Today I had a hard time trying to have my computer detect my pen drive. Each time I was trying to connect it, I was getting the “USB device not recognized” error. After spending the rest of the day searching for a solution on Google, I realized that this error is quite common and there are a lot of solutions that seem to work for some people while other simply did not work. So I just thought that topic deserved a blog post since I have become somewhat an expert in troubleshooting and fixing the “USB device not recognized” error. 🙂
By the end of this article, I’m pretty sure you will be able to fix your annoying USB problem. If one solution did not work for you, move to the next one until it is fixed.
USB Device not recognized – What it means
There are various reasons why your computer or laptop might refuse to detect your USB device. The most common reasons are because:
- There might be an issue with the partition on the device you are trying to connect.
- The USB device is probably using the wrong file system format (most pendrive uses the FAT32 format).
- Your USB ports are probably disabled or simply dead.
- You might have a corrupted driver that is why your USB device cannot communicate with your computer.
- The worst case is that the USB device itself might be dead.
Solution 1: Shut down your computer
Switch off your computer completely and unplug it from the socket, or if you are using a laptop, remove the battery. Leave it disconnected for around 5 minutes and reconnect it again.
The reason you need to cut off electricity from your computer is because when you switch it off, there is still power flowing in the capacitors on the motherboard. Disconnecting your computer for a few minutes give the capacitors enough time to discharge completely and therefore, does a true reset of your hardware.
In my case, this solved the issue for me, and it seems to be the most common solutions on the Internet as well. So make sure you give it a try before moving to the next solution below.
Solution 2: Resolve conflict with other existing USBs
You might have a conflict with your existing connected USB devices. Remove all your USB devices, restart your computer and connect only the one that is not being recognized.
Conflicts usually arise with USB hubs because the same resource is shared among the different USB ports and if the hub cannot supply enough power to your connected devices, it might cause an issue. That’s the reason why you should disconnect the existing USB devices and connect only one.
Solution 3: Uninstall and update your drivers
You might have a USB driver corrupted. Follow the steps below to uninstall and reinstall them:
- Open the run command by pressing the keyboard shortcut Win Key + R
devmgmt.mscand press enter to open the device manager.
- Double-click on
Universal Serial Bus controllers. You will see a list of USB ports available on your computer.
- Right-click on each of them and select
- Restart your computer and wait for windows to reinstall your USB drivers automatically.
Solution 4: Run the hardware and device troubleshooter
Any Windows version, including Windows 8 is shipped with a hardware troubleshooter. You may use this to diagnose why your USB is not being recognized.
- Open the
Run commandagain by using Win Key + R and type
- Next to the “View by” option in the top-right, choose “Small icons”.
- Click on
Hardware and sound, click
configure a device.
A wizard will guide you in finding any possible issues with your USB devices. Please note that you should have your unrecognized device connected before running this.
Solution 5: Install a Microsoft hotfix if you are using Windows 8/8.1
There is currently a known issue with connecting USB 2.0 devices into USB 3.0 hubs on Windows 8 machines. Microsoft has released a hotfix to resolve this problem. Try installing it in order to fix your unrecognized device issue.
Solution 6: Disable USB selective suspend setting
Since Windows XP, Microsoft has introduced a feature called USB selective suspend. This allows your computer to turn off individual USB ports that are not frequently in use without affecting the other ports. Selective suspension of USB devices helps in reducing overall power consumption, especially if you are using a laptop. Disabling this feature might help in fixing your USB connection problems:
- Open your Control Panel and go to
- Click on
Change plan settingsnext to your current preferred plans.
- On the next screen, click on
Change advanced power settings.
- Expand the
USB settingsnode to locate
USB selective suspend setting.
If you are still having issues with your USB device after trying all the solutions above, then your device might be damaged. The only way to confirm that is by connecting it to another computer and see if you get the same problem.
Drop me a comment below if you manage to solve the “USB device not recognized” error in another way not mentioned in this article. I’ll add your solution in this article, which might be helpful to someone else. 🙂