Wondershare Recoverit

USB Drive Data Recovery

  • Recovers deleted or lost files USB Flash drive effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from 500+ data loss scenarios, including computer crash, partition loss, accidental human error, etc.
  • Supports 1000+ file formats recovery with a high success rate and without any quality loss.
Free Download Free Download Free Download Learn More >
file recovery

Solved: USB Device not Recognized keeps popping up

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: USB Recovery • Proven solutions

Question: "My USB flash drive is not recognized when I plug it to the computer. What causes such a problem to happen? Is my USB drive got broken? How to fix the flash drive not recognized issue? Also, can I recover data from the USB flash drive not recognized?"

Solved: USB not recognized is one common problem reported by many users. It could be broken or other reasons which caused the drive error. But don't worry, you can follow the next guide to fix the flash drive not recognized error on Windows and Mac, then recover files from flash drive with Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery program.

What Caused the Flash Drive Not Recognized on Computer?

Several root causes would result in the not recognized flash drive issue. They should be addressed so that you will not need to deal with the issue(s) for a long period.

Port Related Issues: To determine if this is a port problem, test every USB port that you have with different flash drives. This could be either hardware or software issues or both. In this case, you would need a professional to help you correct this.

USB Formatting Issue: This is the most probable reason your computer could not detect your flash drive. The inability to format flash drive properly before the first use could cause problems later on.

Driver Issue: The drivers may not be available, corrupted, or outdated which would make the flash drive not Recognized.

Hard Drive Related Issues: A glitch in your machine's hard drive will not allow anything on it to work in a good and perfect way. This hardware issue should be addressed because it will affect more than your computer's ability to recognize a flash drive.

Operating System Related Issues: Sometimes, if your OS is not updated with the necessary updates as often as possible, it would cause the system to not recognize the flash drive. This could be simply rectified by updating the necessary components.

[Windows]: 11 Methods to Fix the USB Flash Drive Not Recognized

Depending on what is the root cause of the problem, you may only need to do one of these four steps or all of them. Follow these solutions step-by-step to resolve your problem.

Way 1: Restart your Computer

The first method we can't miss is to restart your computer. It's the most efficient way to solve some occasional bugs appear on your computer.

Way 2: Try a different USB port or device

Connect the USB drive to another computer or USB port to see whether it works or not.

Way 3: Scan Flash Drive to Find the Issue

  1. Plug the flash drive into your USB port.
  2. Go to My Computer and right-click on the flash drive. Open the Properties

fix flash drive not recognized problem step 1

  1. Open the Tools tab and click Check now"¦

fix flash drive not recognized problem step 2

  1. It may take some time to complete the scan. Once finished, it will tell you what the flash drive's problem is.

Way 4: Uninstall the drive device

One of the reasons that the usb device not recognized is that it is corrupted. For this case, uninstalling the usb device can easily solve this issue.

  1. Type Device Manager in the search box next to the Windows icon. Then select and open Device Manager.
  2. Find and click the Disk drivers section.
  3. Right-click the USB device, and click on Uninstall device.

uninstall usb drive device

  1. Restart your computer and reconnect the uninstalled usb device to check whether the USB device not recognized issue is fixed.

Way 5: Disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting

Disabling the usb selective suspend settings is another good way to solve the problems that USB drive not recognized. To save the battery power and protect some USB devices, the Windows operating system may automatically power the devices down when they haven’t been used for a while, which may cause the USB drive not showing up. Disabling this feature can fix this:

  1. Go to Settings on your computer->System->Power&sleep->Additional power settings.

power sleep setting

  1. Click on Change plan settings->Change advanced power settings.
  2. Click the plus icon next to USB settings.
  3. Then, click the plus icon next to USB selective suspend setting, select Disabled.

usb selective suspend settings

  1. Click Apply.

Way 6: Perform driver updates

USB controllers is important for the connection between your computer and the USB driver. When the USB device not recognized error appears, it may have something to do with the USB controllers. Updating the controllers may fix this issue.

  1. Open the Run command and type in msc in the field. Click OK.

perform driver updates step 1

  1. This will open the Device Manager. Find the Universal Serial Bus controllers.

perform driver updates step 2

  1. Expand the menu and right-click on the Generic USB Hub. Click on Update Driver Software"¦

perform driver updates step 3

Way 7: Reinstall USB controllers

When updating the USB controllers didn't work, you can try reinstalling to fix this problem:

  1. Type Device Manager in the search box. Select Device Manager and open it.
  2. Click Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  3. Find the USB controller your USB drive is connected to, and click on it.
  4. Click Uninstall device. Then restart your computer and connect the USB device to check whether it works.

uninstall usb controllers

You can try any of the controllers if you’re not sure which one is in use, because they will get reinstalled automatically once you restarted the computer.

Way 8: Operating System Updates

Keep your Windows updated is another effective way to fix the USB driver not recognized issue.

  1. Type Windows Update directly in the search box next to the start menu.
  2. Select Windows Update, and click the Check for Updates option to review available updates.

check for update

  1. Select the update you want to install, then click Install updates.
  2. Once it completes, restart your computer to check whether the issue is fixed.

Way 9: Repair windows system

If it doesn’t fix this problem by repairing your USB device, then the problem may relies on your Windows operating system. If the operating system is corrupted, it can also cause the USB device not recognized issue. Try repairing the Windows system to fix this issue:

  1. Right click the Start icon and launch Windows Terminal(Admin) or Windows PowerShell(Admin).
  2. Enter the command to scan the operating system files: sfc / scannow
  3. When it completes, restart your computer and check whether the USB device not recognized problem is solved or not.

powershell system repair

If it isn’t fixed, you can continue with repairing the Windows Component Store:

  1. Launch Windows Terminal(Admin) or Windows PowerShell(Admin)
  2. Type and enter: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  3. It will scan the Component Store and find the issues. After that, type and enter: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  4. And also: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  5. Restart the computer, and check again.

powershell healthscan

Way 10: Reformat the Flash Drive

  1. Right-click on the flash drive and click on Format"¦, the Format window will pop up.

fix flash drive not recognized problem step 3

  1. Under the File system toggle it between NTFS and FAT32. Click Start.

reformat flash drive step 2

Way 11: Update the Chipset Drivers for Your Motherboard

To let your motherboard work correctly, the chipset drivers need to keep being updated. If you haven’t done this for a while, you can go to the official website to check whether there is newer chipset driver available to download. If yes, download the driver and install it.

Video Tutorial on How to Fix the USB Flash Drive Not Recognized

Recent Videos from Recoverit

View More >

[Mac]: 3 Methods to Fix the Flash Drive Not Recognized Problem

Like in Windows, your resolution method will be determined by the root cause of the problem. These are the three ways that you can do to fix flash drive not Recognized issue.

Way 1: Manually Connect the Flash Drive

  1. Go to Application and click on Utilities.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 1

  1. A pop-up window will appear and click on the highlighted commands as marked in the image below:

Flash Drive Not Recognized 2

  1. Under Devices, click External Devices to manually connect the unrecognizable flash drive.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 3

Way 2: Retune PRAM

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Press the Power button and subsequently hold down the Command-Option-P-R This should be done before the grey screen appears.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 4

  1. Your Mac should reboot itself. Let it go after the start-up chime.

Way 3: Format Mac's Drive

  1. Press the Command-Spacebar buttons simultaneously, plug in the flash drive and go to the Application Click on the Disk Utility option.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 5

  1. You will be able to find the flash drives that need to be fixed in the left panel.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 6

  1. Click on the Erase button to complete the process.

Flash Drive Not Recognized 7

What's Next?

Now that the flash drive not Recognized problem is solved on your Windows or Mac computer, make sure you had back-up all important documents in the flash drive. This is to ensure that you will be able to access the files stored in the flash drive should it happens again.

You should also check if there is any accidental data loss from the drive. Should you find things missing, use a flash drive data recovery tool to help you recover loss documents do this immediately before it is overwritten by new data.

[Bonus]: How to Recover Data from Flash Drive Not Recognized

When you fix the USB flash drive not recognized with format solution, all your data on the drive will be got formatted and lost. On this guide, we will show you how to recover data from flash drive not recognized on Windows. Recoverit Data Recovery software can easily help you recover lost files from flash drive, even the drive got damaged/corrupted, formatted, virus attack and the file system crashed.

deleted data recovery

Recoverit - The Best USB Flash Drive Recovery Software

  • Undeleted files from flash drive which not recognized on Windows and Mac.
  • Recover files from USB flash drive due to accidentally deleted, formatted and damaged/corrupted.

Steps to Recover Lost Data from Flash Drive

Download and install Recoverit Flash Drive Recovery on your computer, follow the next simple steps to perform flash drive data recovery on Windows computer.

Step 1. Launch Recoverit Data Recovery program, select the "External Device Recovery" mode to get started.


Step 2. Make sure your flash drive detected on the computer, select it, and click "Start" to proceed.


Step 3. The flash drive recovery software will start to scan the device to search and restore your data files.

Step 4. Finally, you can check all the recovered files. Select your data and recover back by clicking the "Recover" button.


If you are a MAC user, you should download Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac or follow the guide to perform flash drive recovery on Mac.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

Home > Resources > USB Recovery > Solved: USB Device not Recognized keeps popping up