Fairphone folder empty when connecting via USB


I have a short question: When I connect my Fairphone 4 to the computer (Windows 10) via USB-C for example to transfer files (music, etc.) it only shows a completely empty device to me, no hidden data, nothing from the SD card that’s inside nor any folder or files from the phone itself. Am I doing something wrong or does anybody faced the same problem?

I’ve found a similar topic here, but I couldn’t quite follow along
All folders are empty when connecting to USB

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Make sure that you are using a cable that is suitable for file transfer (not a loading cable) and that you allow file access when your Fairphone is asking you to. But my experience is that even then your access to the file system will be limited (especially if you want to do something in the Android folder).

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If your info is on the internal memory or an SD card that has been formatted as [Internal] then it is all encrypted and cannot be directly read from another device via a simple wired connection. That would result in personal data being insecure.

So you can use an SD card as portable which a) can be read and b) can be removed and slotted into any other phone etc.

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Thank you guys for the answer.

  • the USB Cable is suited for file transfer
  • I tried rebuilding the media storage, but Android wouldn’t let me clear the cache
  • the sd card was formatted and now there’s only a test picture on it

→ Where can I allow file access on the fairphones settings @Discostu36 ?

Usually when plugging in an android phone to the computer and unlocking the phone via the unlocking screen the computer gains access to the file system or doesn’t he? At least with my last phone and Android 9. I could view the DCIM folder for pictures and the Download, Bluetooth folder, etc.

EDIT: For everyone else: Found the Storage settings in the Developer Options (activate it via hitting Build-Number multiple times in Phone Information) → Standard-USB-Configuration and changed it to Data transfer, now its showing the internal storage

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As internal or Portable

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But now its working it shows it in total together with the internal storage :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot guys, just needed some brainstorming here

You may want to read up on SD card formatting, it is not advisable to format it as internal ~ for a number of reasons.

Start with

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Good point, I just changed that, thank you :+1:

Funny things is tho: my sd card is shown as not working as external storage but internal was fine


for what it’s worth. You don’t need to access the developer options. After pluggin in the usb-cable you can swipe down and tap on “Android System - Charging this device via USB” (probably twice) and then you get a list with options to change the usb mode.



Unfortunately a known hiccup with possible workaround

That’s correct. And that’s a security feature.
@7r4c3 I wouldn’t change this behaviour be changing the developer options!
Imagine you just want to charge it using a “public” USB power port. It might happen that it’s not only a “power port” but an attacker trying to steal your data. That’s why you have to confirm data transfer via changing the default behaviour through the notification bar after connecting the phone via USB…


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