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USB device isn't recognized by Windows: how to fix the error

Submitted on 11/10/2018

Connection through a USB port is one of the most popular ways of quick data exchange. Everyone will find gadgets with such kind of cable connector in their houses: smartwatches, players, smartphones and tablets which can be connected to a personal computer or a laptop. If the connection between them is incorrect, a familiar notification pops up: "USB device isn't recognized."

A user can solve this problem without having any special skills. Read this article, fix the error you have and if the guide won't help you, you can reach us via the feedback form.  

The reasons for problems with a USB port to occur

Any PC can surprise its owner with unpleasant news by refusing to interact with a phone, tablet, printer or any other equipment.

Why does a device recognition error occur:

  • Device mechanical damage (it needs to be repaired);
  • Problems with a USB port, extension cord or a hub occur;
  • A suitable driver or an update ensuring a stable connection isn't installed on a computer.

Gadget malfunction

In order to check your smartphone or tablet status, you have to connect it to another computer. If a usb device is identified after the connection, it's better to perform PC diagnostics. The occurrence of such error indicates the functionality failure of your device. You have two options then: either to take it to the service center or to buy a new one.

If this failure occurs only from time to time, then blame it on a badly soldered USB connector. We suggest you not trying to repair it yourself, it's better to entrust your smartphone to certified professionals, who can be found in any large city easily enough.

A USB port, extension cable or a hub isn't suitable for work

After trying to connect a tablet or a phone to a faulty port or adapter without success, a user can assume that the problem is the gadget itself, when actually the error occurs for another reason.

How to fix the problem:

  • insert a cable into the adjacent connector and see how your computer is going to react;
  • clean the port from dust and dirt;
  • check the USB controller status through "Device Manager". Exclamation mark or a cross means the failure of the controller. Which can't always be repaired, so sometimes you have to spend money on replacing the motherboard;
  • install another extension cord or cable. Not only Chinese products wear out quickly, but also products of well-known companies;
  • get rid of the USB hub. Low-quality devices not only cause unstable operation of connected devices, but they can also affect your PC. The hub you're using can be completely incompatible with your computer and you might have no clue about it.

The lack of the necessary software

It happens that after you connect your smartphone to a computer via a USB cable, only the charging function is activated and device recognition error still occurs. Alternatively, your old Windows version doesn't support modern gadgets.

The problem can be solved in the following ways:

  • Installation of the latest OS updates;
  • Installation of Media Transfer Protocol Porting Kit program and a following relaunch of your computer. The distribution kit is adapted for Android 4.0 and above.

Device isn't recognized by Windows 10

Here's what you can do, if Windows doesn't detect the connected device:

  1. open "Device Manager";
  2. search for an unknown gadget in the connected equipment list;
  3. if it appears as an unrecognized one in "Other devices", select "Update drivers" in the context menu;
  4. if an unknown device appears in the list of "USB Controllers", open the menu by right mouse button click. Select "Properties", "Driver", then "Rollback" or "Uninstall" (when rollback is inactive). Hardware configuration update can get rid of the error "usb device isn't recognized" in most cases;
  5. check whether the mark allowing the device to be turned off in order to save power is enabled in the list of connections with the names having USB prefix;
  6. remove unnecessary drivers from other devices.

Even if a smartphone / tablet is no longer in use, its software is stored on your computer anyway. A yellow icon next to the gadget name in "Device Management" can indicate that there is a possibility of any problems to occur with this gadget. Connection of similar hardware can cause software clash. Utility USBDeview will help you to uninstall outdated programs.

Wrong transfer mode in  Android USB settings

The latest smartphone models are set up for charging instead of sharing its files with a computer or laptop by default. By changing the USB connection type, you can quickly get rid of the error (though not always).

  1. Connect your phone to a PC,
  2. In the “Use USB for” menu, select "File Transfer".

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