Troubleshoot Mac USB Issues

Mac cannot recognize my USB device

Are you stuck with the same or similar situation? Your USB does un-identified on your Mac Machines due to several reasons. May be your USB device might be corrupt or your USB drivers are out-of date etc. If these are proved then the problems would be very complex. Sometimes, it can be even due to improper connection, or your USB may be infected by virus or any default settings are changed and many more and can be easily solved. However, before concluding anything, just try to troubleshoot the USB issues on your Mac yourself. These are just simple and hence can be solved manually.

How do I troubleshoot my USB device on a Mac? Don’t worry; you have landed on a right page. Here are few tips or ways using which you can troubleshoot your USB device on your Mac. Just have a look at these tips:

1.   Make sure the connection to the USB port is secure:

Just unplug the device from the USB port and then plug it back in. Ensure that the connection is safe.

2.  Unplug other devices plugged into the USB ports:

For troubleshooting purposes, disconnect all other USB devices from the computer and start plugging in these USB devices one at a time. This allows you to evaluate each one to make sure that they all work. Sometimes two devices might conflict and won't work together. In such cases its better to contact the manufacturer for assistance.

3.  Make sure about the devices’ status:

Confirm yourself that whether it is a new device that never worked, or is it a device that you had for a while and suddenly stopped working? If it used to work, recall all the recent changes made to the device before it stopped working. Did you recently add another new device? Or installed a new program? Try returning the computer to the way it was before the device stopped working. If it works again, there is an incompatibility with the device and whatever you added.

4.  USB port lacks power

If you have the device plugged into a USB hub or into your keyboard, plug it directly into one of the USB ports on the computer. If it works there, the issue is with the device to which it had been previously connected. The device may need more power than the port provides.

5.  Check for the proper working of the USB ports in the computer:

Check that all the devices in all the USB ports on the computer are working fine. Also test each port using a good, working USB device. Sometimes even if one port on the computer has stopped functioning, others will still work. If this is the case, the computer may need to be serviced.

6.  Does the device have a power cord?

Does the affected device have a power cord? If it does, try unplugging and re-plugging it and ensure that the device is plugged into a working power outlet (you can test the outlet by plugging in a lamp or clock).

7.  Check if the device is properly mounted:

The foremost important technique is to check the mounting of the device. to accomplish this, just read the below steps:

  1. Open Hard Disk > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
  2. Highlight the name of your device, if it shows ‘Mount’ on top, click on it. So that it changes to Unmount

8.  Check in the System Profiler

Open System Profiler from the Applications folder -> Utilities folder. Now, from Contents column present on the left and under the Hardware header, select USB; the panel to the right will show all the USB devices that the computer recognizes. It may not identify them correctly by name, but it should show the correct number of devices attached to the USB.

  • If the device doesn't show up in System Profiler, the issue will be more likely to be hardware, either the device or the USB port isn't working properly.
  • If the device shows up in System Profiler, even if the device doesn't work, then the issue is due to software. The best solution for this issue is to try updating the drivers or re-installing your USB driver again. To update and install he drivers, Try the Remo Driver Discover software, which offers a single interface to update and download drivers of different types.

9.  Check for PRAM and RAM:

Reset the parameter random access memory (PRAM) and nonvolatile RAM (NVRAM) on your computer. Turn off your computer, then restart it and immediately press and hold the "Command," "Option," "P" and "R" keys on the keyboard. Release the keys after you hear the start-up chime for the third time and your computer should boot normally.

By following the above described ways and tips, you can easily troubleshoot your USB issues on your Mac systems easily. One important note, before performing these steps take the backup of your computer and the USB device (if possible) to ensure data safety.

Troubleshoot Mac USB Issues was last modified: August 30th, 2013 by Tony Landry

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