Samsung Galaxy S20

How to Fix USB Transfer Not Working on Samsung Galaxy S20

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Samsung Galaxy S20, like any other smartphone, can be connected to a PC via USB (Windows/Linux/macOS/etc.) to share files between two devices. 

However, if you are struggling to successfully establish a USB connection between your PC and your Samsung Galaxy S20 and if the USB transfer is not working, you can follow the solutions I have provided in this guide to resolve the issue.

Note: Solutions in this guide will work on any Samsung Galaxy S20 model (S20, S20 Plus, S20 Fe, and S20 Ultra models.)

Editor’s note: We created these instructions using a Samsung Galaxy S20 running Android 13. Depending on your device’s software version, some steps and menu positions may look slightly different.

Fix 01: Try a Different USB Port or USB Cable

Different usb ports

The first thing you need to do is change the USB port where you plug the USB cable into your computer. 

Most computers come with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and USB-C ports. Your Samsung Galaxy S20 can be connected to any of these ports. Therefore, plug the cable out, and plug it in again to a different USB port to see if it resolves the issue.

If you have already tried it or if changing the USB port did not work, you need to ensure the USB cable you are using is working correctly and able to transfer files.

Some USB cables only support charging. If you are using a charging cable, this is why you cannot use USB transfer with your Galaxy S20.

To rule out this possibility, try a different USB cable that has worked before to transfer files between two devices. If it does work, then you found the cause of the problem.

However, if you still cannot transfer files between your PC and Galaxy S20, follow the fix below.

Fix 02: Restart Your Samsung Galaxy S20 & PC

By restarting your Samsung Galaxy S20 and your PC, you can eliminate potential software glitches causing the two devices not to connect properly. 

Therefore, restart both devices and try plugging the cable again.

Note: Unplug the USB cable before restarting both devices.

To restart your Samsung Galaxy S20, follow the steps below:

  1. Swipe down from the top to bring the quick settings panel.
  2. Tap on the power icon.
  3. Tap on “Power Off”.
Power off button
  1. Wait for your Galaxy S20 to be fully turned off, then press and hold the side key to turn on the phone again.

Fix 03: Install Samsung USB Drivers (Windows Only)

Newer Windows 10/11 operating systems have mobile USB drivers pre-installed with them. However, the system USB drivers cannot identify some smartphones sometimes.

That is why Samsung has released USB drivers for their smartphones. You can download the drivers for your Samsung Galaxy S20 from here (official link), and install it to fix any driver issues causing USB file transfer.

To install the driver, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the drivers from the link above.
Samsung galaxy s20 usb drivers from samsung website
  1. Unplug any Samsung devices connected to your PC.
  2. Open the installation file downloaded from the link above and install it.
Installing samsung galaxy s20 usb driver
  1. Restart your PC.
  2. Plug the USB cable again.

Fix 04: Change Default USB Configuration to File Transfer

When the USB cable is connected to a PC, your Galaxy S20 usually prompts you to select which USB mode you want to enable (USB charging is the default mode). 

To make USB file transfer work, you need to select USB file transfer mode. But sometimes due to system bugs, this prompt gets hidden, and in that case, making the default configuration from Charging to USB file transfer will fix the issue.

To change the default USB configuration to USB file transfer, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to “Developer options” (check this article if you haven’t enabled it already).
Developer options
  1. Scroll down and tap on Default USB configuration.
  2. Select USB file transfer.
  3. Plug the USB cable back again to your PC and check if it recognizes your device.

Fix 05: Update Your Computer’s Software

Software updates fix system bugs causing basic system functions like the USB file transfer to malfunction. Most of the time this happens with the operating system of the PC.

Therefore, I strongly suggest you update your PC’s software (Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.) to the latest version to resolve outdated drivers, bugs, and other software glitches from your PC.

To update Windows, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the Start menu icon.
  2. Click on “Settings”.
  3. Scroll down on the left sidebar and click on “Windows update”.
Windows update
  1. Click on “Check for updates”.
Check for updates - windows 11
  1. If an update is available, click on “Download & install”.

Once your operating system is updated, try plugging the USB cable and see if you can now transfer files between your PC and Galaxy S20.

Fix 06: Use a Wireless Transfer Method

The wireless transfer method can be useful if you are still struggling to transfer files between your PC and your Galaxy S20.

In the wireless transfer method, you create a hotspot on your Galaxy S20 and use your PC’s WiFi feature to connect to that network. Once connected, you can easily transfer files at the speed of your hotspot between the two devices.

To facilitate wireless transfer, there are various apps and PC software out there. I will list below a few such applications that work well with your Samsung Galaxy S20.

  1. AirDroid.
  2. SHAREit.
  3. Link to Windows (from Microsoft)

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The founder of and the tech nerd of the team. He is specialized in Android/iOS development and web development.

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