You’ve probably heard of USB debugging more than a few times if you’ve ever looked into rooting an Android device. Essentially, this feature found in all Android devices (even Android Wear, by the way), allows the device to take commands from the computer it is connected to (via USB as the name suggests). Once this is enabled, you can use the SDK and/or ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to then tell the device to install and run test applications, flash/erase/backup certain parts of the device’s memory, and more. What we, and what you probably see it used for most though, is to allow us to then run commands to gain root access on said device, flash a custom recovery, or something else similar.

Regardless of the reasoning, here’s how to enable USB debugging on any Android device.

I. Before You Begin

1. I’m using stock Android but regardless of your device, the options I select will all be similar. The only difference is usually where they are location (i.e. in a tab within Settings instead of directly on the one page, etc.). If you do not see the option I mention exactly where I mention it, simply look around for it in other places in the settings.

II. Enable Developer Options

1. Pull down the notification shade.

2. Tap on the gear icon in the top right corner to get to Settings.

3. Tap on About Phone (or About Device).

4. Tap on Build Number repeatedly until it says you are a developer.

III. Enable USB Debugging

1. Tap back.

2. Tap on the new Developer Options that has appeared.

3. Turn USB Debugging on.

4. Plug in the device via USB to the computer you plan to use ABD from to communicate with the device.

5. Check Always allow from this computer and tap OK.

IV. Setup ADB and the Android SDK (Optional)

1. Now that you have USB debugging enabled on your device, you can head to our How to Setup ADB tutorial to get that setup and start issuing commands to the device over USB.

Oh, and head over to our How To’s section to find how to’s categorized by device and our ROMs repository for tons of ROMs sorted in the same way.

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