Is Your USB Device Not Recognized On Your Computer? Try These Quick Solutions

Every time an external storage device has been connected, the computer recognizes it and allows the use of the data stored in it. One of the most commonly faced issues with an external device like a USB is that the USB drive not showing up it hence preventing access.

A USB drive is usually used to store files or documents that can be accessed on computers so if your device cannot identify it, you can no longer reach out to the information stored in it.  There are several reasons due to which the USB drive is not showing up on your laptop or PC and we are going to focus on the causes as well as how to fix a USB flash drive that is not recognized in Windows.

Also, read about: Windows Explorer Crashing: Common Causes And Fixes!

First, let us begin with the root causes of this issue followed by the solutions to fix them.

Why is the USB device not recognized?

The common reasons for a USB drive to not be shown are as listed:

  1. Faulty or dead USB drive
  2. An issue in the hardware or system controller
  3. A problem in the USB port of the laptop or PC
  4. Lack of updated version of drivers or software
  5. Partition issues

USB device not showing up in Windows

When we refer to a USB drive not showing up in Windows, you must be clear whether it is not available in the usual location, that is, in ‘The PC’ or it is not available in The PC as well as the ‘Device Manager’.

To check if your USB is listed in the Device manager follow these steps:

  •  Use the shortcut Windows + R and type ‘devmgmt.msc’ in the space provided. Press Enter and open the ‘Disk Management’.
  • You can also open the ‘Disk management’ setting by right-clicking on the Start button.
  • From the list in the dialog box, search for your device. Sometimes the name of your device could be changed hence always check and match for your drive’s size.

Read about: DIY Hacks To Create An Image Of USB Drive

If you find your drive listed here but cannot detect it in ‘The PC’ or file explorer it could be due to:

  • File system error
  • Issues related to USB driver
  • Issues related to ‘drive letter’

Unlike this scenario, if you cannot find your USB in File explorer as well as in the Disk management list then try these steps:

  • Check whether your drive is switched on if it has that feature.
  • To check whether the problem is related to your USB drive’s hardware, try using another device. If it is working on another laptop or PC the try using it via a different USB port in your device.
  • Sometimes the fault could be in the USB connectors or USB hub, hence try connecting the drive directly to the laptop or PC.

How to fix a USB flash drive that is not recognized?

Now that we have seen the various reasons for the issues related to a fault in the functioning of the USB drive, let us proceed with its suitable fixes.

Updating the USB driver

  • Right-click on ‘The PC’ of your device after inserting the external USB drive.
  • Click on the ‘Properties’ option followed by the Device Manager.
  • From the Device manager choose the ‘Disk drives’ option.
  • Search for the USB drive and click on the ‘Update Driver’.
  • Choose the first option to automatically download the required updated version of the driver. Wait for it to search and finish updating your driver.
  • Restart your PC.
  • Now try using the USB drive on your device.
USB drive not showing up

You can also try uninstalling the driver and re-installing it if this did not help. To re-install the driver follow these steps:

  • Right-click on ‘The PC’ of your device after inserting the external USB drive.
  • Click on the ‘Properties’ option followed by the Device Manager.
  • From the Device manager choose the ‘Disk drives’ option.
  • Click on the ‘Uninstall device’ option. Before proceeding with this, make sure that you have chosen the right drive.
  • After the driver is uninstalled, remove the USB device and restart your device.
  • Now insert the USB drive and try using it. The required driver would get installed automatically.

Fix the ‘Partition issue’

If your USB drive is faced by the error stating to format the partition or disk then follow these steps:

  • This issue can be faced if you have files of format not supported by the operating system of your device.
  • When the dialog box asking to format the drive is displayed, do not format it immediately as it might cause the loss of certain data in the drive. If you do not have any important files, you can try this.
  • In case of loss of data, try recovering it. Several techniques to recover data can be found here.

Also, read about: 5 Ways To Flash TWRP Recovery On Android Phone

  • Open the ‘Disk Management’ dialog box and search for partitions if any. Right-click on the partition and click on ‘Change Drive letters and paths’ to change the drive letter.
  • After assigning a drive letter, click on ‘Add’ and then ‘OK’.
  •  If there is no partition file then try using the USB in LINUX or other OS and format it accordingly.

Check out: 2 Quick Fixes On How To Fix Ubuntu Not Booting

These steps will fix the issue with your USB and are the best solutions to tackle the problem without any loss.

If any of these techniques did not prove to be effective, then the most probable issue could be related to the USB itself. If you have recently purchased the drive then try contacting the service center or the dealer itself.

Hence, in this article, we have covered all the possible troubles related to the USB drive not showing up or not being recognized in your device along with the solutions to rectify it. Hope this was useful for you to access the USB without any loss of data or files!

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