USB Device Not Recognized : Windows 8 Fix

While using Windows 8, it often happens that the computer fails to detect an USB device plugged into its USB port and shows an error. It generally shows as a pop up in the bottom right corner of the screen and reads : “USB Device Not Recognized: One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it.”

USB error image

There can be various reasons behind this, the most common one being conflicts with the other USB devices. For users facing similar issues, here is a simplified guide to fix USB detection errors.



The most basic way to try and fix this problem is to disconnect all other USB devices connected to the computer and to uninstall the drivers for the particular device that is facing the dilemma. Once the drivers are uninstalled, the USB device should be plugged out and the computer should be rebooted. Once the system is on again, only the USB device which was initially facing the problem should be plugged in without connecting the other devices at all. Windows should detect the USB device and not show connection errors.


If after the above method, the computer still fails to recognize the USB device plugged in, then this method can be tried. First, all the peripherals connected to the computer should be detached and the machine should be switched off. Then, user will have to unplug any power chords connecting the computer and wait for some time for the charge to drain out. Once that is done, all the power chords should be connected back to the machine and the computer switched on. When Windows finishes booting, connect the USB device to the machine and it should be detected automatically.


Another procedure if the others don’t work is restoring windows to a previous date or time. Windows saves settings everytime a hardware change occurs which can affect system or other files. Users can restore windows back to that restoration point, to undo these changes and to go back to the previously saved settings. Windows can be restored by going to start menu, typing “restore” and then selecting the system restore option. Users can go through the wizard for a step by step procedure and restore windows back to a previous state to fix these issues.

System Restore


If none of the above methods work and the problem still persists, it might be because of outdated or faulty drivers. Generally Windows 8 has all kind of drivers incorporated in its system, but in-case a driver is corrupt or faulty, users will have to manually initiate a download and update of the driver to fix the condition. Let’s take a brief look at how to do that.

Control Panel image

  • Using an administrator account, log in to the system and make sure an active internet connection is available.
  • Click on desktop tile from the Start screen or simply press ‘Windows key + D’. This will open the desktop mode in Windows 8.
  • Bring cursor to right bottom corner and click on settings and in the settings page click Control panel.
  • When the control panel page opens, click on Hardware and sound.
  • In the next window, click on Device Manager under the Devices and Printers category located in the right pane.

    Device Manager image

  • Then expand the Universal Serial Bus Controller category in the Device Manager window.
  • From the list, right click on the USB controller to be updated.
  • A context menu will appear from which ‘Update Driver Software’ has to be clicked to update the driver of the USB device.
  • A pop up box will then appear from where we will have to select “Search automatically for updated driver software”. This will enable Windows to search for the required driver online.
  • Once the respective driver gets updated, click close in the next screen and close the Device Manager window.


This should settle out any kind of issues related to Windows 8 not detecting a plugged in USB device.


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