Most of the consumer electronic devices and the PC are connected to each other through some form of Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection. These USB devices may include: printers, smartphones, broadband/ cellular modem, external storage drives and network adaptors among other peripherals devices. If for some reason your USB device is not working, this guide explains how you can fix the problem in Windows 10.
Related: How to create bootable USB drive for Windows and Mac?
Fortunately, most of the USB-related issues can be resolved within minutes. If you experience such USB device not working issues, you may try one of the following solutions.
Fix 1: Try Basic Troubleshooting
The USB device problem can be a temporary connection issue and can be resolved by checking some basic things that are easy to ignore:
- First, disconnect all the USB devices connected to the computer leaving the USB mouse and keyboard only, restart your computer and reconnect the device to see if the device works.
- Confirm that the device is correctly and firmly connected using the right cable. Sometimes loose connections and using a different USB cable rather than the manufacturer’s cable could be the reason behind the failure.
- If the device uses power, make sure that it is powered on and the batteries or the power supply is connected properly.
- Test the USB cable on a different PC or device to rule out the cable problem. Also, it is important to ensure that the device is connected directly to the PC USB port and not through a hub.
If the device is still not working, you can proceed to the next solution.
Fix 2: Checking and Fixing the USB Device Driver Software
After basic troubleshooting and the USB device is not working, another major suspect is the drivers.
Installing the Manufacturer Device Software
- If the device came with its software, follow the manufacturer instructions and install the software.
- Now check if the USB device works correctly. If not, proceed to the next step.
Update or Reinstall the Device Drivers
- Press the “Win + X” button on your keyboard to open the Windows 10 Start context menu and select “Device Manager” from the menu.
- Scroll down and expand the USB controllers. Look for the device with a yellow exclamation mark. It indicates a device driver error.
- Right-click on the device and select “Update driver” option from the context menu.
- From the resulting pop-up window, choose whether to search for the driver updates manually (if you have downloaded the updates and saved on your PC) or automatically to allow Windows to search for the updates.
- If there are updates, install the updates and test the USB device.
- If there are no updates, right-click the device, select “Uninstall device” and click the “Uninstall” button on the prompt that appears.
- Once you have installed the device, go to the “Action” tab located at the top of the device manager window’s menu.
- Under the action tab, select “Scan for hardware changes” option.
- This will automatically scan for hardware changes, reinstall the removed device, and fix the problem.
Rolling Back USB Device Driver
If the device stopped working after installing the driver or Windows 10 updates, you can restore the driver to a previous working version.
- Double click the device on the device manager or right-click the device and select “Properties” to open the device properties window.
- Click “Roll Back Driver” button under the “Driver” tab.
Fix 3: Disable the USB Root Hub Power Management
By default, Windows 10 switches off the USB Root Hub off when not in use to save power. It then switches them on when needed but if this fails, it could lead to USB device issues. To eliminate this cause, you can disable power management.
- Open the “USB Root Hub” properties by double clicking the device. This opens the “Power” tab that shows available power available, connected devices and the power they require.
- To disable the power management, go to the “Power Management” tab and uncheck the power saving option.
- Click the “Ok” button, close the device manager and reconnect the USB device.
Fix 4: Turn off Windows 10 Fast Start-up Option
The fast start-up is a default Windows 10 settings, which quickens the computer start-up process after shutting down, but can prevent a USB device from loading.
- To disable the “Fast Start-up” option in Windows 10, press the “Win + I” keys on the keyboard to open the settings app.
- Navigate to System and the “Power & sleep” settings.
- Click the “Additional power settings” link.
- Select the first power option on the left panel “choose what the power buttons do”.
- Click the link to enable the currently unavailable settings.
- This will activate the “Shut-down settings” options. Uncheck the box to disable the fast start-up and click the “Save changes” button.
If you experience USB device not working issue in Windows 10, one of the above solutions will fix the problem. However, it is important to first check the device for hardware faults and confirm that it is connected properly before you try the advanced fixes.
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