How-ToTech

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

When you connect a USB device to your PC, the USB device descriptor helps identify the connected device. This helps the system determine which device driver to load.

But if the USB device descriptor malfunctions, your PC won’t recognize your connected external device. Instead, you’ll get an error message that reads, “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” or “A Request for the USB Device Descriptor Failed.”

If you’re experiencing this issue, read on to find out how to fix the “Unknown USB device descriptor request failed” error on 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 issue:

  • Your latest software update had issues and ended up corrupting the USB drivers.
  • There was a fault when you were replacing some parts of your PC.
  • You’ve made mistakes while configuring the USB driver settings.
  • The USB port is broken.
  • The USB device is damaged, corrupted, or infected with malware.
  • The USB drivers are corrupted or outdated.
  • The BIOS system needs updating.

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

1. Quick Fixes for the “Unknown USB Device Descriptor Request Failed” Error


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

  1. Reboot your PC and see if this resolves your issue.
  2. Plug your USB device into a different USB port. If this resolves your issue, then the initial USB port is most likely broken.
  3. Plug your USB device into a different computer. This will help you determine whether the problem comes from the USB device or your PC.
  4. Disable the Windows fast startup setting. This setting boots up your PC quickly and may cause several system performance issues. So, disabling it and rebooting your PC could help.

If these quick fixes don’t resolve the “USB device descriptor failed” issue, move on to the next method.

2. Scan Your PC for Hardware Changes

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

  1. To get started, plug the USB device into your PC.
  2. Open the Device Manager by pressing Win + X and selecting Device Manager.
  3. In the header menu of the Device Manager, click the Action tab and select Scan for hardware changes from the list.


Wait for the system to recognize all hardware changes and see if this resolves your issue.

3. Reinstall the USB Drivers

Faulty USB drivers could be causing this error. To resolve the issue, you’ll need to uninstall the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Failure) drivers and reinstall them.

Here’s how you can reinstall the USB drivers:

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing Win + X and selecting Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  3. Right-click the Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed) driver and select Uninstall device.


Reboot your system when the scan is complete. This will automatically reinstall the USB drivers and should help get rid of the error.

4. Update the Generic USB Hub Drivers

If the previous method didn’t work out, you can try updating the Generic USB Hub drivers. There’s a chance that this USB driver is outdated and is the reason you’re encountering issues.

So, here’s how you can update the Generic USB Hub drivers:

  1. Open the Device Manager by pressing Win + X and selecting Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  3. Right-click on the Generic USB Hub option and click the Update driver option.


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 resolved your issue.

You can also tackle the “Unknown USB Device” error by using the Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. This is an in-built Windows tool that helps you search for and fix various system issues.

So, here’s how you can get rid of the “Unknown USB\device descriptor failure” issue using this tool:

  1. Open the troubleshooter by typing Troubleshoot in the Start menu search bar and selecting the Best Match.
  2. Select Hardware and Devices and then select Run the troubleshooter to start the process.


When you finish, close the troubleshooter and restart your PC to implement these fixes. This should tackle the “unknown USB device descriptor failed” error and other hardware-related issues.

6. Disable the USB Selective Suspend Setting

Another method that could resolve your issue would be to disable the USB Selective Suspend setting.

Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Open the Control Panel by typing Control Panel in the Windows Search Bar and selecting the Best match.
  2. Navigate to System and Security > Power Options > Change plan settings.
  3. Select the Change advanced power settings option in the next window.
  4. Locate and expand the USB settings in the Power Options screen.
  5. Expand the USB selective suspend setting and disable both the On battery and Plugged in options.
  6. Click Apply and then click OK.


Finally, restart your PC to apply these changes. Plug your USB devices in and check if this has resolved your issue.

Fixing the Unknown USB Device Error the Easy Way

By now, the “Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)” error should be resolved. Just like most USB-related issues, you can resolve this error by reinstalling the USB drivers. If that doesn’t help, try any of the other fixes we’ve suggested.

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