7 Methods to Fix “USB device not recognized” Error in Windows 11

In this guide, I will share 7 easy methods to help you fix USB device not recognized error on your Windows 11 desktop or laptop PC.

What is the USB Device Not Recognized Error?

I must admit that this is one of the most common errors you will face when you connect your USB device with your Windows 11 PC.

usb device not recognized error message

The full message usually reads:

“The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it”

Basically, most of the time this error occurs when there are drivers missing from your computer for the specific USB device which you are connecting to your Windows 11 PC. This can happen with any random USB device, or it can be your mouse or keyboard!

USB

If you have multiple USB devices connected to your Windows 11 PC, then you need to know which exact device is triggering this issue and for that, disconnect all USB devices and then try connecting them one by one to see which is the culprit one.

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Fortunately, there are several fixes for this common USB device error that you can use to resolve this issue.

Windows 11

Method # 1: Restart your PC and Reconnect the Device

A simple restart of your Windows 11 desktop or laptop system is often enough to make Windows recognize a USB device.

If you have been experiencing this issue for long, try unplugging the problematic USB device from your PC, and then reboot it. After that, reconnect the same USB device to see if the issue persists.

While this is a quick fix, it does not permanently resolve the underlying problem and you may have to use other methods/fixes discussed below to get your USB device working again.

Method # 2: Check Device Status in Device Manager

One of the most common reasons for getting this error message is if some of your USB drivers are missing or misconfigured on your Windows 11 PC.

To fix this, follow the steps below:

  1. Press the “Windows Key + X” at the same time to open a menu and select Device Manager. You can also use search if you don’t see Device Manager listed here.
  2. In this window, click on the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” > “USB Root Hub” category.
  3. Now, right-click on each USB root hub and select Properties.
  4. In the next window that opens up, click on the “Power Management” tab and uncheck the checkbox that says: “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power”.
  5. Click on OK and close the Device Manager.

Method # 3: Update your Windows 11 PC’s Drivers

If one or more of your device drivers are missing, outdated or corrupted, you will get this error message when you plug in that specific device. Therefore, it is very important to keep all your drivers updated!

  1. Press the “Windows Key + X” to open a menu and select Device Manager.
  2. In this window, expand “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and click on your USB Root Hub > Right-click on any of your USB Root Hubs > Select Update driver software.
  3. Now, you may be prompted that there are no compatible drivers available or you get a warning about the drivers not being signed. If so, select “Install this driver software anyway” and then click Next.
  4. In case you are prompted to restart your PC for the changes to take effect, do it and plug in the problematic USB device after that.

Method # 4: Roll Back to an Earlier version of the Drivers

If you have recently updated your system’s drivers, and if those new drivers are having some issues with one or more USB devices on your PC, then you might need to rollback the driver to a previous one.

Method # 5: Uninstall and Re-install the Device/Driver (with caution)

Sometimes when you try to install a new driver over an older one, Windows either fail to uninstall the old driver or it could mess up with the driver files and that is why you end up with this USB device not recognized error.

Therefore, a fix for this problem is to simply uninstall the problematic device and then try installing it again by plugging in the USB device.

Method # 6: Use Another USB Port

If you are using a desktop PC or laptop, try plugging in the device into another port on the back or front of your system.

You can also try swapping out the USB cable or trying a different USB port entirely.

Method # 7: Disable USB Root Hubs and External Devices One by One

If you have multiple USB root hubs on your computer, try disabling them one by one to figure out which one is causing this issue.

Furthermore, if you have any external devices connected through an external hub that uses same USB cable, try disabling those too and see if that helps.

Conclusion

In most cases, the issue of your USB device not being recognized in Windows 11 can be easily fixed by applying one or more of the aforementioned fixes.

However, if you don’t have any luck and none of the above methods worked for you, then it is time to go ahead and contact Microsoft Support as they should be able to help you with this issue.

On the other hand, if you have any questions or suggestions of your own about this guide, please let me know and I will get back as soon as possible.