Think Your USB Ports Not Working? Test It!

Before continuing, make sure the port is the problem, not the device you are connecting to.

To determine what the problem is, you need to know how to troubleshoot the USB port. This means testing if the USB Ports Not Working.

First connect the device to another USB port. If it works, the problem is with the first port; If the device is still not detected, then your device is faulty. (Please note that if you cannot reformat the USB drive, you will need to replace it.)

How to Fix USB Ports Not Working?

If there’s a problem with your USB port, you’ll notice it thanks to either of these things:

  • The device fails to be detected
  • Your operating system displays an error message relating to the device (removing and replacing the device might solve this)

Either way, you need to investigate the status of the USB port. Is it damaged in any form? The safest way is to shut down your PC or laptop.

Next, let’s look at the USB interface. Is it clean and dust-free? General dirt, dust and debris may have become embedded in the port. This can happen on laptops and desktops.

Dust will reduce air flow and cause the system to overheat. It is especially harmful to laptops, as overheating can degrade performance in just a few seconds. To solve this problem, use a can of compressed air to clean the USB port. A vacuum cleaner can also be convenient here.

Finally, take a USB cable (or flash drive, whatever) and shake it gently. If the unit is moving and feels loose, it will be up and down, then you have a problem.

Fix Broken USB Hardware

We will see some software fixes later, but first, what if the USB port is loose?

The USB port is soldered to the board inside the computer. This may be the main board, but it is usually a secondary printed circuit board (PCB). Through regular use, ports can become mobile, sometimes completely decoupled.

This is usually caused by the shape of the connected USB device. While small WiFi, Bluetooth and even newer USB flash drives are unlikely to put significant pressure on the physical connection of ports, older memory sticks are another matter. The same goes for USB cables; its size and associated weight act as a lever, causing the USB port to loosen.

If you suspect that the USB port on the motherboard is not working properly, it is not easy to replace it. On a desktop computer, you may be able to find a replacement board that can be easily inserted. Do you want to know how to repair your laptop’s USB port? You will need a soldering iron. The following is an example of how you may need to re-solder the USB connector on your laptop:

You can of course give it to an expert for repair, but there will be costs associated with this. If you want to do it yourself, make sure you know how to solder. If you are not sure, please check the software repair first.

RELATED: How to Fix an Upside Down Screen in Windows 10

Can Restarting a Computer Fix USB Ports Not Working?

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

This old reservation of technical support is a well known reason: it works!

After successfully inserting the unrecognized USB device into the suspect USB port, restart the computer. After the operating system restarts, it should detect the USB device. If not, it is worth checking the device in Windows Device Manager.

How to Check USB Ports in Windows 10 Device Manager

Begin by right-clicking on the Start menu and selecting Device Manager.

How to Fix USB Ports Not Working?

The device manager lists the devices connected to your computer, grouped by category. It is in alphabetical order, so you should find the universal serial bus controller at the end of the list.

Expand the list and find the USB host controller. The device you are trying to find may have a longer title, but these three words will be displayed.

How to Fix USB Ports Not Working?

Don’t have a USB host controller? This may explain why your USB device is not working. To resolve this problem, click the “Scan for hardware changes” button on the toolbar. This will start to check all the connected hardware and in most cases it will detect the USB port and everything that is connected to it.

If this still does not work, it is worth reinstalling the USB host controller. Right-click on each item on the USB host controller and select Uninstall for each item. Wait for them to uninstall, and then restart the computer.

When Windows restarts, the USB host driver will be automatically reinstalled. This “update” can help fix USB port issues.

Please note that if you are using a USB mouse and keyboard, it will be disabled when you uninstall the USB host controller.

Have Power Settings Stopped Your USB Ports Working?

If your power management settings override your USB controller, this will affect the detection of USB devices. It will show that the USB is not working properly, but in fact the operating system has put the device to sleep.

This is especially important if you think that the USB port of your laptop is not working. However, if you want to reduce power consumption, you may have established your own Windows Desktop 10 low power consumption.

USB selective suspend is to save the settings, reduce the power to the USB device, and reduce the power used in the battery.

This function usually works normally, but sometimes it shows that there is a problem with the USB port.

Solve this problem by opening the Windows Control Panel and adjusting the settings.

  1. Click Start and enter control panel
  2. Select the corresponding result
  3. Go to Hardware and Sound > Power Options
  4. Here, find the selected plan and click Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings
  5. Find USB Settings and expand to find USB selecting suspend setting
  6. Change the drop-down menu to Disabled 
  7. Click Apply and OK to confirm
  8. Finally, reboot your PC to ensure this change is applied

You should find that the USB port not working has now been fixed.

(Although Windows 10 largely ditched the control panel, it is still used for certain tasks, such as power settings.)

You’ve Fixed Your Broken USB Port!

As you can see, you have multiple options to fix an unresponsive USB port. In most cases, it will not die and you will be able to repair it. Remember, when your USB port is not working, you need to:

  • Perform a physical check
  • If necessary, perform a physical repair to port
  • Restart Windows
  • Check the device manager and uninstall the USB host controller
  • Disable the USB selective suspend power saving option

USB ports are not the only potential weakness on the computer. Taking care of your hardware will reduce potential failures, and if you know how to test your PC for faulty hardware, you can save a lot of money.