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How to Fix USB Device Not Recognized Error on Windows


    According to Microsoft, when no items appear in the Device Manager, this means that the Plug and Play service has been disabled which is by design. Let’s start by re-enabling the Plug and Play service and see if your computer will recognize your USB ports.

    USB Device Not Recognized Error

    Re-enable Plug and Play Service

    Plug and Play is the service that allows your computer to recognize new hardware and automatically set itself up to use the new device. When Plug and Play works as it should, you would simply plug in a device, Windows would recognize it, and Windows would install the appropriate device drivers. Since Plug and Play does not seem to be enabled, it makes sense that if you are plugging a device into a USB port, it isn’t recognized.

    To re-enable Plug and Play service, go to the Start button and click on Run. Enter the following command into the text box: services.msc and then click OK. Find Plug and Play and double-click it. Find the Startup Type list, choose Automatic, and click OK. Close the Services console and reboot your computer. Your computer should now recognize your Plug and Play compatible devices.

    Troubleshooting USB Port Problems

    I’m hoping that re-enabling the Plug and Play service will solve the USB port problem. However, if it does not, you should be able to go into Device Manager now where you can troubleshoot the USB problem. Go into Device Manager and click on the Universal Serial Bus Controllers category. Do any of the USB controllers or hubs show a yellow caution icon? If so, click it and see what the status message says as well as follow any troubleshooting steps listed. You may also need to update the USB drivers.

    Update Windows

    Not only does Windows Update update your operating system with patches and security fixes, it also provides updated device drivers. It’s worthwhile to update your copy of Windows as an updated driver or another enhancement may very well solve the problem. Do this especially if you are running an older version of Windows as USB support has been vastly improved over the years.

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