How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (2023)

I have had many computers in my working space over the years. While some lasted long enough to be called dated, some just gave up too soon. Of all the problems, a dead USB port is the most common issue any Windows users may face. The dead USB Port problem is common with cheap Windows machines, but your outrageously expensive laptop is not immune to USB port failures either.

It happens that you connect a USB device into your computer and your computer refuses to detect the hardware. In such a situation, there are two possibilities. Either your USB device is faulty, or the computer’s USB port has a problem. If you are an in a similar situation right now, don’t panic and bash your laptop onto the wall, believe me, it won’t fix it. Here is a better way to diagnose and repair a dead USB port on your computer.


Diagnose the USB Device and USB Port

The first step to diagnosing a not working USB port is to make sure that it is the faulty USB Port and not the USB device you are trying to connect with problems.

Disconnect the USB device and connect it to another USB port on your Computer. If detected, your USB device has no problem. Now connect another USB device to the same USB port that did not detect the USB device earlier. If it remains undetected, then you have a faulty USB port.

A faulty USB port does not mean it is a hardware issue. Computers being electronic devices can have temporary glitches and problems that a quick restart can fix. It can also be a USB driver related problem which can be fixed with an update. So, before you go in full Louis Rossmann mode, let’s find out why the USB port is not working.

Restart Your PC to Fix the Not Working USB Port

As I said earlier, the USB Port not working problem may be a temporary glitch that can be fixed with a simple restart. At times, a single faulty USB port can shut down other USB port from detecting any devices.

All you have to do is shut down your computer and start it again. In case your computer doesn’t have a hardware issue, the USB ports should be working fine now.

(Video) How to Fix a Dead USB Port in Windows

Still not working? Restart your PC a few times more. As silly it may sound, your USB drivers may not be loading properly, but restarting your PC a few times can do the trick.

Disable USB Selective Suspend Option

Windows 10 and other versions of Windows including XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 comes with a USB Selective Suspend feature that allows you to automatically put USB devices in low power mode when they are in idle state. USB selective suspend process is particularly essential for a laptop for providing better battery optimization.

However, USB Selective Suspend can also create trouble and leave your USB ports in the non-functional state due to several reasons. In case all or one of the USB port is not working on your computer, you can try disabling USB selective suspend temporarily to fix the issue.

Follow these steps to disable USB selective Suspend in Windows 10

These steps also work with the older version of Windows including
Windows 7,8 and XP.

1. Open Control Panel. Right-click on Start and select Control Panel from the options.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (1)2. Click System and Security and then click on Power Options.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (2)3. Click Change Plan Settings.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (3)4. Click onChange advanced power settings option.

(Video) How to Fix USB Ports Not Working in Windows 10/11

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (4)5. Expand USB Settings and then expand USB Selective Suspend settings.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (5)6. If the “USB Selective Suspend” option is enabled, click the drop-down menu and select Disabled.

7. For Laptop users, USB selective suspend option is available for both Battery and Plugged in, so make sure you change the options accordingly.

8. Click Apply to save the changes.

Now you need to restart your PC. Connect your USB device to the non-working USB port and see if disabling USB selective suspend fixed the issue.

Uninstall USB Host Controller Driver

The next place to look when your USB device does not work is the device manager. Device Manager shows all the devices that are connected to your computer. To fix a dead USB port, we need to analyze Universal Series Bus controllers and associated drivers.

1. Open Device Manager by right-clicking on Start > Device Manager.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (6)2. From the Device Manager, scroll down to Universal Serial Bus Controllers and expand it. We are looking for eXtensible Host Controller option.

(Video) USB Port Not Working or Not Recognized on Windows 10, 8, and 7 (5 Fixes)

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (7)3. If you don’t see the option, click on Scan for Hardware Changes option under Action. Device Manager will scan for any missing hardware and list it.

4. Right-click on eXtensible Host Controller and selectUninstall Device option.

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (8)You may also need to uninstall other USB devices listed in Device Manager Universal Serial Bus controller section.

If you have any unknown USB devices listed, uninstall them as well.

Once the Host Controller is uninstalled, restart the PC. Windows will reinstall the drivers as the PC restarts, and in the meantime, anything connected to the USB ports may stop responding until the drivers are reinstalled automatically.

Update USB Drivers

At times outdated drivers may create issues with a computer’s USB port. You most certainly have an obsolete driver if some of the USB devices don’t work with your PC instead of all.

To get the latest driver, visit your laptop manufacturer’s website and run the tools provided by the company that checks for the outdated drivers and suggests the best drivers compatible with your hardware. Install the hardware and restart the PC.

Perform a System Restore

If nothing seems working, you can try performing a System Restore. If you have created a System Restore Point earlier or have one created by default, you can restore your PC to earlier System Restore point.

(Video) USB Ports NOT WORKING? Let's Fix Them!

How to Diagnose and Fix Dead USB Port (9)

System Restore if configured on your PC does not affect files and documents saved on your PC. But, any recently installed programs and drivers might get uninstalled. If you don’t have a restore point created, you may simply reset the PC by going to Settings > Recovery > Reset This PC.

Check the USB Ports for Hardware Failure

If none of those as mentioned earlier solutions above work then you may need to check your USB port for a hardware problem. If you are not comfortable opening the laptop or PC, take help of a professional or your friend who deals with computer hardware.

Clean Dust – Over time the USB ports start collecting dust which if not cleaned may create a problem and leave the USB ports non-functional. You can begin with checking if the USB ports are clean. If not, use a can of compressed air to clean the dust.

Remove and Connect USB Port Connection – If you can access the computer’s motherboard, you should be able to remove the USB patch cable from the motherboard and then reconnect it. Doing this may help you fix the issue. Then again, don’t do this if you don’t know what you are doing.

Computer Repair shops can be expensive at times. Make sure you take the computer to multiple shops as some may insist on replacing the entire motherboard to fix the dead USB ports which might be unnecessary at times. If you know how to use a soldering iron, you may watch some YouTube videos to fix it yourself.

Other Windows Tips

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(Video) Usb ports are good but still not detecting your usb stick? This can be a cause


How do you fix a dead USB port? ›

Method 1: Use Device Manager to scan for hardware changes
  1. Click Start, and then click Run. ...
  2. Type devmgmt. ...
  3. In Device Manager, click your computer so that it is highlighted.
  4. Click Action, and then click Scan for hardware changes.
  5. Check the USB device to see whether it is working.

How do I check if my USB ports are malfunctioning? ›

Check the USB device functionality on another computer

To verify if the USB device is faulty, unplug the USB device from the computer and plug it into another computer. If the device is not detected and is not working on another known-good computer too, the USB device is faulty.

What causes a USB port to stop working? ›

Power management settings in your computer may be disrupting your USB ports. USB Selective Suspend can deactivate a USB port when not in use in order to save battery life, but can also sometimes disable the port when you're trying to use it. When this happens, you can go into Power Options and turn off the setting.

Can a dead USB drive be repaired? ›

When your USB flash drive, external hard drive, or SD card is not detected or recognized due to physical damage, it is almost impossible to retrieve the data. A dead USB can only be fixed by specialists or be replaced with a new one.

Can a damaged USB be repaired? ›

Can a broken usb flash drive be fixed? Broken usb flash drives can be fixed and recovered if the memory chips have not been cracked. Cracked memory chips are not recoverable, however damage to the USB plug, or the contact pads for the components, to the printed circuit board (PCB) can often be repaired successfully.

Can you reset a USB port? ›

Quick Way to Reset USB Ports in Windows.

To simply reset the USB port you need to: Step 1: Uninstall the device by right-clicking on the USB controller and choosing the Uninstall option. Step 2: Choose that for all USB controllers on the list and restart your computer.

How do I clean a bad USB port? ›

By far, the safest way to clean the USB port on your phone is with compressed air. Compressed air will loosen dust and blow out dirt without you needing to insert anything into the port.

How do I fix a corrupted USB? ›

how to fix a corrupted flash drive without formatting
  1. Stop using the USB drive.
  2. Do not add new items to USB stick.
  3. Do not reformat the USB flash drive.
  4. Open CMD. ...
  5. Check if your drive has bad sectors. ...
  6. chkdsk H: /f (H is the drive letter of USB drive. ...
  7. Type Y if the drive is in use and hit Enter key to proceed.
17 Oct 2022

Can a faulty USB damage a computer? ›

Everyone knows that USB sticks can house nasties, including malware, but did you know that this same little drive can completely destroy a system by simply inserting it? Welcome to the destructive world of USB Killer.

What is a simple way to fix many problems with USB? ›

How to Fix USB Port Issues
  1. Restart your computer. ...
  2. Look for debris in the USB port. ...
  3. Check for loose or broken internal connections. ...
  4. Try a different USB port. ...
  5. Swap to a different USB cable. ...
  6. Plug your device into a different computer. ...
  7. Try plugging in a different USB device. ...
  8. Check the device manager (Windows).
11 Sept 2020

Can you rewire a USB? ›

You can cut and splice your own universal serial bus, or USB, cables to meet the length and connector type that you require. The process requires only a wire cutter and electrical tape, though cable quality can be increased using a soldering iron and heat shrink tubing.

Can I use alcohol to clean USB port? ›

If the port has some sort of gunk or goo inside, wrap a small amount of the cotton around the end of the dental pick, and dampen the cotton with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol. Circle the inside of the port with the cotton end until you've removed the substance.

Can I use a needle to clean charging port? ›

WARNING: You must not use anything except a toothpick for this job. Pins, paperclips, needles etc may fit in the hole – but because they are metal, you risk making an electrical short circuit that could destroy the phone.

Can I use wd40 to clean USB port? ›

How to clean the USB and monitor connections. After a general cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and brush, apply a drop of WD-40® Specialist® Fast Drying Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray to the connections, which quickly penetrates the hard-to-reach areas, drying without leaving any residue.

Is there a way to test USB ports? ›

This means knowing how to test the USB port. Start by connecting the device to another USB port. If it works, then the problem is the first port; if the device remains undetected, you have a faulty device. (Note that if you can't reformat the USB drive, it will need replacing.)

How do I check USB port settings? ›

Use the Device Manager to determine if your computer has USB 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0 ports: Open the Device Manager. In the "Device Manager" window, click the + (plus sign) next to Universal Serial Bus controllers. You will see a list of the USB ports installed on your computer.

How do I check all my USB ports? ›

Follow the instructions below to figure identify the USB ports on your PC.
  1. Right-click the Windows icon (bottom left) and select Device Manager.
  2. In the Device Manager window, select Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  3. Locate the USB port by its type (e.g. 3.0, 3.1).
8 Jul 2022

Can you test a USB port with a multimeter? ›

Plug the USB multimeter into your port. The multimeter requires no external power, so as you plug it into the port it automatically turns on. You can see the results on your screen, it is just that simple. Voltage is measured in Volts (V), so you the results ending with V i.e 5V or something like it.

How do you check if your ports are working? ›

Testing ports with the command prompt

If you would like to test ports on your computer, use the Windows command prompt and the CMD command netstat -ano. Windows will show you all currently existing network connections via open ports or open, listening ports that are currently not establishing a connection.

How can I fix my USB? ›

How to Fix a Corrupted USB Drive
  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to This PC.
  3. Right-click the corrupted USB flash drive and choose the Properties option.
  4. Navigate to the Tools tab.
  5. Click Check.
  6. Select the Scan and repair drive option.
  7. Wait for the Error Checking tool to repair your drive.
28 Oct 2022

How do you refresh all USB ports? ›

5 Best Solutions to Reset USB Ports That aren't Working
  1. Physically Inspect the USB Ports.
  2. Restart Your Computer.
  3. Check your Power Management Settings.
  4. Reset USB Ports through Disabling and Re-enabling the USB Controller.
  5. Reset USB Ports with Windows Troubleshooter.
20 Jul 2021


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