All USB Ports Stopped Working – Simple Remedy

I just had one of those experiences where all my USB ports stopped working for no apparent reason on a new (3 months old) computer.  No USB device were recognised except my mouse. 

So I went to the various help forums and was terrified by the potential problems and some of the suggested solutions, many of which I quite simply didn’t understand because I am NOT a computer expert.  Everything was suggested from running hardware maintenance checks in Windows (I use Windows XP as Operating System) checking the BIOS, to replacing the motherboard, to reconfiguring software, to buying new USB ports on a PCI card.

Many other visitors with the same problem had tried these (often expensive) options to no avail. 

And then I came across a simple suggestion that, at a stage when all the (non-replacing) software and hardware checks and options had failed, was worth a try. 

About halfway down the page, after other more technical and expensive options came a suggestion from a user called jonahpro:

Switch off the computer, unplug the mains cord for a few minutes, reconnect the mains and reboot.

It sounded too simple but I tried the suggestion and it worked for my computer.  Everything now works perfectly again … THANK YOU JONAHPRO!

So, if your USB ports suddenly stop working for no apparent reason, or they suddenly fail to recognise USB devices when they’re plugged in, why not try this simple solution?

It won’t work in every case.  There may be other significant underlying causes.  You may need to replace some hardware (such as a failing motherboard) or reconfigure some software, or adjust the BIOS etc and I’m certainly not suggesting that you ignore these if you need them.

I’m suggesting that by first unplugging your computer from the mains for a few minutes and then reconnecting and rebooting, you may just save yourself a lot of time, money and sleepless nights.

About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
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33 Responses to All USB Ports Stopped Working – Simple Remedy

  1. Ian Burrett says:

    If you lived local i would buy you a pint LOL

    I have spent many hours trying to solve this problem then i came across your solution. It worked a treat. Still can’t figure out why but who cares.

    • waywood says:

      Thanks for the comments Ian.

      Yep! I’ve given up worrying about trying to figure out or applying logic where our little bianry friends are concerned! If in doubt, switch it off. If that doesn’t work, condemn it to Hades.

  2. Christine says:


  3. Carole Atkinson says:

    my usb’s stop working ALL THE TIME, like day after day and I can’t shut my computer down without forcing it with the “on” button. I’ve unplugged and moved everything many times all to no avail. I think I have a “lemon” dell…

  4. Ben says:

    I am facing this REDUDANT problem too. After a few hours, all USB ports stop working for no reason, even if I don’t plug or unlug any USB device at all. I have a *not so old* system (HP DC7100 cmt) that otherwise works flawlessly.

    This all began from the day I installed a USB wireless network card. At first, I thought this was a power supply issue. I thought that emitting wireless signals all day long would be too hard on my 4 years old power supply. But I changed it. I now have a brand new 600 watts PSU. But the problem persists. I also realised that after printing a document, all my USB ports stop working. My printer is attached to the computer using a long (6 feet) USB extension. It is known that USB cords need to be as short as possible and once again, I’m feeling like this is demanding too much power when I print through that USB extension cord.

    Anyhow, with my new power supply unit, it is clearly not because my computer does not have enough power for the USB devices. I checked my motherboard for defective condensors and have not found a single one. Everything else works fine with the computer.

    I really don’t get it. Sometimes, I have to reboot the computer 3 and even 4 times a day because of this, since when my USB ports stop working, I don’t have internet access anymore. Only my mouse and keyboard still work. Everything I plug in is not recognized.

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  6. Oleg says:

    OMG are you a wizard?!
    5 windows reinstallations, hundreds of smart-ass worthless comments from “computer experts” and 3 days of stress before i’ve found your post. I owe you a vodka.

  7. Stuart Wood says:

    Hi Oleg

    Sometimes it helps to be a ‘technical Luddite’ as I don’t try to think clever. Glad it worked for you, but sorry you had to go through the rubbish before you got here. Next time you’ll be ready!!

    Best wishes

  8. CHRIS says:


  9. Brad says:

    No luck with this “solution” for me. USB’s all stopped working one day, and complete an total power off overnight didn’t do anything. FWIW, they do pass power to the USB-connected device, but the device is not recognized at all otherwise.

    • Stuart Wood says:

      Hi Brad

      Really sorry this didn’t help. as I mentioned I’m not a computer expert (or anywhere near one) but found a remedy that helped me after a lot of heartache.

      I guess that as with many technology problems, some situations require further investigation and help.

      Really hope you get your problem sorted.

      Best wishes


    • udai nizar says:

      check wheathe +5 v supply in usb port . by conecting a usb mouse u can identify its light glow.if not check the fuse near usb
      which carry +5 v to it . if +5 is ok then check your bios configuration .reset it .even after it dont work check data line to usb to south bridge……

      • waywood says:


        Thanks for this; very useful.

        My suggestion is up for (the majority) of people who see a computer as a ‘functional box’ rather than understanding them. It is also a best ‘first step’ before they ever get near the inner workings. Many lack the confidence or knowledge to go that far and would call in an expert.

        Unplugging and then plugging in again is something we can all do, costs nothing and saves a lot of time, worry & money if it works.

        Best wishes


  10. Zom-B says:

    I found this ‘turn off for 5 minutes’ solution somewhere else already but dismissed it as slightly ridiculous (my mouse has power after all). Then after trying some things, I googled specifically for ‘… except mouse’ and then found this page.

    Some additional details, the internal webcam also doesn’t work, and if I unplug and re-plug the mouse, it stops working too until next reboot.

    As it’s a laptop, I took out the battery too, as leaving it in would probably defeat the purpose.

    The solution didn’t work for me though.

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  12. See says:

    Oh gosh, WORKED FOR ME! A million thanks!

  13. tommy says:

    Thank you to whomever posted this amazing solution. I think it was Stuart. All my USB ports stopped cooperating just before Christmas 2012. Before I found this advice I was looking at suggested solutions WAY beyond my technical comfort zone.
    Who knew it was as simple as turning off your system and unplugging the power cord. The fact I am typing this on my new logitech wireless is proof this solution works!!! THANKS A MILLION!!

    • waywood says:

      Hi Tommy

      Glad it worked. It saved me a lot of money too (though finding the original article took about 3 hours and some blood, sweat & tears). Howevern it was well worth the effort and I’m glad that by sharing it, I have saved you (and a few others) heartache, bewilderment & unnecessary expense.

      Happy New Year & best wishes


  14. Rohit says:

    Worked perfectly thank you… Would only add one thing the dell online support always asked me to do .. Once you have unplugged the power connection to the PC press and hold the start button (the one you use to power up your PC not the one in windows 🙂 ) for about 10 seconds to drain any stored current in the internal components …

    This solved my problem though not sure if the additional step , listed by me helped in any way but you can try wont hurt … Thank you as I would have tried all sorts of stuff ( actuall since nothing was working including the keyboard it was impossible to even get to the bios) so again thank you for a great post ..

    • waywood says:

      Hi Rohit

      The people at Dell know infinitely more about this sort of problem than I do, so certainly no harm in performing the additional step.

      Glad your problem was solved 🙂

      Best wishes


  15. Michael says:

    Found this after I had done the exact same thing. I turned my laptop off, unplugged the power cord, took out the battery, so that I could unscrew the back plate and see if the USB card has dislodged or something. Nothing.

    Put it all back together, and guess what – the USB ports now work! I guess that they need a full hard re-boot, with new power, to reset them. This works.


    • waywood says:

      Hi Michael

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Good to know it works for laptops too 🙂

      I think that unplugging the mains AND the battery is probably important for lap tops?

      Best wishes


  16. Patti says:

    So glad I found this. I was trying everything, as suggested on a Microsoft site, to no avail, but something this simple fixed it!! THANK YOU!!

    • waywood says:

      Hi Patti

      Many thanks for taking the time to let me know your success. Very much appreciated.

      I’m a firm believer in looking for simple solutions as a first step, so if my computer doesn’t switch on I check that I’ve plugged it in or switched it on. Similarly, trying something this simple, at worst costs you no money & a few minutes if it doesn’t work & at best can save you a lot of money.

      Take care & best wishes


  17. Jim says:

    Thanks Stuart, took me a bit of searching to find this page but glad I did! Only found it once I added “except mouse” to my search criteria. Prior to that, I had to wade through loads of overcomplicated nonsense which got me nowhere…

    • waywood says:

      Hi Jim

      So glad it worked for you & many thanks for your helpful feedback on search criteria.

      I too had the same problem finding a solution originally. If I wanted a ‘geek’s response’ no problem; if I wanted a simple solution, no chance!

      Maybe I’ll review my tags & amend text a bit to make it more ‘search general’ & less ‘search specific’.

      Take care & best wishes


  18. Steve says:

    Kudos to all for this solution. I was only scratching my head for about an hour or so, so I feel lucky to have come across this page. A potential nightmare averted. Who says the dang Interwebs are only full of BS?

  19. Maureen says:

    Thanks so much. That was the trick. I was not able to do anything because none of the USB ports worked.

  20. Jerry says:

    You Sir have just made my day and saved me a whole lot of trouble! My PC not only had all the USB ports dead but when I rebooted it also refused to start. It’s a Dell Dimension 9200 and the error code on the front panel spelled 123 (“other error”) – not very helpful. I started planning a major investigative operation and also thinking about all the cost of either replacing whatever was kaput or even buying a new computer… Than I found this gem of yours! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !!

    • waywood says:

      Hi Jerry

      Many thanks for taking the time to send me a message.

      Really appreciated & so glad it worked for you & saved money 🙂

      Take care & best wishes


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