FP4. Connect to a computer via a USB cable

Sometimes you might need to access and/or transfer your phone data from your computer. In this case, the most reliable solution is to connect the two devices with a cable. Your computer should recognize your phone immediately (the first time might take a little longer).

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

  • It must have a USB-A or USB-C connector on one end, depending on what ports your computer has, and a USB-C connector on the other end for the phone.
  • It must be able to transfer data (some cables can only be used for charging).

In most cases, you do not need extra software. Once your phone is recognised, you will be able to access and transfer files to it (such as music, pictures, contact lists, videos).

We cover all basic instructions and troubleshooting below. But if you need the information in another language, you can also check this Google support article on the Android website.

 


Connecting the phone

Microsoft Windows

To connect your Fairphone to your Windows PC:

  1. Unlock your phone.
  2. With a USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  3. On your phone, swipe down once, with one finger, from the top of the screen. You will open the pull-down Notifications menu.
  4. Tap on Android System • Charging this device via USB to open up the menu.
  5. Tap again to see more options.
  6. Select File Transfer. The Fairphone should show up as a connected device under My Computer on your PC.
  7. Without selecting File transfer on the phone, your computer might still recognize the device but will appear empty.
  8. A file transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag files.
  9. When you're done, eject your phone from Windows.
  10. Unplug the USB cable.

Some Android devices are not recognized by Windows 7 because of missing drivers. In these cases you can install some universal drivers like Universal ADB Driver.

Microsoft ended the support for Windows 7 in January 2020 and we no longer offer support for this OS. We recommend migrating to Windows 10 or Windows 11.

 

Apple macOS X (10.7 and newer)

Your computer must be using macOS X 10.7 and up.

  1. Download and install Android File Transfer on your computer.
  2. Open Android File Transfer. The next time that you connect your phone, it will open automatically.
  3. Unlock your phone.
  4. With a USB cable, connect your phone to your computer.
  5. On your phone, swipe down from the top of the screen twice with one finger. You will open the pull-down Quick settings menu.
  6. Tap on Android System • Charging this device via USB to open up the menu.
  7. Tap again to see more options.
  8. Select File Transfer.
  9. An Android File Transfer window will open on your computer. Use it to drag files.
  10. When you're done, unplug the USB cable.

Applications and services like iCal, iTunes, and iCloud will not work on the Fairphone. They are made specifically for iPhones running iOS.

 

Linux (Ubuntu-based 18.x and newer)

Connecting your Fairphone to a recent release of Linux Ubuntu (18.x and newer) is very simple.

  1. Connect your Fairphone 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. Select File Transfer.
  6. You Fairphone should now appear on your desktop or show up as a connected device.

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:

 


Troubleshooting common issues

The phone is not visible

If you cannot find your Fairphone listed under the devices connected to your computer:

  1. Open the pull-down menu on your phone (on the home page, drag down a finger from the top bezel).
  2. Tap the message that says Android System • Charging this device via USB. If the notification bar is not showing, go into the Silent notifications bar from the pull-down menu. 
  3. Tap again for more options.
  4. Select File Transfer or, if is not supported, choose PTP (Photo Transfer).

 

The files are not visible

If when you try to copy your data from the phone to a computer via USB, and you already selected File Transfer, 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.

 


If after reading the article you need more help, get in touch with our Customer Support.