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Nothing Happens When Plug in USB Flash Drive in Windows 10/8/7

Updated on Dec 28, 2018 by Jean to Storage Media Recovery


If nothing happens when plug in your USB flash drive through the USB port on a Windows PC/laptop, you need professional help. This article provides you with easy and clear steps to make your computer recognize the USB device properly. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore data after system restore, system reinstallation or disk formatting.

"Nothing happens when I plug my USB flash drive into the USB port. It's showing up nowhere and Windows doesn't even prompt any error message. How can I find or open USB drive in this case?"

Let's clarify that solutions to such an invisible USB device problem on this page vary from those of computer not detecting or recognizing a USB flash drive, which is usually with some supplementary information. The informative messages are as follows.

As a matter of fact, we've already composed a lot of articles based on the common USB problems, each of the problems is with a corresponding error prompt, which enables us to rectify the problem in a clear direction. But this time we just get lost, it simply displays nothing when you plug in your USB flash drive into a Windows 10/8/7 PC or laptop!

What're the reasons

You plug your USB drive into your computer, and nothing happens. Human errors and hardware issues are taken as two major reasons why your USB fails to work fine like it used to do.

1. Human errors

Abruptly unplug the USB device without safely ejecting the last time you used in on your computer.

As a result, external hard drive not recognized after unplugging

2. Hardware issues

The USB drive is broken and dead
There's a problem with the USB port
There is a problem with the USB driver
The USB drive isn't properly formatted

What're the fixes

Please strictly follow our advice each by each to fix the issue 'nothing happens when plugging in USB'. It will save you a great deal of time and energy to exclude the unaffected factors, identify the real causes and make your USB flash drive show up in Windows Explorer, Windows Disk Management, and Windows Device Manager eventually.

Stage One

1. With your USB device plugged in, go to "Start/Search" in Windows PC and type devmgmt.msc.
2. Right-click the "devmgmt" results and "Run As Administrator".
3. In the "Elevated Device Manager", do you see any devices with yellow flags? Or under "Universal Serial Bus Controllers", do you see an Unknown Device? if so, right-click it and "Uninstall" it, remove the device from the computer and restart the computer. 
4. Once you log in, plug in the device and you should get new hardware found.

Stage Two

1. Enable the Hidden Administrator user account, log out of your user profile and log in as the Admin.

Do you have the same issues? If that solved the problem, then your user profile has corruption.

2. Go to Control Panel/User Accounts, create a new user account with admin rights and copy all of your user files over to the new user and log into that account. Or, try to fix a corrupted user profile.

Stage Three

1. Go to "Start/Search" and type CMD.
2. Right-click the CMD icon and Run As Administrator.
3. In the Elevated Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and press enter. This will replace any missing system files. 

Stage Four

Restoring the system to an earlier state could bring your USB back to work again in an old system, however, the saved data and installed apps after this point would be erased. To make this essential step 100% secure without doing further damage, continue with the guide below.

1. Download EaseUS free backup software on your computer.
2. Choose a backup option as you want. It's highly suggested to perform a disk/partition backup and system backup.
3. Save your backup image to a safe location where you can reach easily. All in all, keep it safe.
4. Now, go to "Start/Search" and type control panel.
5. Click "System and Security" -> "Backup and Restore" -> "Restore files from backup" (unless you turned on the system backup option in Windows).

Wait for some time, and this will restore your Windows to a previous version where your USB can be correctly recognized by your PC and laptop!

6. Don't forget to restore data from the backup via EaseUS Todo Backup.

Stage Five

You may find some other answers aside from the mentioned methods here, such as format USB drive using cmd or reinstall the OS. Both manners would also cause a complete data loss. In case that you didn't create backups beforehand, make the last effort to recover the formatted drive and recover data after system restore/reset/reinstall by using EaseUS disk data recovery software.

Please stop using your USB flash drive once you lose files on it, in case newly produced data overwrite entries to the lost files.

Step 1. Connect USB to your PC and run USB data recovery software.

  • Connect the USB flash drive on which your files to your computer and launch EaseUS USB data recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard on your PC.
  • Select your USB drive under External Devices and click Scan to start finding your lost files.
Select USB to scan and find lost files.

Step 2. Scan to find all lost files from USB.

  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will thoroughly scan your USB flash drive and find all your lost data on it.
Scan USB drive to find lost files.

Step 3. Restore all lost files from USB.

  • After the scanning process, you can check and preview found USB files in this program.
  • "Deleted Files" is for you to find deleted files. And "Lost Partition Files" is quick access to find formatted data.
  • Double-click the files to preview and choose available ones, click "Recover" to save them to a secure location on your PC or other external storage devices
Restore lost USB data.