Android device doesn’t show up in Windows device manager

I recently had the following problem with my Moto X Play (XT1562), but it probably could’ve been any Android device.

I wanted to connect the device to use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to push and debug an app I was working on.

Normally you would select the device in the Windows device manager and install the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK for it.

I plugged the device into my PC via my trusty USB cable, that I’ve been regularly using to charge my Android phones for years. The device showed that it was charging, but it wasn’t listed in any form in the Windows device manager, though (no “Other devices”, no “Android phone”), so it wasn’t possible to install the other driver.

After wasting an hour by googling I tried another USB cable and finally the phone connected. Turns out, that my usual cable was apparently only good for charging – either because of a defect or maybe it was engineered that way(?)… I have no clue.

In case of the Moto X Play, no installation of the Google USB driver was required. As soon as I activated USB-Debugging, the device was listed as “Motorola ADB Interface” under “Android Device” in the device manager and “adb devices” listed the device.