Knowledge Base

How to resolve USB port issues


Your USB ports on your Dell computer are plug and play (a plug and play device is one with a specification that facilitates the discovery of a hardware component in a computer without the need for physical device configuration or user intervention in resolving resource conflicts). If you have issues with your USB port, it is port related, driver related or device related. The following solutions will help you identify the problem to resolve your USB port issues.

To Identify a Working USB Port

From the list of operating systems shown below, locate the one installed on your computer and follow the instructions to see if your USB ports or hubs are working properly.

  • Windows 10 is installed:
    1. In the Search box, type Device Manager.
    2. Touch or click Device Manager (Control Panel).
    3. Double-click or double tap Universal Serial Bus controllers
    4. Look for any yellow exclamation marks.
    5. When a yellow exclamation mark is showing, perform the following steps:
      1. Right-click or touch and hold on the listing that has the yellow exclamation mark and select Update Software Driver.
      2. Click Search automatically for updated driver software, and follow the prompts.
    Note: To manually run Windows Update, to update Operating System files that may resolve this issue, perform the following steps:
    1. In the Search box, type Settings.
    2. Touch or click Settings (Trusted Windows Store app).
    3. Touch or click Updates & security.
    4. Touch or click Windows Update.
    5. Touch or click Check for updates (there may already be a notice that "Updates are available").

  • Windows 8(8.1) is installed:
    1. Move the mouse cursor to the upper-right corner or wipe in from the right of the screen until the Charms Bar appears.
    2. Select Search.
    3. In the Search box type, Device Manager.
    4. Select Device Manager.
    5. Double-click or double tap Universal Serial Bus controllers
    6. Look for any yellow exclamation marks.
    7. When a yellow exclamation mark is showing, perform the following steps:
      1. Right-click on the listing that has the yellow exclamation mark and select Update Software Driver.
      2. Click Search automatically for updated driver software, and follow the prompts.
    Note: Refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Windows Update: Frequently Asked Questions (Windows 8(8.1)), for additional help updating drivers and Operating System files that may resolve this issue. External Link

  • Windows Vista or Windows 7 is installed:
    1. Click Start.
    2. Right-click Computer.
    3. Click Device Manager. The User Account Control window may appear, if so click Continue.
    4. Double-click Universal Serial Bus controllers
    5. Look for any yellow exclamation marks.
    6. When a yellow exclamation mark is showing, perform the following steps:
      1. Right-click on the listing that has the yellow exclamation mark and select Update Software Driver.
      2. Click Search automatically for updated driver software, and follow the prompts.
    Note: Refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Updating Your Computer, for additional help updating drivers and Operating System files that may resolve this issue. External Link

  • Windows XP is installed:
    1. Click Start.
    2. Right-click My Computer.
    3. Click Properties.
    4. Click the Hardware tab.
    5. Click Device Manager.
    6. Double-click Universal Serial Bus controllers
    7. Look for any yellow exclamation marks.
    8. When a yellow exclamation mark is showing, perform the following steps:
      1. Right-click on the listing that has the yellow exclamation mark and select Update Driver.
      2. Click Yes, now and every time I connect a device.
      3. Click Next and follow the prompts.
    Note: To manually run Windows Update, to update Operating System files that may resolve this issue, perform the following steps:
    1. Click Start.
    2. Click All Programs.
    3. Click Windows Update and follow the prompts.

Set the BIOS to its Default Settings

Resetting the BIOS to its default settings will make sure the USB ports are enabled in the BIOS.

  1. Reboot the computer.
  2. When you see the Dell logo during POST, press the F2 key to enter the setup screen.
  3. On the System Setup screen, press the F9 key.
  4. Press the Enter key on Yes to load the BIOS defaults and restart the computer

Update the BIOS to the Latest Version

An out-of-date BIOS driver can create issues with your system recognizing the USB port.

  • For more information, refer to Dell Knowledge base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS?
  • Watch a Video on Steps to Update Bios on Your Computer.
    Note: The update may take a few minutes. Do not interrupt the update process.
    1. When prompted, confirm the update from the current version to the new version by pressing Enter.
    2. When the update process is complete, your computer will restart again to load the operating system with the new driver version installed.

Run the Diagnostic Test on your USB Ports

Browse to the Dell USB Diagnostics page and follow the prompts, to help identify and fix issues with your computer.

To Resolve Safely Remove Hardware Issues on your USB Port

To resolve issues with USB Audio, storage, and print devices that do not eject using the Safely Remove Hardware dialog, refer to Microsoft Base article, Diagnose and fix Windows USB problems automatically. External Link
Note: This Fix-it only works on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.



Article ID: SLN115082

Last Date Modified: 04/19/2016 04:14 AM


Rate this article

Accurate
Useful
Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Feedback shows invalid character, not accepted special characters are <> () &#92;
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you. Your feedback has been sent.