Phone Keeps Disconnecting and Reconnecting to Computer

The growing 'smart' phone industry has a small downside: the increasing complexity of phone software and its relationship to PCs. Users who find that their phones only temporarily connect to their PCs or experience connection stability problems usually can resolve them by themselves. Experts recommend checking the most commonplace software incompatibilities before moving to hardware inspection when troubleshooting.

Unless there are significant bugs or compatibility issues, users should always have up-to-date drivers for all devices, including smartphones. The Device Manager includes an entry for Portable Devices, such as iPhones. Right-click the device and choose the update option for letting Windows identify and install the latest patch (or follow manufacturer instructions for manual downloads). Users also should check the Universal Serial Bus controllers (USB) section, which may require repairing software such as Apple's USB driver. Take note of any warning icons that could indicate device failure.

Other software also may need updates, such as Apple's iTunes. Most phone services that use PC connectivity should include internal UI features for updating themselves at the user's prompting (such as in the 'Help' menu).

For iPhones, the device may flag the PC as 'not trusted' unintentionally. To change this value, go to the phone's Settings menu, General, and then Reset. Reset Location & Privacy will allow the user to set the PC's trust level again and require re-authentication (such as the four-digit PIN). Android has similar options for trusted and non-trusted devices. Users can access them by signing into their Google account, navigating to the Security section and selecting '2-Step Verification.'

After checking all software-related compatibility points, users can move on to hardware-based issues. The most typical phone-to-PC connectivity issue is from a defective data cable. Avoid bending cords excessively or harshly, and check them for damage to the coating or connectors periodically. Keeping an identical spare available provides a quick test for whether or not the cable is the problem.

USB ports also harbor more complexity than casual phone owners might suspect. With upgrades to data transfer-rate formats, a port might be 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, or 3.1, for example. Although they're backward compatible, this ideal doesn't always hold in every scenario. Users should try using another port after a malfunction. Additionally, any USB port may experience damage, such as from a power surge, that doesn't affect the others. Many devices have 'preferred' ports, which, frustratingly, can conflict with other devices with the same preferences, such as wireless receivers.

Another point of wear is the phone-side port or cable jack. Usually, users can check it for damage by plugging the phone into its charger – if a charge doesn't build, either the cable or the phone's port may have physical ailments. For those who aren't experts at home phone repair, this usually-rare problem requires taking the phone in for service.

As phones grow more computer-like, maintaining a phone's security and stability requires similar attention to that which one gives to any PC. Connection problems between devices are part of the new world of smartphones, but most users don't need hard thinking to solve them.

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