USB Pen Drives and Flash Drives have replaced the old CDs or DVDs in the field of Data storage. Simply plug the USB device on any USB port of a working computer and get access to the data stored in it. This simple Plug-and-Play style and ease of transferring data from computer to Pen drive or from pen drive to a computer make it popular among the population.

But this easier way of data manipulation comes with the most common and annoying problem that all windows users have to face- USB Not Recognized. Even if it is a common problem for all system users, there are many ways to troubleshoot this problem available.

Note that there is no guarantee that the methods of troubleshooting mentioned in this post may work well for your system. Although these methods work most of the time, there may be hardware problems in your USB Device or USB Ports of your Windows system.

Method 1 – Shut Down and Unplug the Power of your System

Unplugging the USB device and shutting down your windows system is the simplest way to solve the USB not recognized error. This can save a lot of time on trying other lengthy and technical methods to debug your USB device.

To do this simple Restart/Shut Down doesn’t work. You have to completely cut off the power to your motherboard. This can be done by switching off the Power Supply Device that is fixed inside the Desktop Cabinet of your PC or you can remove the battery of your Laptop.

Simply unplug the USB Device, Shut-Down your Windows system, then disconnect the Power supply to the motherboard. Wait for 5-10 minutes and start your system. The microprocessor will reload all your data, drivers, etc. and chances are there that it may recognize your USB device.

Method 2 –Update the USB Device Driver

An outdated or missing device driver is also one of the reasons for the Windows system to not recognize the USB device. To solve this problem, you just need to follow the steps.

  • Step 1- First open the Device Manager of your system. Go to the Control Panel and search for the Device Manager.
  • Step 2- You will find an unknown device term on the list of various devices in the Device Manager panel of your PC. Right-click on this unknown device and select the properties option.
  • Step 3- On the Properties window go to the Driver tab and click on the Update Driver button.
  • Step 4- Then if you already have the latest device driver you can browse and install it, or you can let the windows system automatically search the internet for the latest version of the driver.

Note that If the USB device is a pen drive or a flash drive then it is not necessary to check the driver properties as it may not be the issue of an outdated driver. However, if the USB device is not a pen drive like the USB printer, Wifi adapter. etc then you may have to download the latest drivers to smoothly connect the device to your system.

Method 3 – Unplug the USB Device & Restarting the PC

Another method to troubleshoot the USB not recognized problem is to disconnect the USB Device from your Windows PC laptop and do a Restart.

After the restart is complete, connect the USB device again and check if your system has recognized it. The latest PC models are equipped with multiple USB ports. So, try to fit your USB device into another port if one of them doesn’t recognize it. There may be chances of a particular USB port that is causing the not recognized error. And, if your USB device is not recognized by any USB port you have to search for other solutions.

Method 4 – Power On/Off USB Ports

Another method to fix the “USB not recognized” error is to power ON/OFF your USB ports. Follow the steps to do this way of troubleshooting.

  • Step 1- Open the Device Manager of your Windows system.
  • Step 2- Scroll down the list to find Universal Serial Bus Controllers and click on it to expand.
  • Step 3- Now you will see a list of different USB Root Hubs and other controllers under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section.
  • Step 4- Right-click on a USB Root Hub and select the Properties option.
  • Step 5- on the properties window left-click on the Power Management tab. Now uncheck the box “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.
  • Step 6- next you have to restart your system then try to reconnect your USB device and check if it works.

Note- you have to repeat the process for each USB Root Hub until your USB is recognized by your system. Also for each failed USB Root hub try to restore the recheck the box ”Allow your computer to turn off this device to save power”.

Method 5 – Connecting the USB Device to the Inbuilt USB Ports

Some users, especially in Internet Cafes, may find that they are short of USB Ports. To overcome this problem most users buy external USB Hub or similar gadgets. Now the external USB Hub gadget can also be responsible for the “USB not recognized” error.

Now to solve the USB not recognized error try to connect your USB device directly to your inbuilt USB Ports and check if it works.

Method 6 – Windows USB Troubleshooter

If none of the above methods works, there is another way to try and solve the problem. This method is to try the “Windows USB Troubleshooter” tool to automatically diagnose and repair many common problems with any USB external storage, audio, and printers on your Windows system. This is a free tool available on Microsoft’s Official Website.

You need to simply follow the instructions on the website and the troubleshooter tool will automatically diagnose and try to solve the problems.


Most of the cases of USB not recognized errors can be solved by the given troubleshooting methods. If these methods don’t work for your system then the problem may lie on your USB Device or your USB Ports and it is advisable to consult a computer mechanic to solve the problem.

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