hero1

Back in Android 4.2, Google hid Developer Options. Since most “normal” users don’t need to access the feature, it leads to less confusion to keep it out of sight. If you need to enable a developer setting, like USB Debugging, you can access the Developer Options menu with a quick trip into the About Phone section of the Settings menu.

How to Access the Developer Options Menu

To enable Developer Options, open the Settings screen, scroll down to the bottom, and tap About phone or About tablet.

Screenshot_20160419-1039282

Scroll down to the bottom of the About screen and find the Build number.

Screenshot_20160419-111913

Tap the Build number field seven times to enable Developer Options. Tap a few times and you’ll see a toast notification with a countdown that reads “You are now X steps way from being a developer.”

Screenshot_20160419-094711

When you’re done, you’ll see the message “You are now a developer!”. Congratulations. Don’t let this newfound power go to your head.

Screenshot_20160419-094719

Tap the Back button and you’ll see the Developer options menu just above the “About Phone” section in Settings. This menu is now enabled on your device—you won’t have to repeat this process again unless you perform a factory reset.

Screenshot_20160419-1039283

How to Enable USB Debugging

To enable USB Debugging, you’ll need to jump into the Developer options menu, scroll down to the Debugging section, and toggle the “USB Debugging” slider.

Screenshot_20160419-094739 Screenshot_20160419-094744

Once upon a time, USB Debugging was thought to be a security risk if left on all the time. Google has done a few things that make that less of an issue now, because debugging requests have to be granted on the phone—when you plug the device into an unfamiliar PC, it will prompt you to allow USB debugging (as seen in the screenshot below).

Screenshot_20160419-094818

If you still want to disable USB debugging and other developer options when you don’t need them, slide the switch at the top of the screen. Easy peasy.

Screenshot_20160419-094730


Developer Options are power settings for developers, but that doesn’t mean non-developer users can’t benefit from them as well. USB debugging is required for things like adb, which in turn is used for rooting devices. Once your device is rooted, the possibilities are endless.

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
Read Full Bio »
Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »