What is USB Debugging – How to Set up USB Debug

USB Debugging is one of the most well-known Android developer features. Some of you may have heard of this term and wondered if you should enable it on your device. In this article, we will be talking about what exactly is USB debugging? What is the purpose of this?

USB Debugging

While the name “USB debugging” may be scary, it is not nearly as complicated as it appears. ACtivating this feature lets you use your PC to control certain aspects of your smartphone. For example, if you want to customize your phone, root it or troubleshoot software issues, you can run advanced commands with this tool.

What is USB Debugging?

USB debugging, as the name implies, is the process of tracking defects using USB. This method is used by Android app developers to test in-development apps or to identify and resolve issues. This is usually done on a PC using the Android Studio Development Kit (SDK).

This is usually installed alongside Android Studio, which is an Android app development environment. It comes with a set of tools that are essential for any developer, including a debugger for troubleshooting and a visual editor.

What is USB Debugging used for?

When it comes to USB debugging, you’ve probably heard the phrase ADB a lot. The acronym ADB stands for Android Debug Tool. When a smartphone is connected to a computer via USB, Android developers often use this tool.

Before attempting to create a connection with ADB, the user must first enable USB debugging on their phone. When the functionality is enabled, a variety of options become available on the device, including the ability to activate root access, install custom ROMs, reset the device to factory settings, and so much more.

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Also, developers must enable USB debugging in order to test and interact with applications on their devices. When you make a new build of your application in Android Studio and wish to test it, you can do so with just a few clicks on your connected device. It will run and appear on your device as soon as it is completed. This is far more efficient than manually sideloading APK files each time.

Non-developers frequently activate USB debugging in order to root their phones. Rooting varies by device and over time, but the majority of methods need you to launch an application from your desktop.

How to activate USB Debugging

Um USB debugging to be enabled, you must first confirm that your Windows computer recognizes your smartphone as a USB debugging device. Connect your phone to the PC using a USB cable and check if it is detected. The computer will “communicate” with your phone if it is able to identify it.

USB Debugging is available in the Developer Options menu on modern Android devices. To enable/disable USB debugging requires a series of steps in recent Android versions.

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The first thing to do is enable the “Developer options” (Hidden by default) menu to enable USB debugging. Here are the steps in full:

USB Debugging

  • Open the Settings menu on your device.
  • Scroll down to About phone.
  • Tap on Build number/Build version/ Software version about 7 times until you see a confirmation message “You are now a developer”.
  • Tap the back button and you will see the Developer options menu appear at the bottom of the settings page. On some phones, this option can be hidden under ‘more settings’.
  • Tap on it and scroll down until you see USB debugging; press it and hit Ok to enable it.

Now that you’ve enabled USB Debugging, you’re ready to go. Plug your phone into a PC using a USB cable. A popup will appear on your phone asking for permission to use USB Debugging on that particular computer.


For developers, USB debugging is a must, but it also unlocks some useful tricks for power users, as well. In general, we recommend that you leave this feature turned off if not in use. This way your device will be more secure.