Have you encountered the USB device not recognized error while trying to connect in your USB device, camera, keyboard, or any other device?
For many PC users, USB ports are very important as they allow them to connect their keyboard, mouse, phone, printer, camera to their computer. Some computers have several USB ports, making it easier to connect as many devices as you wish.
For users with more USB devices, you’ve probably tried to connect a USB hub to one of the USB ports on your PC so you can connect a few more devices. While this works most of the time, your PC might occasionally throw the ‘USB not recognized’ error.
The odd thing is that these ports work without any issue, and you can confirm this by connecting your phone (it will start charging). But cannot recognize your USB device when using the same port.
In this post, we discuss simple solutions that can help you fix the problem.
Unplug Your PC from the Power to Fix USB Device Not Recognized
This is the first solution you try. It is a pretty simple solution if it works, and you will save a lot of time.
Simply unplug your PC from the power supply. That’s all! However, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean shutting down your PC using the Power button because most modern PCs won’t turn off completely, and the motherboard will continue to get power unless you unplug it from the power supply. This is useful when you want to wake up a computer remotely.
All the hardware is connected to the motherboard, including USB ports. So, restarting the motherboard is important when things are not working, such as when one or all USB ports are not working.
When you restart your PC, the microprocessor, which is also connected to the motherboard, reloads the drivers, and hopefully, USB ports will start working again.
So, the first step is to turn off your computer using either the Windows shut-down button or pressing the power button. Then unplug the computer from the power supply. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before plugging it back in.
If the solution above does not work, you may want to update the driver of your device. As you may have already seen, the Device Manager shows the USB device as an unknown device.
Here are the steps you need to follow to update the device driver:
- Click on the Start menu
- Type devmgmt.msc into the search box or go to Control Panel and click on Device Manager
- Right-click on the unknown device and select Properties
- Click on the Driver tab and then on Update Driver.
You can also download the device driver from the manufacturer’s official website. If the USB device is a flash drive, then it’s not a driver-related issue. However, if it is a USB printer or drawing pad, then you may want to download the driver for that particular device.
Remove USB Devices and Reboot Your PC
Another solution you should try is to remove USB devices and restart your PC. Try to connect the USB device that was throwing the error.
If the problem persists, try another USB port. If it works on a different USB port, then it means your PC has a hardware issue with one of the ports. And if none of the USB ports reads the device, move to the next solution
USB Root Hub
You can also solve this problem through the USB Root Hub.
These are the steps you need to follow:
- Go to Device Manager and expand Universal Bus Controllers (USB)
- Right-click on USB Root Hub and select Properties
- Then click the Power Management tab and uncheck the box beside Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
Repeat the steps for other USB Root Hub, if they are more than one.
Click OK and reboot your PC. Try to connect the USB device that was causing the problem and check if it is recognized. If the problem persists, go back and check the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power box for each device. Leave them that way even if it doesn’t read the USB device.
Connect the USB Device Directly to Your Computer
As mentioned above, you may experience the USB device not recognized error because you are using a USB hub. Many users have been tempted to use a USB hub because their computers have few USB ports.
Using a USB hub could prove to be too much for your computer, and that’s why you are getting the error. So, the solution could be to connect the USB device directly to your computer rather than using a USB hub.
Run the USB Troubleshooter
Another solution you should try is to download the Windows USB Troubleshooter Fixit tool. The tool is available online for free, and it works on Windows Vista, XP, and Windows 7.
You can either choose the option that allows the troubleshooter to detect and fix problems or one where it detects the problems and allows you to choose the fixes to apply.
However, it is recommended to allow the USB troubleshooter to fix the problem for you because it can sometimes be challenging for someone who is not tech-savvy.
Update Generic USB Hub
If you still see the USB Device not recognized error, you can try another solution.
- Go to Device Manager and expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers
- Find an item named Generic USB Hub (they could be two or more on other computers)
- Right-click on it and select Update Driver Software
- In the new window, choose Browser my computer for driver software
- Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
- Select Generic USB Hub and click Next
- Wait for it to finish install the driver and click Close
This should solve the problem. If you still see the error, repeat the step for each Generic USB Hub listed.
Uninstall Hidden Devices
Unfortunately, Device Manager does not show all the devices installed on your PC. It only shows currently connected devices. If you have connected a USB printer some moment, but you are no longer using it, the driver will be installed, but it will not be displayed in Device Manager.
Hidden USB devices can conflict with other USB devices, and cause the USB device not recognized error. To view hidden devices in Device Manager, open command prompt, and type these commands into the command prompt window:
Expand Imaging Devices, USB Controllers, and Unknown Devices. Uninstall any device that is greyed out or an unknown device. Removing older devices should allow newer devices to work.
How Do I Get Windows 10 to Recognize My External Hard Drive?
Follow these simple steps:
- Press the Windows logo key + R to invoke Run dialogue
- Type devmgmt.msc into the box and press Enter
- Locate your external device from the list (a yellow or red sign is an indication that the driver has compatibility issues)
- Right-click on the device and choose Update Driver Software
- Click on Search automatically for updates driver software and follow on-screen instructions to complete the process.
How Do I Reinstall USB Drivers?
Follow these steps:
- Download and install drivers for your USB device. If you can’t find new drivers, proceed to the next step.
- Press Windows key + X and select Device Manager
- Find the device and right-click on it
- Select Uninstall device
- Restart your PC
How Do I Reset USB Ports?
You can enable USB ports through the Device Manager.
Right-click on each USB port and select Enable. If this doesn’t work, right-click on each USB port again and select Uninstall. Reboot your PC. Windows will scan the system automatically and reinstall the USB controller.
Hopefully, you have been able to solve the USB device not recognized error with the help of the solutions covered here. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested in mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.