Installing USB 3.0 and other USB devices

USB (universal serial bus) devices are among the easiest devices to connect to your PC. You can connect a wide variety of devices, such as keyboards, printers and external drives. Some devices might use USB 3.0, a connection type that can run up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 by using a new technology called SuperSpeed. You can recognise the cables and ports to connect your USB devices by one of these symbols.

USB symbol
USB 2.0 symbol
USB 3.0 symbol
USB 3.0 symbol

If you're installing a USB 3.0 device, you might have a blue cable for it. You might also see blue tabs in the connectors at the ends of the cables and in the ports on your PC or USB hub. All USB 3.0 cables and ports will have the USB 3.0 symbol on them regardless of their colour.

USB connector with an internal blue tab
USB connector with an internal blue tab
USB 3.0 symbol on the connector at the end of a cable
USB 3.0 symbol on the connector at the end of a cable
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Connecting a USB device

If instructions came with your USB device, use that info to install your device. Otherwise, use these general instructions.

To install a USB device

  1. If your device has a power cord, plug it in.

  2. Connect the device to your PC using the separate cable or cord attached to the device.

    Make sure that you use an available USB 3.0 port for USB 3.0 devices. Otherwise, you can use the most convenient port available.

  3. Turn on your device, then wait while Windows installs the proper driver.

  4. After installation is done, check the info that came with your device to see if you need to install additional software.

Notes

  • If an older USB device doesn't work properly when plugged into a USB 3.0 port, try connecting the device to a USB 2.0 port instead.

  • If Windows doesn't recognise your device or can't find a driver, see What if a wired device isn't installed properly?

Disconnecting a USB device

You can simply unplug most USB devices, such as a keyboard or mouse. However, for storage devices, such as a USB flash drive, make sure that you've saved your files on the drive before removing it. You might also want to eject the drive to make sure that all activity on the drive has finished.

To eject a drive

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click Devices.

  3. Tap or click the device you want to eject, tap or click the Remove icon Remove icon, then tap or click Remove.

Solving problems with USB devices

Here’s some information to help fix problems with USB devices. First check if Windows has identified a problem with your device.

To check for device problems in Device Manager

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Device Manager in the search box, and tap or click Device Manager. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

  3. Double-tap or double-click the appropriate device category to expand it. For example, a USB flash drive would be under Disc drives.

    If your device has a yellow icon next to it, Yellow warning icon that shows there might be a device problem, Windows has identified a problem with it.
  4. Press and hold or right-click your USB device, then tap or click Properties.

  5. Look under Device status to see if there’s an error message. Common errors include either Code 43 or Code 28 in the message. Leave the Properties window open in case you need it to fix the problem.

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Error messages that include Code 43

Your USB device might have stopped responding, have faulty connectors and cables, or stopped functioning. You can try to:

  • Unplug the USB cable and the power cable, if your device has one. Then plug them in again.

  • Make sure your cables and connectors work by using a different USB cable, if it’s removable.

  • Plug the device into a different USB port.

If these steps don’t work, it’s possible that the USB device itself has stopped working. You might need to repair or replace the device.

Error messages that include Code 28

There could be a problem with the device driver or your USB hub, if you've connected the device to one.

If Windows can’t find a driver for your device, check if there's an updated, compatible driver for it. In the device Properties window, tap or click Driver, tap or click Update Driver, then follow the on-screen instructions. For other ways of getting and installing drivers, see Downloading and installing drivers.

If the device is connected to an external USB hub, try these steps:

  • Make sure the hub’s power supply is on and connected (if it has one).

  • Move the device to a different hub. If the device connected successfully but still isn’t working, try turning the power off and on again.

  • Plug the device into a hub that has its own power supply to make sure enough power is getting to your USB device.

  • Make sure the USB hub works by checking that other devices work on it.

Check for answers in the Microsoft community

If the suggestions here don't solve your problem, check out the Hardware and Drivers community page in the Windows forum for solutions that other people have found for specific devices.