USB Flash drive not showing up: Windows, Mac

USB Flash drive not showing up: Windows, Mac

If your computer is not recognizing your USB mass storage device, there are several methods you can use to find your USB key, external HDD or pen drive.

What to do when your USB isn't detected in Windows 10?

  • Connect your USB drive to your PC and open the Control Panel.
  • Open the Device Manager and click on the Scan for hardware changes button. This will force your computer to search for the USB key:
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  • If the above solution doesn't work, go back to the Device Manager and expand the USB Serial Bus controllers section.
  • Right-click on the faulty USB device and select Uninstall to uninstall its driver.
  • Once done, restart your computer and let Windows reinstall the missing driver.
  • If the problem persists, go to the Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services.
  • Search for the Shell Hardware Detection service and set its Startup Type to Automatic:
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  • Repeat the operation for the Plug and Play service.
  • When finished, close the Services utility and restart your computer.

What are other solutions for older Windows versions?

If you have an older Windows version, such as Windows XP, the following might work for you:

  • Go to Device manager.
  • Select Usb hub controller.
  • Next, right-click on the usb hub controller and select open.
  • Right-click on Usb root hub and choose Properties.
  • Go to your device and click OK.
  • Repeat 4 or 5 times to make it work.

What to do when your USB isn't detected in Mac?

There are possibilities that your pen drive is not recognized by your Mac because your Finder preferences are not set up as they should be. To fix this, follow these steps:

  • Open Finder and click on Finder Menu.
  • Go to Preferences > General and make sure that there is a check mark next to the External disks tab under "Show these items on the desktop".
  • Next, go to the Sidebar tab and make sure the External disks are selected there as well. Now you should find your USB flash drive easily.
Do you need more help with a USB Flash drive? Check out our forum!
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