How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized in Windows 10

Sometimes when you connect a USB device to your computer, you may see the error message “USB device not recognized” popup on the screen. This can happen for a number of reasons and most people may not be able to determine the cause right away. Good new is, there are several ways to fix the USB drive not showing up problem. In this article, we are going to look at some of the most effective solutions you can try when your computer not recognized USB devices and even how to get your data back.

1. Unplug Computer

The first thing you should do when your computer fails to recognize a USB device is to unplug the computer from the power source. Notice that we didn’t say turn off the computer using the power button. This is because many modern computers will not turn off completely even when powered off; the motherboard will continue to get power.

You need to unplug your computer from the power source to stop the motherboard from getting power. This is an attempt to reboot the motherboard which controls all the hardware on the computer. Turn off the computer using the Shut Down option in Windows and then unplug it from the power source. Leave the motherboard out of power for a few minutes and then plug the computer back in and turn it on again. Your computer should recognize USB device again.

2. Restart & Disconnect USB Devices

If rebooting the motherboard as described above doesn’t work, you can try to disconnect all USB devices from the computer, restart the machine and then reconnect the devices one by one. This will help you easily determine the problematic device or USB port. If the device doesn’t work on all USB ports, then the problem could be the device. But if it fails to work on all ports, then the problem could be the USB ports on your computer.

3. Check USB Ports

If you suspect that the USB ports could be damaged and cause the USB drive not recognized, follow these simple steps to check:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager and then click on Hardware Serial Bus.

  2. Click on Uninstall and then Scan for Hardware Changes.

  3. After scanning, if your computer still not recognize USB devices, your USB ports are faulty and you should fix them first.

4. Update USB Driver

Your computer may also fail to recognize the USB devices if the drivers are outdated. Therefore, updating your USB drivers is one of the best ways to fix this problem. Follow these simple steps to update USB drivers in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Settings on your computer and then click on Update & Security.

  2. Click on Windows Update and then Check for Updates.

  3. If updates are available, your computer will automatically download and update them including crucial updates to USB drivers.

If your USB device not recognized in Windows 10 problem is caused by outdated drivers, updating the USB drivers will help to fix it.

5. Change Power Management Settings

You might also be able to fix this problem if you change the power management settings for the USB root hub. Follow these simple steps to do it:

Step 1: Open the Run window on your computer. You can do that by hitting the Windows Key + R on your keyboard. Type in devmgmt.msc and click OK.

run window

Step 2: Click on Universal Serial Bus controllers to expand it and right click on USB Root Hub. Then select Properties.

universal serial bus controllers

Step 3: In the window that opens, click on the Power Management tab and uncheck the option Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. Click OK to save the changes.

power management

Now connect the USB device to the computer to see if the problem has been resolved.

6. Change Power Supply Settings

Changing the power supply settings can also be a good solution to fix the USB device not recognized problem. Here‘s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the Control Panel on your computer and then click on Hardware and Sound > Power Options.

power options

Step 2: Click on the Choose What the Power Button does option on the left.

power options

Step 3: Click on Change the Settings that are currently available.

power options

Step 4: Uncheck Turn on fast startup and then tap on Save the Changes.

power options

Restart the computer to effect the changes and then try connecting the USB device again.

7. Change USB Selective Suspend Settings

If your computer still not recognize USB device after trying above methods, you can change the USB selective suspend settings and see if it works. Follow these simple steps to do it:

Step 1: Open the Control Panel and then click on Power Options.

power options

Step 2: Click on Change Plan Settings.

change plan settings

Step 3: Select Change Advanced Power Settings.

change advanced power settings

Step 4: Expand USB Settings and USB selective suspend setting as well.

usb settings

Step 5: Disable the On Battery and Plugged in settings. Click Apply and OK to exit this window.

disable settings

8. Format USB Drive

If your computer is unable to detect a USB drive, formatting the drive may help. Follow these simple steps to format the drive:

Step 1: Open the Windows Disk Management tool.

format a partition

Step 2: Locate the problematic USB drive in the list of all disks. Right click on it and click on Format.

format removable drive as fat32

Step 3: Click OK in the popup that appears to begin formatting the drive.

Formatting the USB drive will also erase all data store on that derive. If you have important data saved on it, please backup the drive before formatting. Since your USB drive is not recognized by Windows 10 computer and you can’t access the data, keep reading the last method.

9. Troubleshooting: USB Data Recovery

It is actually possible to lose data on a USB drive when you try to repair it. This is especially true if you choose to format the drive in an attempt to get the USB device recognized by computer. If you lose important files on your USB drive, you can use FoneGeek Data Recovery to get them back. This program makes data recovery even on corrupted or formatted external devices very easy.


Here’s how to recover data from corrupted, damaged or formatted USB device:

Step 1: Open FoneGeek USB Data Recovery  and then connect the USB drive to the computer. Select it from the list of External Removable Devices and then click Start.

select location external device

Step 2: The program will scan the selected USB drive for the missing data. If you see the missing data at any time during the scan, click on Pause or Stop.

start scan

Step 3: The recoverable files will listed on the next interface. Preview the files and select the ones you would like to recover, then click on Recover to save them to a location on your computer.

recover deleted files

John C. Richards
Sunday on Aug 23, 2020, 15:28:14 GMT / Post By John C. Richards to Windows Tips

John has more than 11 years of blogging experiences in the field of computers. He is committed to providing helpful tips and solutions related to Windows and Mac computers.

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