How To Enable USB Debugging

Are you wondering how you can enable USB debugging on Android? Or, maybe you aren’t sure what USB debugging is. Either way, you’ve come to the right place. If you follow along below, we’ll show you what USB debugging is and how you can use it. USB Debugging is there primarily for developers to allow them to better test applications. That said, there’s not a whole lot of use for it outside of being developer.

What is USB Debugging?

USB debugging can also referred to as Developer Mode. By enabling USB debugging or Developer Mode, you’re able to copy newly programming applications to the USB device (in this case, a smartphone or tablet) for testing. And, depending on your Android version and the type of utilities that are on your phone, this Developer Mode will allow you to read internal logs and more regarding that application.

Suffice to say, you can see that there’s not a whole lot use for USB Debugging if you aren’t a developer. But, if you are a developer, this feature can be invaluable for testing and polishing your application.

Enabling USB Debugging

So, how do you turn on USB Debugging? The process, after Android 4.2 and above, is essentially the same for all Android smartphones.

On any Android smartphone, open your Settings app and then navigate to About. You might have to do some digging if you’re using a Samsung smartphone. as Samsung’s TouchWiz software organizes the Settings options a little differently.

Once you’re in the About section, we need to find the Build Number. Tap the build number seven times so that we can open up the Developer Options on your smartphone. After tapping it seven times, a small dialog will appear that says You are now three steps away from becoming a developer. Tap it three more times, and that Developer Options setting will appear.

With Developer Options now enabled on your smartphone, you can open up the Settings app and find the Developer section. If you were at your home screen, you would go into Settings > Developer. In this section, find the option that says that says USB Debugging and check the box to enable it.

With USB Debugging enabled, you should now be able to transfer your newly programmed applications over to your Android device. The process should be same for any Android tablet as well.

What about on Lollipop or higher?

With the Lollipop software version, Android 5.0 or higher the process is essentially the same, with some very small differentiations. Open your Settings app and then find AboutAbout Phone, or About Device. Next, just tap the Build Number seven times, and then that Developer Mode will appear in your Settings menu. As you can see, the only difference is that there’s just no dialog that appears that tells you how close you are to enabling Developer Mode.


As you can see, enabling Developer Mode and USB Debugging is an extremely basic process. Once you’re using USB Debugging, just make sure to go back into Settings > Developer Mode, and then uncheck the box on that USB Debugging listing.

Photo of author

Brad Coleta

Brad Coleta is a passionate reporter for The Droid Guy, covering all aspects of mobile, gaming, software, apps, and services. He graduated from the University of Rochester in New York with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. When he's not reporting, he's a huge fan of the New York Giants and Yankees. But what might surprise you is that he also enjoys reading Manga during his down time. Brad is a dedicated reporter, always looking to tell the stories of the tech world. Contact me at Email or LinkedIn

Posts you might like