Fix: USB Device Not Recognized on Windows 10

Windows 10 is latest release by Microsoft. It is one of the most elegant desktop OS out there. Microsoft had to take some steps in order to improve user experience and maintain its reputation in the market. So, they introduced a completely unique version of Windows in this year i.e. Windows 10. In fact, Microsoft has included a lot of new features to make it stand tall.

But problems are still there haunting the users in a number of ways. A lot of people are having trouble with USB inside Windows 10. There are a number of issues that are associated with USB. Some people have reported that they cannot use any external USB device on their PC’s/ laptop’s ports. According to others, rebooting the system with an external USB device attached causes a failure and doesn’t recognize the device.

So, these kinds of issues aren’t a good deal for a computer user as it is daily task to attach external media to the computer for file transferring process.

Reasons Behind the Windows 10 USB Problem:

There might be some glitches with USB drivers installed on the PC. These USB drivers can be out-dated or there might be some conflicts causing this problem to occur.

Solutions to Fix the Windows USB Problem:

There are numerous solutions which can help you out in getting rid of this issue. You can follow methods mentioned below.

Method 1: Reinstalling/ Updating USB Device Drivers

This is a pretty straight-forward method to fix the USB related problems. All you need to do is to Reinstall or Update USB device drivers. For this purpose, it is recommended that you boot your PC in Safe mode. Follow the steps below.

1. Enter your PC in safe mode to uninstall or update USB device drivers. It is better in a way that you would not have any conflicts with other softwares while in safe mode. So, here is a brief guide on How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. Follow the steps mentioned in this guide accordingly.

2. After entering into safe mode, navigate to Device Manager by right clicking over the Start menu icon and selecting it from the list.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-1

3. Inside the Device Manager, scroll down to see USB devices attached to the system. If you can’t find a device, scroll down to the end to find an option labeled as Universal Serial Bus controller. Expand that option to see a list of USB devices connected to the system.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-2

4. Now, you need to find the malfunctioning USB device from the list. In some cases, you will also see a yellow sign on a particular USB device. In that particular case, you would be required to update the drivers. To update, right click on the USB device and select Update Driver Software. From the next window, click on Search automatically for updated driver software if you want to let the Windows search it for you. On the contrary, if you have USB drivers saved on your hard drive, click on the second option and browse the drivers. After the process is finished, check for problems.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-3

5. To uninstall the drivers, select that USB device and right click over it to select Uninstall. Next, you would need to confirm it by checking the box labeled Delete the driver software for this device. Click on OK afterwards.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-4

6. After the un-installation is done, you have to unplug the USB device and restart the PC. When you are back in Windows, plug the USB again to let the Windows install the drivers automatically. You can also manually install the drivers if Windows is unable to install them automatically.

Method 2: Fixing USB Device Not Recognized Error

If you get a pop-up message saying USB Device Not Recognized after plugging-in the USB to the PC, then you need to follow the steps mentioned below to fix this problem.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-5

1. Open the Device Manager and scroll down to expand Universal Serial Bus controller. From here, select the USB Root Hub and right click over it to select Properties.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-6

2. Inside the Properties, navigate to Power Management tab from the top and uncheck the Allow the computer to turn-off this device to save power and click OK. Check again for problem with USB device whether it is resolved or not.

USB and External Drives on Windows 10-7

Sometimes all you have to do is tell the system to check for any hardware changes to recognize the USB. Follow these steps to do this

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter
  3. Click Action
  4. Select Scan for hardware changes

Make sure that your USB is directly plugged in to your computer. If you are using a hub or anything else then that might be causing the issue. So, connect your USB directly to your computer’s port and check whether the issue is there or not

Method 3: Turn off Fast Settings

Turning off the Turn on fast settings solves the problem of USB not recognized. You can turn off the fast settings by following the steps given below

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type powercfg.cpl and press Enter

  3. Select Choose what the power buttons do

  4. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable

  5. Uncheck the option Turn on fast settings (recommended)

  6. Click Save changes
  7. Restart your system

Plug in your USB once the system is rebooted and check whether the problem is still there or not.

Note: If this solution doesn’t work then repeat the above given steps and change the settings back to how they were before.

Method 4: USB Select Suspend Settings

Changing the USB Select Suspend Settings to Disabled for both Battery and Plugged in solves the problem for many users. Follow the instructions below and then try to insert your USB to check whether the problem is solved or not.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type powercfg.cpl and press Enter

  3. Click Change plan settings of your selected plan
  4. Select Change advanced power settings

  5. Double click USB settings
  6. Double Click USB selective suspend setting
  7. Select Disabled from the drop down menu in both Unplugged and Battery sections
  8. Select Apply then Ok

Now check if the problem persists or not.

Method 5: Uninstalling Hidden Devices

Sometimes the older devices are still installed on the device but don’t appear on your device manager. This is mainly because your device manager only shows the devices that are connected at that time. So, if you had a device installed previously but it wasn’t uninstalled, it will still be there on your computer but won’t show up in device manager. This can conflict with your present USB device which might be causing this issue. That is why it is important to find these hidden devices and uninstall them.

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Type command prompt in the Start Search
  3. Right click Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator

  4. Type set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1 and press Enter
  5. Type set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 and press Enter
  6. Type start devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  7. Select View then select Show hidden devices

  8. Now expand Imaging Devices, Universal Serial Bus Controllers and Unknown Devices by double clicking them
  9. Make sure there aren’t any greyed out devices under them. Right click and select Uninstall for any greyed out devices you see

Once you are done, try connecting your device again and you should be fine

Method 6: Installing Generic USB Hub Driver

Installing the Generic USB Hub Driver might work for you especially if you are seeing an Unknown Device in the Device Manager.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  3. Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controller by double clicking it
  4. You might see one (or more) Generic USB Hub under Universal Serial Bus Controller.
  5. Right click the first Generic USB Hub (or the one with a yellow warning sign) and select Update driver software…

  6. Select Browse my computer for driver software

  7. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

  8. Select Generic USB Hub from the list and click Next

  9. Click Close when it is finished installing it

Now, check if the USB problem is solved or not. If it isn’t then repeat the above process for each Generic USB Hub listed under Universal Serial Bus Controller.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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Expert Tip

Fix: USB Device Not Recognized on Windows 10

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