have tried to figure out how to do this and then came you. THANK YOU! Method # 3 worked for me, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, this was a GREAT help!

  42. i tried everyhting its not working i pdated the software yesterday.. 2 days ago it is working how am i going to save my files if my computer cannot detect my phone.. can i do factory reset without deleting my files?

  43. This works for me very help full

    1. Launch the phone key pad on your note and press *#7284# (don’t forget to start with that * symbol!)
    2. When you press the last pound sign (#) this will bring up an option that will allow you to change your USB connection settings (modem or PDA) – change it to PDA.
    3. At the bottom there is a button that says Qualcomm USB. Click on it.
    4. In that menu click on MTP + ADB option.
    5. Save and reset.
    6. Wait for your phone to restart.

  44. NO.3 WORKED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 im dancingggggggggggggggg! thank you thank youuuuu… you have no idea what a help this has beeen….wooohooo…. thumbs up to you!

  45. Really good.. for me i tried to install several driver, but no use
    *#7284# is working in my note2
    thanks alot,,,…

  46. Hey there, someone please help me im struggling to fix my phone!

    Had my note 2 for nearly 2 years and only EVER connected my phone to Laptop once. Now when i go to use it again – all it ever does is charge. However i do not want that. I want to transfer files. Now and again it flashes on computer but goes off the moment i budge?! how do i get to completely stay on just files transfer style? not charging.Otherwise im gonna end up loosing all my files?! Someone please help cause its really annoying.

  47. I tried Method 3. Didn’t work. Plugged in the phone and Device Manager still said the drivers were not recognized. Unplugged and replugged again. Same result. Unplugged and plugged a third time and it worked. What the . . . ?

  48. Thanks for providing an amazing simple solution. I spent hours trying to connect my Note 2 by installing all kinds of third party programs and changed my Norton settings, but your Method 2 worked.

  49. there is another way…go to settings…more…about device…click 7 times on build number(you have activated developer options now)… back button u can c developer option…click on it…tick on usb debugging…

  50. Nope, none of these worked. Ever since upgrade to 4.4.3, the damn thing has stopped being recognised by PC’s. Tried different ports, diffrent cables, did your method 3 (was already at PDA) and absolutely NO MENTION of any Qualcom or anything else at all. Nothing, nada, zilch.

    This is Galaxy note 2 N7100 I am talking about. Still stuck with this phone that has me a slave to google and samsung. The best option I think is to root it and remove all the unwanted SPYWARE apps that google and Samsung shove down my throat.

    Or better still, chnage to a windows phone

  51. I tried all the steps mentioned above. Nothing worked – changed cables, hard reset and etc. Suddenly I decided to try a different SD card. Vola! It’s the bad SD card!!!!!!!!

    In dial pad just type *#0808#. Then usb option will appear…select mtp+adb option and reboot…connect your mobile to pc and bingo it detect the device….
    This method should work for high end device with higher android version(though i checked it only for note 3 with android version 4.3)…

    1. Shahbaz, you are the man 😉

      2 key points for all GT-N7100 users:

      1º) Qualcomm options won’t appear because we have a Exynos chipset. not Qualcomm (that only applies to GT-N7105 4G devices)

      2º) *#0808# opens the USB settings, that are quite more useful than the *#7284#.

      In my case, none of the available settings was checked, and as soon as I checked MTP + ADB, it started working.

      I hope this solution will help all users that aren’t able to fix its USB problems yet.

      Tested in Stock rom Android 4.4.2

      Kindest regards

    2. Finally! Nothing worked until I tried the *#0808#. Thank you so much for the solution! I have a Sprint Samsung Note 2 SPH-L900. I first tried the developer option, but it didn’t seem to do anything. Then I tried “*#0808#”, and it worked perfectly!! Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. well…. I was not able to see the MTP + ADB through the *#7428 option…but you gave the right option to see this.

      i tried rebooting but still didn’t help. I fear that I have a Google device policy installed in my phone and thus it encrypts the device and may also block it from being used as an external media storage.

      Just a guess.

  53. Excellent! I had a Galaxy Note II and 2 PCs with fresh installs of Windows 7. After connecting flawlessly for months, suddenly nothing on either PC. These instructions solved the issue, but I didn’t need step 9 or any thereafter. Thanks!!!!

  54. thank you !
    My bro. told me to restart the phone. (that just skipped from my mind)
    I was searching and come across your sol., the 3rd sol. u shared, it showed only two options not the third (MTP + ADB…) but I just left it as it is. pressed the back button.

    After restarting (and didn’t attempt any tweaking at all)… worked fine.
    Thanx. for reminding the restarting the phone.

    Guys ! it just need restart, which worked for me.

    Regards. (btw good to see you share the solution, worthy of visiting here).

  55. all the above 3 steps dint worked for kindly check the 4th alternative
    ist go to ur phone settings

  56. This post gave me an idea. I couldn’t believe that Option #3 could possibly be required, seeing it’s always worked previously. So, I just rebooted the phone, and voila, no problems.

  57. Thank you soooooo much!!!!!!!! Had it not been for you I would not have turned my project in on time (if at all) thanks sooooo much!!!! You are awesome!!!!!

  58. This is amazing.. been looking for the procedure and tried all drivers but your guide just made it work in less than 5 minutes. Thanks man

  59. It was a great help!! I had been breaking my head for this problem for last 4-5 days. Option 3 was the one I was looking for!!

  60. Verizon Note 2 Flashed to Pageplus. Had the problem for a LOOOONG time. Read all the stuff and I was one of you that *#7284# would not open anything….. so then saw the other post to “unlock” first by doing *#22745927 Again nothing for me. So I was sure my problem came from when it was flashed so I backtracked. What I did was I opened phone dialer and hit ##366633# and DISABLED it. ( During the flashing process you need it enabled ) Once I did that I also made sure ( and not everyone will see this in there menu , I did because I flashed the phone myself and turned this on) that in settings under “Developer Options” I unchecked USB debugging. Once I did both these the cable was connected and all worked well. I could see my PHONE and SD CARD under my computer. I hope this helps someone else. Steve

  61. Hi Dan,
    Thanks – been making me crazy – I have a Note III and getting the Does not recognize this usb device – error #43 message. Tried 3 different and a new Samsung USB 3 cable – all would charge from computers USB 2 port but computer still did not recognize the device. Finally after re-reading your tutorial I changed to a USB 2 cable in the usb 2 port and WALLAH it works. Thank You, Jim

  62. When you press the last pound sign (#) this will bring up an option that will allow you to change your USB connection settings (modem or PDA) – change it to PDA.
    nothing comes up when I press the # key.

  63. Well, thank you Dan, you Are The Man! If you can’t do it, No one Can!

    Things were amiss, but now life’s bliss;

    I typed your code, that screen popped up – to let me switch the input mode.

    My Sam Note 8 just took that bait: it loves USB and things are GREAT!!

    I can’t believe this easy fix : your sleeve must have so many tricks 🙂

    In other words, MANY (to the power of 100) THANKS 😀

  64. It works on my Note 2…………………………….like magic…………………….you are genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Samsung support sucks #@*%#!!!! Particularly in Asia !!!!!

  65. Method 1 worked, thanks for tip. At first I tried with short usb (which came with some cheap powerbank) but that is ment for only charging purposes I assume. Found bit thicker cable with hi-speed certified USB label and seemed to work with that 🙂

  66. Dan, If you’re still reading this nearly two years after your original post than I want to thank you sir for saving me fro going grey before I hit 30!!! Thank you to all the rest of you as well who have posted with additions to Dan’s advice! Super helpful!

  67. Plz someone help me… i’ve done everything… flashing stockrom wiping everything… flashing different stock rom but still no luck!! I cant save USB hidden Menu *#7284# or the other *#0808#… if i choose PDA then save and reset it will work fine… but after the nxt rebbot my phone will go back to MODEM.. then i need to dial the code again to set it back to PDA.. can someone tell me what should i do about this?? Thankz…

    Oh.. if i sont dial the code my phone freezes if i dont set it to PDA…

  68. Thank You…. #3 is what I was looking for… had changed it long time back for some reason, but forgot the code… HApp dance is on its way… 🙂

  69. None of your alls solutions or choices to fix this issue, is NOT working on my phone at all. Im on an IMac computer w/an Note 2 samsung. Nothing…. Still in the same boat I was….

  70. I changed the cable and my phone finally connected. I couldn’t use an aftermarket cable, but the OEM works fine, apparently.

  71. Make sure your device is connected. Open Device Manager. In USB Devices, find a SAMSUNG composite device (can’t capture a screenshot because it goes away).

    Right click, choose Uninstall and make sure to check “get rid of that sheet of driver software”… Well… I mean “delete driver software too”.
    remove usb
    connect usb

  72. Dan,
    This is like WHOOOOHHOOoohh. #3!! rocks. Seriously! like a magic wand after months or searching.
    Thank you, more than ever I can thank. You are the man-of-of-the-month.

  73. <3 <3 <3 <3 thanks so much man , method 3 worked for me i was wondering if i will have to bring my phone to repair no need now thanks 🙂

  74. i have the same issue, but I have a Samsung Note 4. I tried option 3 with no luck. please help have this issue for months.

  75. I have a Note2 and upgraded my system to Windows10. It slowed my computer, messed up wordpress and my note2 device recognition. Thanks to your method 3 I managed to sync my phone.

  76. Thank you so much!!!
    I’ve been looking for this solution for weeks now: my Vista PC just wouldn’t see my new (old) Note 2. I feel like such an idiot but it took me a while today to see that asterix in the *#7284# sequence – thank you VERY MUCH for pointing this out.
    Inititially the change to MTP + ADB wouldn’t work so I switched my original Samsung cable for the cheap cable a few times – and then it did work! Another restart of my Note 2 later and my PC finally recognises the device.
    Oh man, this is fantastic.
    Thank you very, very, very much. I am pleased as punch.

  77. NUMBER 12 NUMBER 12 NUMBER 12 – thank you so much! i’ve been trying to solve this problem for a while, but really needed it on this crosscountry route 66 trip i’m on right now. lots of pics, of course. again, thank you!!!

  78. Hi,
    I am typing this with a lot of faith on you, i tried the 3 option, but the settings are diff as i am using win 8 pro. pls help.

  79. Hi i’am using samsung Grand 2 mobile i tried this *#7284# its saying invalid MMI number
    i connected with another cable its charging but i cant recognize my device in my pc. plz help me

  80. I found this method by try this and it work for me on both my two note 2 phone.
    Pull down top menu
    clik “connect as a media device”
    then clik ” Camera(PTP)”
    PC now find the note 2

  81. Any way, you can try to enter hidden menue and have a loot at Network Setings->Network mode:
    The hidden menu code:
    -open dial pad and enter: 319712358 then a menu will pop up asking for password.
    SKT – 996412
    KT – 774632
    LG U+ – 0821


  82. God bless you! At last option number 3. worked for me. I bought note 2,3 years ago and finally found solution for this problem.

  83. Thank you so much mate, I did a reset on my phone recently and since hadn’t been able to connect to the PC, and after following Step 3, it worked no worries. Thank you for saving my sanity 🙂

  84. hello i need your help i have samsung note 4 N910p sprint phone my usb debugging is not working i don’t why. but is charging the phone.

  85. Hello Dan Richard, I tried to type the number in but nothing happened:(. I running android 4.4.2. on my note 7000.
    plz help

  86. Man, this info is SO good. I spent 25 minute on the phone to Philippines, who remotely took over the mobile and then computer and after that had NO IDEA!! glad I googled it. This started from my daughter who tried to turn my S2 into a Hot spot and obviously changed the settings. Like everyone else, I’m STOKED! thanks,

  87. I have been fighting and fighting this phone. Yup – changed out the cord – worked perfectly. The old ORIGINAL cord is going to be used to tie up garbage!

  88. my note 2 display gone.. need to transfer data from internal phone memory to pc.. can’t able to connect my phone with pc via usb cable.. pls help

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