USB has been the norm of wired connectivity for a long time now. We use a lot of USB devices every day, including phones, flash storages, etc. However, some users have reported that Windows sometimes fails to recognize the USB device, and shows an Unknown USB device error.

Here I shall discuss why you may be facing this error, and how you can solve this.

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  • 2 How To Solve Windows 10 Unknown USB Device Error?

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Why Am I Seeing This Error?

There can be a variety of reasons why you may be facing this error. Windows registers each device separately and then sets up the port for the appropriate transfer. Hence, there are a lot of layers where things can go wrong.

Here is a list of probable error messages that you may receive when you try to run a USB device.

  • Device Descriptor Request Failed (Windows cannot find the description of the USB device in question.)
  • Port reset failed (There are errors in some software or hardware components, for example, USB port is broken).
  • The device failed enumeration (The USB controller you are using is corrupted or unstable).
  • Set address failed (The USB drive contains bad sectors).
  • Error code 43 (The USB device cannot communicate properly with the computer, as there might be a connection issue).

The reason for this may actually be related to Windows not recognizing the changes made to a port. Sometimes Windows fails to register when a USB device has been plugged in for so long, and when a new device is plugged in, the same configurations fail to work for the new device, and hence you get this error.

How To Solve Windows 10 Unknown USB Device Error?

Now that you have slight information about why you may be facing this error, there are some simple steps that you can follow to try and solve the error.

Solution 1: Unplug And Diagnose

If you are unsure if the problem is related to your USB device or your computer port, you can try running a simple diagnostic test to determine the problem.

Simply, unplug your device, and then plug it into another port on your device. If the device is recognized in the other port, you have a hardware problem in your hand.

Next, if the device is not recognized in the other ports as well, try plugging it into another device if available. This will eliminate the possibility of your USB device being corrupted if the device is recognized correctly on your other device.


Solution 2: Run Hardware And Devices Troubleshooter

Windows has an inbuilt troubleshooter that can help diagnose any potentially fix any issues with your system. You can follow these steps to potentially solve your issue.

  1. Open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R.
  2. Type control panel and hit Enter to launch Control Panel.
  3. Inside Control Panel, change the view to small or large icons depending on your preference if it is previously set to Categories.
  4. Select Troubleshooting.
  5. After that select Configure a device under Hardware and Sound and follow the on-screen instruction.
  6. If any errors are found, click on Apply this fix.

Update: Hardware troubleshooter was removed starting from Windows 10 v1809, so you need to run troubleshooters from the control panel. Go to Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Hardware and Sound.

This is usually a safe place to start if you want to solve an ‘unknown USB device set address failed’ error without any hassles. However, the troubleshooter may fail to find the problem sometimes, and in these cases, you may need to follow the next steps.

Solution 3: Uninstall And Scan For Hardware Changes

If you find the unknown USB device error even after running the troubleshooter, you can try using this solution to solve your error.

  1. Open device manager on your device. Open a Run window by pressing Win + R, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to launch the window.
  2. Here, locate and expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers by clicking on the small arrow next to it.
  3. Under the list of available devices, locate the device that shows the ‘unknown USB device set address failed’ or ‘unknown USB device port reset failed’ error (you will notice a small yellow triangle next to the icon).
  4. Right-click on the device to reveal the context menu.
  5. Select the Uninstall device from the context menu.
  1. Restart your PC.
  2. Once your device boots up, open Device Manager again.
  3. Click on Action from the top ribbon, and select Scan for hardware changes.
  4. Next, head over to Windows Update, and update your device to the latest version.

This is one of the most popular solutions to this error, as many people have reported that this solved their error with ease.

Solution 4: Change USB Selective Suspend Settings


While many users have benefited from the above solution, some of them still found this error. If you too get this error even after trying the above solutions, try using these steps to solve your unknown USB device error.

  1. Open Control panel from the Run dialog as mentioned before, using either the Run dialog or the desktop icon if available.
  2. Change the view to small or large icons depending on your preference if it is previously set to Categories.
  3. Select Power Options.
  4. Click on Show additional plans.
  5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable if the button link is shown to you.
  6. Under your selected plan, click on Change plan settings.
  7. Click on Change advanced power settings. A new Power Options window will open.
  1. Under this window, locate and expand USB settings.
  2. Expand USB selective suspend setting. Disable this in both On battery and Plugged in settings if you are using a mobile device.
  1. Click on Apply and restart your device.


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So there you have it. Now you know how to solve the unknown USB device using the four solutions provided above. Tell us in the comments which method helped you solved your issue, and to discuss further the same.