Users frequently use USB drives as files and software-sharing storage devices. You can easily imagine the situation if suddenly the USB is not readable on the system and you have essential data stored in the drive because of this reliance on USB storage devices. In this post, we will share how you can swiftly and efficiently restore access to critical data by resolving the USB device not recognized by Windows. It applies to Windows 11, Windows 10, and above.
The following error message could appear when you attempt to access data on an external USB hard drive:
USB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.
Causes of the Error for USB Device Not Recognized
The causes for this error include:
- Power supply issues: The functioning of a port or the attached device depends on several power settings. Therefore, power supply issues here can result in a problem.
- Corrupted drivers: The error message can appear when the USB driver that is currently installed has degraded or become faulty.
- Damaged USB ports or cables: The internal components of a USB drive may not function properly if it has physical damage. The USB port or USB hub itself operates similarly. Try the USB in various ports to determine where the problem is.
USB Device Not Recognized Error in Windows (Fixed)
Below are the solutions to fix the USB device error not recognized in Windows.
Basic Troubleshooting Steps
- Check the power supply and connections: Check whether the power supply and connections are properly installed.
- Update or reinstall drivers: Update or reinstall the drivers on your PC and check whether the error reappears.
- Try using a different USB port or cable: Your USB drive might not be working as the port into which the driver is attached might be faulty. Almost all PCs have multiple USB ports, so try inserting the drive in one of them and check.
- Check for hardware damage: Hardware issues also can affect USB devices, causing unpredictable behavior and a loss of reliability.
- Reset the USB controllers: You need to uninstall the device by right-clicking on the device, choosing to uninstall, and rebooting your PC. When the PC restarts, Windows will automatically scan the system and reinstall all the USB controllers you previously uninstalled. This procedure will reset your USB ports and fix the problem.
- USB 3.0 Check: There is a good chance that your new laptop has USB 3.0 connections. The majority of devices do not support this new USB standard. You can thus attempt to disable it and see if the problem goes away.
- Uninstall and Then Reconnect the External Hard Drive
- Install the Latest Windows Updates
- Reinstall USB Controllers
- Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting
- Install Your Motherboard’s Latest Chipset Drivers
You will need admin permission to execute most of the suggestions.
1] Uninstall and Then Reconnect the External Hard Drive
When the USB drive connected to your PC becomes unstable or corrupt, you can uninstall and reconnect the external hard drive. This is how you go about it:
- Right-click on the Windows logo on your PC and click on the Device Manager option from the context menu.
- Click on the arrow next to the Disk drives option, right-click on your USB drive, and click on the Uninstall device option.
- After the hard drive is uninstalled, remove your USB device from your PC.
- After waiting a minute, plug the USB drive back in and check whether it recognizes the drive in Windows File Explorer.
2] Install the Latest Windows Updates
Installing the latest Windows update can solve the issue. This is how you update your Windows:
- Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings window
- Click on the Windows Update option on the left pane.
- Click on the Check for updates button.
If there are any updates available, it will automatically update. After the updates are completed, restart your PC if required and plug in your USB device, and check whether the error reappears.
3] Reinstall USB Controllers
You can fix a corrupted USB by reinstalling the USB controllers. This is how you go about it:
- Right-click on the Windows logo and select Device Manager from the context menu.
- Scroll down and expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers option.
- Right-click on one of the devices and click on the Uninstall device option. Uninstall all the devices under Universal Serial Bus controllers and restart your PC. All the USB controllers will automatically install.
4] Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting
This technique lets you keep your USB external drive from closing down by disabling the USB Selective Suspend setting. Here is how to go about it:
- On the Windows search bar, type power plan and click on Choose a power plan.
- In the Power Options window, click on Change plan settings.
- From the Edit Plan Settings window, click on Change advanced power settings.
- From the Advanced settings tab, expand the USB settings option and expand USB selective suspend setting.
- Click on the drop-down box next to the Plugged-in option and click on Disabled.
- If you are using a laptop, click on the drop-down box next to the On battery option and click on Disabled.
- Click on Apply and then the OK button.
Plug in your USB drive and check whether it is recognized.
5] Install Your Motherboard’s Latest Chipset Drivers
By using this method, you can get your PC to recognize your USB external hard drive by updating the motherboard’s chipset drivers. Here is how to go about it:
- Check the manual of your PC, as it should list the name of the company that made the motherboard.
- Visit the support page for the manufacturer of your PC. Check Computer manufacturers’ contact information for a list of support websites for various computer manufacturers.
- To find the correct drivers for your motherboard, search their website. Contact the maker of your computer for assistance.
So, as discussed in the article, you can uninstall and then reconnect the external hard drive, install the latest Windows Updates, reinstall USB controllers, disable USB selective suspend setting, and install your motherboard’s latest chipset drivers to solve the error of USB device not recognized on your Windows PC. There is always the option to use a dependable USB hub and connect as many devices as possible if the USB port still has issues.