Nothing Happens When I Plug in USB. Fixed!

Do you plug in your USB storage device into your computer and nothing happens? Well, this tackles the “nothing happens when I plug in USB” issue.

Jun 04, 2020 • Filed to: USB Recovery • Proven solutions

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If you connect your USB drive to your PC or laptop and nothing happens, it is easy to jump to many complicated conclusions. You may think that perhaps the USB drive is damaged or the laptop itself is not working properly. But before jumping to these conclusions and taking drastic steps that may escalate the problem, read this guide.

In it, we take a look at this issue in detail to determine why nothing happens when you plug in your USB drive and some of the things you can do to fix that.

Part 1: Signs of "Nothing Happens When I Plug in USB"

There are several signs that often accompany this problem, other than “Nothing happens when I plug in USB” device. These signs include the following;

You may see a message in the Windows System tray icon saying “USB malfunctioned or not recognized,”


Part 2: Reasons for the Error

If this problem persists or continues to be a nightmare, you may wonder what is causing it. The following are just some of the reasons your computer is unable to detect the USB drive;

You may have removed the USB drive from the computer without safely ejecting the device the last time you used it. This can cause the device to malfunction causing this problem and many others.


Part 3: How to Fix the Error

The following are the solutions you can try to fix this error or any other error that the USB drive experiences;

Method 1: Run the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Windows has an in-built troubleshooter that will help you get to the bottom of the problem and offer suggestions to fix it. In this case, it is necessary to run the hardware and devices troubleshooter. Here’s how to do that;

Step 1: To begin, open the Control Panel and then click on “Configure a device” under “Hardware and Sound”. If you are using Windows 10, you can also find this troubleshooter by going to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot and then select “Hardware and Devices.”

nothing happens when plug in usb 1

Step 2: The troubleshooter will open and begin running automatically. Once the process is complete, you should see a report detailing the problem and whether or not it was fixed.

nothing happens when plug in usb 2

Method 2: Use the Device Manager

You may also be able to diagnose and fix the device in Device Manager. Here are the precise steps to do it;

Step 1: Connect the USB device to the computer and then type in “devmgmt.msc”.

Step 2: Right click on the “devmgmt” option and choose “Run as Administrator”

Step 3: Check under “Elevated Device Manager” for any devices with yellow flags. You should also check under “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” for “Unknown device.” If you find one, right-click on it and click “Uninstall”

nothing happens when plug in usb 3

Step 4: Restart the PC and connect the USB to the computer again. It should now work.


Part 4: Data Recovery after Fixing the Error

It is important to realize that the solutions above or any damage to the USB drive can cause the loss of some or all of the data on the device. Therefore, if you are able to repair the USB drive only to find that some data may be missing, we recommend using Recoverit Data Recovery to get the lost data back on your PC or the drive. Recoverit is an ideal solution because it is easy to use and has one of the highest recovery rates of any data recovery tool.

Recoverit Data Recovery has great features that allow for the easy and seamless recovery of data. These include the following;

deleted data recovery

Recoverit Data Recovery - The Best File Recovery Software

  • It can be used to recover data from all types of storage devices including USB drives, your computer’s hard drive, external hard drives and even SD cards.
  • It can also recover numerous types of data including audio, video, photos, documents, emails and many more types of data.
  • It is very easy to use. As we shall see a simple three step process is all you need to recover the missing data.
  • It is also has one of the highest rate of success of any tool, allowing you to recover most of the missing data in a very short time.

Here’s how you can use Recoverit Data Recovery to recover lost data from a USB drive;

Step 1: Select the Location of the lost Data

Begin by installing Recoverit on to your computer. Once the program is installed, double-click on the program’s icon to open it.

In the main window, select the USB drive with the missing data that you want to recover. You may have to connect the drive to the computer and wait for the computer to detect the device.

Once you’ve selected the right drive, click “Start” to begin the process.

recoverit interface

Step 2: Scan the Drive for the Missing Data

Recoverit will immediately begin scanning the selected drive for the missing files. This scan will take a few minutes and even hours if there are many large files on the drive.

But you have the option to “Pause” or “Stop” during the scan if you see the missing files.

operations during scanning

Step 3: Preview the Files for Recovery

You should see the different types of data on the left. Click on one to see the files that have been recovered. Click on the “preview” button and a preview window will appear allowing you to view the file before recovery.

If you are certain this is the file you would like to recover, click on “Recover” to allow the program to recover the file for you.

preview recovered audio

Follow the same process for all other files you would like to recover and you should get your data back on your PC on the device in just a few minutes.

USB drives do get damaged a factor that can be problematic especially when the drive has important data. It is especially problematic when the PC can’t detect the device since you are unable to access the files in any way. But the solutions above should be able to help you fix the USB drive and get the device working normally again. Should you lose data on the drive while repairing it, Recoverit Data Recovery will help you get the data back. Its biggest advantage is that it allows you to recover up to 100MB data for free.

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

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