Kim Barloso

USB Device Not Recognized in Windows: How to Fix the Error


Connecting via USB is one of the most popular ways to quickly exchange data. Everyone has gadgets with this connector at home: smart watches, players, smartphones and tablets connected to a personal computer or laptop. If the connection between them is not correct, you will receive the familiar "USB Device Not Recognized" notification.

Solving this problem does not require any special skills from the user. Read the manual, correct the error and if the guide does not help you may contact us via the feedback form.

Causes of USB problems

Any PC may present an unpleasant surprise to its owner by refusing to communicate with phone, tablet, printer or other hardware.

Why the detection error occures (Windows displays the error "usb device not recognized"):

  • Device is mechanically damaged (needs to be repaired);
  • There is a problem with the USB port, extension cord or hub;
  • The proper driver or an update that provides a stable connection has not been installed.

Gadget malfunction

To check the status of your smartphone or tablet you need to connect it to another computer. If the device is identified when the usb is connected, then the PC should be diagnosed. If the same error appears, then the device itself is malfunctioning. You will either have to take it to a service center or buy a new one.

If the problem occurs not constantly but occasionally, then you have a loose soldered USB plug. To repair the defect on your own, it is better to entrust the smartphone to certified specialists, that are relatively easy to find in a major city.

Unsuitable USB port, extension cord or hub

In a fruitless attempt to connect the tablet, phone to the faulty port or adapter, the user may assume that the problem - in the gadget, although in fact the error occurs for another reason.

How to fix the issue:

  • Place the cable into the corresponding port and visualize the computer's reaction;
  • Clean the port from dust and dirt;
  • Check the USB controller status via "Device Manager". The exclamation mark or cross symbol indicates a failure of the controller. It is not always amenable to repair, sometimes you have to spend some money to replace the motherboard;
  • Install another extension cord or cable. Not only the Chinese products wear out quickly, but also the well-known brands;
  • get rid of the USB hub. Low-quality devices not only may cause instability of the connected devices, but may also affect the PC. The hub may be completely incompatible with the PC, without the user even realizing it.

Lack of necessary software

It may happen that when connecting the smartphone to the PC via USB cable only the charging function is activated, and the device recognition error occurs. Optionally the outdated version of Windows does not support modern gadgets.

The problem can be solved via one of the following methods:

  • Installing the latest updates for the OS;
  • Installing the Media Transfer Protocol Porting Kit and rebooting. The distribution is adapted for Android 4.0 and higher.

Device not detected in Windows 10

This is what you can do if Windows cannot detect the connected device:

  1. open "Device Manager";
  2. find the unknown gadget in the list of connected hardware;
  3. if it is displayed in "Other devices" as unrecognized, select "Update driver" in the context menu;

  4. if the unknown device appears in the "USB Controllers" list, open the menu by right-clicking. Select "Properties", "Driver" then "Rollback" or "Delete" (when rollback is not active), Update Hardware configuration in most cases allows to get rid of the error "usb device not recognized";

  5. Check the box allowing the current device to disconnect to save power in the connections with names containing the prefix USB;
  6. delete unnecessary drivers from other devices.

Even if the smartphone/tablet is already unusable the software is stored on the PC. Driver problems are indicated by a yellow icon next to the name of the gadget in "Device Management". Connecting similar hardware can cause an application conflict. To uninstall the old software the USBDeview utility is indicated.

Wrong type of connection in Android

The latest smartphone models are configured by default to charge and not to exchange the /files with a PC or a laptop. By changing the USB connection type the error could be remedied quickly (though not always).

  1. Connect the phone to a PC,
  2. From the menu "Use USB for" select the option "File Transfer".

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso