This article is regarding how to fix USB Device Not Recognized in Windows. Well, When you plug in a USB mouse, keyboard, camera, or other devices, do you receive a “USB device not recognized” error message? I cannot function without USB ports and currently have five on my computer to connect my mouse, keyboard, camera, phone, and printer all at the same time!
If you have additional USB gadgets, you’ve probably connected a USB hub to one of your USB ports in order to connect additional devices. This works well most of the time, but your computer may occasionally stop recognizing USB devices. The odd thing about this error is that the ports are still functional, as I was able to charge my phone without issue, but I was unable to recognize my camera using the same port.
After wasting a lot of time and attempting a variety of different solutions, I discovered that only one solution worked for me. Therefore, I’ll start with that solution and then discuss the other possible solutions, as the first solution may not work for everyone.
Method #1: Unplug Computer
So how did I finally fix the problem? To be honest, if you’re fortunate, it’s a super simple solution! Consider this method first; if it works, you will save considerable time.
Simply disconnect your computer’s power supply. That is correct! This does not mean simply turning off your computer via the power button, as the majority of modern computers do not completely shut down, and the motherboard continues to turn power. This is sometimes necessary if you want to remotely wake up a computer, for example.
The motherboard is where the computer’s hardware, including the USB ports, is connected. Occasionally, the motherboard must be “rebooted” because something can go wrong, such as all or some USB ports suddenly working to function. The motherboard’s small microprocessor will reload the drivers, and your USB ports should begin to recognize devices again.
Therefore, turn off your computer first using Windows’ Shut Down option or by pressing the power button, and then unplug it from the wall outlet. Allow several minutes before plugging it back in.
Method #2: Update Device Driver
If Windows is unable to recognize the device, the device may also appear as an “Unknown Device” in Device Manager. Device Manager can be accessed by clicking Start and typing devmgmt.msc, or by navigating to Control Panel and clicking Device Manager.
In that case, right-click Unknown Device, select Properties, then the Driver tab, followed by Update Driver.
If none of the above works, you can also try downloading the device’s driver from the manufacturer’s website. If the USB device is merely a flash drive, the issue is most likely not a driver one. However, if you are installing a USB printer, drawing pad, or similar device, it may be worthwhile to download the appropriate driver.
Method #3: Restart & Disconnect USB Devices
The next step is to unplug all USB devices and then restart the computer. After restarting, reconnect the USB device that was causing the issue.
If the USB port in question does not recognize it, try another. Well, If the device is recognized by another USB port, a hardware problem with one of the USB ports may exist. Also, If no USB port recognizes the device, continue reading because there is a good chance that it is something else.
Method #4: USB Root Hub
Additionally, you can open Device Manager, expand USB Serial Bus Controllers, right-click on USB Root Hub, and then select Properties.
Next, click the Power Management tab and uncheck the box labeled Allow the computer to power down this device to conserve power. If you have multiple USB Root hubs listed, repeat these steps for each of them.
After clicking OK:
1- Restart your computer.
2- Connect the USB device to the computer and try to see if it is recognized.
3- If not, navigate back to each one’s power management tab and check the box once more. If it does recognize the device, uncheck them.
Method #5: Connect Directly to PC
My friend encountered this issue, and the root cause was determined to be his USB hub. Because his computer only had three USB ports, he purchased a hub that allowed him to connect an additional eight USB devices.
This must have been too much for his computer, as it suddenly stopped recognizing various devices on a sporadic basis. However, it worked perfectly fine after removing the hub and connecting the device directly to the computer.
Other than reducing the number of items connected to the hub, we haven’t been able to come up with a viable solution to this problem. Indeed, another solution worked, but it necessitated the purchase of a new USB hub with increased power.
If you’re experiencing this problem with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you’re in luck. Microsoft has released a fix for Windows 8’s inability to properly detect USB devices. Install this hotfix if you are running Windows 8.
Method #6: USB Troubleshooter
If none of the previous steps have worked, you can download the Windows USB Troubleshooter Fixit tool. It is a free application that is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
You can either have the troubleshooter resolve the issues for you or manually select the solutions. I would simply let it fix them for you, as the options can be confusing and technical for the inexperienced user.
Method #7: Update Generic USB Hub
If you continue to receive the Unknown Device error in Device Manager, there is one more thing you can try. Expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager.
At the very least, you should see one item labeled Generic USB Hub. You may see 2, 3, or more of these on some computers. Select Update Driver Software from the context menu of the first one.
When the update dialogue box appears, select Browse my computer for driver software from the list.
Then, at the bottom, click Allow me to select from a list of device drivers on my computer.
Select Generic USB Hub from the list. Normally, there will be no other options listed except for that one. Click Next and then Close once the installation is complete.
At this point, the Device Manager screen should refresh, and the unknown device should either remain visible or have been recognized. If the Generic USB Hub remains unrecognized, repeat the procedure for each Generic USB Hub listed.
Method #8: Uninstall USB Devices
Well, As a last resort, you can try to restart your system after uninstalling all USB devices. I mention this last because while Windows is supposed to automatically recognize USB controllers, hubs, and devices, it can occasionally fail, leaving you with no working USB ports.
Well, I had a computer with six USB ports, but only one of them was functioning properly. So I restarted after uninstalling everything under USB Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager. Unfortunately, instead of re-detecting everything, I was left with a non-functional USB port, so proceed with caution if you use this method.
Navigate to Device Manager and start uninstalling items from the USB Serial Bus Controllers category. Well, Before you start with anything that is already working, uninstall any items marked with exclamation points or listed as an Unknown Device.
Method #9: Uninstall Hidden Devices
By default, Device Manager does not display all installed devices on the system. It essentially displays only those that are currently connected. However, if you previously installed a USB printer but no longer use it, it will remain installed but will not appear in Device Manager.
Certain hidden or ghost USB devices may conflict with currently connected USB devices, resulting in this error. In Device Manager, you can view hidden devices by opening a command prompt and then typing the following two commands:
Once Device Manager has loaded, click on View, followed by Show Hidden Devices.
You now wish to expand the Imaging Devices, Universal Serial Bus Controllers, and Unknown Devices sub-categories. If you see anything greyed out or listed as an unknown device, right-click on it and choose Uninstall. Hopefully, by removing the older devices, the newer devices will function properly.
Other Possible Solutions To Fix USB Device Not Recognized Issue
Well, If nothing has worked up to this point, it’s fairly safe to assume there is a hardware problem. The best thing of action is to connect the device to another computer and verify whether or not it works. If not, then it is almost certainly a device issue.
Solution #1 – Alternatively, you could try another USB cable if you have one lying around. If not, simply buy a new inexpensive USB cable from Amazon in one of the following configurations: A to B, A to Micro B, A to Mini B, or A to A. This is a fairly uncommon problem, but it has occurred a few times during my many years of providing technical support.
Solution #2 – Another solution is to take the device, connect it to another computer, and then eject it properly from that computer before reconnecting it to the original computer. This problem has occurred with several flash drives that were unplugged without properly ejecting. They suddenly began to appear on the original computer that was not recognizing them after connecting them to another computer and properly ejecting them from there.
Solution #3 – A few users have reported luck in resolving this problem by updating the BIOS. I’ve already written an article discussing whether or not it’s a good idea to update the BIOS, but in this case, it may be worth a try. Additionally, you can disable USB in the BIOS, restart the computer, and then enable USB again. The only requirement is that your PC has a PS2 port; otherwise, once you disable USB in the BIOS, you will be unable to do anything if your keyboard and mouse are connected via USB.
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Hopefully, one of the numerous solutions listed above resolves your USB device not recognized problem. If not, leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to try.