Sony Xperia Z USB File Transfer Is Not Working [Troubleshooting Guide]

We did receive emails from Sony Xperia Z owners saying they have problems transferring files to and from their phone. The Xperia Z uses the typical USB cable used in other smartphones and Sony provided all necessary drivers so that the device would be detected by the computer whenever it’s connected. Problems like this are quite normal and as long as you know what to do, you will be able to fix the problem in no time.

The following is procedures could be helpful in troubleshooting the USB file transfer problem on the Sony Xperia Z. But before that, here is one email that best explains the problem.

Hi Droid Guys, 

I seem to be experiencing problems transferring files from and to my phone, Sony Xperia Z. Yesterday it was working fine but today my computer refused to detect it at one instance but then it has detected it again after several tries. Even so, I cannot copy files to my phone. I only wanted to add music tracks to my current collection and copy photos from my phone’s memory to my computer to back them up. These procedures aren’t just possible as of the moment. I would surely appreciate if you could make guide for this problem. I’m sure I’m not the only one having this problem so it may just be worth it. Thank you. 



Troubleshooting USB connectivity does not need expert knowledge. In fact, all you need is basic knowledge on how the USB file transfer works. Here’s the basic process: when you connect your phone to your computer, it would take few seconds for the computer to successfully detect the device. The phone confirms the connection by displaying USB icon on the notification bar. This time, you can copy files from your phone to your computer and vice versa.

Check physical connection. Make sure the USB cable is properly connected to devices on both ends. To double-check the connection, unplug and re-plug the cable.

Check cable condition. If the computer couldn’t detect the phone, you should check the physical condition of the USB cable you’re using. Check for damages or breakages. Above all, make sure you’re using the original cable that came with the phone when you bought it.

Restart computer. It would take just a minute or less to do this. Make sure your phone is NOT connected yet when you do this; it is necessary to refresh your computer’s memory.

Reboot phone. To eliminate the possibility that some things aren’t right in your Xperia Z, take a little time rebooting it.

Change USB connection mode. Now that you’ve rebooted both your phone and computer, try to change the connection mode before plugging in again.

  1. Make sure that your phone is not connected to a USB cable.
  2. From your Home screen, tap Apps.
  3. Find and tap Settings > Xperia > USB Connectivity > USB connection mode.
  4. Tap Mass storage mode (MSC) > OK.
  5. Tap OK.
  6. Connect the phone and computer using the USB cable.

Use popular file transfer tools. There are tools you can use to help you transfer files from your phone to your computer and vice versa. The following are the most recommended tools by Sony.

PC Companion – this is a good application for Windows OS.

Media Go – still for Windows but has a good proven record.

Sony Bridge for Mac – use this if you have problems connecting your phone to your Mac computer.

Media Go and Sony™ Bridge for Mac can determine the best settings for your device and convert and encode your media files for optimal performance before transferring them to your phone or computer.

Share with us your problem

Have you, by any chance, encountered this problem with your phone? Share with us your experience by leaving a short comment below. You could also share with us the troubleshooting procedures you did that may have fixed the problem. You can also send an email to us at [email protected].

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9 thoughts on “Sony Xperia Z USB File Transfer Is Not Working [Troubleshooting Guide]”

  1. Having the same problem here…and other problems.. with my Z3. Cannot transfer pics to pc. Worked 1 year ago but decided to stop working. I`ve tried all the above. One sure fix will be to ensure I never buy another Sony ever again!

  2. What if my phone has a cracked screen, and won’t work properly anymore? It will turn on, but that’s it. Can I still transfer photos to my PC through the cable? It doesn’t seem to be working at all.

  3. I am trying to transfer music to my Z5 – there is one song one the new album which the pc will not transfer to the phone no matter what I do with the file – even giving it its own playlist or adding to other random playlists. I am transferring from iTunes using xperia companion music transfer application and I am going bananas!

  4. I’m experiencing the exact same problem. I have the compact Z5. I entered to developer options to set us debug mode but don’t do anything. The phone is new. It have android 6.0

  5. I have EXACTLY the same issue as suzuki. Tried three different usb cables, rebooted pc and phone, uninstalled and reinstalled Xperia companion but pc will not recognise phone (z5 compact). It will charge it though. Wife’s phone is sony z3 plus and that works fine, no problem, so I must assume it’s a z5 compact issue

  6. I’m having exactly the same problem as Suzuki with my Lenovo and my Z5….and none of the steps worked either…I suspect it’s connected to the constant software updates which also knock out other functions!!! One minute you can do a thing and the next it’s vanished or won’t work. My notification volume disappears and needs resetting EVERY time there’s an update. 🙁

  7. My PC (Vaio) no longer recognize (I hear the sound when I connect but the icon no longer show up) my Xperia through USB cable and unable to download any files, though it can charge through my PC. I tried with another USB cable but the same. I rebooted both my PC and SONY Xperia as in the instruction and tried Tap Mass storage mode (MSC) > OK, but no change. Then downloaded Xperia Companion and installed on my PC, but the software does not seem to recognize Xperia. I cannot connect PC with Xperia through WiFi either. Is my only option reinstall the system software on Xperia? In that case, will all my installed software and information be erased? I haven’t made backup yet.

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