Android Basics: How to Enable Developer Options & USB Debugging

How to Enable Developer Options & USB Debugging

Android Basics: How to Enable Developer Options & USB Debugging

Many Android utilities use Android Debug Bridge, or ADB for short, to send commands from a computer over to your phone or tablet. This enables such utilities to run terminal commands that, in some cases, wouldn't be possible on Android without root access.

Before getting started with an ADB mod on the computer side of things, you'll need to enable "USB debugging" on your Android device. But this option is hidden in a secret settings menu that you'll need to activate first.

Step 1: Activate the Hidden 'Developer Options' Menu

These settings may vary slightly depending on your device, but the general gist of it should be about the same. To begin, head to the main Settings menu on your Android device, then scroll all the way to the bottom and select "About phone," "About tablet," or "About device." From here, scroll down towards the bottom of the list again, then tap the "Build number" entry 7 times in rapid succession.

For an Amazon Fire device, you would go to Settings -> Device options, then tap repeatedly on the "Serial number."

At this point, you should see a toast message saying that "You are now a developer," which means you've unlocked the hidden Developer options menu.

Step 2: Enable 'USB Debugging'

Next, back out one level to head to the main Settings menu again. Near the bottom of this screen, select the "Developer options" entry that you just unlocked. From here, tick the box next to the "USB debugging" entry, then press "OK" on the popup.

At this point, your Android device is almost ready, but the computer side of the connection will need to be configured before you can fully utilize ADB. For more on that topic, Windows users can use this guide, and Mac users can start here.

Step 3: Allow USB Debugging Connection

Once the drivers and software have been configured on your computer, connect your Android device to your desktop or laptop with a USB data cable. At this point, you should see a message on your Android device asking if you'd like to allow this computer to connect. Tick the box next to "Always allow from this computer" on this message, then press "OK."

If you don't see this message, it could be due to a conflict with your phone or tablet's USB storage connection. If this is the case, head to your device's main Settings menu, then select "Storage." From here, tap the three-dot menu button at the top of the screen, then choose "USB computer connection."

From here, if "Media device (MTP)" is selected, change this option to "Camera (PTP)" instead. At this point, you should see the "Allow USB debugging" message that you missed out on earlier.

With USB debugging enabled on your Android device, you're now ready to send ADB commands over from your computer. What are some of your favorite ADB utilities? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or on Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

3 Comments

I'm tapping several time (more than 10) in Build Version, but nothing happens. Im using a Moto G (2014), with Android 6.0 (no root).

Please help me out! :)

There's a chance it might have already been enabled, so check the main Settings menu and look for a "Developer Options" entry. If it's still not there, try rebooting your phone. Some Motorola phones might not show the new Developer Options menu until after a reboot.

Just bought a phone, it' s a non removable battery. First boot was ok. Then a minor issue arise . camera stops working. So i try rebooting my phone. Now it's getting complicated, phone stucks at logo startup screen. Developer option hasn't enable yet. I wanna know how to enable the developer options as well as usb debugging trough a pc. Kindly help.

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