Computers play a key role when it comes to smartphone file management, particularly backups. Aside from cloud storage and SD cards, many people would prefer to use computers to back up important files they saved on the phone’s memory. Aside from accessibility, computer drives are more credible than other storage media like SD cards. To transfer files from your phone to a computer, you will need to connect the two devices through a USB cable. The computer must also have the required drivers for it to be able to recognize your phone once it’s plugged into the USB port. But there are just some instances when the computer won’t be able to recognize the phone even when it’s already plugged in.
There are many reasons as to why this happens from a bad USB port, damaged cable, or software problems on either the phone or the computer system. This post highlights some helpful workarounds to deal with this same issue on a Motorola Moto G5 Plus smartphone. Read further to find out what to do if your Moto G5 Plus won’t be recognized by your Windows PC even when they’re already connected.
For smartphone owners who found our site while trying to find a solution, try to see if your phone is one of the devices we support. If it is, then visit the troubleshooting page for that device, browse through it to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. However, if you still need our help after that, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.
Troubleshooting Moto G5 Plus with issues connecting to computer
Make sure you’re using the original or OEM USB cable to connect your Moto G5 Plus to your computer. Also ensure no damage on the cable and that the USB port is functional. You can switch between USB ports to find out if other ports are working.
If none of that helps, then try these workarounds to troubleshoot software problems that may have halted the connection between your Moto G5 Plus smartphone and your Windows PC.
Troubleshooting your phone
Everything should work for as long as no hardware damage is present but since it didn’t work as expected, you have to determine what really is to blame. To make sure that the problem isn’t on the phone, try these workarounds to troubleshoot your Moto G5 Plus.
First workaround: Reboot/soft reset.
This can be just a random glitch, which can easily be remedied by a soft reset or restart on the phone. A soft reset effectively clears minor software errors that caused random issues without affecting saved data on the internal memory. Here’s how a soft reset is done on your Moto G5 Plus:
- Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds and then release when the Power off menu appears.
- Tap Power off to turn the phone off.
- After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power button until the Moto logo appears.
After your phone reboots, plug it back into the computer via USB and see if it’s already recognized. Make sure it’s firmly plugged in.
Second solution: Enable USB debugging mode on your Moto G5 Plus.
USB debugging mode allows your Android device to communicate with your computer. While other devices are immediately recognized as an external device when plugged into the computer’s USB port, some Android devices like your Motorola Z3 may require you to enable USB debugging for both devices to communicate. Here’s how to enable USB debugging mode on your Moto G5 Plus:
- Drag the Arrow up symbol from the Home screen to bring up the Apps screen.
- Tap Settings.
- Select System.
- Tap Developer options. If Developer options is not available, go to Apps-> Settings-> System-> About phone, then tap Build Number 7 times consecutively. Doing so will enable Developer options on the phone. After tapping on Build number, tap the Back icon to head back to the Settings menu. You should then see Developer options in the menu options. Tap on it to continue.
- If necessary, tap the switch next to Developer options to enable the feature.
- Once enabled, tap to turn on USB debugging option on.
- If prompted, read the Allow USB debugging prompt, then tap OK to confirm.
Restart your phone then reattempt to connect to your Windows PC through USB cable.
Third solution: Update phone software to the latest version.
Another way to fix software-related errors including syncing problems is through updating. Software updates not only brings in new features but also fix patches to clear random bug-inflicted errors and software problems on the phone. To manually check for and install new update for your Moto G5 Plus, follow these steps:
- Tap the Arrow up icon from the Home screen to show all apps.
- Tap Settings.
- Select System.
- Tap System updates. The System update history prompt will then show up.
- Tap the option to Check for update.
- If prompted, read the information then tap OK.
- If an update is available and you’d like to install it, tap Download.
You’ll be prompted with further instructions to install the update. Simply follow the remaining steps.
Fourth solution: Wipe cache partition on your Moto G5 Plus.
Software problems can also be attributed to errant system cache. These are temporary system files that are stored in the cache partition. While they are beneficial in terms of multitasking, they can also cause problems especially when they become corrupted. To clear out corrupted system cache, wiping cache partition can help. Here’s how it’s done:
- Turn off your phone.
- With your phone turned off, press and hold the Volume Down button and Power button simultaneously for about 3 seconds and then release both buttons when the Boot Options screen appears.
- Press the Volume Down button to scroll to and highlight Recovery then press Volume Up button to select. The phone will then show the Motorola logo followed by the Android recovery screen.
- Once you’re on the Android recovery screen, press and hold the Volume Up button for about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Then quickly press and release the Power button. The Android recovery screen with menu options will display.
- Press the Volume Down button to highlight wipe cache partition option.
- Then press the Power button to confirm selection.
Allow your phone to reboot after wiping cache partition and then re-attempt to connect it to your Windows PC.
Troubleshooting your computer
If your computer still failed to recognize your Moto G5 Plus after performing the previous workarounds, then there’s probably something in its system that’s preventing it from reading your Moto G5 Plus as an external device. And that’s what you need to rule out. Here are some basic solutions you can apply first to get rid of the common culprits.
First workaround: Reboot/power cycle your computer system.
Restarting your computer helps eliminate minor issues from program malfunctions. To do so, simply go to the Start menu then select the option to Shutdown or Restart. After the restart, remove any other external devices from your computer’s USB ports then connect your Moto G5 Plus again.
Second solution: Disable security software on your computer.
Security software like firewalls and antivirus can also hinder the connection between your phone and computer system. You may need to configure your firewall or antivirus program to grant access to your phone to access the computer system. If you need help in the configuration, contact the developer of your security software.
Third solution: Check and ensure Motorola drivers are installed on your computer.
Again, USB drivers and a dedicated software (Motorola Device Manager) are needed to connect your Motorola phone to your computer via USB cable. To check which drivers are required for your Moto G5 Plus and where to download them, visit the Motorola support website and then navigate to drivers section.
Contact the manufacturer of your computer or Microsoft Support for further assistance in configuring your Windows PC in a way that’s able to read your Motorola Moto G5 Plus smartphone. There may be some advanced settings that need to be modified on the computer system.
To determine if you have the correct drivers installed, you can ask more help and information from Motorola support instead.
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