How To Transfer Files Using USB Cable? (SOLVED)

I have a Sony Experia Z5 that I’m trying to transfer photo files from to my laptop using PCLinuxOS. When I connect my phone to the laptop using the USB cable, the phone appears but when I click on it I can’t access any of the photos stored on my phone. I do not yet have a SanDisk card installed in my phone, could that be the problem?

Search for ‘USB Prefernces’ in settings of ypur phone. There you must set ‘use USB for File transfer’

Than you PC should see your internal Storage of yourphone

On some phones a little windows will open where you have to allow the connection


Under the settings window of my phone there is no ‘use USB for File transfer’ option. Thanks for trying to help. I installed the KDE Connect app on my phone and on my laptop but it didn’t work either.

I think I may use a portable wireless modem as a hotspot so I can use my laptop on the go instead of using my phone. A laptop keyboard and touchpad is much faster than a tiny keyboard on a touchscreen.

The setting mentioned above by harvey186 is under the “Developer options” section. If you forgot how to unlock this hidden section:

  1. Open Settings, and select “About”.
  2. Tap on “Build number” seven times.
  3. Go back, and select “Developer options”.

And you seem to have misunderstood my recommendation of KDE Connect from another topic. This tool is not for wired file transfer. This tool is meant to get the most out of your phone’s integration with your PC.

I can’t buy decent batteries for my flip phones anymore so I had no choice but to purchase a smart phone. I was opposed to the idea until my computer geek friend informed me about /e/ as an alternative to living with Google’s continuous data mining. He walked me through the installation of /e/ on my phone so I remember tapping on something 7 times during the process.

I have no experience integrating a phone with my PC. Using a smart phone for email seems like a waste of time since I can type and communicate much faster on a laptop keyboard than pecking out a message one character at a time on a touch screen that’s barely large enough to avoid hitting the wrong character.

Thanks for taking the time to explain harvey186’s instructions to me.

There was no ‘USB Preferences’ option under Developer options, only ‘Select USB Configuration.’ It’s currently set on MIDI. The only other available selections are: ‘Charging’, MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol), RNDS (USB Ethernet) and Audio Source. Should I select RNDIS?

Isn’t MTP what you need?

I also had the following case. Recently, I tried to connect my just wiped phone to computer for the first time. All the settings were made correctly, but for some reason I could not access the folder of my device. It turned out that I simply didn’t take into account that when you connect your android to any PC at first time, a request on its verification appears in the notification center.

I tried all the settings in ‘Select USB Configuration’ to no avail. On some settings the internal phone files displayed on my laptop but the picture file was empty when I opened it. Then I finally figured out how to open the notification panel and saw ‘Android System USB charging this device Tap for more options.’ After double tapping I was able to choose from several options under ‘Use USB to.’ I selected ‘Transfer files to another device.’ Then I had to open the DCIM file to locate the photos. I was able to drag them to the photo file on my laptop. I was also able to drag and drop music files the same way. Super simple!

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Well … I had the same pb.

And found the setting mentionned by @harvey186 to be located in “Connected devices” (Appareils connectés" in french) : at the bottom, you then get a “USB” entry, and when you tap on it, you can select from 3 options about “Use USB connection for” :

  1. Recharge this device
  2. Transfer files
  3. Transfer photos (PTP).

Selecting the 2nd one fixed the pb for me :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.


French Samsung S7, as well impossible to get my phone accessible from the imac ;
I cannot see any ‘‘Connected devises’’
I can see ‘‘Selectionner une configuration USB’’ current set up = MTP
But no multiple choise possible
And the phone is not visible on my imac

If anyone has an idea ?
Thank you

Have you tried different wires ?


@harvey186 Thank you

Notification finally offer me to choose and it works.

Hi, at first Windows doesn’t detect my S9 (even if it’s set in Media Transfer Protocol). When I change it to “charge”, and back to “Media Transfer Protocol” it works, but I have to do this every time I want to transfer files. It’s not a big deal, but would be better if automatically detects MTP instead of doing the trick every time. Can something be done with this? Does anyone have this problem too?

Mac doesn’t detect it at all (with the same cable), but I assume it’s a Macs problem, because Android Transfer Protocol doesn’t even detect my old android (stock ROM) phone anymore.

USB conections is allways setup to ‘charge only’ because so you can’t get any malware or spam or virus an you device when changing on the go on charing station or unknown computer or so.


I know that circumstance too. But with a Galaxy S7 “herolte” there is a setting option in StockROM Android 8.0.0 and /e/ OS 7 nougat:

Developer options - scroll far down and select > USB Configuration - Make selection …

Hi @archje, thanks. Yes, that’s exactly the trick I’m using every time I want to transfer files. The USB configuration is always set to MTP (I think it was preset in that position by default), but, when plugging it to the computer, it acts as it was set in charging. Continuing connected to the computer, if I change “MTP” to “Charging” and then back to “MTP”, then it gets detected. But the thing is that I have to do this back and forth thing every time I plug the phone to the computer, and that’s why I was wondering if there was a way for the computer to detect it as MTP from the beginning, without having to do that trick every time.

I just tried it again. There is a difference between StockROM Android 8.0.0 and /e/ OS e-0.7-n-

StockROM Androi retains the last defined USB configuration, e.g. MTP (Media Transfer Protocol).

On the other hand, /e/ OS e-0.7-n forgets the last USB configuration, e.g. MTP, and after a restart, sets itself back to Charging by itself.

It’s not really tragic, but you could post it on → gitlab @graz, right?

Hi @archje, thanks for your help and for checking it with the stock ROM. I’ve raised the issue in gitlab.

In my case, its not that after a restart it sets itself back to Charging. It continues as MTP, but the computer doesn’t detect it as such.

FYI, to have Android File Transfer work via an USB connection between a Samsung S7 Edge /e/OS 0.7-2019110830013 and a MacOS Catalina computer, i need to have ADB enabled and USB connection set to MTP.

Detailed procedure:

  1. On the computer: Install Android File Transfer
  2. Plug the smartphone to the computer with a USB cable
  3. On the computer: Android File Transfer will try to connect automatically but will fail
  4. On the smartphone: Go on Parameters => down to About phone => Down to Build Number on which you need to tap 7 times to display the Developers options menu => Go back in Parameters => Enter Developers options menu => Enable USB Debugging (Android Debug Bridge) and set Select USB Configuration to MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)
  5. On the computer: Android File Transfer may crash, or there will be old window(s) (related to step 3) saying that it failed to connect => Just click on OK or restart Android File Transfer => Android File Transfer then successfully display the data content of the phone.
  6. When finished with Android File Transfer, you may want to disable ADB on the smartphone: Parameters => Developer Options => Disable the main switch at the top, it will disable Developer options menu and automatically disable ADB.

Maybe, for security reasons, it is best to have Charging by default ?