6 Ways to Fix Unknown USB Device Error (Device Descriptor Request Failed) in Windows 10

By | April 19, 2022

When Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your USB drive, here’s how to fix it.

When you connect a USB device to a PC, the USB device descriptor helps identify the connected device, determining which device driver to load.

If the USB device descriptor does not work, your PC will not recognize your connected USB device. You will get an error message that reads, “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)”.

If you encounter this error, read on to find out how to fix the unknown USB device error in Windows 10.

What Causes the Unknown USB Device Error

The “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” error can occur due to hardware or system specific issues. Here are the various causes of this error:

  • Your latest software update ran into problems and ended up corrupting the USB drivers.
  • There was an error when you replaced some parts of your PC.
  • You have made an error configuring the settings for your PC’s USB driver.
  • The USB port is broken.
  • The USB device is corrupted, damaged, or infected with malware.
  • The USB driver is corrupt or out of date.
  • System BIOS needs to be updated.

Now that you know what causes this error, here are six ways to fix it.

Quick Fix

Before you can apply some of the methods detailed in this article, here are some quick tricks you can try:

  • Try rebooting your PC and see if this solves your problem.
  • Try connecting your USB device to a different USB port. If this solves your problem, then the original USB port you were using is most likely faulty.
  • Plug your USB device into another computer. This will help you determine if your USB device is faulty or your system drivers are having issues.
  • Disable the Windows fast startup setting. This setting boots your PC fast and can cause some problems to your PC performance. Disabling it and rebooting your PC can help.

If this quick fix doesn’t solve your problem, move on to the next method.

Scan Your PC for Hardware Changes

The next method you can try is to scan your PC for any hardware changes. When the scan is complete, your PC can recognize the connected USB device.

  • Plug the USB device into your PC.
  • Open Device Manager by pressing Windows + X and select Device Manager.
  • In the Device Manager header menu, click the tab Action and select Scan for hardware changes from list.

Wait for the system to recognize all the hardware changes and see if this solves your problem.

Reinstall USB Driver

A faulty USB driver can cause this error. To solve this problem, you need to uninstall the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Failure) driver and reinstall it.

  • Open Device Manager by pressing Windows + X and select Device Manager.
  • Expand section Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  • Right click driver Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) and select Uninstall device.

Once you have finished uninstalling the drivers, reboot your system. This will automatically reinstall the USB drivers and will help get rid of the error.

Update Generic USB Hub Driver

If the previous method didn’t work, you can try updating the Generic USB Hub driver. It’s possible that this USB driver is outdated and is the cause of your problem. Here’s how to update the Generic USB Hub driver.

  • Open Device Manager by pressing Windows + X and select Device Manager.
  • Expand section Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  • Right click option Generic USB Hub and click options Update drivers.

In the new window, select Search automatically for drivers.

Your PC will search for compatible drivers online. When the update is complete, plug in your USB device and check if this has solved your problem.

Use the Windows Troubleshoot Tool

You can also resolve the Unknown USB Device error using the Windows Troubleshoot. This is a built-in Windows 10 tool that helps you find and fix various system problems.

  • Open Troubleshoot by typing Troubleshoot in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match.
  • choose Hardware and Devices, then select Run the troubleshooter to start the troubleshooting process.

When the process is complete, close the troubleshooter and restart your PC to apply the fix.

Disable USB Selective Suspend Settings

Another method that can solve your problem is to disable USB Selective Suspend Settings.

  • open Control Panel by typing Control Panel in the Windows Search Bar and select Best match.
  • Navigate to System and Security > Power Options > Change plan settings.
  • In the window that appears, select an option Change advanced power settings.
  • On screen Power Options, find and expand USB settings.
  • Expand settings USB selective suspend and disable the option On battery and Plugged in.
  • Click Apply and then click OK.

Restart your PC or reboot to apply these changes. Plug in your USB device and check if this has solved your problem.

Fix Unknown USB Device Error the Easy Way

Now, the Error Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) should be resolved. This is a frustrating error, but for the most part USB problem solved after reinstalling the USB driver.