What is USB Unknown Device and How Do You Fix It?

USB Unknown Device occurs when you plug a device into a USB port on your computer and a pop-up window on the bottom-right side of your screen appears informing you that the “device cannot be recognized” or a message notifies you that the device might not work properly because of a problem during the installation.


USB Unknown Device Popups

PC users who encounter these sorts of messages might just try to unplug the Unknown Problematic USB Device, and plug it again to check if the problem still persists. In case the USB Device is not yet recognized after a series of “unplugging or rebooting your computer,” you might try to check your Device Manager. Device Manager displays all the hardware devices on your computer, including built-in devices and those which PC users use as plug and play devices such as mouse, keyboards, card readers, etc. See the example below:

USB Unknown Device Device Manager

As you might notice with our examples, along with the list of hardware devices we have USB Unknown Device identified by the yellow warning symbols. Regarding this error, you will not be able to use your hardware device in a proper way, or it might not function at all. Frequent questions regarding Unknown Device USB Errors are “Why does it occur?” and “How to solve this problem?” Answers to these questions will be discussed throughout the article.

Several Causes:

  • Unsupported USB Host Controller: This problem might occur after upgrading your older Operating System (OS) to a newer OS, and often happens for the obsolete versions of OS such as Windows ME, NT, and others. The problem will not be noticed until you experience problems such as USB Unknown Device. In some cases, the USB device itself might not be supported by your OS.
  • Missing Drivers: USB Unknown Device Problems are mostly due to missing drivers or unrecognized device drivers. When the required device drivers are unrecognized or missing, the connection between your computer and the USB device will be affected and will result in USB Unknown Device Errors such as malfunction or dull performance.
  • Free USB Unknown Device Driver Scan

  • Faulty USB device: The basic cause of USB Unknown Device Problems is the hardware device itself. It is because of defective devices which will not work properly every now and then, and might be because of a loose or damaged connector.

USB Unknown Device is one of the common problems nowadays when it comes to hardware devices; here are several options to fix this problem:

Reinstalling USB device: Just unplug your device and plug it again, this is the most basic way to solve this error. Restarting your computer is another option to reinitiate the connection between your computer and the USB device. This solution often works for faulty devices, also with undetected devices/device drivers.

Updating Your Device Drivers: This is the most effective way to solve issues regarding Unknown USB Device and there are two ways to perform this solution, manual and instant.

  • Manual Option: Go to the device manager window and point out the unrecognized device, check the properties of this device and go to the Details tab. From here you will be provided with dropdown list; check for the Device Instance Path or ID (varies for OS). Provided with this example: USB\VID_1130&PID_F211&MI_00\6&2DAA2C24&0&0000, you may search online using the VID or Vendor ID 1130 and PID or Product ID F211, but there are dangers in manual online searching, several of which are:

    • Viruses/Malware: Most downloadable files are bundled with adware and spyware, the worst being free products with bundled viruses that will harm your computer or steal private information such as passwords.
    • Outdated/Corrupted Drivers: You may end up downloading outdated drivers, or corrupted device drivers which may totally damage your USB device.
  • Instant Solution: The most recommended option for updating drivers is by using Instant Driver Update Software, which automates the process of searching device drivers, installing and updating your drivers. One of the most reliable products when it comes to driver update software is Driver Detective. Here are several of its benefits:

    • Provides Latest Updates: It automatically checks for the newest release device drivers and software versions. Provides authentic updates from thousands of hardware vendors, keeping your computer up-to-date with the latest drivers available.
    • Wide-range of Compatibility: Driver Detective is compatible with  Windows® 7 both 32 and 64-bit, Windows®Vista both 32 and 64-bit, Windows® XP 32-bit and 64-bit, 2000, 2008 and 2008 R2 Server, and 2003 Server.

There are many more benefit with Driver Detective aside from solving USB Unknown Device, experience it firsthand by Running Free Driver Scan Now!

USB Unknown Device Driver Scan