Connect your Fairphone 3 to a computer (Windows, Mac and Linux)


To share your mobile data connection between your Fairphone 3 and other devices, the quickest and easiest is to use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

Other times you might need to access or transfer data to and from your phone. In this case, the most reliable solution is to physically connect the two devices. When you connect your Fairphone 3 to your computer, your computer should immediately recognize your phone (the first time might take longer). In most cases, you do not need extra software. Once your computer recognizes your phone as a USB storage device, you can then transfer files to it (such as music, pictures, contact lists, videos).

To connect your Fairphone to a computer, you need a data-USB-C cable:

  • it must be able to transfer data, not only charge
  • it must have one USB-A connector on one end and a USB-C on the other. 



Phone not visible

If your phone is not visible:

  1. Open the pull-down menu on your phone
  2. Tap the message that says Android System • Charging this device via USB
  3. Select File Transfers (MTP) or choose Photo Transfer (PTP) if MTP is not supported.


Files not visible

If you try to copy your data from the phone to a computer via USB - selecting Transfer Files (MTP) - but some or all of your files are not visible:

1. Go to SettingsApps & notifications
2. Open the search function (click on the Looking glass) and type in "external storage"
3. Select External Storage, then Storage and Clear Storage.
4. Confirm with OK
5. Reboot the device.

You should now be able to see the data on your phone.


Microsoft Windows

To connect your Fairphone to your Windows PC:

  1. Connect your Fairphone 3 with a USB-C data cable to your PC
  2. Slide the notification bar down on your Fairphone
  3. Click on Android System - Charging this device via USB to open up the menu
  4. Tap again for more options
  5. Choose Use USB for File transfer
  6. If you do not select File transfer on the phone, the device will be still recognized by your computer but will appear empty.
  7. The Fairphone should show up as a device under My Computer on your PC.

Some Android devices are not recognized by Windows 7 because of missing drivers. The solution: you can install universal drivers. One example is the Universal ADB Driver.

Apple macOS

To connect your Fairphone 3 to your Apple Mac:

  1. Download and install the Android File Transfer driver on your Mac device. Android File Transfer is an application for Macintosh computers (running Mac OS X 10.5 or later) to view and transfer files between your Mac and an Android device
  2. Connect your Fairphone to your Mac device with a data USB cable
  3. Slide the notification bar down on your Fairphone
  4. Click on Android System - Charging this device via USB to open up the menu
  5. Tap again for more options
  6. Choose Use USB for File transfer
  7. The File Transfer app will now pop up on your Mac device
  8. Transfer your files! 

Applications and services like iCal, iTunes, and iCloud will not work on the Fairphone because they are made specifically for Apple iOS.


Linux (& Ubuntu)

Connecting your Fairphone to a Linux computer can be more complicated but it is possible and should work without any problems. The latest releases of Ubuntu connect in the same way as Microsoft Windows, thus you can see the Microsoft Windows instructions above.
To use your Fairphone with a different (recent) distro of Linux, an easy solution is to install the Media Transfer Protocol package.

For other (and older) distro of Linux, we refer you to the following articles: