Article ID: 2749484 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

When connecting your Windows Phone 8 to your computer, one of the following happens:

  • Your computer doesn't detect your phone.
  • The sync software doesn't open when your phone is connected to your computer.
  • You may get an error related to the connection.

Things to Try

Try the following solutions, in order:
  1. Check your USB Connection
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    • Make sure that you're using the USB data sync cable included with your phone. Don't use a USB hub or the ports located on the front of your computer. USB ports on the front of a computer tend to be lower power.
    • Check to see that your phone shows up in Device Manager. To do this:
      1. For Windows 8 users: From the Start screen, type "Device Manager," tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Device Manager.
        For Windows 7, Vista, or XP users: Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
      2. A window will appear with the name of your computer and a list of files. (If you don't see the files, tap or click the name of your computer). The name of your Windows Phone 8 should be listed under Portable Devices.

      If your computer's Device Manager does not detect that your phone is connected, more than likely it's because there's no physical connection between the USB port on the phone and the USB port on the computer. Possible causes include:
      • You are not using a good USB data sync cable, like the one that came with your phone. Some phones are also supplied with optional “charging” cables that cannot be used to establish a data connection with your PC. Try another cable, if possible.
      • There is dust or debris in the USB port on the phone. Try using a can of compressed air to clear the USB port on the phone to ensure a good connection.
      • The USB port you are using on the computer is bad. Try connecting to a different USB port. (You might also try connecting your phone to a different computer. This will validate whether the problem is with the USB connection on your computer.)

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  2. Restart your computer and phone
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    To restart your phone, press and hold the Power button until you see Slide down to power off, then flick down. After it’s off, press to turn on your phone again.

    1. If this restart sequence doesn’t work for your phone, try one of the following options:
      • Press and hold the Power button and "slide down" when prompted. After it’s off, press the Power button to turn on your phone again.
      • If your phone has a replaceable battery, remove and then reinsert the battery located under your phone’s back panel. Then press the Power button to turn on your phone again.
    2. As soon as your Windows Phone 8 has restarted, follow the manufacturer's recommended steps to restart your computer.
    3. If your phone is still not detected:
      1. Restart the phone while it is attached to your computer.
      2. Press and hold the Power button and "slide down" when prompted. Your phone should automatically restart if plugged into a usable USB port.


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  3. Make sure your phone has the most recent software update
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    1. Swipe left to the App list.
    2. Tap Settings and then tap Phone update.
    3. Tap Check for updates.
    If an update is available, your phone will indicate that you should install the update.

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  4. Update your Windows Phone 8 driver
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    If Windows Device Manager indicates a device problem or if the driver version of Windows Phone 8 that's installed isn't the current version, update the driver. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Connect your Windows Phone to your computer by using the USB cable that was included with your phone.
    2. Windows 8 users: In the Start screen, type "Device Manager," tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Device Manager.
      Windows 7, Vista, and XP users: Click Start, right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
    3. A window will appear with the name of your computer and a list of files. (If you don't see the files, click the name of your computer.) The name of your Windows Phone 8 should be listed under Portable Devices. If Windows Phone was incorrectly installed, it may be listed with a yellow exclamation mark. Or, it may be listed under Other Devices as a USB device or an unknown device.
    4. Double-tap or double-click Windows Phone (under Portable Devices) or the unknown device to open the Properties window.
    5. On the Driver tab, tap or click Uninstall.
    6. In the pop-up box "Confirm Device Uninstall," select "Delete the driver software for this device" and then tap or click OK.
    7. Return to the Device Manager window. Tap or click the Action menu, and then tap or click Scan for hardware changes.
    8. Open Portable Devices, double-tap or double-click the name of your Windows Phone, and then click the Driver tab.
      Note If you don't see your phone's name, tap or click the unknown device that is listed under Other Devices, and then tap or click the Driver tab.
    9. Tap or click Update Driver.
    10. Tap or click Browse my computer for driver software.
    11. Tap or click Browse, locate the C:\Windows\Inf\ folder on your computer, and then click OK.
    12. Click Next and if you're prompted, click Install. You may only be given a Close option.
    13. After the driver installation is complete, close the open windows until you exit the Device Manager. Restart your computer if you're prompted.

    To manually download and install the Windows Phone driver:

    1. Go to http://catalog.update.microsoft.com.
    2. Search for "windows phone winusb". You should find "Windows Phone - Other hardware - WinUsb Device".
    3. Tap or click Add in the right-most column.
    4. ap or click View basket (just below the search box).
    5. On the "Updates in your basket" screen, tap or click the Download button. Tap or click the Browse button and select a convenient location, such as your Desktop or the Downloads folder, to save the file. Tap or click Continue, and then tap or click Close when downloaded.
    6. Browse to the file you downloaded (which may be contained in a folder called "Windows Phone - Other hardware - WinUsb Device") and then double tap or double click it.
    7. Double tap or double click the file winusbcompat.cat. Select a location (such as the Desktop) to extract the file.
    8. Repeat the steps under Update your Windows Phone 8 driver above, but when you reach Step K, browse to the file you just saved instead of the C:\Windows\Inf\ folder.

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  5. Validate that you are using the correct synchronization client for your operating system
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    The app you'll use depends on the kind of computer that you have, and what you'd like to do.

    If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, plug your phone into your computer with the USB cable that came with your Windows Phone and your computer will tell you how to get the right app.

    Most versions of Windows (excluding Windows RT) allow you to connect to your Windows Phone by using Windows Explorer, which you can use to validate that you have an active connection or to copy content and media between your phone and your computer (excluding DRM content).

    If you use a Mac, use the Windows Phone app for Mac.

    If your phone does not automatically direct you to the appropriate application to use, see the article Sync music, ringtones, and podcasts using my computer for more information.
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  6. Uninstall/Reinstall your Synchronization client
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    To uninstall and reinstall your sync app:

    For the Windows Phone app for desktop (Windows 8,Windows RT, or Windows 7):
    1. Open the Control Panel:
      Windows 8 and Windows RT users: On the Start screen, typeControl Panel and then select it.
      Windows 7 users: Click the Start button and then click Control Panel.
    2. Tap or click Uninstall a program.
    3. Select the Windows Phone app and then tap or click the Uninstall button.
    4. Reinstall the Windows Phone app for desktop. You can download the app from the link provided on the following page:

      http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/how-to/wp8/windows-phone-app-for-desktop


    For the Windows Phone app (Windows 8 or Windows RT):
    1. On the Start screen, right-click the screen or swipe in from the top or bottom edge to see the app command bar, and then tap or click All apps.
    2. Right-click the Windows Phone app, and then tap or click Uninstall.
    3. Reinstall the app from Windows Store or from the following site:

      http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-US/app/windows-phone/0e0fbaf6-fd99-4046-b494-9ce469ae3009


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Properties

Article ID: 2749484 - Last Review: December 18, 2013 - Revision: 6.3
Applies to
  • Windows Phone 8 for Consumers
Keywords: 
kbwp8 KB2749484

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