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My USB preferences are greyed out, I'm unable to transfer files when plugged in my Pixel 2 XL 5 Recommended Answers 93 Replies 286 Upvotes
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I've tried different USB-C cables and different systems, but nothing works
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I have the same issue have tried every fix and nothing
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Hi John. As you've tried other cables but without success, please check that there is no debris within the port that is preventing a positive contact. 

Instructions courtesy of bG - PE)
 
1. Clean the USB-C port on your device. (I personally like to take a business card and fold it diagonally, as to make the corner stronger and thinner. This makes a nice scooping/scraping tool.) (Side note: this one is the solution 99% of the time. Many people think this isn't the case because they can't see* anything inside of the USB-C port, then they are shocked at the amount of dirt and dust that drops out when they start digging it out, just FYI).
2. Use a different charging cable (to rule out that the wire is not the problem). 
3. Make sure the plug is fully inserted and secured into the wall outlet.
4. Try using a different wall outlet.
5. Try using a different power adapter (that's the white brick (wall adapter) that plugs into the wall outlet).
6. Make sure you're using the original charging cable and power adapter that came with the device
7. You can say to Google Assistant "Battery Troubleshooting" and go through the diagnostic process to check on your device's battery health.
8. See if you have the same results in Safe Mode.
 
If nothing in the above is of help, please contact Google Support to discuss your options.

Regards, Penny
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Same problem with me. Must be a design flaw as no one I can tell, has found a solution. Really frustrating!!
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Yep me too... Never buy pixel again..
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Google Support, please provide a solution to this.  We are tired of try this try that... you know those are BS instructions so please stop and begin providing SUPPORT!
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Hi User 91876xxxx. This is a user to user forum staffed primarily by volunteers, therefore we're only able to offer general software troubleshooting advice here. If the help we offer doesn't work for you, please speak with a Google Support specialist either via Settings > Tips & Support on your 'phone or via THIS link to discuss your options.
 
Thank you.
 
Penny
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Had the same issue then someone told me to make sure I used the left USB port on my laptop. I thought he was kidding but once connected I got the usual beep from windows and then was able to transfer to my PC and the greyed out settings become choosable.
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Same Problem...Any help Google ?
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I've had the same issues and Google support advised a factory reset.  I did it with no different results, same exact issue.  

Remoting into the phone, the support team couldn't fix it.  A software update didn't fix it. They tried to persuade me to just use Google cloud services.  I have various good reasons not to.

Clearly based on these posts, it's a known issue, but Google support said they couldn't respond to that on the record.

They're asking me to take it to their hardware repair partner, Ubreakifix.  This is insane.  What a shabby way to do business.
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OK, figured it out no thanks to Google.

The USB-C to USB-A converter provided is only for phone transfers and can't be used for a computer.

The fact that I went through an extensive trouble-shooting process with Google support remoting into my device and this issue was never divulged is incredibly disrespectful.

Google should respect its customers enough to admit that its out-of-the-box converter isn't USB-A compatible for transferring data from a computer.

It should be admitted up front, even if they don't want to provide the USB-C to USB-A native cable that costs $20 to solve the problem.

Just be honest with people so you're not wasting our time.
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Today I encountered a similar issue with no USB data transfer available (Pixel 2 not offering the choice itself and in the USB data transfer option greyed out in the menue). I tried many things and used at the end as an act of desperation the one non USB 3.0 port on the laptop, which I would never use for data transfer - surprisingly that worked.
So it seems the Pixel is picky with the USB connectors.

Google please fix.
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Same issue. I want to confirm this is not a cable issue because I had it work suddenly after a recent OS update only to have it not work again the next day.
Same cable, computer etc. Definitely pixel OS related.
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Exactly same issue onPixel 3. Same memory USB-C card reader works perfectly with an Android Tablet.
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My Pixel 2 updated to the QP1A.190711.020, Sep 2019 build via OTA and I was hit with the issue. Manually sideloading the latest November OTA fixed the issue for me.
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Same issue - someone please fix. Cable used to work but something has been updated since June 2019 and now I can't transfer files, options to use USB for file transfer are greyed out.
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Having the same issue currently.  This is the absolute worst phone I've ever owned by a longshot. I wanted to replace it for a myriad of other reasons but now I can't even transfer all my data and photos and such off it because the USB transfer is busted. What a total fail. That and you'd think one of the richest companies on the planet could afford better tech support. Never again...
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Hi, I have the same issue but you can enable usb transfer. You have to go in the settings --> about phone --> multiple tap in built number then go to developer option (follow the video) and go to default USB configarution ant set to file transfert
Sorry for my english ;)
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This is NOT a physical issue. There is something wrong in the update. I can reproduce this 100%.

On Dec 5th I updated my pixel3 to Android 10 security patch. It suddenly stopped connecting to my car with android auto. The phone charges, including in my car.

I cleaned out the port thoroughly. It is NOT a loose connection with the cable.

Here is the weird issue. Connecting it to my laptop seems to work only under certain conditions. (Which I'll describe in a minute.) once connected, I CAN WIGGLE THE CABLE LIKE A MADMAN, and the connection does NOT drop! This is why I believe it is not a physical issue. I've tried many cables. I believe that after the update the USB 'mode' doesn't kick in right away when you connect the cable. It seems like a delay in registering it. Windows10 reports an error almost immediately after you connect, but the phone seems to be in la la land.

If I go into USB Preferences and connect cable,  it will result in the choice for "USB Controlled by:" menu to be lit up. BUT NOT THE "Use USB for:" menu!!! The laptop still reports error. At this point, I simply tell it to let the connected device control it, this fails, there seems to be a reset of the connection, and NOW the "Use USB for" menu lights up! Now it connects to the laptop!!!! Now I can wiggle the cable like crazy and never lose connection. I can copy files to/from the phone! This is a software issue, not physical. This happens with/without USB debugging mode active. This happens in safe mode as well.
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YES SAME HAPPENING TO ME TOO....
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Maybe this thread should be merged?

https://support.google.com/pixelphone/thread/14477635?hl=en

Similar symptoms, USB options on phone is greyed out and do not get prompt with connecting with PC.  I have 3 Pixel XLs and the one recently set up / updated is not working.
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Having same problem with Moto X4.  

Google Help unable to troubleshoot successfully.

Moto Help unable to troubleshoot successfully.

USB file transfer turned on in developer options
USB preferences menu greyed out.

Computer does not see device connected via USB.

Multiple USB cables used.  All of them work with other devices.
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Same issue here.  I think it happened when the phone updated to Android 9.  There is no practical way to set it back to 8.  Mine is a Moto G6, though.
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Same problem on Moto G7
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I found on my Pixel 2 device that the ONLY way to get USB transfer to work was to connect the Pixel 2 to a computer with a USB C to USB C cable. My desktop does not have USB-C and USB-A to USB-C was resulting in the grayed out USB options. I tried my laptop which has a USB-C port and by golly, the damn USB preferences/transfer option was no longer grayed out. I don't know when this change occurred, but very disappointing and frustrating.
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same problem, just use usb type c cable, dont use 2.0 usb cable with adapter, solved.
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USE A DIFFERENT USB PORT ON COMPUTER.
Worked for me.
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I tried many solutions but did not help. Then I try to use another Type C cable and it works. The original cable is garbage, just use for charging only.
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same update then no connections and here its wise to report no problems with Microsoft Lumia 550 phone
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After reading the suggestions to check and try to switch the cable I was trying to use, I've found the following label on it:
"For charging only"

Mystery solved, the other cable worked like a charm XD
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