Power surge on the USB port in Windows 10

Summary: Follow the guidelines below to resolve the error "Unknown USB Device needs more power than the port can supply" that may appear in Windows 10.

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Power surge on the USB port

A Dell portable system with Windows 10 Pro 64 installed may report the following error: "Power surge on the USB port – Unknown USB Device needs more power than the port can supply." If you expand the message, the following message appears: "Power surge on the USB port – A USB device has malfunctioned and exceeded the power limits of its hub port. You should disconnect the device".



USB device causing power surge message when plugged into USB port.



Initial troubleshooting should follow the on-screen directions:

  1. Disconnect all USB peripheral items, then Click the Reset button on the screen using the system touchpad and touchpad buttons.
  2. Once reset, it is recommended that you reboot the system then reconnect the USB device and see if the error re-occurs.

If the issue persists, follow the steps below to run the Hardware Troubleshooter and test the USB port:

  1. Type "cmd" in the Windows search bar and press "Enter" to open a command prompt.
  2. Type "msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic" and press "Enter" to open the Windows Troubleshooter 
  3. Click "Hardware and Devices" and select "Next".
  4. Click "Run the troubleshooter" and choose to run the tool as an Administrator.
  5. Click "Next" and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.

If no issues are found, then Uninstall and Reinstall all the USB Controllers following the steps below:

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer.
  2. Press Windows Logo + R keys on the keyboard and type "devmgmt.msc" in the "Run" Command box and press "Enter". This will open the "Device Manager".
  3. Expand "Universal Serial Bus Controllers".
  4. Right-click on every device under the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" section, and then click "Uninstall" to remove them one at a time.
  5. Restart the computer so that Windows reinstalls the USB controller drivers automatically.
  6. Now, plug in the USB device, and then check if that resolves the issue.

If this issue continues to occur with a specific device, it is possible that the device is requiring more voltage or power than is available from the USB port being used. In this case a USB Hub with it's own dedicated power source is suggested.

Connect the Powered USB hub to the system USB port and then connect the device to the powered USB hub.

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.

If you have completed all the troubleshooting as indicated above, it is recommended you contact Dell Technical Support for additional assistance.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Latitude E7450

Last Published Date

20 Apr 2021



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