If your PC is showing the “USB drive not recognized” error or your PC isn’t responding at all, it can be due to several reasons. Your Windows might not be compatible with your USB drive file system, or there might be problems with your USB drive.
Luckily, we’re going to dive into more of the reasons why your USB drive is not showing up and how to fix it.
Why Is My USB Drive Not Showing Up?
- Outdated Windows
- Corrupted USB controller
- Damaged USB port
- Outdated driver or software
- Problems with Partition
- Outdated driver in PC motherboard
Troubleshooting USB Drive Not Showing Up
Before moving on to the fixes, check if Windows can detect your USB drive. Press Windows and X keys at the same time to open the additional menu. Click on Disk Management. In this new window, you can see all the connected devices.
You might be able to see your USB drive in this list, or it can also have a name like Removable volume. If you still can’t see your USB drive, we can explore some methods below:
Turn Off Power Management Settings
Sometimes when your PC is in power-saver mode, it might turn off devices like the USB drive to save battery. So, if your PC is in this mode, your USB drive might not show up. Thankfully, there’s a way to prevent it from happening.
- Follow our steps above to access the Device Manager and double-click on Universal Serial Bus controllers.
- Double-click on USB Root Hub. You will now see a small pop-up window where you can view the properties of your USB.
- From the tabs above, click on Power Management.
- Uncheck the box that says Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
- Click on OK.
Disable USB in Power Plan Settings
Similar to the previous solution, this step is another way of preventing your USB drive from being disabled. Here’s how you can do it:
- Enter Power plan in the Search bar. You might see an option called Edit Power Plan in Control Panel.
- In the new pop-up window, click on Change advanced power settings. You will see another pop-up window named Power Options.
- Scroll and double-click on USB settings and then again double-click on USB selective suspend setting.
- Click on Plugged in: Enabled. Click on Disabled.
Update/Reinstall USB Controller
If your USB driver is corrupted or is inconsistent, it might fail to recognize your USB drive. So, the only method is to update or reinstall the USB drivers. Here’s how you can do it:
- Type “Device Manager” in the search bar and open it. Here, you can see the list of all the devices in your PC.
- Now, scroll to the bottom and double-click on Universal Serial Bus controllers. You might see two or more drivers from the drop-down list.
- Right-click on the devices individually and click on Update driver.
- If you want to uninstall it, click on Uninstall driver.
- You can now restart your PC. Windows will install the new drivers automatically.
- You can also click on Scan for hardware changes. Then, try to connect your USB drive.
If the PC is still failing to recognize your USB drive, there must be damages within the USB port.
Update Motherboard’s Chipset Drivers
If the Chipset drivers on your PC’s motherboard are outdated, your PC might fail to detect your USB drive. To solve this issue, it’s best to update the drivers to their latest version.
- Read your PC’s manual and product information document regarding the motherboard manufacturer.
- Open the online support page of your PC’s manufacturer.
- Usually, all computer brands have the option on their official website to install the drivers. So, you can choose the correct driver and install it for your PC.
Format USB Drive
If most solutions aren’t working, there might be viruses or corrupted files in your USB drive, causing it to not show up. This can happen often with relatively old USB drives and ones that you share with other people often. To get your USB drive working properly again, you’ll need to format it.
Another scenario where this step is helpful is if the drive is partitioned, but you still can’t use the drive. If the drive is in a format that isn’t compatible with Windows, it can lead to the USB drive not showing up. It’s best to remember that Windows supports drive with file systems, like NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT.
Please note that although formatting the drive might work, it will remove all files and empty your USB drive. So, it’s a good idea to backup some files if you have them on other platforms. Meanwhile, here’s how you can format your USB drive:
- On the search bar, enter Create and format hard disk partitions. This will lead you to the Disk Management window.
- Right-click on the removable storage. From the additional menu, click on Format.
- In the Volume Label area, set a name for the storage in File Explorer.
- From the drop-down menu of File System, click on NTFS.
- From the drop-down menu of the Allocation Unit size, click on Default.
- Select the box that says Perform a quick format.
- You may also check the box that says Enable file and folder compression.
- Click on OK.
You can now try connecting your USB drive to your PC.
Check for Hardware Damages
If software-related solutions aren’t doing you any good, it’s time to check if there are any physical damages. To confirm this, you can try connecting the USB drive to another computer. If it works, then the problem is with the USB port on your PC. If the USB drive still doesn’t show up on another PC, the problem is with the drive itself.
You can use a flashlight to check for any damages around or inside your USB port on your desktop or laptop. Similarly, do the same test on your USB drive. Check if there are cracks and broken parts.
If yes, you can take your PC to a nearby local electronics repair shop to fix the damages. If there are severe damages to your USB drive, it might be time to replace it with a new one.
Update Your Windows
Lastly, updating your Windows might just do the trick. This is because doing this step will fix any minor bugs and update all drivers and components of your PC. Simply open Updates and Security from settings. Go to Windows Update and click on any available updates.