“A device attached to the system is not functioning” is a Windows error triggered due to connectivity issues while transferring files from your USB device to a computer.
Well, you can encounter this error while sending files from your smartphone or flash drives. Since the issue mainly arises from connection problems, we recommend checking your USB cable, port, and device driver to get rid of it.
Indeed, the solution to this problem is quite simple, and you do not have to worry at all! In this article, we will guide you on why you’re getting the file transfer error and the proven ways to fix it.
Causes: A Device Attached To The System is Not Functioning
Most of us use USB cables to send photos or videos from our smartphones to PC and vice versa. This is because physical mediums have comparatively faster data transfer rates than wireless or online methods.
Nonetheless, there are times when we face issues even while using the cables. This could be due to several factors that we are unaware of.
Generally, if there’s a problem sending documents from a PC to your smartphone, the transfer automatically stops, and you have no idea what happened. But suppose there’s an issue when sending a photo or video from your mobile phone to a computer. In that case, Windows notifies you of the possible error, sometimes even with a hex code.
Well, “A device attached to the system is not functioning” is also one of those errors generated by Windows notifying you that the smartphone you’re trying to connect to the PC isn’t working or has been disconnected.
- The USB cable has a loose connection
- Your USB port isn’t working properly
- The USB cable is probably damaged
- Outdated USB driver
- Outdated operating system
- Image or file format issues
How Can I Fix A Device Attached To The System is Not Functioning?
A loose USB connection is probably causing the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error. However, you might even encounter another Windows error, “A device which does not exist was specified,” when the connector is completely removed from your smartphone’s charging port or the PC’s USB port.
Generally, the fixes for both these issues are quite similar. So, the fixes below should help you solve any underlying data transfer-related problems on Windows and smartphones.
Reconnect USB Cable
The file transfer won’t be completed if the USB cable isn’t properly connected to the PC’s USB or the smartphone’s charging port. When this happens, there’s a high chance you’ll get the error “A device attached to the system is not functioning.”
Thus, the first thing you should check is whether the connector is properly inserted or not. Even a slightly loose connection can trigger undesirable problems. So, here’s how to properly reconnect the USB cable on both ends:
- Firstly, remove the USB-A connector from your laptop or desktop’s USB 3.0, 3.1, or 3.2 port.
- Then, carefully unplug the USB-B/C or the lightning connector from your smartphone’s charging port.
- Now, reinsert both ends in their respective ports, ensuring a tight connection.
- Then, you can start sending the earlier files again.
Connect to a Different USB Port
If there’s an internal issue with a USB port, you may notice that the connection isn’t stable. In such a case, you can even face repeated prompt messages on your smartphone asking to allow access to file transfer. This way, it can trigger the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error during data transmission.
In such a case, switching the connector to a different USB port can help. But if your laptop has a single USB port and it’s dead or broken, you may want to try a USB-B/C or Lighting to USB-C adapter if your PC has a USB-C input port.
Try a Different USB Cable
Like USB ports, even damaged USB cables can create connection problems. If your cord has wires coming out of it, there’s a high chance the file transfer might stop in the middle, and you’ll likely see the Error Copying File or Folder dialogue box.
Well, you probably have another USB cable lying around, or you can even borrow one from your friend. So, you can use another USB cable and start the file transfer from scratch.
Update Corrupted USB Driver
If switching ports or cables didn’t help, a corrupted driver is probably causing issues with your connection. Although Windows installs the necessary driver whenever you insert the USB cable, it can be outdated and may possess bugs. So, you should try checking and updating the troublesome driver to see if this fixes the file transfer error:
- Launch Run using Windows + R and enter the following command to launch Device Manager:
- Here, expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers and right-click on the corrupted USB driver. You may even notice an exclamation sign if they require an update.
- Tap the Update driver option.
- Now, select the Search automatically for drivers option and wait until the adapters are updated.
- If that’s not solving the issue, right-click on the adapter again and select Uninstall device.
- Choose Uninstall and restart your PC to reinstall the USB adapter.
- Finally, reconnect your phone to the PC and check if you can send images or videos without facing the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error.
Update Your Operating System
If you’re still facing the same error after updating USB drivers, you can try updating the OS on both your PC and smartphone. This resolves any major system bugs and security glitches. In this section, we have included the steps to updating Windows, iOS, and Andriod.
If you haven’t updated your Windows OS for a long time, here’s how you can do it:
- Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app and navigate to Windows Update.
- Now, click the Check for updates button from the right side of the window.
- Wait until Windows finds a suitable update for your device.
- Next, press the Download & Install button and wait until the installation is complete.
- Finally, reconnect the USB cable and try transferring your documents now.
If updating Windows didn’t work, it’s time you update your smartphone’s OS. Here’s how you can update your Android to its latest version:
- Open the Settings application and move to Software update.
- Next, tap the Download and install option.
- If you find an update, download and install it.
- Now, try sending files again; you shouldn’t encounter the error this time.
If you’re an iOS user, updating shouldn’t be difficult, and here’s the right way to do it:
- Go to the Settings application and choose General.
- Next, navigate to Software Update and wait until your iPhone or iPad finds the appropriate version for your model.
- If you see an update, press the Install now button.
- Now, wait until your device verifies the update and starts installing it.
- Finally, reconnect your USB lighting cable and try transferring files again.
Set Transfer Mode to Keep Originals [Only for iOS Users]
The captured pictures on iOS devices are stored in HEIC format. This is incredible in saving storage and also has better quality as compared to other image formats.
Generally, when transferring photos from an iOS device to your Windows-based PC, the file format automatically switches from HEIC to a compatible format. However, if this doesn’t happen due to some errors, there’s a possibility that you might encounter the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error.
So, we recommend setting the transfer mode to Keep Originals. This will not convert HEIC to any other format:
- Open the Settings application. Here, search and find Photos.
- Scroll down and under TRANSFER TO MAC OR PC, check the Keep Originals choice.
- Now, properly connect your USB cable and start transferring files from your iOS device without facing any errors.
Use an Alternative File Transfer Method
If neither of the aforementioned fixes solves the file transfer error, you can dump your USB cable and use an alternative method. Indeed, plenty of tools allow you to transfer files from your smartphone to a computer in no time.
Well, you can use an online or wireless medium to send pictures and videos from a mobile device to a PC.
- Cloud storage, like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
- PC’s USB-C port
- SD Card adapters or directly insert an SD card into its dedicated PC slot
- Bluetooth and similar wireless file transferring methods