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How Do I Get My Computer to Recognize a USB Device [Solved]

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 free data recovery software and recover data easily.

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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 Free 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. Choose the USB drive to scan

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose your USB drive where you lost important files. Click "Scan" to start.

select the USB drive

Step 2. Check and preview USB drive data

When the scanning is finished, you can quickly locate a specific type of file by using the Filter feature as well as the Search option.

Scan and find lost flash drive files

Step 3. Restore flash drive data

After checking and finding lost USB drive files, click "Recover" to restore them. You shall save the found files to a safe location on your PC rather than to your USB drive.

Restore lost files from USB drive

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 Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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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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