USB Ports Randomly Stop Working: 7 Ways To Easily Fix It

USB ports are quite durable, having a minimum lifetime of 1,500 insertion and removal cycles. A USB port will sometimes stop working much faster due to various causes, such as defective parts, overuse, or improper handling.

If all USB ports randomly stop working though, the issue isn’t that serious in most cases. Here is everything you need to know about why your USB ports stop working randomly, and what you can do to fix it!

Why do my USB ports randomly stop working?

If all your USB ports randomly stop working on Windows 10, it’s typically related to some update issues. However, there are various other reason why your USB ports randomly stop working, even on different OS.

Here are the most common causes why all USB ports stopped working on your PC/laptop.

1. Faulty cables/adaptors

First, you need to check out all your USB ports to be sure that you aren’t dealing with a single USB port failure. USB port failure is relatively rare, so it’s best to make sure that the device you are trying to connect to your USB port isn’t damaged.

If your device is good, check its USB cable, and inspect it for any damage. If you are using an external USB port slot extender, check it’s adaptor or USB cable as well.

2. Wrong USB port

Another common reason why your USB ports stop responding, might be because you are trying to insert a device to the data-only ports, instead of the recharging ports.

Some USB ports, for example, are specially designed to charge your laptop or other devices, however, not all of them do this, and maybe you are just simply using the wrong USB ports.

3. Debris accumulation

In case you don’t perform regular maintenance on your PC/laptop, chances are, at some point, the USB ports will accumulate debris and prevent the cable from plugging in all the way as it should.

If the situation is serious, it’s possible that all your USB ports stop working randomly. This is especially true for USB port extenders. You can quickly get debris inside all of the ports if you drop it in certain locations or transport your device regularly.

4. Power supply failure

If your USB ports stop working randomly, it might be related to your power supply. This mainly applies to laptops, as in some models, the power supply transmits power to your USB ports, or in other cases, it will deactivate USB ports connections to save energy.

5. Power management settings

Sometimes, your power management settings might have some inconvenient configuration. If all USB ports randomly stop working, your Windows power management settings may have the switch USB controllers off activated when not in use.

Even though you want to use your USB ports, the system won’t set them back on. This often happens as Windows has some bug issues when it comes to managing power.

6. Outdated or faulty USB drivers or system updates

If all USB ports randomly stop working, it might be due to your USB drivers. Some drivers might get glitched and need to be reinstalled. Other drivers get outdated. Specific system updates can also cause some glitches on your PC/laptop.

Windows 10, for example, had some updates that provoked the randomly malfunctioned USB ports issue. If you don’t keep your OS constantly updated, these issues will arise sooner or later, and not just to your USB ports.

7. Damaged USB ports

Damaged USB ports can randomly start working. For example, if your USB slot extender was trampled, the damage might surface later, causing random issues.

In other cases, if you spilled a drink on your laptop and didn’t properly clean it up, your USB ports will randomly stop working sometime later.

How to fix USB ports that randomly stop working?

Your USB ports randomly stop working for various issues. From configurations, outdated drivers to glitchy updates, or external damage, here is how to fix USB ports that randomly stop working on most devices:

1. Check other USB ports

The first thing you need to do when your USB port stops responding is to check all the other ports available. Try connecting different devices to your USB ports to establish if the fault is with your device or the USB port itself.

If the other USB ports work fine, you will need to repair that faulty USB port sooner or later. Consider buying a USB port extender if you want to have more USB ports available on your device.

Finally, make sure you connect the right devices to the proper USB sockets. Some USB ports are strictly used for charging, while others are for data. If you try, for example, to connect your laptop charger to any USB port outside the one designated to charge it specifically, it won’t work.

If you noticed that all of your USB ports randomly stopped working, then skip the next tip and read about how to clean USB ports, or consider the other tips.

2. Try other cables

A USB port extender is quite susceptible to damage. Your USB cable or adaptor might be faulty, hence the reason why your USB ports randomly stop working.

USB port extenders can be trampled, or you can easily spill drinks on them, resulting in these issues. A few drops are enough to cause some degree of damage.

If you believe the USB cable is damaged, you might be able to replace it in some cases. However, if your cable is already integrated into your device, you might need to buy a new USB port extender.

3. Clean out the USB ports

When USB ports stop working randomly, it might be due to poor maintenance. If you work in a dusty environment or store your PC/laptop in such places, debris can accumulate on your USB ports, resulting in them stopping randomly.

If this is the issue, don’t worry, you can easily clean your USB ports by yourself without taking your device into service. The best way to tell if your USB ports are dirty is to check and see if you can plug a USB cable all the way through.

If something is blocking it, grab a flashlight or use your phone light to see what is blocking the socket. You will need a toothpick and a canned air product to clean your USB ports. Use the toothpick gently after switching your device power off, and carefully try to clear whatever is stuck there.

Use the canned air to get rid of dust; however, don’t place its plastic nozzle into the USB port. It might create condensation and thus more problems later. If what you connect to the USB port works after wiggling it, then there is an issue inside.

This is most likely also related to debris. Open your device and inspect the USB ports. Try to see if there is anything wrong. You can look up your PC/laptop model and compare the arrangements.

If you don’t want to take a risk, then it’s best to take your PC/laptop to a professional for review. If you began your cleaning operation, here is how you can adequately clean your CPU fan.

4. Check your power supply

This next tip generally applies to laptops. The power supply is essential for USB ports on laptops as it delivers power to them. Sometimes, this powerful device can fail, or it isn’t connected correctly.

Inspect your power device and see if there are any issues after unplugging it and your laptop. Restart your laptop, connect any USB device, and connect the power supply or vice versa. See if the USB ports randomly stop working again.

5. Change power management settings

If, despite cleaning and checking your power supply, your USB still randomly stop working, then it’s most likely to some power management settings. USB ports randomly stop working on Windows 10 primarily due to this reason.

The power management settings ensure that your USB ports stop working when they’re not in use to save power. However, sometimes this feature might get glitchy, and it’s best to turn it off. You need to press the Windows Key and type Device Manager to do this.

Once here, click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers branch, and click on the first USB Root Hub. Click on the Power Management tab, and un-check the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power box. 

Click OK, and repeat the process for the rest of the USB Root Hubs. Once you are done, you can reboot your PC and see if your USB ports randomly stop working once more.

6. Update USB drivers and your system

If the USB ports stop working randomly again, then it is most likely related to your USB drivers and updates. To check the status of your USB drivers, click on the Windows Key, type Device Manager, and search for your USB drivers.

Once you find them at the Universal Serial Bus controllers branch, right-click on them and select Update. Reboot your PC/laptop and see if the problem persists. You can also uninstall your USB drivers and reboot your PC in Windows 10 or higher.

If you do this, Windows will automatically reinstall your USB drivers once your restart your computer. If you fall behind with your system updates, it might also cause some issues, such as USB ports not responding.

To solve this, you might want to check your system update status. Go to Start>Settings>Update and Security, and check if any updates are available for your device. Once you’ve installed everything, reboot your PC/laptop and check if the problem persists.

7. Take PC/laptop to service for inspection

If any of the advice above didn’t work, and your USB ports are not responding, or all USB ports stopped working, then the best solution is to take your PC/laptop to service. Have some professionals take a good look at your device and sort out the issues.

Most USB ports have a minimum lifetime of 1.500 insertion and removal cycles. It’s entirely possible that your USB ports are too damaged or overused, and they might need complete replacement.

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