Unrecognized USB device keeps showing up? Here’s how to fix it

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Whenever you try to connect an external USB device to your system, you may encounter the USB device not recognized error message instead of displaying the device.

But the error may still appear repeatedly on your system even if you have not connected any external device. Although sometimes it is the external device that causes the error to appear, some port related issues can also cause this issue.

Why does “USB Device Not Recognized” keep popping up?

Various factors can cause the above error message. Some of the most common and possible are as follows.

  • Inadequate power to USB device/port
  • Outdated USB Controller Device Drivers
  • Faulty USB port
  • Power hub issues

How to fix “Unrecognized USB device keeps popping up”?

Sometimes an improperly connected USB drive can cause such issues. So make sure it is properly connected to the USB port.

But if it does not work then continue applying the below mentioned fixes.

Disconnect external devices

If you have connected external devices, safely eject them and disconnect them from your system. Check if the error appears when you try to insert them. If you encounter the error message, the problem lies with the external device.

On the other hand, try changing the cable or adapter used to connect them to your USB port. Also try changing the USB port to eliminate any issues with it.

Connect devices to your system

If you have connected multiple devices to your system’s USB ports, your system may not be supplying enough power to each of them. So consider using a USB hub capable of supplying adequate power.

On the other hand, disconnect the devices connected to the USB hub and connect them directly to your system. Check if the error message still appears.

Disable USB selective suspend setting

The USB Selective Suspend setting is enabled by default in Windows and helps save power by suspending certain USB ports that are not in use.

However, sometimes this can lead to USB related issues and display the above error message.

To deactivate it,

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Then type the command powercfg.cpl and click OK to open the Power Options.
  3. Click it Change plan settings next to the enabled power option.
  4. Then click on Change advanced power settings.
  5. Scroll down and expand it USB Settings.
  6. Under the USB Selective Suspend setting, set the Disabled assess.
  7. Click Apply and OK.

Reinstall USB controller drivers

Your system requires the help of the USB controller to communicate with a USB device. And, when its driver gets corrupted, you may face USB related issues as above.

So, you can update it or even reinstall it to solve your problem.

  1. Launch the Run window.
  2. Enter the command devmgmt.msc to open Device Manager.
  3. Double-click to expand the Universal serial bus controllers scrolling menu.
  4. Look for all devices with a yellow triangle and select the Uninstall device option. Otherwise, select each root usb hub and uninstall it.
    uninstall-usb-root-hub
  5. Also, if you have the Other devices option, expand it and uninstall the unknown device under it.
  6. Next, click on the Action menu at the top and click on Check for hardware changes.
    scan-for-hardware-changes
  7. Additionally, right click on each USB controller, click on the Update Driver and follow the on-screen instructions to update to the latest drivers.
    update usb drivers
  8. Check if the error message has stopped appearing.

Also, some of the USB devices previously connected to your system may be hidden. So, view them and uninstall them as follows.

  1. Click on the View menu and select the Show hidden devices option.
    Show hidden devices - Device Manager
  2. Right-click on each greyed-out device and uninstall them, as mentioned above.
  3. Also try updating them and see if that works.

Run the Hardware Troubleshooter

You can use Windows built-in hardware troubleshooter to diagnose hardware-related issues. Then you can apply the recommended fixes to resolve your issues.

To run it,

  1. Press Windows + X and select Windows PowerShell (administrator) for Windows 10 and Windows terminal (administrator) for Windows 11.
  2. Type the following command.
    msdt -id devicediagnostic
    Run the hardware troubleshooter
  3. Click on Next in the Hardware and Peripherals window.
    Troubleshooting hardware and devices
  4. Wait for the troubleshooter to detect any hardware issues.
  5. Apply the recommended fixes and see if the error message appears.

Windows Update

An outdated version of Windows may not support newer external devices or still have unresolved bugs/issues. Thus, you can install the latest system updates to fix all USB-related issues.

On the other hand, consider disabling fast startup, as this can cause problems when installing updates.

To disable fast startup,

  1. Open the Power options in the control panel.
  2. In the left sidebar, click the Choose what power buttons make the option.
    Choose-what-the-power-options-do
  3. In the Shutdown Settings section, uncheck the box Enable fast startup check box.turn-on-quick-start
  4. Click on Save changes and see if your problem has been solved.

After disabling it, you can continue updating your system as follows.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Move towards Update and security > Windows Update.
  3. Click on Check for updates.
    windows-check-for-updates
  4. Check if the error message has been resolved.
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