Skip navigation
Why is my Nexus 7 tablet no longer playing nicely with my desktop Windows 10 PC? Getty Images

Why is my Nexus 7 tablet no longer playing nicely with my desktop Windows 10 PC?

Q. I have a problem that’s left me bamboozled. I can no longer get my Nexus 7 tablet properly connected to my desktop Windows 10 PC via USB. It used to work fine; using the Nexus 7’s “FILE TRANSFERS” option, I could transfer files between tablet and PC.

However, it stopped working after I upgraded to the most recent version of Win10. Now, my PC makes a connection sound but doesn’t recognize the Nexus 7 — the tablet doesn’t show up in the list of connected drives in File Explorer.

In Device Manager, the Nexus 7 shows up with an exclamation mark. I tried to update the driver software, but Windows couldn’t find a newer driver. I then uninstalled the driver and then let it re-install, but still no luck.

Strangely, my Surface Pro 3 (also with Windows 10 Version 1511) recognizes the Nexus, and I can transfer files. So the issue seems to be just with the desktop PC.

I am now stumped. Can you help, please?


​A. That sounds like a driver issue. But first, let’s consider two somewhat less-obvious possibilities:

​1 -- Make sure the Android’s lock screen isn’t engaged when you’re making your connection. When the lock screen is visible, Android devices will accept a USB power connection, and the PC will chime to indicate the connection — but the Android will reject all data connections.

​2 -- If that doesn’t solve the problem, try a different USB cable. I had an ASUS-made Nexus tablet with a poorly designed USB socket. Its contacts wore unevenly, so eventually it would work only with some USB cables. Even brand-new cables, or cables that worked fine on other devices, failed on the Nexus. (It was such a pain that I swore off ASUS tablets after that.)

​If neither of the preceding suggestions help, you’re back to looking at the drivers. Refreshing the existing drivers was a good step — it would’ve been my first suggestion.

​Because that didn’t work, try bypassing the current and malfunctioning USB driver by installing new Android/USB drivers from the OEM (e.g., ASUS) or from Google. Set the device to allow ADB debugging (in the advanced system settings). For information on the generic Google USB drivers, see an Android Developers page, “Google USB Driver;” for information on installing ADB drivers on Win10, see the related StackExchange page.

For more help and options, see:

  • “Nexus 7 can’t be recognized by MS-Windows via USB” – ASUS support
  • “Nexus 7 2013 drivers installation guide” –
  • “Windows 10 is unable to load Android devices as MTP devices” –
  • “OEM USB drivers” – Android Developers page
  • “Download Google Nexus USB drivers” – Android MTK
  • “Windows 10 + Nexus 7 USB cable incompatibility” – Microsoft Answers

(Originally published on Windows Secrets on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.)


Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter,. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.