Are you getting a “USB device not recognized” error message whenever you plug in a USB mouse, keyboard, camera, or other device? I can’t live without USB ports, and now I have 5 ports on my computer, so I can connect a mouse, keyboard, camera, phone and printer to them all at the same time!
Those of you with even more USB devices have probably plugged a USB hub into one of your USB ports so you can connect even more devices. This works great in most cases, but sometimes your computer may stop recognizing USB devices. The weirdness of this error is that the ports work fine as I could still charge my cell phone without issue, but couldn’t recognize my camera through the same port.
After spending a lot of time and trying a bunch of different ways to solve the problem, only one solution worked for me. I will mention this solution first, but I will also mention other possible solutions as the first solution may not solve the problem for everyone.
Also watch our YouTube video if your USB drive is not showing up on your Windows computer.
Method 1 – Turn off your computer
So how did I finally solve the problem? Well, if you’re lucky, this is a very simple solution! Try this method first and if it works, you will save a lot of time.
Just unplug your computer. Yes, that’s it! Note that this does not mean that you simply turn off the computer with the power button, because most modern computers do not actually turn off completely, and the motherboard is still receiving power. This is sometimes useful if you want to remotely wake up the computer, etc.
The motherboard contains all the hardware in the computer. connects, including to USB ports. Sometimes the motherboard needs to be “rebooted” because something might go wrong, that is, all or some of the USB ports suddenly stop working. A small microprocessor on the motherboard will reload the drivers and hopefully your USB ports will recognize devices again.
So, first shut down your computer using the Shut Down option in Windows or by pressing the power button and then unplug the computer from the outlet. Wait a few minutes and then plug it back in.
Method 2 – Updating the device driver
If Windows cannot recognize the device, you can also see in the Device Manager that the device is displayed as â€œ Unknown device “. You can get to Device Manager by clicking Start and typing devmgmt.msc, or by going to Control Panel and clicking Device Manager.
In this case, right-click Unknown Device, select Properties, then the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver.
If that doesn’t work, you can also try downloading the driver for your device from the manufacturer’s website. If the USB device is just a flash drive, the driver is probably not the problem. However, if you are installing a USB printer, drawing tablet, etc., it might be worth downloading a driver for that particular device.
Third method – restart and disconnect USB devices
The next thing you can try is to disconnect all USB devices and then restart your computer. after restarting, try connecting the USB device that has the problem.
If that particular USB port doesn’t recognize it, try another one. If the device is recognized by another USB port, there may be a hardware problem with one of the USB ports. If none of the USB ports recognize the device, keep reading because it is probably something else.
Method 4 – USB Root Hub
You can also try opening Device Manager, expanding USB Serial Bus Controllers, right-clicking the USB Root Hub and choosing Properties.
Go to the Power Management tab and uncheck the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. If more than one USB Root Hub is listed, you will need to repeat these steps for each one.
Click OK and then restart your computer. Try reconnecting the USB device and see if it is recognized. If not, go back to the power management tab for each one and check the box again. If it recognizes the device, leave them unchecked.
Fifth method – connect directly to a computer
A friend of mine ran into this problem and his USB hub was ultimately the cause. His computer only had three USB ports, so he bought a hub that could plug another 8 USB devices.
I think this turned out to be too much for his computer, and he just began sporadically not to recognize various devices. After removing the hub and connecting the device directly to the computer, everything worked fine.
We really couldn’t find any other solution to this problem other than reducing the number of items connected to the hub. Actually one more solution worked, but it had to buy a new USB hub with more power
If you’re having this problem with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you might be in luck. Microsoft has released a hotfix for Windows 8 that incorrectly detects USB devices. Be sure to install this hotfix if you are running Windows 8.
Method 6 – USB Troubleshooter
If all else fails, you can download the Windows USB Troubleshooter Fixit tool. It is a free tool that works with Windows XP, Vista and 7.
You can ask the troubleshooter to fix the problems for you, or pick the fixes yourself. I would just let them fix them for you, as this choice can sometimes be confusing for a novice user.
The seventh method – updating the general USB hub
If you get an “Unknown device” error in Device Manager, there is one more thing you can try as well. Open Device Manager and then expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
You should see at least one item called Generic USB Hub. On some computers, you may see two, three, or more of these. Right-click the first one and select Update Driver Software.
When the update dialog box appears, select “Find drivers on my computer”.
Then click â€œLet me chooseâ€ from the list of device drivers on my computer below.
Select Generic USB Hub from the list. Usually nothing else appears in the list, except for one option. Click Next and then click Close when the installation is complete.
At this point, the Device Manager screen should be refreshed and either the unknown device will still be there, or it can now be recognized. If it still shows up as unrecognized, repeat the process for all listed Universal USB Hubs.
Eighth method – uninstall USB devices
As a last resort, you can also try removing all USB devices from your system and then restarting. I mention this last because while Windows should automatically recognize controllers, hubs and USB devices, it can sometimes crash and the USB ports won’t work.
I had a computer with 6 USB ports and only one port was not working properly. I uninstalled everything under USB Serial Controllers in Device Manager and restarted. Instead of rediscovering everything, my USB port was not working, so be careful when using this method.
Go to Device Manager and start removing each item from under the USB Serial Bus Controllers. Before starting anything that already works, remove items with exclamation marks or items listed as Unknown Device.
Method 9 – Uninstall hidden devices
By default, Device Manager does not show all devices that have been installed on the system. Basically it only shows the ones that are currently connected. However, if you have installed a USB printer before and are no longer using it, it will still be installed, but will not appear in Device Manager.
Some hidden or ghostly USB devices can cause conflicts with current USB devices and therefore lead to this error. To view hidden devices in Device Manager, first open a command prompt and then enter the following two commands:
set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS = 1
set DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES = 1
After downloading Device Manager, you need to click on View and then Show Hidden Devices.
Now you want to expand Imaging Devices, Universal Serial Bus Controllers, and Unknown Devices. If you see something in the list that is grayed out or says an unknown device, right-click on it and select Delete. Hopefully deleting old devices will allow new devices to work as expected.
Other solutions are possible
If nothing has worked up to this point, it’s safe to say that the problem is in real hardware. Your best bet is to connect your device to another computer and see if it works or not. If not, then this is definitely a device problem.
Possible solution # 1. Other possible solutions are to try a different USB cable if you have one. If not, just buy a new cheap USB cable from Amazon: A to B, A to Micro B, A to Mini B, or A to A This is a fairly rare problem, but I’ve seen it hit multiple times on I have been doing technical support for many years.
Possible solution # 2. Another possible solution is to take the device, connect it to another computer and, if it does recognize the device properly, then properly remove it from that computer before reconnecting to the original computer. I’ve seen this issue happen with multiple flash drives that have been disconnected without ejecting correctly. After plugging them into another computer and removing them correctly from there, they suddenly started showing up on the original computer that didn’t recognize them.
Possible Solution # 3 – Some people managed to get rid of this problem by updating the BIOS. I already wrote an article on whether to update the BIOS, but in this case it might be worth trying. You can also go into BIOS and disable USB, restart your computer and enable USB again. The only thing you need to make sure is that you have a PS2 port on your computer, otherwise you won’t be able to do anything after disabling USB in BIOS if your keyboard and mouse are connected via USB.
Hopefully one of the many solutions above will fix your USB problem. If not, please leave a comment and I’ll try to help. Enjoy!