How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized in Windows

The USB devices are of great help today. The external hard drives and the USB flash drives are easy to use and help in easy carrying and transference of data. One also connects their PC to a hard drive or connect their smartphone to the desktop or laptop through a USB cable to access the data on the external drives. But sometimes during this process, you may receive the error like your USB device is not recognized. People fail to understand why errors like USB device malfunctioned occurs up till then they have been using the same hard drives. This problem may be due to many reasons, but there is nothing to be afraid of as there are a number of solutions for this USB Device Not Recognized error.

USB Device Not Recognized

What Causes USB Device Not Recognized Error?

One of the most common errors related to the USB device that flashes on our screen is “USB device not recognized: one of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.”

A lot of situations of your device may lead to such error. Some of them are:

  • An update might be required for your computer regarding the issue related to USB flash drive or external hard drive.
  • Some hardware or software issues might be missing from your Windows.
  • The USB controller might be unstable or have become corrupt.
  • The USB external drive might be entering the selective suspend.
  • The currently connected USB drive has been damaged or is unstable.
  • An updated driver might be required by the motherboard.

How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized in Windows

Thus conditions like partition issues of external drive, dead USB drive or its port, and driver problems in Windows result into USB device not recognized in Windows error. But the error can be resolved, and there are plenty of methods which you can try. Let’s have a look at some of the methods to fix PC not recognizing your USB drive.

Also Read: Fix Blue Screen of Death Windows 10

Method I- Unplug Your Computer

The first and very simple method that you can try is to simply unplug your computer. And if you seem to be lucky enough then it might actually resolve your error of USB device not recognized in Windows. But just simply turning off the PC won’t work. The supply of electricity to the motherboard must be prevented as all the USB ports are connected to it. And when USB ports stop working the motherboard needs a reboot. Follow the given steps:

Step 1: Click on the “Shut Down” option after clicking on the Power button or the Windows icon.

Step 2: Now UNPLUG your PC from the power supply.

Step 3: wait for a few minutes and plug in once again.

Step 4: Restart your computer and connect the USB drive.

This will actually reload the drivers of the small processors that are present on the motherboard. This will lead to the USB ports again recognizing the external device.

Method II- Update the Device Driver

The USB external device might be read as an Unknown Source if you are facing the USB device not recognized in Windows error. In such a situation follow the given steps:

Step 1: Click on Start and open Device Manager by typing devmgmt.msc in the run window or you can also open it through Control Panel.

Step 2: In the Device Manger you would notice Unknown Device under USB Root Hub.

Step 3: Right click on the Unknown Device and click on Properties.

Step 4: Now in the Driver tab, select Update Driver.

If the main root of the error in your system is the drivers, then this might work, but if it doesn’t then, you can also download the divers from the official website. Also, remember that if the device is just used as a flash device rather than a drawing pad or printer, then the issue is probably not related to the drivers. So you can try the next method.

Method III- USB Root Hub

You can also try to resolve the USB device descriptor failed error by altering the properties of USB Root Hub.

Step 1: Device Manager> USB Serial Bus Controller> USB Root Hub

Step 2: Right click on USB Root Hub and then select Properties.

Step 3: In the Power Management tab, you need to uncheck the first option – “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”

Step 4: Press OK and restart your computer.

You need to repeat the process if you have more than one USB Root Hub on the list. Also if it doesn’t resolve theUSB device descriptor failed error then, you should leave the check boxes unchecked only.

Method IV- Install the Windows Updates

If you are using Windows 10 and get an error like USB device not recognized by Windows 10 then you should give this method a try. This method will help you to install all latest drivers for the external hard drive and get rid of usb device descriptor failed error.

Step 1: Click on Start button and in the Search box type- “Windows Update.”

Step 2: Open Windows Update and the click on “Check for Updates.”

Step 3: Now click on “Review optional updates.”

Step 4: Then click on Install updates after checking the check box beside the updates.

Step 5: Finally click on I Accept, to the license agreement.

Step 6: Now follow the instructions as prompted and download and install all the updates.

Step 7: Reboot your PC, if necessary.

Method V- Disable the USB Selective Suspend Settings

If you are facing errors other than USB device not recognized in Windows like power issues then this method can help you from avoiding the USB hard drive from powering down.

Step 1: On the battery icon, right click and select Power options.

Step 2: Now select the Change Plan settings option.

Step 3: And then select the Change advanced power settings.

Step 4: Find USB settings and expand it.

Step 5: Within the expanded USB settings, click on USB selective suspend settings and then disable both “Plugged in” and “On battery” settings with a right click.

Step 6: Click on Apply and Press OK.

Method VI- Uninstall the Unknown USB Devices

One of the last method to which you can resort is to uninstall all the USB devices. Sometimes the USB controllers are not recognized by the Windows and thus every item within the USB Serial Bus Controllers is deactivated.

Step 1: Type “devmgmt.msc” in the run window. Device Manager Window will open.

Step 2: Now enlarge the Universal Serial Bus Controller and attach your device.

Step 3: Within the Bus Controller, you will observe Unknown USB Device with a triangle sign and an exclamation mark.

Step 4: Right click on it and select Uninstall. This will remove it.

Step 5: Now you can restart the computer. The drivers for the USB device will be reinstalled.

This process of Uninstallation of the USB driver is one of the most common solution to the uncommon “43 error” code. And so if you notices error like USB device not recognized code 43, then you know what method to use.

Method VII- USB Troubleshooter

If none of the above mentioned solutions resolved your problem then you can probably download the Fixit tool called the Windows USB Troubleshooter. This tool though cannot fix the USB device not recognized by Windows 10 error. The reason being, it only works with Vista, Windows 7 and Windows XP.

Also out of the two choices, select the first one and let the troubleshooter itself detect and fix the problem as it might get complicated to select the problems. You can look for answers from Troubleshooter here:

Every now or then we face hardships with our computer. Sometimes the battery issues come up while the other time out system drivers needs an update. But today we can troubleshoot any kind of issue, even the USB device not recognized in Windows error. To resolve the error we have summarized all possible solutions. And we hope that out of all the methods described above, one of them would help you solve your USB external device problem.

How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized in Windows
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