Windows is designed to be almost universal in its support of PC accessories, particularly USB-based add-ons like external hard drives, flash drives, game controllers, webcams, microphones, and other peripherals. Most things work out-of-the-box thanks to pre-loaded drivers, but occasionally a gadget will still give you the dreaded “USB device not recognized” error.
USB device on your computer is malfunctioned or not recognized in Windows 10/8/7/XP? No worries. This guide provides 7 solutions to troubleshoot “USB Device Not Recognized” issue and you can try them one by one until you can open the device and access your data.
- Symptom of “USB Device Not Recognized” error
- Solution 1: Try a different USB port
- Solution 2: Rescan device in Device Manager
- Solution 3: Remove computer power supply
- Solution 4: Update USB device drivers
- Solution 5: Fix USB root hub
- Solution 6: Uninstall hidden devices
- Solution 7: Disable USB selective suspend settings
Solution 1: Try a different USB port
First and foremost, you should make sure there is no problem with USB port. You can disconnect the USB device which cannot be recognized by Windows and then reconnect it via a different USB port. Do not connect USB device via USB hubs. In many cases, the “the last USB device you connected to this computer malfunction” error is just temporary, and changing a USB port should get rid of the error.
If your computer is a desktop, then you can also try connecting the USB device to computer via the USB port on the back of the case. Those USB ports placed at the back of computer case usually have better power supply. Besides, you can try the USB device on a different computer and check if the error still appears.
Solution 2: Rescan device in Device Manager
There are some cases that the USB device not recognized is caused by operating system conflicts, which can be solved by rescanning device.
Step 1- Log into system with administrative account and open Run dialogue via pressing Windows and R keys.
Step 2- Type “devmgmt.msc” in Run box and press Enter key, which opens Device Manager.
Step 3- In Device Manager click Action menu and select “Scan for hardware changes” option. Then system will try to connect to any new devices connected to your PC. If your USB device still cannot be recognized after scanning, you should go on trying other solutions.
Solution 3: Remove computer power supply
This is a super easy solution! If this solution works, you’ll save a lot of time. Unplugging computer power supply does not mean simply turning off computer with power button. That’s because most computer does not actually shut down completely and motherboard still gets power. Thus, you need to remove power from laptop or unplug power supply from the back of computer case.
Motherboard is the very place where all hardware is connected, including USB ports. Sometimes the motherboard should be rebooted when things go wrong. When power is removed, the microprocessor on the motherboard will reload drivers for USB ports, after which the USB device might be recognized again. Therefore, you can try shutting down computer and remove power supply for a while, and then plug it back and restart Windows.
Besides, the USB not recognized issue in Windows can also be caused by a dirty or loose RAM. Thus, after removing power supply you can manually remove the RAW and clean it. Cleaning RAM can also help a bit in improving speed.
Solution 4: Update USB device drivers
USB devices are connected to computer via USB port, via which they become able to communicate with host controllers on motherboard. And the process is managed by driver software. Drivers are responsible for being an instruction which can be read by computer to interact with devices. Driver contains various manuals which tell computer where it attempts to perform basic input/output actions with device. When you get USB not recognized error, it is likely that there is something wrong with device drivers. Hence, this problem can be removed via fixing incorrect or outdated drivers. Here is how to update USB device drivers.
Step 1- Open Device Manager. Right-click on Start menu and select Device Manage option from Start menu; if you are using Windows 7, you need to right-click on Computer icon and select Manage, after which you can select Device Manager.
Step 2- Browse and expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers, and you can find the device is tagged as Unknown devices.
Step 3- Right-click on the Unknown Device and select Properties. Then select Driver tab from the Properties window.
Step 4- Click Update Driver button and choose “Search automatically for update driver software” on popped-up window.
If this does not work you can try updating drivers manually: go to the website of the device’s manufacturer and download the latest drivers. Then run the driver installer to get drivers installed, after which restart computer.
Solution 5: Fix USB root hub
There are some cases that USB device does not work properly issue is caused by the power management setting. So you can try following steps to fix it.
Step 1- Still open Device Manager and expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers to locate USB Root Hub.
Step 2- Right-click on USB Root Hub and select Properties.
Step 3- On the Properties window select Power Management tab and uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. Then click OK button.
Note: If there are multiple USB Root Hubs on your computer, you need to repeat this operation on all of them.
By default, Windows Device Manager does not show all devices installed to computer, as it displays those that you are operating. Sometimes some hidden devices may conflict with connected device and cause the problem. So we can view all hidden devices and uninstall useless devices to avoid any issue.
Step 1 Launch Command Prompt as administrator. Click Start button and type cmd in searching box, and right-click cmd.exe and choose Run as administrator.
Step 2 Type following commands in Command Prompt and press Enter after each command:
Step 3 Now Device Manager is launched and you should click View menu and choose “Show hidden devices” option.
Solution 7: Disable USB selective suspend settings
USB selective suspend setting is a feature provided to assign certain USB port to a power saving mode, which looks like the computer’s sleep mode. Such feature is very useful when your laptop or tablet is only on battery. However, if you are using a desktop, this feature is not necessary, and sometimes causes USB device not recognized issue. Here is how to disable it:
Step 1 Click Start menu and type power plan in searching box. Then click Choose a power plan from searching result.
Step 2 Select Change Plan Settings next to your currently selected plan. Then choose Change advanced power setting.
Step 3 Select the box to expand USB settings and then choose USB selective suspend settings.
Step 4 Choose Disabled from the drop-down list. Then click Apply and OK button to save changes.