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 recognize the cables and ports to connect your USB devices by one of these symbols.
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 color.
If instructions came with your USB device, use that info to install your device. Otherwise, use these general instructions.
If your device has a power cord, plug it in.
Connect the device to your PC using the separate cable or cord attached to the device.
Make sure to use an available USB 3.0 port for USB 3.0 devices. Otherwise, you can use the most convenient port available.
Turn on your device, and then wait while Windows installs the proper driver.
After installation is done, check the info that came with your device to see if you need to install additional software.
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 recognize your device or can’t find a driver, see What if a wired device isn't installed properly?
You can simply unplug most USB devices, such as a keyboard or mouse. However, for storage devices, such as 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 all activity on the drive is finished.
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)
Tap or click Devices.
Here’s info to help fix problems with USB devices. First check if Windows has identified a problem with your device.
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.(If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
Enter Device Manager in the search box, and tap or click Device Manager.
You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.
Double-tap or double-click the appropriate device category to expand it. For example, a USB flash drive would be under Disc drives.
Press and hold or right-click your USB device, and the tap or click Properties.
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.
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 back in.
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.
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, and then follow the on-screen instructions. For other ways to get and install drivers, see Download and install 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 back on.
Plug the device to 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.
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.
See all support pages for devices & drivers.
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See what devices are compatible with Windows 8 at the Compatibility Center.