If you are an Android user who likes to tinker with your device, you may have encountered situations where you need to connect your phone or tablet to your computer using a USB cable. For example, you may want to use tools like ADB and Fastboot to flash custom ROMs, root your device, or install factory firmware. You may also need to connect your device to the PC for Android development when live testing apps.
However, before you can do any of these things, you need to make sure that your computer can recognize your device properly. This is where Android USB drivers come in handy. You can download the latest Android USB drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms from the official links below.
Why Download USB Drivers for Android Devices?
Android USB drivers are software components that allow your computer to communicate with your Android device over the USB interface. Depending on the configuration of your device, it may expose different connection modes to your computer, such as:
- USB debugging mode: This mode lets you use ADB commands to interact with your device, such as installing apps, copying files, or taking screenshots.
- Fastboot mode: This mode lets you use Fastboot commands to flash partitions on your device, such as boot, recovery, or system.
- Recovery mode: This mode lets you wipe system cache or make backups of your Android device if you have a custom recovery installed.
- OEM-specific modes: Some device makers have their own proprietary protocols for flashing firmware on their devices, such as Samsung device have Download Mode to use with Odin.
Each of these modes may require a different driver to work properly. For example, if you want to use ADB or Fastboot on Windows, you need to install the Google USB driver. If you want to flash a Samsung device, you need to install the Samsung USB driver for Windows, Mac or Linux.
Download Android USB Drivers for Windows
Most manufacturers offer official driver packages for every popular platform out there. If Mac or Linux platforms are not supported by a device maker, you can always use the generic Google USB drivers which are compatible with every Android device.
Windows 11 now ships with the ADB driver for Android phones, which allow developers to easily connect their devices. However, it is strongly recommended that you download the official Android USB driver for your device for complex USB interfaces as you may face connectivity issues with older versions.
Here is a list of popular manufacturers and their USB drivers that you can download and install on your PC:
Android USB Drivers for Mac
To connect your Android device to a macOS computer, you need the help of different tools and apps. Mac does not natively support the MTP protocol to transfer files easily between an Android phone and macOS. This is why we have listed a few tools below that we think should work for you without any problems.
There is no official Android USB driver for Mac available that you can download for phones and tablets. All the transfer of files and communication with the phone is done by using the MTP, ADB and Fastboot tools.
Android File Transfer
Android File Transfer is the official tool provided by Google to connect any Android device with a macOS computer. Simply download the tool, install it and connect your phone with a USB cable for it to automatically recognize and open the files explorer window (as shown above).
If you think your phone is not compatible with this tool, we have a few alternatives below that we highly recommend you try.
OpenMTP is an open-source, better-looking and free alternative to Android File Transfer. This is a new favourite tool we use at Team Android for connecting our Android phones to a Mac. It works flawlessly with most Android devices and doesn’t have the same file-size limits like the official Google tool.
HandShaker is another free alternative for transferring media content between your Android device and the Mac. It has a clean UI and works with a USB cable as well as over WiFi. HandShaker is available on Windows and Mac, both.
|HandShaker for Mac v2.5.6
|HandShaker for Windows v2.6
|Smartisan Digital Co.,Ltd
|Smartisan Digital Co.,Ltd
Android USB Drivers for Linux
Unlike macOS, Linux doesn’t have many options of file managers for Android devices. There have been a few apps, but they all are very inconsistent and not regularly updated to support new Android releases. We have linked below to one of such apps that works well with some Android devices.
And just like Mac, you also do not need any USB drivers for Linux operating system.
Android File Transfer for Linux
Android File Transfer for Linux is exactly what you understand by its name. It is a files manager / explorer for Android devices that can run on most Linux distributions. It has a clean UI and is able to perform all basic operations one might need to manage files on their phones.
Samsung USB Driver for Linux
Looking for Samsung Android USB drivers for Linux? As mentioned earlier, there are no drivers available for Linux. You just need to download and install the Android Files Transfer app to manage your device’s internal and external storage.
Alternatively, you can install a VMware instance and run Windows or Mac through virtualization to manage your Android device.
If you are familiar with command line tools or ADB commands, it is much easier to transfer files between an Android phone and a Linux computer over ADB tool. You can read our guide here: How to Transfer Files to Android Devices with ADB
Here are some frequently asked questions that you may have regarding Android USB drivers for Windows, Mac or Linux platforms:
How to install USB driver for Android?
You will need to download the appropriate USB drivers for your Android device, depending on the manufacturer. If confused, you can also download the universal Android drivers for Windows.
Can I download Samsung USB drivers for Linux?
No, you cannot download Samsung USB drivers for Linux computers. You need to have Windows or macOS on your computer to manage Samsung Galaxy Android devices.
How to download Android USB drivers for Mac?
To connect your Android device with a macOS computer, you just need to have the right ADB / Fastboot / MTP drivers set up along with Android File Transfer.
Is Apple USB driver the same as Android?
No, Apple USB drivers come built-in with Windows and macOS. Android USB drivers are not compatible with iOS and Apple devices.
How to download USB-C driver for ADB and Fastboot?
You can download ADB and Fastboot drivers for USB compatible devices by installing the Android SDK Platform Tools package on Windows, Mac or Linux computers.