How Do I Get My Computer to Recognize a USB Device

Here is the answer to how do I get my computer to recognize a USB device. Try the offered troubleshooting steps if your USB drive is not detected, recognized, or showing up while plugging in. By the way, if you want to restore lost data from a USB flash drive, download EaseUS data recovery software and recover data easily.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
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Table of Contents

Issue: Computer Not Recognizing USB

"I have an 8 GB Transcend flash drive. When I plug it in my laptop for data transfer, it is not even detected and I can not see it on My Computer. Why did this happen and is there any fix that I can try to get the USB device recognized?"

Have you ever run into a similar USB device not recognized issue? The symptoms of the problem vary in different situations. You may 

  • Receive a USB device malfunctioned error in the lower right corner with "The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it." error message. 
  • See Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) error in Device Manager.
  • Get no error message but just discover the USB drive not showing up in My Computer (named to This PC in Windows 10). 

The followings are five useful methods to get the computer to recognize a USB device.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Check the USB on Another Laptop If it is still not detected, it suggests that the USB device might be corrupted. In this case...Full steps
Run Device Troubleshooter Go to Start > Control Panel > search "troubleshooter" and then click "Troubleshooting"...Full steps
Re-install USB Controllers Open Device Manager. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right-click a device...Full steps
Disable Selective Suspend Setting Click the Start button, type "power plan" in the Search box, and then select...Full steps
Recover Data & Reformat the USB Connect the USB flash drive to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software...Full steps

1. Check if the USB Device Is Recognized on Another Laptop

If it is still not detected, it suggests that the USB device might be corrupted. In this case, you will need to check and repair disk errors
If it is detected, move to the next step to diagnose and fix the problem. 

2. Run Device Troubleshooter

Step 1. Go to Start > Control Panel > search "troubleshooter" and then click "Troubleshooting" > Hardware and Sound > Configure a Device.

Step 2. Follow on-screen instructions, and click on "Apply this fix" if any problem is found. 

This helps if the USB device is not recognized issue occurred because other important hardware updates are missing in Windows, due to software issues, or as a result of malware interference. If it doesn't work, move to step 3.

3. Uninstall and Re-install USB Controllers

Step 1. Open Device Manager.

Step 2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Right-click a device and select Uninstall. Repeat for each device.

Step 3. Restart your PC and your USB controllers will be automatically re-installed.

Your computer will then recognize the USB device if the issue occurred because the currently loaded USB driver has become unstable or corrupted. And if the problem still exists, proceed to step 4.

4. Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting

Step 1. Click the Start button, type "power plan" in the Search box, and then select "Choose a power plan".

Step 2. Next to your currently selected plan, select "Change Plan Settings".

Step 3. Select "Change advanced power settings".

Step 4. Select the box to expand USB settings > USB selective suspend settings.

Step 5. Expand the drop-down menu next to "Plugged in", and then choose "Disabled".

Step 6. If you're using a laptop, select Battery, select the drop-down menu, and then choose "Disabled". 

Step 7. Select "Apply" > "OK".

This method can help your computer recognize a USB device by preventing your USB external drive from powering down. 

5. Recover Data and Reformat the USB Drive to Make It Recognized

These are all the troubleshooting steps that you can try to make your computer recognize a USB device. If none of them resolve your issue, our advice is to try  EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover your data and then format the USB drive for repair.

EaseUS data recovery software can recover data from inaccessible hard drives as well as restore files from corrupted, formatted, and RAW drives. 

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Step 1. Run USB Data Recovery Software

Connect the USB flash drive to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software on your PC. Select the USB drive which is labeled as a removable disk, and click "Scan" to start looking for your lost files.

Select USB to scan and find lost files

Step 2. Scan and Search Lost Files on a USB Drive

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive and find all your lost data on it. When the scan process completes, use the Filter feature to filter by a specific file type. This program allows you to check and preview files found on your USB.

Scan USB drive to find lost files

Step 3. Restore All Lost Files from USB

A double-click will allow you to preview the scan results. Select the target files to restore and click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices.

Restore lost USB data

Video Tutorial: Guide to Fix USB Not Recognized Error

We also provide a video guide to fix and make your USB recognized on your computer.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Approved by David Balaban

David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 18 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. He presents expert opinions on contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy, and white hat hacking.

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