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How to uninstall a USB device on Windows 10

When you connect a new device to your system via one of the USB ports, Windows 10 will install drivers for it. Most devices that connect via the USB port seem to be plug & play but a small driver is still installed for the device whether it’s an external drive or a phone. When these devices start to act up, you often just remove/disconnect them, and connect them again. While this may fix some problems, others might require that you uninstall a USB device and have Windows 10 install it again to fix it.

Uninstall a USB device

Uninstalling a USB device on Windows 10 is fairly simple. To make it even easier, you should start out with connecting your USB device to your system. Once it’s connected, open Device Manager and look for your device.

Just because you’re connecting your device via a USB port doesn’t mean it will appear under the Universal Serial Bus Controllers. That’s why we recommended connecting the device. It makes it easier to find. If the device is a mouse or a keyboard, you want to look under that particular group of devices. When you suspect you’ve found the device, remove it and see if it appears greyed out in the Device Manager. If it does, you’ve found the device.

In some cases, the device may not appear greyed out when you remove it. It might just disappear altogether. If that’s the case, you should connect it again to uninstall it.

The tricky part is to identify the device and we’ve done that. To uninstall the device, right-click it and select Uninstall Device from the context menu. You will hear a system sound alert for a change in the detected hardware. Once the driver is uninstalled, the device will disappear from the Device Manager.

To install the device, and the driver for it again, simply connect it and Windows 10 will detect it and install the driver again.

If the driver is what’s causing problems, you can manually install a different driver for your device. It is up to you to find the right driver for your device. In some cases, it might just be that you need proprietary drivers instead of the generic ones that Windows 10 installs and in other cases, you might need a very specific version of a driver for the device to work on your system. If it’s the second case, you might need to experiment a bit with drivers. If the device is giving you a lot of trouble, try restarting your system every time you install a new driver.

If Windows 10 doesn’t detect a USB device no matter what you do, check to see if they’ve been disabled.

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