How to Solve USB Flash Drive not recognized Windows issue
We’ll be looking at how to fix a USB stick or flash drive that isn’t detected on a Windows 10 PC or laptop. Although many methods could help fix the problem, if the issue is caused by physical damage, it is unlikely that we will be able to fix it today. If that is the cause of the problem, you might want to research some data recovery options.
Feel free to skip any methods you know won’t work or those you have tried already.
Let’s get into the methods. The first method is to check the physical connections. It’s worth checking for any damage or debris, and if you can, try and clean the ports safely, both in your PC and the connectors. This will help rule out that the problem is with any of the physical parts of the connection.
Before moving on, it’s also worth checking if the USB device is detected on another PC if you have the capabilities. This will also help determine whether the problem is with the connections or the device itself.
The next possible solution to try is to use another USB port on your PC. It’s possible, although unlikely that it could be a USB compatibility issue, for example, with USB 2 and 3.
This is more likely to be the case if you are connecting an older USB flash drive. If you have a desktop PC, there should be plenty of USB ports on the back, and these will be separate from those at the front and will increase the chances of it working.
I would recommend trying as many different ports as possible to ensure that these aren’t the cause of the problem. If you use a USB hub, then try connecting the device straight into your PC.
It’s also possible that other USB devices connected to your PC are causing the problem, so if you can, I would recommend temporarily removing them and just connecting the device that isn’t being detected.
Although it’s unlikely, if that does work, then reconnect each device one by one to see which other device is causing the problem. If none of these methods worked,
we’d move on to some more potential solutions. The next thing to try is to restart your PC and disconnect the power from it entirely. This means that after shutting down your computer, you need to either unplug the power chord or turn off the plug socket.
It’s up to you if you want to do this now and then return to the video. You could always wait until the end of the video to make this the last thing you try, but a restart could help if you haven’t done it already. Let’s now move onto some of the solutions within Windows 10.
The first thing we’re going to do in Windows is check in the devices and printers section of the control panel to see if Windows is detecting the USB drive at all. It’s possible that it could be showing as an unknown device.
First, go to the control panel. You can arrive there by exploring it in the search bar.
Click on View devices and printers in the control panel, a blue link under the green hardware and sound title. Here, you can see all of the devices that are connected to your PC.
If you can see the USB flash drive you are trying to connect, then first right-click on it and see if you can troubleshoot it.
Allow Windows to check for problems. Also, if you can see your device listed, try updating the drivers.
You might be able to do this by right-clicking on it and selecting properties, hardware, then double click on the device again and go to the Driver tab. Choose update driver and select the automatic option first and see if updating the drivers helps.
Finally, after this, if you see your device, right-click on it and choose remove device.
Now reconnect your USB drive and see if it works. These last few methods have been for devices showing up here, and chances are you can’t see your device.
Stay in the devices and printers section, but now look for a device listed as unrecognized or unknown. Try the last few methods but for this strange device. If you don’t see any device that could be yours, we’ll now move on to some of the possible fixes within the device manager.
You’ll need to open the device manager, and you can do that by searching for it in the search bar. When you’re in the device manager, look in the disk drives category, as this is where it would likely be displayed.
Double click on the category to expand it. If you find it, you should do things from the last method, such as uninstalling it or updating the drivers by right-clicking on it and then going to properties and into the driver tab. Your hard drive or SSD will be within this section, too, so avoid doing any previous methods to that.
Also, have a look through all of the devices in the device manager to see if there are any unknown or unrecognized devices where again, you can try the methods mentioned. Leave the device manager open as we’re going to need it for the following procedure. For the next possible solution, we need to find the universal serial bus controllers section, which is the USB section.
Expand that section and look for the options called USB root hub. I have a few, but you might have more or less. For each of these, double click on them and then go to the power management tab.
Here, uncheck the box to allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
Do that for all of them, and remember to click on OK. You might now need to restart to see if this has worked, but before doing that, you might want to try the following method, which is similar quickly.
Stay in the device manager and the USB section as before. This time for each of the USB root hub options, we will try updating the drivers. Again, please do this for each of them. Double click on them and go to the driver tab and then find where it says update driver and click on that. Now choose the automatic option and allow Windows to look for any driver updates on your PC.
The most likely outcome is that there won’t be any new driver updates, but it’s worth a try. Let’s move onto the following method. The following procedure is going to focus on Windows updates. Firstly, if you know that a Windows update caused this problem,
click the card now to watch my video showing you how to uninstall a recent Windows update.
You only need to do that if you are one-hundred percent sure that the update caused the problem. If a recent Windows update didn’t cause it, then it might be worth checking for and installing any new Windows updates. To check for Windows updates, go to the settings page first by clicking on the cog icon within the start menu. In settings, choose update and security.
Now check for and install updates on this page. If, for some reason, your PC won’t update, then click the card directly to go to my video showing how to fix this and update Windows.
The next thing to try is to think back to when this issue started appearing; perhaps you installed a new program, for example, new audio software or maybe you changed some settings on your PC.
Either way, if you did make a change, try and undo it if you think that might have caused it. Unfortunately, those are all of the methods I have. After trying all of these, if it still isn’t working or detected on this or another device, it is likely a physical problem with the device, and it will most likely be the connection.
This means that your data should hopefully still be on the drive, so you should research some data recovery options if you desperately need the data on the industry.