Can't find the option to link FP2 to PC via USB (and other issues)

Moved from Living without Google 2.0 - A Google free FP2

Thanks Paula. Most of the questions I’m reading - have been closed - but that doesn’t mean there may not be answers for me - and others who are hunting for any way through this silly problem. Why do so many questions not find answers? Our FP2s take photos - that WE cannot get onto our PCs or laptops, so they are effectively lost. I recently bought a digital camera - so I now have photos on my PC I can work on and post. That is not a good solution for FP2 owners, is it?

Hmm… what prevents you from copying your phone-made photos via USB cable to your PC?

What doesn’t? Android 7, Google, Windows 10 and Fairphone…
There’s supposed to be an FP2 option to use the USB - PC link for something apart from charging the FP2. I can’t find it. The SD seems to be invisible, and Windows 10 refuses to see my FP2. I can’t find any options to copy or save or transfer photos from the phone onto the SD or to my PC. I now have 4 alternate card readers to get photos onto my PC, but no chance. The only option I’ve found is emailing photos to my PC, meanwhile google keeps “saving” them to some “Cloud” - that I can only access when on wi-fi.
My FP2 photos - belong to Google, it seems.

Could it be you’re using a USB cable that’s for charging only? I have one of those and struggled A LOT to get the FP2 working with my windows 10 latptop. It was just the wrong cable…


When upgrading from Android 5 to Android 6, or after putting a new SD card into the phone, or I could imagine after formatting the card in the phone (can’t check that one just now), Android will ask how to deal with the card.

Either you can choose to let the card be incorporated into Internal Storage, a way to extend limited phone storage (which the Fairphone 2 doesn’t suffer from, meaning this choice will cause more harm than do good on a Fairphone 2, as can be observed in many posts here in the forum).
This way, the card will be unreadable by card readers when taken out of the phone, and at the same time without the card the phone might be malfunctioning (with part of its expected storage missing).

Or you can choose to let the card be treated as external storage, so it will be treated separately from Internal Storage and you could for instance take it out of the phone and read it with a card reader.
If the phone is properly connected via USB to a PC, the card will be visible separately from Internal Storage, too.

Sounds like you chose to let your card be incorporated into Internal Storage. But this normally isn’t a problem for file transfer, it just means that there’s only Internal Storage to see via USB or possibly a file manager App on the phone (can’t check that one right now either).

I’m with @Ingo here. Even without any drivers for the phone installed (which Windows 10 would normally do automatically upon the first successful USB connection with the phone), Windows 10 would at least see some unspecified USB device, even if it couldn’t properly present files and folders on the phone.
A charging-only cable would explain Windows 10 seeing nothing at all.

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Thanks everyone. No, I formatted the latest SD card for external storage. So now it’s down to a data only charging cable??
Oh, for … I should have just sent it straight back when I couldn’t find an instruction manual in the box, 2 years back. From now on - it’s a phone. It doesn’t play music or take photos. However it is easy to repair, so worth it, during the winter months when I have mains power. In summer, I have a button phone that lasts a week between charges. End of.

OK, I can be stubborn… I still want my photos. No there isn’t an option to use the USB connection for anything but charging. USB options don’t come up when I pull down the notifications… (History - I bought 5 different charging cables when I first bought the phone… the 5th one worked - so I binned the other 4… Oh very ethical, I thought.) Now I have to find charging cables that ALSO act as data cables? Wail.
I had a new idea - Is there any way of retrieving photos from this mythical Cloud where auto back ups happen? You know - from my PC/laptop?

After the upgrade to Android 7 and my switch to FPOOS, the option to connect to my pc only became visible when I enabled USB-debugging in the developer options. Is this option disabled perhaps?

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Yes, I did upgrade to Android 7. No idea what FPOOS is. I’ll see if I can find the developer options, though that’s a tad advanced.
I also tried Bluetoothing single photos - but somehow Windows 10 didn’t see my FP2 - both had Bluetooth switched on… I did get a photo out by emailing it to myself. Low quality, sigh

Fairphone Open OS, Fairphone’s Android without pre-installed Google Apps and services …
(As opposed to Fairphone OS, which comes with pre-installed Google Apps and services.)

  • Settings - About phone - tap on “Build number” several times until it says you are developer now
  • After this … Settings - Developer options

Hot damn! Just got a charge and sync cable from Tesco - linked up with my laptop and immediately got offered USB options. I’M IN! Photos transfered! Thanks everyone
Meanwhile… Tesco photo lab bluetoothed the whole lot onto a CD for 4 quid. So I have 2 working options for photos.
Shifting to FPOOS - is beyond me, though Google does pain me mightily. Does anyone on south coast UK do such techie stuff for money?

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A volunteer in London offers help via the #fairphoneangels program, else chances would probably be higher if you would start a new topic like “Fairphone Open OS installation help in the south coast UK area?” or similar.

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