Are your USB ports not working? How to Diagnose and Repair the Problem in Windows
Have the USB ports on your PC or laptop stopped working? To resolve this, you must first identify the source of the issue. Here’s all you need to know to get your USB ports back up and running on any PC or laptop.
Think Your USB Port Is Not Working? Test It!
Before continuing, ensure that the defective port is not the device to which you are connecting.
To figure out which is the issue, you’ll need to understand how to troubleshoot the USB port. This includes understanding how to test the USB port.
Begin by connecting the item to a different USB port. If it works, the issue lies with the first port; if the device stays unnoticed, it is malfunctioning. (Please keep in mind that if you are unable to reformat the USB drive, it will need to be replaced.)
If your USB port has an issue, you’ll notice it because of one of the following:
- The associated device cannot be found
- Your operating system shows a device-related error message (removing and replacing the device might solve this)
In any case, you should look at the USB port’s condition. Is it in any way damaged? The safest method to find out is to turn off your computer or laptop.
Examine the USB port next. Is it dust-free and clean? There’s a risk that dirt, dust, and other debris become lodged in the port. This may occur with both laptop and desktop PCs. Dust can impede airflow and cause your system to overheat. It is especially harmful to laptops, because overheating may drastically limit performance in seconds. To resolve this, use a can of compressed air to clear up the USB port. A vacuum cleaner might also come in helpful here. Finally, take a USB cord (or flash drive) and jiggle it around slightly. If the drive is moving and feels loose (usually up and down), you have a problem.
In a minute, we’ll look at various software remedies, but first, what if the USB port is loose?
Your computer’s USB ports are soldered to a PCB. This might be the motherboard, although it’s more likely a secondary printed circuit board (PCB). With repeated usage, ports may become moveable, and in some cases totally detached.
How to Fix a Broken USB Port on PC and Laptop
This is often due to the form of the connected USB devices. While modest Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even modern USB flash memory are unlikely to impose substantial pressure on the physical connection of the port, older “stick” memory devices are a different matter. So are USB cables; their size and weight operate as a type of lever, leading to loose USB ports.
If you feel that your motherboard’s USB ports are broken, replacing them will be difficult. On a desktop computer, you may be able to obtain a new board that can be easily slipped in. Do you want to know how to repair a USB port on a laptop? It will need the use of a soldering iron. Here’s an example of what you would need to do to re-solder your laptop’s USB connector:
Of course, you may take it to a professional for repair, but this would incur additional fees. Make sure you know how to solder if you want to do it yourself. If you’re not sure, start with the software repairs.
This tried-and-true tech support method is well-known for a reason: it works!
Restart your computer with your unidentified USB device properly placed into the suspicious USB port. The USB device should be detected after the operating system has restarted. If not, examine the device in the Windows device manager.
Can Restarting a Computer Fix Broken USB Ports?
“Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
Device Manager is a Windows system program that lists the devices that are connected to your computer. They’re organized into categories and alphabetically listed, making it easy to discover the gadget you’re searching for.
Keep in mind that if you have a USB mouse and keyboard connected, they will be disabled while the USB Host Controllers are removed.
How to Check USB Ports on Windows 10 With Device Manager
If your power management settings override your USB controller, USB device detection will suffer. It may look that USB is not functioning, but the device has been placed to sleep by the operating system.
To check the status of your USB ports in Windows 10 and 11:
- Right-click Start and choose Device Manager.
- Look through the list for Universal Serial Bus controllers. Expand this to find the USB Host Controller (your device may have a longer title, but it will feature those three words)
- Uninstall USB Host Controller (and any duplicates) by right-clicking on them. If no USB Host Controller is shown, use the toolbar to scan for hardware changes.
- Restart your computer
This is especially important if you suspect your laptop’s USB port is broken. However, if you want to save energy, you may have set your Windows 10 desktop to low power.
Have Power Settings Stopped Your USB Ports Working?
USB Selective Suspend is a power-saving mode that reduces battery use by cutting power to the USB device.
The function normally works well, however it might sometimes give the impression that there is an issue with your USB ports.
To resolve this, access the Windows Control Panel and make the necessary changes.
Any USB ports that were not functioning should now be operational. As you can see, there are various methods for mending an unresponsive USB port. In most circumstances, it will not be dead and you will be able to repair it. Remember that if your USB port is not functioning, you must:
USB ports aren’t your computer’s only possible weak point. Maintaining your hardware will prevent possible failures, and knowing how to test your PC for malfunctioning hardware can save you a lot of money.
- Click Start to open the control panel.
- Choose the relevant outcome Navigate to Hardware and Sound > Power Settings.
- Locate the desired plan and click it. Modify plan settings > Modify the advanced power settings
- Locate USB Settings and expand to locate USB Suspend Settings
- Set the drop-down menu to Disabled. To confirm, click Apply and OK. Finally, restart your computer to guarantee that this modification takes effect.
- Make any required physical repairs to the port
- Examine the Device Manager and remove the USB Host Controller. Disable the USB Selective Suspend power-saving mode.
You should find that any USB ports that were not working have now been fixed.
You’ve Fixed Your Broken USB Port!
As you can see, you have several options for repairing an unresponsive USB port. In most cases, it won’t be dead, and you’ll be able to fix it. Remember, when your USB port is not working, you need to:
- Make a physical check
- If necessary, make a physical repair to the port
- Reboot Windows
- Check the Device Manager, uninstall the USB Host Controller
- Disable USB Selective Suspend power saving option
USB ports aren’t the only potential weak spots on your computer. Looking after your hardware will reduce potential failures, and you can save a lot of money if you know how to test your PC for failing hardware.
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