More than a few Fire tablet owners have reported problems connecting their Fire tablets to their computers via USB. Amazon offers a help topic on connecting via USB for file transfers here, but it doesn’t really address troubleshooting when it seems like your computer doesn’t recognize you’ve connected your Fire at all.
Here’s What To Check & Try
Here are the most likely reasons your computer is failing to recognize your Fire’s USB connection. If none of these are the cause of your problem, your next move is to call Amazon tech support.
1. Are you trying to use a USB 3.0 cable with a USB 2.0 port?
By and large, USB 3.0 devices and cables will be backward-compatible with recent-make USB 2.0 ports, but if you’re connecting to an older computer’s USB 2.0 port incompatibility could be the issue. If you want further technical details see item #8, Connector and receptacle types, in 10 things you should know about USB 2.0 and 3.0 on TechRepublic.
Note that KF on KND Editor April Hamilton has also reported that her Windows 7 PC won’t recognize all of her various model-year Fire tablets when they’re plugged into the computer’s USB 3.0 port, but it will recognize all of them when she connects via the USB 2.0 port.
2. Is your USB cable damaged?
You can test this by connecting some other USB device to the computer using the same cable. If it doesn’t work, you may have a bad cable.
USB cables can be damaged by excessive heat, moisture, cold, or bending, and of course by accumulation of dust or foreign matter in their plug ends.
3. On a Windows machine, are you following the proper connect – power up sequence?
Very often, Windows won’t automatically detect devices that are attached when those devices are already powered on. It seems as if there’s something about powering the device on while it’s connected that alerts Windows to its existence.
Try powering your Fire tablet down completely, then plug it in to your computer via USB, and then power the tablet on. Note that you may have to wait a minute or two for Windows to detect the tablet.