How to Troubleshoot VirtualBox Failed to Attach USB?

VirtualBox failed to attach USB is an error that generally occurs when the users try to access USB devices from the VirtualBox device menu. And see the error message on the screen VirtualBox failed to attach USB and the USB device stopped mounting the guest systems.

VirtualBox failed to attach USB
VirtualBox failed to attach USB

Well, the VirtualBox lets users link to a USB drive to the virtual devices, therefore the guest system identifies and utilizes the USB drive. To understand better read our guide – How to Access a USB Device in VirtualBox VM?

But recently many users reported they are facing a problem “failed to attach the USB device to the VirtualBox machine.”

So, if you are also struggling with the same problem then this article is for you. Here find out the possible solutions to troubleshoot the error.

Please Note: Before starting with the fixes, make sure your USB is working properly in the host system.

Restart Your PC

Many times simply restarting the PC works to solve minor glitches and bugs. So, it is a good idea to reboot both the host and the guest computer a couple of times and see if the problem is resolved.

Try installing the VirtualBox Extension Pack and Guest Additions

VirtualBox Guest Additions are the software packages that could be installed on the guest systems for optimizing the system performance and offer additional communications and integrations with the host PC. And, if this extension pack is not installed you may lose many functions.

So, make sure to install the Guest Additions, and to do so run the virtual machine and click on Device and Install Guest Additions at the virtual machine main window’s top-left corner. And you will see the virtual machine will automatically install the Guest Additions.

Now, install the VirtualBox Extension Pack, as this helps you to encompass VirtualBox functionality, also if you require connecting a USB2.0 or USB 3.0 drive, then installing this pack is compulsory.

Follow the steps to install the extension pack:

  1. Head to the VirtualBox official website, download and install the pack.
  2. Now open VirtualBox and click on Tools then Preferences option.
    VirtualBox failed to attach USBopen VirtualBox and click on Tools then Preferences option
    In VirtualBox click on Tools then Preferences option
  3. And head to the Extensions section and at the upper right corner click the green plus icon.
  4. Then look for the extension pack for installing

Once the installation process is complete, you require enabling the USB controller and adding new USB filters. Follow the steps to do so:

  1. In the VirtualBox > right click on the virtual machine, where you want to connect the USB device and click on the Settings option.
  2. Now click on Ports and then USB.
  3. And for your USB device, enable the USB 1.0, USB 2.0, or USB 3.0 controller.
    failed to attach USB device to the VirtualBox machine
    Enable USB device controller
  4. On the right side, window click on the Add button and choose the device that can’t be attached.
  5. Now click OK for saving the changes and Exit.
  6. Lastly, unplug and re-plug the USB device in it.

Now connect the USB device to the guest again and check if the error is fixed.

Edit the Registry

Well, this solution works for many users, so if the above solution won’t work for you then it is worth giving it a try.

Important: Be sure to follow the steps cautiously as a small mistake may prevent your PC from booting.

  1. First from the host system unplug the USB devices > close VirtualBox.
  2. Now hit Windows key + R and in the Run box type regedit and hit Enter
  3. The Registry Editor window will open
  4. Here head to the location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{36FC9E60-C465-11CF-8056-444553540000}.
    Edit the Registry VirtualBox failed to attach USB
    Open Registry Editor
  5. And delete the UpperFilters on the right side.
    VirtualBox failed to attach USB
    Delete the UpperFilters option
  6. You may see a confirmation window> click Yes to complete the delete process.
  7. Restart the Windows host PC and the VirtualBox for connecting the USB again.

Reinstall the VirtualBox USB drivers

This is an optional solution you can opt for if the above trick won’t work for you. So, if there is an issue with the VirtualBox USB drivers, then also you may face the problem.

So try reinstalling the drivers manually by following the steps given:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and head to the given folder: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\drivers\USB\filter
  2. Now right click on the file VBoxUSBMon.inf and choose Install.
    failed to attach USB device to the VirtualBox machine
    Install VBoxUSBMon.inf
  3. You will see a confirmation message as the installation is complete.
  4. Then reboot your system and let the changes take effect.

So, that’s it now your USB devices should start working properly.


Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.