The USB port allows devices to be detected, read or written by the system, and it is through the USB cables that data are transferred between the computer and device. However, USB ports are also prone to breaking or damage.
While wireless connection either by Bluetooth or over the internet is the new way to exchange data and perform tasks, the USB cables are still a reliable way to do such activities even when offline. There are, however, cases when the USB port fails to recognize external devices. In the DELL PC or laptop, the USB not working issue is reported by some of the users.
The problem can be one of two things: hardware or software failure. For one, the error may arise from a damaged USB port affected by water or a power surge that damages physical connection with the rest of the computer system. Also, any malware attack that modifies the USB software can also cause this error.
The good news is that before you bring your PC to the repair shop, you can try any one of these troubleshooting tips to see if the issue gets fixed on your DELL computer or laptop.
If you do not have any prior knowledge, making an undetected device be detected by the DELL computer is a tricky task to achieve. If the USB port not working error appears, it may be that only one port is affected, and the others are still in good condition. If you plug a USB device and there is no response from the PC, you can try plugging it in another port found on the same DELL computer. If this does not solve the problem and your external device still cannot be detected, you can proceed to the next solution.
If your DELL computer or laptop does not detect your USB device, the next physical check you can do is the power supply. Some USB ports cannot function properly when there is little to no power.
a. Remove your PC’s power cord from the socket or the AC adapter.
b. Reboot the PC.
c. Connect the USB device to the DELL USB port.
d. Plug your PC to the AC adapter or the power source again, and check if the USB device is now working correctly.
When the USB ports are not used, the system may turn the USB controllers off to save power. This is very useful for when you want the battery to last longer. However, Windows may not be able to turn it on automatically. Check the power management options by doing these steps:
a. Press Win + R to launch Run. Type in devmgmt.msc in the box provided and select OK. This opens the Device Manager window.
b. Find Universal Serial Bus controllers and double click on it. Then, on the expanded list, select the first USB Root Hub.
c. Tick the box indicating Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power and select OK.
d. Repeat this process on the other USB Root Hub items on the list.
e. Re-plug the devices on the USB ports and see if the system detects them.
There are times when the drivers for the USB devices are missing or not installed properly. There are three ways to solve this problem:
1) Using Device Manager
a. In the search bar, type in Device Manager and click the top result.
b. Select Universal Serial Bus Controllers and expand it.
c. On the first USB Root Hub, right click and then select Update Driver.
d. Repeat the steps for all the other USB Root Hubs on the list.
2) Downloading from manufacturer website
Going to the manufacturer of the device to download the updated drivers is sometimes necessary. There might be updates the Device Manager option misses, so you can try visiting their website to get the most compatible version to your Windows. To do this, you have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the website on how to download and install the drivers manually.
3) Using a third-party software
A third-party software may be used to automatically search and update drivers. These apps are designed to automatically detect the OS version you are using, and as well as search the web for the compatible device driver to be used for your device. This software usually requires downloading and installing from the developer before you can use it to search for device drivers.
DELL laptops and PCs are some of the well-known brands worldwide, but as with any computer, it is also subject to errors and issues. Some of them can be fixed with simple diagnostic and troubleshooting tools. However, if the USB not working error is unresolved by any of the listed solutions, you can bring your PC for repair in service centers near you.