How to troubleshoot USB port not working in Windows

For years, both desktop computers and laptops and even some tablets have one or more USB ports so that we can connect certain devices to them. However, we may suddenly connect something to our computer through a USB port and the system does not detect it. Next, we are going to show you how to fix the problems with a USB port not working in Windows 10 and 11.

Problems with the USB ports on a Windows desktop, laptop, or tablet can be caused by a variety of reasons. From a software update that has disabled them for some strange reason to more physical reasons such as dirt or something that is obstructing the port in question. Be that as it may, this is a summary of problems and solutions.

Solutions to a USB port that does not work

First of all, the first thing to know is if the problem is in the USB port or is it the device itself. To do this, we can try to connect it to another port to see if it works like that or connect it to another computer. If the device is detected normally in another port or on another computer, then it is clear that the problem is in that port.

Restart the system

Although it is usually one of the first things that come to mind when we encounter an error of this type, it is worth remembering that we can restart our computer to see if the problem is solved. Restarting or turning the computer off and on again can cause a specific error to be solved and when the system is started again with all the services and drivers, everything will work correctly again.

Dirty or damaged port

In that case, we can try to clean the USB port that does not work well, since the accumulation of dust or any other dirt can be the cause of our problem. With a blower we can try to remove any type of dirt from the USB port that does not work, restart the computer and check if the problems have been solved.

If not, then we may have a problem at the hardware level , that is, that the USB has failed, or that the software that controls it is the one that is not able to recognize the device that we have connected. In the first case, replacing a USB port that does not work is not an easy task, since, in general, they are usually soldered to the motherboard. Therefore, the only solution would be to replace the entire motherboard.

Taking into account that most of the external devices that we connect to a USB port of the PC need power from the PC, if when connecting a device to a port it does nothing, it is possible that there is a damage in the power supply of the port. Some of the symptoms of this type of damage is seeing that the connected device does nothing, reboots or hangs without any explanation, they make a lot of noise and of course, they smell like burning.

Defective pendrive

Sometimes the simplest solution is the one that we can’t think of and the problem isn’t really with the computer’s USB port . In this case, we must make sure that the pendrive or USB peripheral that we are trying to connect works correctly. On a physical level we will check that the cable is not damaged and that the connector is clean. Nothing should have been wet with water or exposed to any type of liquid.

To check this, the quickest thing to do is turn to another computer. Just plug it in and see if it works or not. If it works, then we can continue to rule out problems on the original computer. If it does not work, the problem is in that USB memory or USB device that does not finish working correctly.

Malware or virus on the computer

It is possible that the failure of a USB port on our computer is related to a virus or malware that has lodged on our computer. We could even find that a USB port stops working when we connect a specific device, and it may be the device itself that is infected and not the computer. Therefore, it is convenient to try to connect other USB devices in that same port to see if it fails with all of them or with only one.

In this case, the ideal would be to try to clean the device in question, although it never hurts to carry out a complete analysis of our computer to see if we have any virus or malware that may be causing a failure in one or more USB ports of the computer.

Error code 43

If the system shows us an error window referring to code 43, it is important to know that this error refers to a specific hardware problem in the device that is connected via the USB cable. Therefore, this means that there is a bad connection or the cable is damaged and hence the device cannot be recognized. In this case, we can do a test by connecting the same device with another cable to check if the problem is resolved.

However, on some occasions, we can also avoid this code 43 error by deactivating power saving and universal bus controller from the system device manager.

Outdated driver or driver

But, first of all, we can check if the driver that controls our USB port that does not work is correctly updated . To do this, we open the Windows 10 and 11 Device Manager, look for the universal serial bus drivers and deploy that option.

There we will find the Microsoft Host Controller , which is on which we have to click with the right mouse button to later select the option Uninstall the device from the context menu. If we have more host controllers, we must repeat the process with each one of them and once we have all eliminated, we restart the computer so that Windows can install them again and check if the problem is solved.

If we do not find any USB host controller in the Device Manager, then we must go to the top menu option Action> Search for hardware changes and wait for the system to verify the hardware of our computer to verify that the USB driver appears.

Disable USB Selective Suspend feature

If the problem persists and the USB port does not work, we can try to disable the USB selective suspend function , as it is possible that the power settings are overriding the USB driver and this is causing it to not work properly. Let us remember that USB selective suspension is an energy saving setting that has the ability to reduce the use of our laptop’s battery by making a kind of cut in the equipment’s power supply.

Having this function active on the computer causes the USB driver of the computer to be overridden and, therefore, the USB port may not work as it should. Therefore, we can try to disable it and see if the problem disappears.

To do this, we open the Control Panel and go to Hardware and Sound> Power Options. Now we enter Change plan settings and then Change advanced power settings.

From the Power Options window, we look for the USB Configuration option, we deploy and within USB Selective Suspension Configuration we deactivate the property . If we have a laptop, we will have the option of deactivating this option both when we are using the battery and when we have the equipment directly connected to the power. Finally, we restart the computer and check if the USB port that does not work is already able to detect a device connected to it.

ADVANCED: fix Windows registry

If all of the above does not work for us, we have to do more complicated things and reserved only for the most advanced users. We recommend you go ahead only if you know what the Windows 10 and 11 registry is and if you have ever “touched things” in there. Otherwise, it is best to look for other alternatives, such as replacing the computer, formatting or any other more drastic solution.

To access the registry we will press the Windows + R key combination and type regedit . We will press enter and the Windows registry will open. There we will have to look for the registry key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesUSB]

In which we will look for the entry DisableSelectiveSuspend. If it does not exist, we will right click on an empty area and then New> DWORD (32-bit) value. We will name it DisableSelectiveSuspend and double click to assign it the value 1. We will restart the PC so that the changes are applied.

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