How to Fix if USB Ports not Working – Tutorial


If you guys are hooking up a USB flash drive, headset, printer, trying to sync your MP3 player or even your smartphone. Then you expect your USB devices to just work when you plug them in. That is the beauty and simplicity of USB or universal serial bus also. That is designed to permit devices to connect and disconnect at will, mostly to both Windows and Mac computers, without a whole lot of hassle as well. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Fix if USB Ports not Working – Tutorial. Let’s begin!

Physical Examination

Before proceeding, note that you guys will need to make sure that it is the port that is faulty. Instead of the device, you are connecting.

In order to establish which is the problem, connect the device to another USB port. If it works, then the problem is actually the first port; if the device remains undetected, then that means you have a faulty device. In case you can’t reformat the USB drive, then it will need replacing.

If there’s a problem with your USB port, then you will notice it thanks to either of these things:

  • The device fails to be detected
  • Your operating system displays an error message that is relating to the device (removing and replacing the device might solve this)

Either way, you guys should investigate the state of the USB port. Has it damaged in any way or what? The safest way to find out is actually to shut down your PC or laptop.

Next, have look at the USB port. Is it clean and dust-free? If you are using a desktop, or also the USB port is at the back of a PC tower. Then there’s a chance that dirt, dust, and general detritus might have become embedded in the port.

usb ports not working

Dust will reduce airflow, which will cause your system to overheat. It is particularly damaging to laptops, where overheating can reduce performance in seconds as well. Clean out the drive along with a can of compressed air. A vacuum cleaner might also prove handy here as well.

Finally, grab a USB cable (or flash drive, whatever) and then gently wiggle it around. If the drive is moving and feels loose—typically this will be up and down—then you have a problem actually.

Fix if USB Ports not Working

When your USB ports suddenly stop working, then the problem can always be tracked down to either a hardware or software failure. Some of these problems are the same across both Windows and Mac as well. However, others are unique to just one or the other.

Restart your Computer

Sometimes you get lucky, and the easiest solution ends up fixing the biggest of problems actually. If restarting does not do the trick, then you guys will want to move on to more complicated fixes.

Look for debris in the USB port

These ports are wide open whenever you do not have a device plugged in so it is easy for debris. Such as dust or food, in order to get wedged inside.

If you see anything stuck inside, then shut your computer down and gently remove the obstruction. Along with a thin plastic or wooden implement such as a toothpick. In some of the cases, a product like canned air can be very useful in blowing obstructions out of a USB port. You just need to be careful not to shove the obstruction further in.

Check for loose or broken internal connection

One way to test this is to insert your USB device and then gently wiggle the connection as well. If it briefly connects and disconnects, then there actually is a physical problem with either the cable or the USB port.

If you guys feel a great deal of movement when you gently wiggle the USB connector. That actually indicates it may be bent or broken off the board. And when it is most of the time possible to fix this type of problem, then you are probably better off taking it to a professional.

Try a different USB port | USB ports not working

Most of the computers have more than one USB port. So a good way to rule out a single broken port is to unplug your USB device and then try it in different ports. Plug the USB device into a few of the ports on both the front and back of your computer as well. If the device does not work in any of the ports, then there’s likely a problem with its hardware actually.

If your device starts to work when plugged into different ports. Then the first port probably has a physical problem that needs a fix.

Swap to a different USB cable

USB cable failures are actually more common than USB port failures, so make sure to swap in a different cable if you have one handy. If your device suddenly starts working, then you know that the problem was basically a broken wire inside the other cable.

usb ports not working

Plug your device into a different computer

If you have another computer or laptop handy, then try to plug in your USB device into it. This is an easy way to rule out a problem with the device itself.

If your USB device springs to life the moment when you plug it into your backup computer. Then you know for sure that you’re dealing with a USB port problem actually.

Try to plug in a different USB device as well | USB ports not working

If you guys do not have a spare computer, but you do have an extra flash drive laying around, or also any other USB device. Then try to plug that in before you move on to anything more complicated.

If your other device works just fine, then you will know that your ports are in good working order. In this case, you guys may need to fix or replace the device that failed to connect.

Check the device manager (Windows)

Here are two things you can do with the device manager in Windows in order to get USB ports working again.

Scan for hardware changes through right-tapping the name of your computer. And then tapping on scan for hardware changes. When you complete the scan and then check your USB device to see if it works or not.

Another option is to disable and re-enable the USB controller as well. In the device manager, tap the arrow next to the little USB cable so that it points down rather than to the right. Right-click on the first USB controller in the list and select the Uninstall device. Repeat for each and every USB controller you find.

Now turn your computer off and then back on again. Windows will automatically reinstall the USB controllers, so check to see if your device works or not.

Keep that in mind that if you are using a USB mouse or one with a USB receiver. Then it will be disabled while the USB Host Controllers are uninstalled.

Reset the System Management Controller (Mac) | USB ports not working

If you have a Mac, then resetting the system management controller (SMC) may fix your problem actually.

Reset the SMC for Macs

  • First, shut down the computer
  • Then plug in the power adapter
  • Press and hold shift+control+option and then tap the power button.
  • Hold all of the four keys down for 10 seconds.
  • Release the keys and also the power button all at the same time.
  • Click the power button in order to turn on your Mac.
  • When the Mac starts back up, and then the SMC will have reset.
  • Now check to see if your USB device works or not.

Reset the SMC in iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac Mini

  • First, shut down the computer
  • Then unplug the power adapter.
  • Press the power button and then hold it for at least five seconds.
  • Now release the power button.
  • Reconnect the power adapter and and then start the computer.
  • Now check to see if your USB device works or not.

Update your system

usb ports not working

Although less likely, but there is a chance that updating your system can solve your USB port problems. This process is actually different depending on if you are updating Windows or macOS.

If you want to update macOS on Mojave and later, then tap the Apple icon at the top left, and select System Preferences > Software Update. Tap Update Now if there is one available.

On macOS on High Sierra and earlier, you need to open the app store. Tap Updates on the toolbar. If any updates are available, then click on the update or update all.

Now restart your computer and then check to see if your USB device works or not.


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this USB ports not working article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: Create a Multiboot USB drive on Windows 10

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