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How to fix if USB ports not working or not recognized by PC?

In the present scenario, the USB ports are one of the most helpful ways to connect various devices with your PC. USB ports work tremendously well to link multiple devices such as a mouse, keyboard, printers, hard drives, camera, flash drives, and more such peripherals.

Though it is the safest way for connecting devices with your PC, it too sometimes ends having one or the other issues. Occasionally your PC might stop recognizing the USB devices, and the USB ports don’t work. Now, this isn’t any major issue, and you can get through them by the fixes mentioned in the article below:

How to fix if USB ports not working or not recognized by PC

Why are the USB ports not working and not recognized by my PC?

Before proceeding towards the fixes, one needs to figure out whether the USB ports are faulty or the USB device you are connecting has some issues. Try using one after the other ports to determine the fault between the USB port and device. If there’s an issue with the device you are connecting, you would need to replace it. However, if the USB port has some fault, it might be related to hardware or the motherboard. In this scenario, trying the fixes mentioned below will help you the best.

Fixes for “USB ports not working or not recognized by PC

FIX 1- Restart your Computer

Restarting the computer has undoubtedly resolved a lot of errors for us. A simple power off and on can quickly fix the USB ports not working issue for you. The logic behind this fix working quite well is:

While your PC is running, there is a lot that’s going on like installation, updating, opening, running, and closing programs. Though this is the primary thing we do with our computers but remember the system starts running some background processes. Now, these background processes aren’t necessarily what you see running or working on the network. This ends up creating  unnecessary load on your system resources, especially the RAM.

When this happens, you may end up receiving a few errors, and USB ports not working or not recognized are among them. Once you restart your PC, every single program and process, including the ones running in the background will end, you will get a clean system after the start up.

If this doesn’t work for you, then follow the next fix.

FIX 2- Reinstall or update the device drivers

Downloading the latest drivers for the USB device can help to fix this issue. However, when there are no new drivers available, then updating the existing ones may work. We will discuss both reinstalling as well as updating the device drivers in the steps below:

Reinstall the device drivers:

  1. Firstly, press Windows + X and select the option Device Manager from the list.
  2. Now locate and right-click the device which you want to reinstall and select the option Uninstall device.
  3. Download and install those devices freshly again.
  4. Restart your system before using it further.

For updating the device drivers:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Now expand the option “Universal serial bus controller” and locate the option listed as “Unknown device.”
  3. Right-click on the option “Unknown device” and then select Properties >Drivers.
  4. Lastly, click on the tab, “Update drivers.” The updating process may take a while, let it complete on its own.

If the “USB ports are not working or not recognized error” was occurring due to outdated drivers, then the above process will fix it. If not, follow the next method.

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FIX 3- Check the power management setting on USB Root Hub

  1. Open Device Manager and expand the option Universal serial bus controller to locate USB Root Hub.
  2. You may see two options with the same description “USB Root Hub.” Right-click on the first one and then select Properties.
  3. From the newly appeared window, click on the Power Management tab.
  4. Uncheck the option “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save the power” and proceed by clicking on OK.

You require to repeat the similar steps for each option listed as “USB Root Hub.” If the issue is caused due to power management, then the above mentioned will help you fix it.

FIX 4- Disable USB suspend feature

  1. Go to Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Power options.
  2. On the Power options window, click on the Change Plan setting link (for the plan you are using).
  3. Now on the next window, click the link Change advanced power setting.
  4. Here expand USB setting >USB selective suspend setting.
  5. From the drop-down menu, click on Disable > Apply > OK.

This method can fix various connectivity issues with USB peripherals.

FIX 5- Update the USB Generic Hub

You can also try to update the USB Generic Hub for the Unknown device error in the device manager. Performing this update has solved the “USB port not working or not recognized by PC” issues for quite a few users. Follow the steps given below:

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  1. Go to the Device Manager and expand the option Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  2. Now choose the option USB Generic Hub. If you see quite a lot of options listed with the same name, select the first and right-click on it to select Update Driver Software.
  3. From the next window, select Browse my computer for driver software.
  4. Now click on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. It will allow you to select the driver that you want to install for the hardware. Typically, there will only be one option listed i.e., Generic USB Hub. But if there are more, you still require to select the same.
  5. Finally, click on Next, let the installation process get completed, and then click on Close.

The issue with USB ports not working or not recognized by PC would have resolved till now. If not, follow this procedure with all the Generic USB Hub options listed.

FIX 6- Scan for hardware changes

  1. Open the Device Manager window.
  2. In the next screen, go to the row with icons and select the one that looks like a desktop with a microscope on it. Generally, it is located on the last of the icons list.
  3. Now select the Action tab and click on Scan for hardware changes.

Once done, refresh and then insert a USB device to your system to check whether or not the USB port recognizes it.

FIX 7- Use Update and Security

Installing the latest necessary updates is what a lot of users claims have worked for them. Though Windows 10 updates automatically on its own but if not, you can also do it manually. For doing so,

  1. On the search bar, type Settings and navigate to the section Update & Security.
  2. Click on the Check for update button and let Windows proceed with the function on its own.
  3. Once the process is done, Restart your PC to make the changes applied.

The problem might have resolved now. You can try connecting a USB device to the port.

FIX 8- Use Windows USB troubleshooter

If none of the above fixes have worked for you, you can ultimately download and use the Windows USB troubleshooter program. It is a Fixit tool that works for free on Windows XP, 7 and Vista. After downloading it, open and select the option “Detect problems and apply the fixes for me.” With one click, it will auto-detect and fix the USB port issue for you.

You can also go with the second option “Detect problem and let me select the fixes” if you want to perform this step manually.

When after using the above given fixes, still the USB port is not recognizing or working then the USB port might be damaged. Firstly, try switching between several ports, and if none of them work, then your computer would require technical support.

Quick technical assistance will neither cost you much nor will it take a lot of time. Furthermore, we hope you will find all the information relevant and useful for resolving the “USB port not working or not recognized by PC” issue. If you have queries or feedback, please write down the comment in the below comment box.

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