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

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

But if the USB device descriptor malfunctions, your PC will not recognize your connected external device. Instead, you will get an error message saying “Unknown USB device (device descriptor request failed)” or “A USB device descriptor request failed”.

If you are facing this issue, read on to learn how to fix “Failed to request unknown USB device handle” error on Windows 10.


What causes the unknown USB device error?

The error “Unknown USB device (device descriptor request failed)” can occur due to hardware or system-specific issues. Here are the different causes of this problem:

  • Your latest software update ran into issues and ended up corrupting the USB drivers.
  • There was a problem replacing some parts of your PC.
  • You made mistakes while configuring the USB driver settings.
  • The USB port is broken.
  • The USB device is damaged, corrupted, or infected with malware.
  • USB drivers are corrupt or outdated.
  • System BIOS needs to be updated.

Now that you know what is causing this error, here are the six ways to fix it.

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

Before applying the methods detailed in this article, here are some tricks you can try:

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  1. Restart your PC and see if that fixes your problem.
  2. Plug your USB device into another USB port. If this solves your problem, the original USB port is probably broken.
  3. Plug your USB device into another computer. This will help you determine if the problem is with the USB device or your PC.
  4. Disable Windows Fast Startup setting. This setting starts your PC quickly and can cause several system performance issues. So disabling it and restarting your PC might help.

If these quick fixes do not resolve the “USB device descriptor failure” issue, continue to the next method.

2. Scan your PC for hardware changes

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

  1. To begin, plug the USB device into your PC.
  2. Open Device Manager by tapping Win + X and selecting Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager header menu, click the Stock tab and select Check for hardware changes from the list.

Wait for the system to recognize all hardware changes and see if that fixes your problem.

3. Reinstall USB Drivers

Faulty USB drivers can cause this error. To fix the problem, you will need to uninstall the Unknown USB device (device descriptor failure) drivers and reinstall them.

Here is how you can reinstall the USB drivers:

  1. Open Device Manager by tapping Win + X and selecting Device Manager.
  2. expand the Universal serial bus controllers section.
  3. Right click on the Unknown USB device (device descriptor request failed) driver and select Uninstall device.


Restart your system when the scan is complete. This will automatically reinstall the USB drivers and should help clear the error.

4. Update Generic USB Hub Drivers

If the previous method didn’t work, you can try updating the Generic USB Hub Drivers. It is possible that this USB driver is outdated and that is the reason why you are having issues.

So, here is how you can update Generic USB Hub drivers:

  1. Open Device Manager by tapping 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 Automatically search for drivers.

Your PC will search for compatible drivers online. Once the update is complete, plug in your USB device and check if that solved your problem.

You can also resolve the “Unknown USB device” error using the Windows Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter. This is a built-in Windows tool that helps you find and fix various system issues.

So, here is how you can get rid of “Failed USB DescriptorUnknown Device” issue using this tool:

  1. Open the troubleshooter by typing Troubleshoot in the Start menu search bar and selecting Best match.
  2. To select Materials and devices then select Run the troubleshooter to start the process.

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

6. Disable the USB selective suspend setting

Another method that might solve your problem would be to disable the USB Selective Suspend setting.

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Open Control Panel by typing Control Panel in the Windows search bar and selecting Best match.
  2. Move towards 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 filter.
  5. expand the USB Selective Suspend setting and disable both the On the battery and Branch options.
  6. Click on Apply then click OKAY.

Finally, restart your PC to apply these changes. Plug in your USB devices and check if that solved your problem.

Fix unknown USB device error with ease

Now the error “Unknown USB device (device descriptor request failed)” should be resolved. As with most USB related issues, you can resolve this error by reinstalling the USB drivers. If that doesn’t help, try one of the other fixes we’ve suggested.


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