USB Drive Missing in Windows? Here’s How to Find It

USB is a common device that allows us to save data. At times, the Windows might just not recognize your USB drive, SD cards, or any sort of memory card when connected. Though this issue is not new with Windows, thankfully in this article you will learn the hassle-free methods to detect your missing USB drive on Windows.

A broken or dead USB flash drive, outdated software and drivers, incorrect file system, device conflicts, faulty hardware, a dead system controller, are all possible causes for undetectable USB. Try the following methods to make the missing USB detectable.

Find the Missing/Undetectable USB Drive

Follow the methods mentioned in the section below to effortlessly detect the missing/undetectable USB drive on your Windows operating system

 Use Disk Management

When you connect the USB drive to your computer, it should automatically detect the device, if it doesn’t then check the Disk Management tool.

If you are using Windows 8/10, right-click the start icon and choose Disk Management. If you are using Windows 7, hit Windows + R.  this opens the Run box, type in diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.

If your USB flash drive appears in Disk Management but does not have a drive letter, it will not appear in File Explorer. You won't be able to open your USB flash drive in Windows Explorer after assigning it a drive letter if it's labelled as RAW in Disk Management. At this point, you can format the USB drive using a Windows-compatible file system. It is recommended you take a backup of your important data before formatting. However, if you have not taken a backup of important data then make use of a professional tool like Remo Recover.

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By doing so will be able to resolve any I/O errors on the USB drive and make it detectable again.

Now look for the USB drive in the drive list. It will be shown as Removable, but always so look for the disk that matches the storage size of your USB drive.

Update USB Drive to recognize the missing USB drive

Go to Computer > System Properties > Device Manager next to Universal Serial Bus Controllers, you’ll see a plus (+) sign click on it. Then you can see an exclamation mark in yellow.

Right-click and select Update Driver Software and click on Automatically Search for Driver Software Online.

Allow the software to install. Once done, reboot your PC and connect the USB drive to check if your computer is detecting the device or not.

Restart your Windows to find the missing USB drive

Restarting your PC can do wonders – it surely does most of the time. So, eject your USB drive safely and restart your computer. Then plug in your USB drive back and see if it is detectable.

Fix USB Hub

If you the USB drive is connected, it is possible that the device is not supplied with enough power to be recognized by your PC.

Go to Computer > System Properties > Device Manager expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers and right-click on USB Root Hub > Properties.

Select Power Management and uncheck the box which says Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. if the USB root Hub is listed with more than one, you have to carry out the same with all entries. Once done, click OK and restart your PC. Plugin your USB drive and check for any changes.

Try Connecting to A Different PC

If your device is still not recognizable on your computer, try connecting the USB drive to a different computer or operating system.

Hope the above-mentioned methods should be able to find your missing USB drive on Windows. If not, then there might be some serious issues with your devices. But that’s not the end, there are several data recovery software that retrieves your data. Obviously, you must have stored some data that is important to you like photos, home videos or work presentations, etc. This software not only retrieves data from unrecognized USB drives but also does recovering image files that are deleted from the memory card. Whether or not your USB drive or memory cards recognized, you’ll still have your data!

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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