Here are the instructions to activate USB Debugging mode on Android devices with Jelly Bean (4.2) or above.

This is not a Mac specific post. It is Android related, which I am posting here because it is my intention to document ways to get Mac OS X and Android devices to behave nicely together. Setting an Android device to USB Debugging Mode is a step many will need to take on their Mac in order to perform certain operations on their Android device.

This instructions apply to Jelly Bean 4.2 and upward. Older versions of Android have an explicit (unhidden) option for activating USB Debugging mode. Since 4.2 Google has hidden this option. It’s easy enough to unhide it. These instructions are applicable to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, and should apply to all other Android devices with version 4.2 and above.

Steps to take

  • Bring up your device Settings.
  • Go to the About Phone or About Tablet option (usually at the bottom of the settings page)
  • Scroll to the bottom of the About Phone/Tablet page. You will see “Build number”, along with the build number of your device.
  • Tap on the “Build Number” box 7 times.
  • You have now turned on access to the Developer options. Previously these were hidden. Now they are unhidden.

On Nexus devices (and perhaps most others)

  • Go back to Settings page
  • Under the heading System, you will see Developer options.
  • In the Developer options you should see that USB debugging is already ticked and activated. This is where you would tick and un-tick it as required.

Good luck.

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