Fix: USB not recognized in Windows 10/11 [2022 Guide]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Your USB device might not be recognized in Windows 10 due to driver or hardware issues.
  • When your USB keyboard is not detected, make sure to update your drivers.
  • We will also show you how to properly install a USB printer so read on.
USB device not recognized in Windows 10

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We use USB devices on a daily basis, but some of our readers have reported that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize their USB devices. This isn’t a new issue, and Windows 8 also had trouble recognizing USB devices.

Sometimes, the error message states that The last USB device you connected to this computer has malfunctioned and Windows does not recognize it.

This can be very confusing because the message doesn’t give you too much information, but fortunately, there is a way to fix that.

What are the most common USB errors?

USB errors are pretty common and the two most common ones are USB error code 43 and error code 10. Users also reported that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize various devices, including the following:

  • If your USB drive has problems working, make sure that it’s formatted properly.
  • USB headset can be unrecognized due to various driver issues, so be sure to update them.
  • USB hard drive have similar problems to flash drives, so ensure that they are properly formated.
  • In case Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB mouse, try connecting it on a different PC and make sure that it’s working properly.
  • The lack of proper drivers will cause the PC not to recognize the USB camera, so keep your drivers up to date. We explored the similar issue in our Windows doesn’t recognize Cannon camera guide.
  • USB floppy drive readers can be useful, but make sure that you have the necessary software installed to use them.

These types of problems affect a wide array of devices, and users reported USB device not recognized error on Windows 10 for the following devices:

  • iPhone
  • Xbox One controller
  • PS4 controller

Keep in mind that these aren’t the only devices with this problem, and many reported that Windows doesn’t recognize Android devices in some cases.

Many reported that that USB device not recognized error on Windows 10 keeps popping up because their USB device malfunctioned or due to failed device descriptor request.

What can I do if USB devices aren’t recognized in Windows 10?

1. Update your chipset drivers

  1. Click the Start button, type device manager, and open the app from the results.
  2. Locate the drivers, right-click on each of them, and select Update driver.

You should always keep your drivers up to date to stay away from any errors generated by outdated drivers or incompatible ones. Sometimes, Windows will automatically install them.

Most of the time you have to download drivers manually. But this is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions.

If the USB driver is not recognized on Windows 10, we suggest using a specialized tool like DriverFix that scans your computer hardware and automatically finds the correct drivers.

2. Delete unnecessary keyboard drivers from Device Manager

  1. Right click the Start button and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Locate your keyboard drivers. Delete them all by right-clicking the driver and choosing Uninstall device from the menu.
  3. After you’ve deleted all the drivers, restart your PC and your keyboard should start working again.

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your USB keyboard after you have unplugged it and plugged it again while your computer was running, you might need to delete its drivers from Device Manager.

Users have reported that they had multiple keyboard drivers installed, and if you have the same problem, it’s advised that you delete unnecessary keyboard drivers.

Also, make sure that the USB controller is not disabled. To fix this issue, you need to open Device Manager, find the disabled USB controller, right-click it, and choose Enable.

3. Install Logitech SetPoint

This solution might work for owners of a Logitech keyboard, so if you own such a device, download and install Logitech SetPoint software.

Some users have reported that Windows 10 has successfully recognized their USB keyboard after installing this tool, so make sure that you try that out.

We don’t know if this solution will work with other brands of keyboards, but it won’t hurt if you try it out.

4. Check your keyboard power management settings

  1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button and selecting the app from the menu.
  2. Locate your keyboard in the list. If you don’t find the Keyboards section, it might be in the Universal Serial Bus controllers the Human Interface Devices sections.
  3. After you’ve found your keyboard, right-click it and choose Properties.
  4. Go to Power Management tab and make sure that Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power is not checked.
  5. Save changes and restart your computer.

This only works if you’re using a USB keyboard. For obvious reasons, you won’t find a Power Management tab for the laptop keyboard.

5. Restart your computer/remove the battery

Users report that sometimes restarting your computer a few times fixes issues with USB keyboards. In addition, some advise that you unplug your computer and remove its battery for a few minutes.

We have to warn you that you will break your warranty if you remove your computer’s battery, so maybe it’s best to take it to the repair shop and ask an expert to do it for you.

6. Disable USB3 support from BIOS

  1. While your computer boots, press F2, F8 or Del to enter BIOS. The key might be different on your computer, so you might need to repeat this step a few times.
  2. When BIOS opens, go to Advanced Settings and select USB Configuration.
  3. Disable USB3 support and save the changes.

If your laptop is new, chances are that it came with USB 3.0 ports. Most of the peripherals do not support this new standard for USB. So, you can try to disable it and see if the issue disappears.

If the USB port is not recognized in Windows 10, adjusting the USB settings from BIOS might help.

7. Uninstall AiCharger + and Kaspersky antivirus

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now choose Apps.
  3. Scroll down on the right pane, find the app and click on it, then hit the Uninstall button.

It has been reported that certain software such as AiCharger+ can cause issues with your USB keyboard, so before you upgrade to Windows 10 make sure that this software is uninstalled.

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We have to mention that this issue can be also caused by your antivirus, so if you’re using Kaspersky antivirus, make sure that you temporarily uninstall it.

If the problem was caused by your antivirus, we recommend you switch to a better one.

It is possible that your antivirus is not configured to work on the upgraded version of your operating system, so make sure to use a Windows 10 compatible antivirus.

8. Turn off Fast Startup

  1. Enter control panel in the Search bar and choose Control Panel from the list of results.
  2. When Control Panel opens, go to Power Options.
  3. Click on Choose what the power buttons do.
  4. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  5. Find the Fast-Startup option and disable it.
  6. Save your changes and restart your PC.

Sometimes, due to the Fast Startup feature, your USB hard drive might not be recognized by Windows 10. This can create all sorts of problems, especially if you use USB storage to store important data.

Fortunately, you can easily fix this by following the steps above. After disabling Fast Startup, your Windows 10 might start a bit slower, but all USB hard drives should be properly recognized.

9. Partition your USB storage and assign a letter to it

  1. Type computer management in the Search tab and choose Computer Management from the list.
  2. When Computer Management starts, click Disk Management.
  3. Find your USB hard drive. If it’s unpartitioned, you should see a drive with Unallocated space. Right-click it and choose New Simple Volume. Follow the instructions in order to partition your hard drive.
  4. If your USB storage is partitioned but still isn’t recognized in Windows 10, you have to make sure that it has a letter assigned to it. Right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  5. Click Add and assign a letter to this partition.

Before Windows 10 can recognize your USB hard drive or USB storage, it has to be partitioned and it needs to have a letter assigned to it.

We have to mention that Windows 10 can only work with NTFS and FAT32 file systems, so when you partition your hard drive, make sure that you use the NTFS file system.

The Disk Manager app in Windows does a great job for this task but if you don’t like it, you can look at our best partition manager software for more such tools.

It’s also important to download the latest USB mass storage driver to avoid issues such as these.

10. Uninstall hidden devices from Device Manager

  1. Press the Start button, type cmd, and select Run as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, paste the following lines and press Enter after each one to run it:
    • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
      cd windowssystem32
  3. Device Manager should start. Click View and choose Show hidden devices.
  4. Now you need to expand all sections and delete all grayed-out entries.
  5. After you’ve done that, restart your PC and re-connect your USB hard drive.

Driver issues can cause USB microphone to stop working, so be sure to check all your drivers.

11. Delete Unrecognized device from Device Manager

  1. Right click the Start button and choose Device Manager from the list to open it.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and find Unrecognized device. Right-click it and choose Uninstall device.
  3. Click the Scan for hardware changes button. Windows will not install missing drivers.
  4. Close Device Manager.

If you can’t find an Unrecognized device in Device Manager just skip that step and try changing the assigned letter as shown in step 9.

12. Connect your hard drive to the USB ports in the back

Our readers have reported some issues with Seagate hard drive, and according to them, the USB hard drive isn’t recognized if it’s connected to the USB ports on the front of your computer.

Even if you don’t use Seagate hard drive, try connecting your USB hard drive to the port on the back of your computer to see if it works.

According to our readers, sometimes the ports on the front don’t produce enough power, so this is why it’s better to use USB ports on the back.

In addition, if you have a USB hub, don’t use it, and connect your USB storage directly to your computer.

13. Replace the hard drive letter using the Diskpart tool

  1. Press Windows key + R, and type diskpart in the Run dialog. Press Enter or click OK to run it.
  2. Command Prompt will open. Type list volume and press Enter to run the command.
  3. Find your USB storage in the list. It shouldn’t have a drive letter assigned to it.
  4. Type select volume 3 (we used volume 3 in our example, but you need to use the volume number that matches your USB storage) and press Enter.
  5. Now type assign letter Z (or any other letter that isn’t used) and press Enter.
  6. Close Command Prompt and check if your USB storage is recognized.

14. Add the USB printer manually

  1. Type control panel in the Search tab and select Control Panel from the list of results.
  2. Select Devices and Printers.
  3. Choose Add a printer.
  4. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed.
  5. Choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings and click the Next button.
  6. Click on Use an existing port and select USB0001, then hit Next.
  7. Now select the printer manufacturer and model. Click Next.
  8. Choose Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended) and enter the name of your printer.

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your USB printer, you might need to add it manually. To do that, follow the steps above.

Keep in mind that your printer might not be recognized if you don’t have the latest drivers for it. Visit your printer manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers.

15. Check Power Management for USB Root Hub

  1. Right click on the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
  2. Go to the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and find USB Root Hub.
  3. If you have multiple USB Root Hubs you’ll have to repeat this step for each one of them.
  4. Right click USB Root Hub and choose Properties.
  5. Go to Power Management section and make sure that Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power is unchecked.
  6. Save the changes and repeat the steps for all USB Root Hubs that you have in Device Manager.

This is a simple solution, and it can help if the USB-C port isn’t working on your Windows 10 PC.

16. Change USB selective suspend settings

  1. Type control panel in the Windows Search tab and select the app from the results.
  2. Open Control Panel and choose Power Options.
  3. Find your currently selected plan and click Change plan settings.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings.
  5. Find USB Settings, then click on USB selective suspend setting and change it to Disabled for all entries. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Since we’re speaking about Power Options, we should mention that some users have reported that issues with ports are fixed after disabling Fast Startup, so you may want to try that as well.

Other USB problems reported by our readers

USB problems are relatively common, and many users reported that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB. Speaking of USB issues, users told us about:

  • USB not detected, not showing up Windows 10 – This is a relatively common problem, and if your USB isn’t detected or if it’s not showing, you should be able to fix that issue using one of our solutions.
  • USB drive not showing up Windows 10 – Many users reported that their USB drive isn’t showing after connecting it to their PC. If you have this problem, we strongly advise you to try the solutions from this article.
  • External hard drive not recognized Windows 10 – This issue can affect both flash drives and external hard drives. However, the solutions are the same for both flash and external hard drives.
  • Windows USB not working – If your USB is not working on Windows, the problem might be your drivers, so be sure to update them and check if that solves the problem.
  • Windows USB ports not working – Users reported that USB ports aren’t working on their Windows PC. If you have this problem, be sure to try one of the solutions from this article

As you can see, there are many cases where Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB, and if you have problems with USB devices on Windows 10, we hope that our solutions can be helpful to you.

We also have another article that offers solutions if the USB ports are not working because that is also a possibility. Also, if you’re using Windows 11, see what to do when the latest OS is not recognizing USB devices.

In case you have any other suggestions or solutions that we should add here, please write us a comment below.

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