Fix Unknown USB Device in Windows 10

Fix Unknown USB Device in Windows 10

You may find that when you connect an external USB drive, it doesn’t work on your computer. Instead, you get an error message: The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it. This may be because the device incompatible with your system. The USB Device Descriptor is responsible for storing information related to various USB devices connected to it so that Windows operating system may recognize these USB devices in the future. If the USB is not recognized, then the USB device descriptor is not working properly on Windows 10. The unrecognized device in Device Manager will be labeled as Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) with a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark. The unknown USB device issue may arise due to various reasons. Today, we will help you fix the Unknown USB Device: Device Descriptor Request Failed error in Windows 10 PC.

Fix Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unkown USB Device)

Fix Device Descriptor Request Failed

How to Fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) in Windows 10

You may face these common errors due to an Unknown USB Device issue:

  • Device Descriptor Request Failed
  • Port Reset Failed
  • Set Address Failed

There can be several reasons behind this issue, such as:

  • Outdated USB Drivers: If the current drivers in your Windows PC are incompatible or outdated with the system files, then you may face this error.
  • Enabled USB Suspend Settings: If you have enabled the USB Suspend settings in your device, then all the USB devices will be suspended from the computer if they are not in active use.
  • Outdated Windows OS: In some circumstances, it could be that the Windows operating system running on your device is outdated and thus, conflicting with the device drivers.
  • Malfunctioning USB ports: Unclean surroundings might also contribute to the poor performance of your USB drive since the accumulation of dust will not only block the ventilation to the computer but also, cause USB ports to malfunction.
  • BIOS is not updated: This too may cause such problems.

A list of methods to fix Unknown USB Device: Device Descriptor Request Failed error in Windows 10 computers has been compiled and arranged according to user convenience. So, keep reading!

Method 1: Basic Troubleshooting

Method 1A: Maintain Clean & Ventilated Ambience

Unclean surroundings and dusty USB ports may cause an Unknown USB Device error in your Windows 10 desktop/laptop. Hence, you should implement the following steps:

1. Clean laptop vents & ports. Use a compressed air cleaner while being extremely careful not to damage anything.

2. Moreover, ensure enough space for proper ventilation of your desktop/laptop, as shown.

ventillated laptop computer setup. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

Method 1B: Resolve Hardware Issues

Sometimes, a glitch in the USB port or power supply might trigger an unknown USB device Windows 10 error. Hence, you should perform the following checks:

1. If the issue is caused by the power supply, then try re-inserting the USB device after unplugging the laptop from the power supply.

2. Connect another USB device with the same USB port and check if there is an issue with the port.

3. Plug the USB device into a different port to rule out issues with the USB ports.

usb device ports laptop

Method 1C: Restart Windows PC

In most cases, a simple restart might fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue.

1. Disconnect the USB device.

2. Restart your Windows PC.

click on Restart. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

3.  Reconnect the USB device and check if it worked or not.

Method 2: Run Windows Troubleshooter

You should try running the in-built Windows troubleshooter to fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue in Windows 10. You can do so in the two ways explained below.

Option 1: Run Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

1. Press Windows + R keys simultaneously to launch the Run dialog box.

2. Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic and click on OK, as shown.

type in command msdt.exe id DeviceDiagnostic in Run command box and select OK

3. Here click on the Advanced option, as highlighted below.

click on Advanced option in Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

4. Check the box marked Apply repairs automatically and click on Next.

check apply repairs automatically option in hardware and devices troubleshooter and click on Next

5. Once the process is completed, restart your PC and check if USB is being recognized now.

Option 2: Troubleshoot Malfunctioning USB Device

1. From the Taskbar, right-click on the USB Device icon.

2. Select the Open Devices and Printers option, as shown.

right click on USB icon at taskbar and select open devices and printers option

3. Right-click on USB Device (e.g. Cruzer Blade) and select Troubleshoot, as highlighted below.

right click on usb device and select troubleshoot option in devices and printers Window. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

4. Windows Troubleshooter will automatically detect problems and fix these as well.

windows troubleshooter detecting problems

Note: If the troubleshooter states that it could not identify the issue, then try the other methods discussed in this article.

Also Read: Fix USB device not recognized by Windows 10

Method 3: Update USB Drivers

To fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue in Windows 10, you are advised to update USB drivers, as follows:

1. Type device manager in the Windows search bar and hit Enter key to launch it.

Type Device Manager in the Windows 10 search menu.

2. Go to the Universal Serial Bus controllers section and expand it with a double-click.

Double click on Universal Serial Bus Controllers in the Device Manager window

3. Now, right-click on USB driver (e.g. Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 1.0 (Microsoft)) and select Update driver.

right click on usb driver and select update driver. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

4. Next, click on Search automatically for drivers. 

click on select Search automatically for drivers.

5A. Your driver will update itself to the latest version.

5B. If your driver is already up-to-date, then you will get the message: The best drivers for your device are already installed.

If you driver is already up-to-date, then you will see the following screen. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

6. Click on Close to exit the window and Restart the computer.

7. Repeat the same for all USB drivers.

Method 4: Roll Back USB Drivers

If the USB device had been working correctly, but began to malfunction after an update, then rolling back the USB Drivers might help. Follow the given instructions below to do so:

1. Navigate to Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus controllers as explained in Method 3.

2. Right-click on USB driver (e.g. Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 1.0 (Microsoft)) and select Properties, as depicted below.

right click on usb driver and select properties

3. In the USB Device Properties window, switch to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver.

Note: If the option to Roll Back Driver is greyed out in your system, it indicates that your system does not have any updates installed for the driver. In this case, try alternative methods discussed in this article.

roll back driver. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

4. Select Why are you rolling back? from the given list and click on Yes to confirm.

select reason to roll back drivers and click Yes

5. After the process is finished, click on OK to apply this change.

6. Finally, confirm the prompt and restart your system to make the rollback effective.

Also Read: Fix Universal Serial Bus (USB) Controller Driver Issue

Method 5: Reinstall USB Drivers

If the above methods to update or roll back drivers do not work, then you can try to reinstall your USB driver. Here’s how to fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue:

1. Go to Device Manager > Universal Serial Bus controllers, using the steps mentioned in Method 3.

2. Right-click on Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 1.0 (Microsoft) and select Uninstall device, as shown.

right click on usb driver and select Uninstall device. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

3. Now, click on Uninstall and restart your PC.

click on uninstall button to confirm uninstalling the driver

4. Now, download the latest USB driver from manufacturer website like Intel.

download intel USB driver. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

5. Once downloaded, install the latest USB driver. Then, connect your USB device and check if the said error is rectified.

Method 6: Disallow PC to Turn Off USB Device

The USB power-saving feature allows the hub driver to suspend any individual USB port without affecting the function of other ports, in order to save power. This feature, however useful, may still cause Unknown USB Device issue when your Windows 10 PC is idle. Hence, disable the automatic USB suspend feature using the given steps:

1. Navigate to the Device Manager as shown in Method 3.

2. Here, double-click on Human Interface Devices to expand it.

double click on the Human Interface Devices.

3. Right-click on the USB Input Device and select Properties.

Right click on USB input device and select the Properties. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

4. Here, switch to the Power Management tab and uncheck the box titled Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.

switch to the Power Management tab and uncheck the box Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power

5. Finally, click on OK and restart your system.

Also Read: Fix USB Keeps Disconnecting and Reconnecting

Method 7: Disable USB Selective Suspend Feature

The selective suspend feature too, helps you to conserve power while disconnecting USB sticks and other peripherals. You can easily disable the USB Selective Suspend feature via Power Options, as explained below:

1. Type Control Panel in the Windows search bar and click Open.

Type Control Panel in the search bar and click Open.

2. Select View by > Large icons, and then click Power Options, as shown.

go to the Power Options and click on it

3. Here, click on Change plan settings in your currently selected plan section.

select the Change plan settings.

4. In the Edit Plan Settings window, select Change advanced power settings option.

In the Edit Plan Settings window, click on Change advanced power settings

5. Now, double-click USB settings to expand it.

double click on usb settings option in Change advanced power settings window

6. Once again, double-click USB selective suspend setting to expand it.

double click on usb selective supend settings in usb settings in Change advanced power settings window

7. Here, click on On battery and change the setting to Disabled from the drop-down list, as illustrated.

select on battery settings to disabled in usb selective supend settings in usb settings in Change advanced power settings window

8. Now, click on Plugged in and change the setting to Disabled here as well.

click Apply then, OK to save changes after disabling usb selective supend settings in usb settings in Change advanced power settings window

9. Finally, click on Apply > OK to save these changes. Restart your PC and check if the issue is solved now.

Method 8: Turn Off Fast Startup

Turning off the fast startup option is recommended to fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue in Windows 10. Just, follow the given steps:

1. Go to the Control Panel > Power Options as illustrated in Method 7.

2. Here, click on Choose what the power buttons do option in the left bar.

In the Power Options window, select the Choose what the power button does option, as highlighted below. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

3. Now, select the Change settings that are currently unavailable option.

Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable

4. Next, uncheck the box Turn on fast startup (recommended) and then click on Save changes as shown below.

uncheck the box Turn on fast startup and then click on Save changes as shown below. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

5. Finally, restart your Windows PC.

Also Read: Fix USB Device not Recognized Error Code 43

Method 9: Update Windows

Always ensure that you use your system in its updated version. Otherwise, it will cause the said problem.

1. Type Check for updates in the Windows search bar and click Open.

Type Check for updates in search bar and click Open. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

2. Now, click on the Check for Updates button.

select Check for Updates from the right panel.

3A. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the latest update available.

Follow the on screen instructions to download and install the latest update available. Fix Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed in Windows 10

3B. If your system is already up-to-date, then it will show You’re up to date message.

windows update you're up to date message

4. Restart your system and check if the issue is resolved now.

Method 10: Update BIOS

If the above method could not fix Unknown USB Device issue in your Windows 10 desktop/laptop, then you can try updating system BIOS. Read our elaborate tutorial to understand What is BIOS, How to check the current BIOS version, and How to update System BIOS here.

Pro Tip: Use the given links to Download Latest BIOS Version for Lenovo, Dell & HP laptops.

Recommended:

We hope that you could learn how to fix Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) issue in Windows 10 problem. Let us know which method helped you the best. Also, if you have any queries or suggestions, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

Posted by
Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

1 Comment

  1. I use a Cypress USB3.0 device, when I plug in that device and restart the computer, my device becomes an Unknown Device, I think it’s a Windows 10 system problem, my same device doesn’t have this problem in Windows 7. You can find a Cypress USB3.0 Device to test it.

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