Fix: Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device) In Windows 10 & 11

Does your PC fail to detect a USB device and you see the “Device Descriptor Request Failed” error? Here's how to get rid of the issue.

We use the USB ports on our computers for various purposes, such as connecting peripherals like headphones, mice, and keyboards as well as file transfer via USB flash drives.

Needless to say, when our computer fails to detect the plugged USB device, it’s a disruptive problem that needs immediate attention.

If you’ve recently encountered a similar situation, keep reading to learn more.

This guide covers the “Device Descriptor Request Failed (Unknown USB Device) error on Windows, and without further ado, let’s get right into it.

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The Problem Explained


There are numerous possibilities for why your computer can’t detect or access the USB device you plugged into one of the ports.

You’ll likely find out that you have this problem after plugging in a USB device in one of your computer’s USB ports, only to find out that it doesn’t work properly or respond at all.

However, if you’ve opened the Device Manager panel on Windows and saw the “Device Descriptor Request Failed” error listed in one of the items under the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” category, then you’re dealing with a known Windows error, and we can help you fix it.

Windows Device Descriptor Request Failed error

The slightly less good news is that this issue can be caused by a myriad of things, both hardware, and software related. This means you’ll have to try multiple methods and different approaches until you find one that solves it.

All solutions listed in the sections below have easy-to-follow steps that will guide you through the process with ease.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to fix the unknown USB device Windows error.

Fix 1: Ensure There Aren’t Hardware Issues


More often than not, it happens that the USB device is not fully plugged into the port, despite it looking like that from the outside.

We suggest starting the troubleshooting process by doing exactly that—removing and then reinserting the USB device into the port, making sure it goes completely into the slot.

If this doesn’t work, we recommend changing the slot. Most motherboards have multiple USB slots that you can use, so if one doesn’t work, unplug the device and try a different one. Sometimes the issue could be caused by a damaged USB port.

If nothing alters, the final step in this category is to examine the device itself and see if it’s impaired in any way. You can try connecting it to a different PC, and if it doesn’t work there as well, it’s probably an issue with the device.

After confirming that the problem isn’t related to the ports or the device, or in other words, it’s not a hardware problem, move on to the next section below to continue the troubleshooting.

Fix 2: Unplug Everything From Your PC And Reset It

USB Ports

For many users, this method called “Power Cycling” fixed the problem. It’s really easy to do, so follow the steps below to try it yourself:

  1. Remove all USB and other devices connected to your PC, except your keyboard and mouse. Leave your monitor plugged in, as you’ll need it too.
  2. Now, power off your PC regularly.
  3. Unplug the power supply cable from your PC, and everything else, including your keyboard, mouse, headphones, and monitor.
  4. Press and hold the power button you use to turn on your PC for 15 seconds.
  5. Plug the power supply cable back in along with your other devices, and then start up your PC.

Once your PC boots, you can try connecting the USB device that was previously malfunctioning, and hopefully, it will now work.

Fix 3: Uninstall The Faulty USB Driver(s) And Reboot Your PC


This fix has the most chance of solving your problem, as usually, it’s caused by software issues that you can fix by reinstalling faulty USB drivers.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows + X simultaneously on your keyboard and choose Device Manager from the list of options.
  2. Click the arrow next to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers category to expand it.
  3. One by one, right-click the items on the list showing the Device Descriptor Request Failed error and choose Uninstall.
  4. When done, reboot your PC, and make sure it’s connected to the internet.
  5. Once your PC boots up, Windows will automatically install them anew.

Now you should be able to use the devices you previously couldn’t due to the error.

One more thing we suggest is installing a Windows update if you have one pending, as these updates often include fixes for such bugs, among other significant things, such as enhanced security and more optimizations.

Fix 4: Disable Fast Startup (Boot) On Your PC


Another helpful fix for this issue is disabling fast startup on your PC. The Fast startup option allows your PC to boot up as quickly as possible by “disregarding” any features that aren’t considered necessary for the core functionalities but also not completely shutting off programs when you turn the PC off.

This is helpful as it can help you save time on each startup, but can sometimes cause compatibility issues and problems such as the device descriptor request failed error.

To solve this issue, we recommend disabling Fast Startup, and here’s how to do that:

  1. Simultaneously press Windows + R to open the Run box, then type in Control Panel and press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Use the search bar in the Control Panel to type in Power Options, then choose Change what the power buttons do from the list of results.
  3. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  4. Now, “uncheck” the box next to the Turn on fast startup (recommended) option and click Save Changes at the bottom.
  5. Reboot your PC to see if this fixed the problem.

This method worked for countless users. Hopefully, it will resolve the problem on your end too.

Fix 5: Set Your Power Plan In Windows To High Performance


Some users pointed out that the problem was caused due to lack of power to the USB hub as the computer tried to prioritize saving as much energy as possible.

This helped in some cases, so we recommend trying it as it’s a relatively easy fix and we recommend using the high-performance plan whatsoever.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Simultaneously press Windows + R to open the Run box, then type in Control Panel and press Enter on your keyboard.
  2. Use the search bar in the Control Panel to type in Power Options, then click Change power-saving settings.
  3. Set your plan to High performance, then click Change plan settings for the high-performance plan.
  4. Click Change advanced power settings, then expand the USB settings category.
  5. Disable the USB selective suspend setting option, then click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

Now, reboot your PC and see if the problem persists. It should now be fixed.  


That covers everything you should know about the device descriptor request failed error on Windows.

Hopefully, the methods listed in this guide helped overcome the issues with your USB devices not responding as they should, as they helped many other users.

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Bojan Veselinovikj

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.