How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Detected

Have you ever plugged in a USB flash drive to your computer and found that it’s not being detected? That’s just the start of your problems! Your data could be at risk, and it’s up for grabs. However, there are several reasons why this problem can occur, such as driver issues, USB port problems, or faulty hardware. The good news is that many of these problems can be fixed with uncomplicated troubleshooting steps.

In this blog post, we will help you fix a USB flash drive not detected by your computer. So whether you’re using Windows or Mac, and regardless of your technical expertise, we’ve got you covered.

Why is a USB Flash Drive Not Detected?

Oh, the good old USB flash drive issue. There could be many reasons why your computer isn’t detecting it.

  • Driver issues: First off, it could be due to driver issues. If the driver for your USB flash drive is outdated, corrupted, or missing, your computer won’t be able to recognize it.
  • USB port problems: Another reason could be USB port problems. If the USB port you’re using is faulty or not functioning correctly, your computer won’t be able to detect your USB flash drive.
  • Faulty hardware: Thirdly, it could be due to faulty hardware. If your USB flash drive is damaged or malfunctioning, your computer may not be able to recognize it.
  • Power issues: If you’re having trouble getting your USB flash drive to work, it might be due to a lack of juice. Sometimes, your computer’s USB port might not provide enough power to the drive, causing it to go unnoticed.
  • Compatibility issues: Your USB flash drive may be too cool for your computer to handle. Compatibility issues can arise if the drive isn’t compatible with your computer’s operating system or hardware, leading to serious detection issues. 

By understanding these common causes, you can take the necessary steps to diagnose and fix the problem with your USB flash drive. 

USB Flash Drive Not Detected

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How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Detected

Fix 1: Check and Change Ports

This system packs some serious USB power! With USB ports, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0, you have all the USB goodness you need! But sometimes, the system can’t seem to recognize your USB drive. Bummer, right? But don’t sweat it; try plugging that into another USB port, and voila! The USB device not recognized error may vanish into thin air!

Fix 2: Format Your Drive

Sometimes, your device can corrupt due to malicious files or technical issues. This can cause your system to stop recognizing the device. If you format the drive, it’ll be like starting over fresh, as if you just bought it from the store. Here’s how to format your device:

  1. To access the connected USB drive, click the “This PC” option twice, as depicted in the image below.
  2. Right-click on the USB drive from the list of available options and choose the Format option, as illustrated in the image below.
  3. Once the “Quick Format” window appears, click on the Start button, as seen in the image below, to initiate the formatting process for the USB drive. Format USB

Fix 3: Uninstall and Then Reconnect the External Hard Drive

Here’s a way to fix that USB driver that’s messed up on your computer:

  1. First, right-click Start and find Device Manager; when it pops up, click on it. device manager windows 11 
  2. Next, select Disk Drives from the list of hardware. disk drives
  3. Find the external hard drive that’s giving you trouble, right-click it, and select Uninstall device.uninstall drive
  4. Once that’s done, pull out the USB cable and wait for a full minute. 
  5. After that, plug the cable back in, and the driver should automatically load up.
  6. If you want to double-check, it worked, peek in Windows Explorer and see if the USB drive is there.

Fix 4: Install the Latest Windows Updates

We’ve got a sneaky way to get the latest drivers for your USB external hard drive!

  1. Click the Start button and type “Windows Update” in the Search box. 
  2. Once you’ve found it, select Windows Update in the results pane.
  3. After that, select Check for Updates and let it scan your computer. Check for updates
  4. Once it’s complete, select “Review optional updates”. 
  5. From there, select the check box next to the updates you want and then hit Install updates
  6. If prompted to review the license agreement, select I Accept
  7. Then, follow the instructions to download and then install the updates.
  8. And if you’re prompted to do so, go ahead and reboot your computer!

Fix 5: Disable USB Selective Suspend Setting

Disabling that “USB Selective Suspend Setting” thing in Windows can be a real lifesaver for your USB devices. You see, that feature likes to go all power-hungry and selectively suspend power to USB ports that it thinks aren’t being used. But the problem is that it’s got a bad case of misjudgment and ends up causing issues with some USB devices, like external hard drives. They can get all disconnected and not work right. So, to avoid all that hassle, disable that setting, and you’ll be good to go!

If you want to disable USB selective suspend settings, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Start menu, type “power plan” in the search box, then select Choose a power plan.
  2. Next to your currently selected power plan, select Change Plan Settings. Chnage plan settings
  3. Select Change advanced power settings. power plan advance settings
  4. Find “USB Settings” and expand it, then expand “USB selective suspend settings.” USBsettings in power options
  5. Select “Plugged in,” choose “Disabled” from the drop-down menu, and then do the same for “Battery” if you’re using a laptop.
  6. Finally, select Apply and then OK.

Fix 6: Install Your Motherboard’s Latest Chipset Drivers

Updating your motherboard’s chipset drivers is crucial to make your computer recognize your USB external hard drive. The first step is to review your computer’s documentation, which should contain the motherboard manufacturer’s name.

Once you have the manufacturer’s name, visit your computer manufacturer’s support website and find the appropriate drivers for your motherboard. Of course, if you face any difficulties, you can always contact your computer manufacturer for assistance.

Fix 7: Change USB Root Hub Settings

Did you know the computer is programmed to shut down USB devices to save power? This means it could be why your USB device isn’t being recognized. Luckily, there is a way to fix this error. Here’s what you can do: 

  1. Open the Device Manager and locate the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” option. Click on it, and a drop-down list will show up. Serial Bus controller
  2. Find the USB Root Hub (USB 3.0) option, double-click it, and a new window should appear. 
  3. Once you’re in, go to “Power Management,” Then find the option Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power.
  4. Uncheck the checkbox, then click OK. You’re good to go.USB Root Hub Settings

Fix 8: Update USB Driver

Ah, the joys of updating USB drivers! If you’re facing the pesky issue of your USB drive not showing up, fear not! The system has got your back with updates and fixes for drivers. To quickly resolve this issue, follow these simple steps to update your USB drivers:

  1. To access Device Manager, open Settings by clicking the Settings button on the Start menu. A new window will appear. Click on the search bar, type “Device Manager,” and press Enter.
  2. In the Device Manager window, locate “Universal Serial Bus controllers.” Serial Bus controller
  3. A list of options will appear. Right-click USB Root Hub (USB 3.0) and select Properties from the drop-down list, as shown in the image below.
    Properties of USB Root Hub 3
  4. In the properties window, tap on the “Driver” tab and the Update Driver button. A new window will appear. Click on OK to initiate the driver update process. Update Driver

Just a heads up! While updating the USB Root Hub driver might help with some USB device problems; unfortunately, it may not always work. If updating the driver doesn’t do the trick, you might have to resort to more drastic measures like uninstalling and reinstalling the driver or looking for other troubleshooting methods.


If it isn’t, the classic USB flash drive is not detected by your computer problem. Don’t you love it when technology fails you? Fortunately, this blog post has some troubleshooting steps to help you fix the issue in most cases. It could be a problem with the driver or the hardware, but follow the steps we’ve given you, and you can get your USB drive working again. 

Just remember to back up your data regularly and keep your drivers and software up to date to avoid any future issues. These tips allow you to use your USB drive without tearing your hair out!

Why does my USB Flash drive keep disconnecting and reconnecting? 

This could be caused by a faulty USB port, an issue with the USB controller driver, or a damaged USB cable. Try using a different cable or port, and update your drivers if necessary.

Can a virus cause my USB Flash drive not to be detected? 

Yes, a virus or malware on your computer can cause USB detection issues. 

How can I recover data from a USB Flash drive that’s not being detected? 

Use data recovery software like Recuva or EaseUS Data Recovery to retrieve your files.

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