What to do if Windows 10 laptop refuses to recognize a Lumia smartphone?

September 24, 2018 |

greater than 9 minutes


If you manage to establish a connection between your smartphone and computer through the USB ports on both devices, you will be able to move files or transfer data quickly. You could even share your internet connection for your PC to use.

It is a bit of mess, though, when you connect your Lumia smartphone to your computer, but you see a message stating that Windows cannot recognize your mobile device. Most users find this event incredibly frustrating for different reasons.

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What to do if PC does not recognize Lumia device?

First, you have to determine if a problem really exists in your case:

  • You must try connecting your device to another computer and see how things go.
  • You could also try employing a different cable. Perhaps, the one you used earlier was incompatible with your smartphone or computer in some aspects.
  • We recommend that you try connecting using all the USB ports available on your computer. Perhaps, the ports are of different standards, and you might end up being successful with a specific one.

If you experienced success after you connected your smartphone to a different device (test computer) via USB, then the problem you are facing most likely is independent of your mobile device—it exists on your computer only.

Now, you are probably why your computer does not see your Windows phone. After all, your PC is running the Windows operating system, and its struggles to detect a Windows mobile device that has been connected to it seems ironic.

Well, we know of a few things that might be responsible for the problem.

  • External influence (especially one from a powerful third-party app like an antivirus) might be in play.
  • In some cases, the problem might be a consequence of issues affecting your drivers.
  • Other times, your Windows laptop is struggling to detect your mobile device because your system lacks essential Windows updates, and so on.

We have expanded enough on the intricacies of the problem in view to further your understanding of the subject. It is time we moved on to the main business of this guide because a good number of users probably ended up on this page just to find out how to fix the Windows 10 phone not connecting to laptops issue.

How to resolve Windows 10 computer not recognizing Lumia smartphone problem?

We will provide a good number of solutions you can try out to resolve the issue in view, but you must understand that the actual fix you need is dependent on the conditions and variables involved in your case (likewise the same for other users).

Is your computer running slow or suffering system glitches? If so, it may need maintenance. Try running a dedicated PC optimization tool to check the health of your PC and apply the necessary fixes.

To this end, it is imperative that you start with the first procedure on the list, and if your problem persists after you have used it, you move on to the next one; basically, you must work your way down until you arrive at the fix meant for the problem in your case.

Check your antivirus:

We earlier established external influence or interference from third-party apps like antiviruses as one of the most likely causes of the failure in recognizing Windows Lumia smartphone problem. Now, we will guide you on what to do as regards this.

Antiviruses belong to the class of essential programs found on most computers considering the nature of the job they do, but sometimes the actions they take result in headaches for you.

For example, most antivirus solutions are coded to scan or scrutinize any USB device that gets connected to a PC. This setup might be a good thing as it reduces the chances of viruses or malware coming into the computer from an external device, but in some instances, it might indiscriminately block the connection from harmless devices (like a Lumia smartphone).

You must make some to changes to find out if your antivirus is responsible in any sense of it.

Follow these instructions:

  • Open your antivirus, then navigate through its interface to check if the option for scanning or blocking connected USB devices is selected. If it is active, disable it. Go through the activity log of your antivirus (if it has one) to see if it has executed any operation recently against plugged-in devices.

You can go a step further to disable other features your antivirus relies upon to do its job if you believe they are counterproductive to the goal you are trying to achieve here

  • Close your antivirus, restart your computer and check if your system now sees your Windows Lumia smartphone. If you realize that no significant changes resulted from the actions you took, then you must move on to uninstall your antivirus because uninstallation is the most extreme procedure you can execute against it
  • Restart your PC after Windows finishes removing your antivirus. After your computer comes on, you must try connecting your mobile device to your system through the USB ports and see if the recognition failure persists.
  • If the problem persists even after the removal of your antivirus, then your security program probably had nothing to do with the issue at hand. You should consider restoring it after you get things in order.
  • If your Windows 10 device now sees your Lumia smartphone without issues because you moved against your antivirus, then you will do well to leave the changes as they to ensure that the fix you applied becomes a permanent solution. In this case, you still have some work to do.

Admittedly, since the demise of your antivirus, you must have noticed that your system is now lacking any credible form of protection—it is in a grave state considering the threats abound.

You need a new security solution that is less likely to cause issues for you considering what you experienced with your antivirus. Auslogics Anti-Malware is a solid choice in this regards. You will do well to download and run this excellent application.

Turn off Xbox Music Cloud Collection:

According to some reports from users also affected by the connection problems involving Lumia smartphones and computers, the Xbox Music Cloud Collection functionality might be a bad thing to have. If this hold trues in your case, then all you have to do is to turn the feature off, and things should get better. Here are the instructions you need to follow:

Open the Music and Video application on your Windows Lumia smartphone. Select Settings

Now, you can turn off the Xbox Music Cloud Collection functionality. It is time you moved on to reconnect your mobile device to your computer to see if your Windows 10 laptop is now able to recognize your smartphone without complications.

Alter the general settings for your USB device:

Some alterations made to the current configuration for your USB devices might be enough to resolve the inability of your Windows 10 PC to recognize your Lumia smartphone. Here are the steps you need to go through to make the required changes:

  • Restart your PC. After your computer comes on, connect your Lumia smartphone to your computer as you have done numerous times before now. Look to the bottom right corner of your taskbar. You should see a USB icon which you must click on to continue
  • From the short menu list that pops up, click on Open devices and printers. Now the icon for your Lumia device should be visible. Double-click on it. Look to your right hand to see the Change general settings option
  • Click on the drop-down menu to expand the list of options available. Select the When this device connects, open Windows Explorer to view files option. Click on OK
  • Unplug your mobile device from your computer. It is time you restarted your PC again. After it comes on, you must reconnect your Lumia smartphone to your PC again and see if the required connection can be made this time without issues.

Reinstall the USB driver for your Lumia smartphone:

Drivers control and manage the interactions between hardware components (like USB ports involved in connections) and software (the Windows running on your PC or programs, for example).

If at this point you are still struggling with your computer being unable to see your Lumia smartphone when it is connected problem, then there is a high probability that something is wrong with the driver in charge of the operation in view.

Since a single driver is involved, you can fix problems affecting it by merely reinstalling its software. Follow these instructions to do the job:

  • Disconnect your mobile device from your computer. Unplug all other external devices connected via USB ports to your PC
  • Open the Device Manager program: Bring up the Power User menu by right-clicking on the Windows Start icon that is always visible on your desktop screen. Select Device Manager from the list of programs and options you see
  • Once the Device Manager program window comes up, look to the top and click on View. From the options you see, click on Show hidden devices. Now, you must go through the list of categories for drivers and locate Universal Serial Bus Devices. Click on this item to view its contents
  • You should see the Lumia USB driver which you must right-click on, then select Uninstall device from the short menu list. Windows will display a dialog box to get confirmation for the operation you initiated. Click on the Uninstall button there to confirm.
  • The uninstallation process for the driver should commence now. After Windows completes the operation, you must restart your computer. After booting, your system will detect that a driver is missing, and Windows will install the required software automatically
  • After the reinstallation of the driver software, you are free to check if the changes resulting from this operation were enough to resolve the connection glitches between your Windows 10 computer and Windows mobile device.

Perform a soft reset on your Lumia device:

If the detection problem is related to incompatibilities between your Windows 10 laptop and Lumia smartphone, then a soft reset might be useful in putting things in order. The procedure is also relatively easy and straightforward to use.

To perform a soft reset, all you have to do is press (and hold) the Volume down button and the Power button together (at the same time) for 3-5 seconds. This move should initiate a soft reset, which might usher in a fresh configuration for which recognition of a Windows mobile device by your system becomes a breeze.

The steps followed in performing a soft reset might vary for Lumia smartphones. Some users stated they held the Power button for about 10 seconds instead to initiate the operation, so you might want to try this especially if you experienced limited success using the first method we proposed. Otherwise, consult the manual for your mobile device if you are still in doubt on how to go about things.

Install Media Feature Pack for N and KN versions of Windows 10:

Certain iterations of Windows 10 (especially versions meant for the European and Korean market) lack specific media capabilities. If your system is running one of such builds of Windows, then your computer struggles to recognize connected Lumia smartphones might be a result of the missing features or functionalities.

To fix the problem, you have to acquire the missing capabilities somehow, and fortunately, you can easily do this by downloading and installing the Install Media Feature Pack for N and KN versions of Windows 10. Follow these instructions:

  • Open your web browser. Type in the following keywords into the address bar present to do a quick search for them on Google: Install Media Feature Pack for N and KN versions of Windows 10
  • After the results page shows up, you must click on the first link you see to reach Microsoft Download Center. Select your preferred language and click on the Download button to get the needed file.
  • After you finish downloading and installing the necessary files, you must restart your system to ensure the changes from your action are now active. Finally, you must check if the connections issues involving your Lumia smartphone and Windows 10 laptop are no more

Other things you could try to fix your Windows 10 computer’s inability to recognize Lumia smartphones

If you are still struggling with the problem in view, then maybe you are yet to come across the fix that is ideal for you. This list of additional solutions will come in handy.

Try out a new cable:

Perhaps, your USB cable is broken, or it supports charging only.

Download and install all the latest Window updates:

There is always a good chance your PC lacks the patches or bug fixes for Windows that resolves the issue you are facing.

Do things differently:

A couple of changes might result in your connection breakthrough. For example, some users got their Windows 10 PC to see their Lumia smartphones by turning off then turning on the phone while it was plugged in via their USB ports.

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