Windows 10 Doesn’t Recognize USB [Fix]

By: Milan Stanojevic
13 minute read

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We use USB devices on daily basis, but some Windows 10 users have reported that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize their USB devices. This can create all sorts of problems, but fortunately there is a way to fix that.

Windows 10 Doesn’t Recognize USB, What To Do?

USB problems are relatively common, and many users reported that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB. Speaking of USB issues, users reported the following problems as well:

  • 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.

Fix – Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB hard drive / USB storage

Solution 1 – Turn off Fast Startup

Sometimes, due to 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 these steps:

  1. Enter control panel in the Search bar and choose Control Panel from the list of results.
    USB not detected Windows 10
  2. When Control Panel opens, go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  3. When Power Option opens, click on Choose what the power button does.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  4. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
    Windows USB not working
  5. Find Fast-Startup option and disable it.
    USB not detected
  6. Save your changes and restart your PC.

After disabling Fast Startup, your Windows 10 might start a bit slower, but all USB hard drives should be properly recognized.


Solution 2 – Update your drivers / install the default driver

Sometimes Windows 10 won’t recognize USB hard drive due to driver problems, and if that’s the case, you might want to go to the your hard drive manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your USB hard drive. If that doesn’t work, you can uninstall your currently installed driver and allow Windows 10 to install the default driver. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug your USB hard drive.
  2. Open Device Manager by pressing Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the list.
    Windows USB not working
  3. When Device Manager opens, navigate to the Disk drives section, right click your USB hard drive and choose Uninstall device.
    Windows USB ports not working
  4. After the driver has been uninstalled, restart your computer.
  5. When Windows 10 starts, connect your USB hard drive, and this time it should be recognized by Windows 10.

Update drivers automatically

If you do not have the necessary computer skills to update the drivers manually, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. driver updater starting windowOnce installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.tweakbit driver updater scanning
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    tweakbit driver updater updates finished
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.


Solution 3 – Partition your USB storage and assign letter to it

Before Windows 10 can recognize your USB hard drive or USB storage, your USB storage has to be partitioned and it needs to have letter assigned to it. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S, type Computer Management and choose Computer Management from the list.
    Windows USB not working
  2. When Computer Management starts click Disk Management.
    Windows USB ports not working
  3. Now you need to find your USB hard drive. Easiest way to do that is to check the size of the drives in Disk Management.
    USB not detected
  4. If your USB hard drive is 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.

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. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Computer Management and go to Disk Management.
  2. Find your USB hard drive and right click it.
  3. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  4. Click Add and assign a letter to this partition.

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 NTFS file system.

If you find this process too confusing, you can easily partition your drive by using a third-party application such as Paragon Partition Manager.


Solution 4 – Uninstall hidden devices from Device Manager

Sometimes, devices that aren’t recognized might be hidden in Device Manager, so let’s see how to show them and uninstall them. To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type cmd. Press Enter or click OK.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  2. When Command Prompt starts, paste the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it:
    • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    • cd
    • cd windowssystem32
    • start devmgmt.msc
      External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  3. Device Manager should start. Click View and choose Show hidden devices.
    Windows USB not working
  4. Now you need to expand all sections and delete all grayed out entries.
  5. After you’ve done that, restart your PC and reconnect your USB hard drive.

Solution 5 – Delete Unrecognized device from Device Manager and assign different letter to your USB hard drive

  1. Open Device Manager and go to Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers section and find Unrecognized device. Right click it and choose Uninstall device.
  3. Click Scan for hardware changes button. Windows will not install missing drivers.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  4. Close Device Manager.
  5. Press Windows Key + S, and type Computer Management. Select Computer Management and go to Disk Management.
  6. Find your USB storage, right click it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  7. Click Change and assign a new letter to your USB hard drive.

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


Solution 6 – Connect your USB hard drive to the USB ports in the back

Users 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 the users, sometimes 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 USB hub, don’t use it, and connect your USB storage directly to your computer.


Solution 7 – 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.
    USB not showing up Windows 10
  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 2 (we used volume 2 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.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  6. Close Command Prompt and check if your USB storage is recognized.

Solution 8 – Use USBOblivion tool

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your USB storage, you might want to use tool called USBOblivion. This tool removes all the traces of USB drives from your computer by cleaning your registry. Disconnect your USB hard drive, download this tool and run it. Now reconnect your USB hard drive and wait for Windows 10 install its drivers again.


Fix – Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB keyboard

Solution 1 – Use PS/2 keyboard
Sometimes USB keyboards don’t work with certain motherboards, and if that’s the case, you might want to switch to PS/2 keyboard or use USB to PS/2 adapter until you manage to resolve this issue.


Solution 2 – Delete unnecessary keyboard drivers from Device Manager

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your USB keyboard, 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. To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Locate your keyboard drivers. You might have few of them available instead of just one.
  3. Delete them all by right clicking the driver and choosing Uninstall from the menu.
  4. After you’ve deleted all the drivers, restart your computer and your keyboard should start working again.

Solution 3 – Install Logitech SetPoint

This solution might work for owners of Logitech keyboard, so if you own a Logitech 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.


Solution 4 – Make sure that your keyboard is enabled

Users have reported that sometimes USB controller might be disabled, and this is the main reason why Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB keyboard. To fix this issue you need to open Device Manager, find the disabled USB controller, right click it and choose Enable.


Solution 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 users 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.


Solution 6 – Reconnect your USB keyboard

Sometimes in order to fix issues with USB keyboard you need to unplug it and plug it again while your computer is running. Some users suggest that you turn off your computer, unplug your keyboard and reconnect your keyboard when Windows 10 starts.


Solution 7 – Check your keyboard power management settings

  1. Open Device Manager and locate your keyboard. It might be in Universal Serial Bus controllers or in Human Interface Devices section.
  2. After you’ve found your keyboard, right click it and choose Properties.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  3. Go to Power Management tab and make sure that Allow the computer to turn off device to save power is not checked.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  4. Save changes and restart your computer.

Solution 8 – 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 > USB configuration.
  3. Disable USB3 support and save the changes.
  4. If your keyboard still isn’t recognized, try plugging it to a different USB port. You might have to try that several times.
  5. If problem still persists, go to Device Manager > USB Controllers section.
  6. If there’s a controller with exclamation mark, right click it and choose Disable. Right click the same controller again and choose Enable.

Solution 9 – Uninstall AiCharger + and Kaspersky antivirus before upgrading to Windows 10

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. 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 uninstall it before you upgrade to Windows 10.

If you still have problems with your antivirus, you might want to switch to a different antivirus solution in order to solve this problem. Currently the best antivirus tools on the market are Bitdefender and Bullguard, so be sure to try them out.


Solution 10 – Update your chipset drivers

Sometimes Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB keyboard or USB ports due to chipset drivers, so if that’s the case, go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your chipset. After installing chipset drivers, your USB keyboard should start working.

Updating drivers manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to download this driver updater tool to do it automatically. Thus, you will prevent file loss and even permanent damage to your computer.


Solution 11 – Disable Fast Startup

It has been reported that Fast Startup can sometimes cause issues with USB keyboards, and if that’s the case, it’s advised that you turn off Fast Startup. We have already covered how to turn off Fast Startup in this article, so make sure that you check it out.


Fix – Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB printer

Solution 1 – Download and run Printer Troubleshooter

Microsoft has released its official Printer Troubleshooter, so if your printer isn’t recognized by Windows 10, download this tool and run it on your computer.


Solution 2 – Add printer manually

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

  1. Open Control Panel and select Devices and Printers.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10
  2. Choose Add printer.
    Windows USB not working
  3. Click The printer that I want isn’t listed.
    Windows USB ports not working
  4. Choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings and click the Next button.
    USB not detected Windows 10
  5. Select Use an existing port: USB0001 and click on Next.
  6. Now select the printer manufacturer and model. Click Next.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  7. Choose Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended) and enter the name for your printer.

Solution 3 – Download the latest drivers for your printer

Your printer might not be recognized if you don’t have the latest drivers for it, and in order to fix this issue you need to visit your printer manufacturer’s website, and download the latest drivers for it. After installing the latest drivers, your printer should be recognized by Windows 10.


Fix – Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB ports

Solution 1 – Check Power Management for USB root Hub

If Windows 10 doesn’t recognize USB ports on your computer, you might want to check power management settings for USB Root Hub.

  1. Open Device Manager, go to Universal Serial Bus controllers section and find USB Root Hub. If you have multiple USB Root Hubs you’ll have to repeat this step for each one of them.
  2. Right click USB Root Hub and choose Properties.
    Windows USB not working
  3. Go to Power Management section and make sure that Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power is unchecked.
    Windows USB ports not working
  4. Save the changes and repeat the steps for all USB Root Hubs that you have in Device Manager.

Solution 2 – Install drivers for Generic USB Hub

  1. Open Device Manager and locate Generic USB Hub. Right click it and choose Update driver.
    Windows USB ports not working
  2. Choose Browse my computer for driver software.
    USB not showing up Windows 10
  3. Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10
  4. Select Generic USB Hub and click Next.
    External hard drive not recognized Windows 10

Some users are also suggesting that you need to perform similar steps for all Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager, so you might want to try that as well.


Solution 3 – Change USB Selective Suspend Settings

  1. Open Control Panel and and choose Power Options.
    Windows USB not working
  2. Find your currently selected plan and click Change plan settings.
    Windows USB ports not working
  3. Click Change advanced power settings.
    USB not detected Windows 10
  4. Find USB Settings > USB selective suspend setting and change it to Disabled for all entries. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
    USB drive not showing up Windows 10

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.


Solution 4 – Reconnect your USB devices

If you’re having problems with your USB ports, you might want to reconnect your USB devices. According to the users, USB ports sometimes have to be re-registed, and to do that, simply disconnect your USB device, wait for a few seconds and then reconnect your USB device to the same USB port.

If you’re still having issues on your PC or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool (100% safe and tested by us) to fix various PC problems, such as file loss, malware and hardware failure.

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.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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