How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized Error on Windows

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If the error message “USB drive that is not recognized keeps popping up on your Windows, you will be unable to access any data from it. You can stop the error message popping up using the following solutions explained in this article. The article not only guide you to fix the problem USB not recognized but also helps you recover data from the USB drive that is not showing up or recognized by the computer. 

When you are trying to access data on an external USB hard drive, you may receive the following error:

USB device is not recognizedUSB Device not recognized: One of the devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned and windows does not recognize it.

Why Windows Fails to Recognize the USB Device?

Here are a few common reasons listed below that makes USB unrecognizable by Windows.

Hardware Errors: Any damage to the USB device can cause data loss It is recommended to recover data from unrecognized USB drive.
Faulty Drivers:  Corrupt USB driver, controller or problem with PC motherboard could be the reason behind USB drive not recognized. Uninstall USB device and reinstall

Reinstall the USB controllers

Install your motherboard’s latest chip set drivers

Configuration Issues: Misconfiguration of OS and devices also leads to the USB error Run USB Trouble shooter

Repair the Windows system

Connection Issue: Problem in the cables or the USB port makes Windows not detect the USB. Try different Port to connect USB device to your PC

Disable USB selective suspend setting

System Errors/ Corruption: This could be due to virus or system file corruptions. Update the Windows OS

Note: The above-mentioned methods to fix the error USB not recognized do not completely guarantee to secure your data in the drive. It certainly helps in fixing the error if it is related to the particular issue, say problem in the system driver or Windows updates etc. To secure your data, it is recommended make use of the reliable USB data recovery tool.

SFWare USB Recovery Software is a reliable data recovery tool that is integrated with a prevailing algorithm to identify and scan different file types. The tool helps you recover data from USB drives that are not recognized. All you have to is download and install the software on your computer and then follow the simple on-screen instructions. And you are done!

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

How to Recover USB Data from Unrecognized Drive?

Download and install the SFWare USB Data Recovery Software and follow the steps given below:
Step 1: Launch the application, main screen displays “Recover files” and “Recover Formatted/Corrupt” options. Select any of the preferred option and go to next.

USB data recovery home screen
Step 2: Select the drive to recover files from USB drive. Click on “Next” option

Select USB Drive
Step 3: Software scans drive and displays the recovered partition data. Double click and preview the recovered data and validate them.

Save Recovered Files
Step 4: If data is appropriate and willing to save the results, then get the licensed activated and get the access to Save button

End Screen

How do I Fix the Error USB Device Not Recognized?

Follow the below given methods to fix the USB not recognized or detected. Verify if you are still encountering the error after performing each method and move to next one.

Method 1: Uninstall USB driver and then reconnect the USB device

This method resolves issues where the loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupt.

Device Manager-uninstall the drivers

1. Go to This PC and right click on it
2. Click on Manage > Device Manager > double-click Disk Drives
3. Right-click on the name of your USB external drive. Click Uninstall
4. Disconnect your USB cable and restart your PC
5. Reconnect your USB cable, the driver should automatically load.

Remember: Plug USB directly into your computer. Connecting your USB external hard drive into a non-powered USB hub can cause a lack of enough power to operate the external drive. If this method does not resolve your issue, proceed to Method 2

Method 2: Re-installation of USB controllers

This method resolves steps where the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupted.

Device-Manager-Universal serial bus controllers

1. Select Start, type device manager in the Search box and then select Device Manager.
2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right click on a device and select Uninstall. Repeat for each device.
3. Once complete, restart your computer. Your USB controllers will automatically install.

If your problem still exists, proceed to Method 3.

Method 3: Install your motherboard’s latest chip set drivers

This method updates your motherboard’s chip set drivers, so your computer will recognize your USB external hard drive.

  1. Check for the name of the motherboard manufacturer on your computer’s documentation.
  2. Go to your computer manufacturer’s support website. See Computer manufacturers’ contact information.
  3. Navigate their website to find the appropriate drivers for your motherboard. For assistance, contact your computer manufacturer.

If your problem still exists, proceed to Method 4.

Method 4: Run USB Trouble shooter

If the problem is with the configuration of USB device, this method will surely help you in fixing the problem USB device is not recognized.

  1. Go to this PC >> Right click on your USB device drive
  2. Select Properties >> Tools tab >> Check under Error checking
  3. This selects the drive and scans for errors and repairs

Method 5: Repair your Windows System

If the problem is with Windows OS, it is important to repair the OS corruption. You can repair OS corruption using Windows terminal.

Run SFC to fix the drive

  1. Press Win + X and launch Windows Terminal or Windows PowerShell
  2. Enter the following command to scan the integrity of all protected operating system files: sfc /
  3. Once scanning is completed, restart your computer and verify if you still encountering the error USB not recognized.

Method 6: Try different Ports When USB not recognized

One of the easiest ways is to connect your USB device directly to your computer, if you are using any USB Hubs. Remove the USB from the HUB and restart your computer. Once your computer reboots into the Windows system, re-connect your USB device to your computer directly through the built-in USB port. But if the error keeps still popping, proceed to try the following solutions.

Method 7: Disable USB selective suspend setting

This method prevents your USB external drive from powering down.

1. Select Start, type power plan in the search box and then select Choose a power plan.
2. Select Change Plan Settings and choose Change advanced power settings.
3. Select the box to expand USB Settings > USB selective suspend settings.
4. Select Plugged in, select the drop-down menu, and then select Disable.
5. If you’re using a laptop, first select battery, select the drop-down menu and then select disabled.
6. Select Apply > OK.

Method 8: Install the latest Windows Updates

This method will install the latest device drivers for your USB external hard drive.

1. Search Check for Updates in search box. Select Install updates available.
2. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the updates.
3. If indicated, reboot your computer.


USB device not recognized” This is a common error that occurs with USB devices. According to users, they are completely unable to read their files stored on the USB. Sometimes USB problems can stop you from transferring files. Perform the solutions that are described in the article if any of the solutions did not help you, make use of SFWare USB Data Recovery Software which is a secure USB drive recovery tool. It is implemented with a powerful algorithm to identify and recover different file types. It resolves any External device-related issues without making the things go complicated.

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