Samsung Galaxy S3: Connect to PC

You may want to connect your Samsung Galaxy S3 to your PC if you want to transfer videos or music between the devices. Use these steps to get started.

1. Windows users should download and install the USB drivers for the Galaxy S3. Mac users do not need to install any software.

2. Connect the device to an available USB port using the included USB cable.

3. A prompt will appear on the screen of the phone. Drag the notification area down, then make a selection based on what you wish to do with the device.

  • Connected as media Device > Media device (MTP) – Use this selection if you wish to use Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder to manually transfer files between the PC and the phone or to utilize Windows Media Player.
  • Connected as a media device > Camera (PTP) – To use your phone as a camera.

You may also use the Samsung Kies software to manage files on the Galaxy S3. You can download and install the Kies software from the Samsung website. Once the Kies software is installed, it will automatically start whenever you connect the phone to your computer and is compatible with both Mac and Windows.

You should now know everything you need to know about connecting your Samsung Galaxy S3 to your PC.


  1. Mand says

    how do I use samsung galaxy s3 mini as a modem/dongle for my pc?
    I used my old Vivaz to connect to internet on my pc but Galaxy S3 mini doesn’t seem to do this

  2. Kat says

    Thanks! This was very helpful. I don’t know why Samsung made it this hard to complete a simple task. I never had this problem back in the day with my NOKIA. Let this be a lesson to you Samsung, people like EASY. Trust me.

  3. bluet says

    I can see that the cable that came with the phone is not good to transfer but what is it a generic USB cable? I mean, it has to have the little plug to plug to the phone right? sorry if my question sounds stupid I am pretty new at this.
    At least now I know it’s not me I was getting very frustrated

  4. Dave says

    OMG….been researching this for days. Confirmed…Samsung cable is for charging only. As soon as I used a generic usb cable I could connect to files, photos, etc. Samsung…what’s up with this?????? Geez

  5. Terry McGhee says

    Incredibly Helpful! I couldn’t find anything but Youtube videos of stupidity, and then I discovered this one tiny little page and it answered every question I had and even had the links to the software I needed. Thank you!

  6. barry says

    Samsung’s USB cable is no good. Using a different cable and now everything is fine. cable that came with the GS3 allows charging but no data connection.

  7. Rolland says

    Tried what Ima posted. Still no luck! Very frustrated. Neither the computer nor the phone recognize a connection though it is charging via usb.

  8. Ima says

    This will work, but ONLY if you DO NOT install Kies and Samsung Driver – use Windows Update driver to connect S3 to your PC USB. Steps below that worked for me. This def works for Verizon SCH-I535 Galaxy S3 16MB with 4.0.4 load.

    1. Uninstall Kies, Uninstall Samsung Driver, reboot. Reboot your phone just to be safe.
    2. On your S3 select Settings–>Developer–>Enable USB Debugging (hit ok at the prompt). Don’t tweak anything else here. You MUST have the Debugging turned on for phone to connect to PC.
    3. Plug-in the Samsung USB cable to PC (there was some discussion on which USBs work and which don’t … so you can try different USB ports if #4 fails to work below)
    4. Windows will then install whatever driver(s) it needs and whala, you can now access your S3 via Explorer…it will show up as a phone, not an actual drive.

    Hope this helps and saves you the time and frustration I experienced. I never saw the little USB icon on the S3 until I wiped all the Samsung and Kies drivers from my Win 7 system & enabled debugging on phone. So the issue lies with Samsung and their crappy Kies tool and Driver. Go with the Windows Update driver (which is auto) and you should now be able to connect via USB to your S3. Again, this works for Win 7 32bit with Android 4.0.4.


  9. mick wood says

    I installed Kies on XP, Galaxy s3 transfer was fine – but then when i plugged in again phone wasnt recognised.
    After several attempt I re-installed Kies – still nothing, even went through the whole Kies connection error that re-installed usb driver but zilch.
    It used to work??? no other changes have taken place to affect Kies. Please help.

  10. Kyle says

    I have just tried to use Samsung Kies Air. It works flawlessly. As soon as I connected my Galaxy 3 to my PC, the Galaxy 3 was found as a camera. I ignored that. Then, in my Galaxy 3, I openned Kies Air which found my PC and connected it with Galaxy 3. It instructed me to type in any web brower in my PC. I did so, and the IE showed my Galaxy 3. I had no problem at all with this process. I think anybody who has Galaxy 3 would have Kies Air already installed in the phone. Just use it. It works fine. By the way, I made my PC 8 years ago. It has Pentium cpu 2.6 and 2gb ram and still runs with Windows XP. kinda old one.

  11. Navin says

    Hey guys, I was having the same problem, but after much research, I saw some people getting it to work after switching USB ports. It looks like the phone needs to connect through a certain type of USB port. I tried this on a Windows 64bit PC and after changing ports, it installed the correct MTP driver and is working perfectly!

  12. azeem says

    there was a problem installing this hardware:
    SAMSUNG Mobile MTP Device an error occurred during the installation of the device.
    The required section was not found in the INF

    …i got this new problem after installing samsung kies..

  13. ravishankar says

    i was really confused how to connect to my pc with s3 but after reading this article, now i am clear how to connect. thank you. this article helps me lot…

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