How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized Error in Windows

Many Windows users must have received an error message that says—USB device not recognized error—message on their Windows PC. Sometimes, you won’t find the error after reconnecting the concerned USB device. However, the simple fix might not work in every case. The following post helps you find out the basic troubleshooting methods and fixes for the USB device not recognized error in Windows 11/10

USB Device Not Recognized

Basic Fixes and Troubleshooting

The possibility of a USB device not recognizing an error can render the files and data in the USB drive inaccessible. You can face the issue due to various causes such as USB hardware issues, missing drivers in case of special USB devices, or malicious files in the drive. Irrespective of the cause of the problem, you can try to solve it by using the following basic fixes.

1] Faulty Hardware (Try on Another PC)

One of the common causes for the USB device not recognizing errors would be faulty hardware. You might have broken USB ports responsible for the system failing to recognize the USB drive. Try the USB device on another port; if it does not show, you should connect it to another PC. This basic fix helps you determine the possibilities of any complicated and severe hardware problem.

2] Corruption (USB Drive Logical Corruption)

The concerns of logical corruption in a USB drive cannot be ruled out in the case of errors where USB drives are not recognized. You can check for corruption in the USB drive using the System File Checker option with the following steps.

SFC Scannow Windows

  • Access the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows and R keys
  • Type WT or CMD and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open with admin permission
  • Use the command SFC /scannow for running an SFC scan to check for corrupted files in the USB drive.
  • The scan would take some time to complete, and you must restart your PC after the scan is complete before checking the USB device.

3] Pending Windows Update

Windows offer the facility for choosing the latest updates to ensure smooth and secure operations of your device. Your USB device might show the not recognized error when you don’t have the necessary updates. Here are the steps for installing the latest updates on your Windows PC.

  • Press the Windows key, and I key together to open the Settings option on your computer.
  • Look for the Windows Update option at the bottom of the left pane in Settings and click on it.
  • You must select the Check for updates options on the right-hand section for downloading the latest Windows updates.

The more options section in the Windows Update tab can also help you check the update history and receive updates regarding other product updates.

Fixes USB Device Not Recognized Error Windows

The primary fixes for solving the USB device not recognized error on your Windows systems can serve the desired results. However, it is also essential to learn the proven methods for solving the problem, which dives deeper into technicalities. Here are some recommended solutions to deal with USB devices that do not recognize errors on Windows.

  1. Prevent Your Computer from Turning Off Your USB Devices
  2. Run a USB troubleshooter
  3. Uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive
  4. Reinstall USB controllers
  5. Disable the USB selective suspend setting
  6. Install your motherboard’s latest chipset drivers

Follow the under-given steps to perform all the processes correctly.

1] Prevent Your Computer From Turning off Your USB Devices

Windows OS is usually designed to be energy efficient. In rare conditions, useful power management features can cause all kinds of issues, including the USB device not recognized error (primarily for laptops). In such cases, you must prevent your computer from turning off USB devices. To perform the process, follow the below-given steps properly.

  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. Now enter devmgmt.msc and click OK.
  • Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section, and right-click the USB hub to connect your USB storage device. Select the Properties option and navigate to the Power ManagementDisbale Power Management USB Devices
  • Now uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power and click OK.

2] Run the USB Troubleshooter

You can use the USB troubleshooter option in all the recent versions of the Windows operating system. Here are the simple steps for accessing the USB error troubleshooting tool.

  • Open the File Explorer window and right-click on the desired USB drive.
  • Choose Properties from the list menu and select the Tools tab in the Properties dialog box.
  • Locate the Error checking option and click on the CheckError Checking USB Drive Windows
  • Click on the Scan and repair drive option in the next window. Wait for the troubleshooter to find and repair errors in the USB drive.

3] Uninstall and Then Reconnect the External Hard Drive

In some cases, a corrupted USB driver can be the reason behind the USB device not recognizing the error. You can use the following steps to uninstall the device and reconnect it to your computer.

  • Right-click on the taskbar and choose the Taskbar settings option from the menu.
  • Click on the Taskbar corner overflow to expand and locate the Windows Explorer.
  • Hover over the Window Explorer option, and you can find a tooltip showcasing the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media message.Eject USB Drive Windows
  • Turn on the tooltip for activating the option to remove the USB drive.
  • Reconnect the USB drive again and check whether it works.

4] Reinstall USB Controllers

The solutions for USB devices not recognizing errors on your Windows PC include reinstalling the USB drivers. You can look for driver updates for your USB device on the OEM website. The USB controllers are traffic control specialists for a USB drive; uninstalling them helps you repair an unstable or corrupted controller. You can also follow the below steps to reinstall USB controllers.

  • Select Start, type device manager in the search box, and then select Device Manager.
  • Expand the Universal Bus Controllers. Press and hold or right-click a device and select uninstall. Repeat for each device.Uninstall USB Controller Windows
  • Once complete, restart your system. Your USB controllers will automatically install.

5] Disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting

Windows operating systems could automatically power down specific USB devices to preserve battery power and extend lifespan. You can solve the problem by disabling the USB selective suspend setting with the following steps.

  • Press the Windows key and I key together to open the Settings
  • Navigate to System > Power &  battery, followed by Additional power settings
  • Select the Change plan settings option and the Change advanced power settingsPower Options USB Settings
  • Expand the USB Settings tab followed by the USB selective suspend setting tab.
  • Click on the Disabled option in the drop-down menu on clicking the USB selective suspend setting

6] Install Your Motherboard’s Latest Chipset Drivers

The motherboard in your computer also needs the latest chipset drivers to function correctly. If you have not updated your motherboard’s drivers in a while, you should try looking for the latest chipset drivers. The best way to find and install the latest chipset drivers on your motherboard would be the official website of the motherboard manufacturer. Make sure you avoid third-party driver updates to avoid any troublesome consequences.


The steps for solving the USB device not recognized error on Windows systems are easy to understand and implement. Use the basic fixes and proven methods to solve the error and access the essential files on your USB drive.

How Do I Reset My USB Ports on Windows?

You can reset your USB ports on Windows using the troubleshooter option or disabling and reconnecting the USB controller.

How Do I Reinstall My USB Port Drivers?

You don’t have to implement unique methods for reinstalling the USB port drivers. The USB port drivers would install automatically on your system during the reboot after uninstalling the port drivers. You can also look for USB port drivers on the manufacturer’s website of your motherboard.

What Causes a USB to Be Corrupt?

USB devices can become corrupted due to hardware errors, configuration issues, connectivity problems, system damage, and faulty drivers. Hardware errors can cause erratic behavior of USB devices. On the other hand, system damage through a malware-infected corrupt hard drive or user error can also play foul on USB devices. In addition, connectivity problems like a damaged wire in the USB can also result in a corrupted USB drive.


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