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How to stop a computer from switching off when a USB device is plugged in?

By Eunice Samson | February 7, 2020 |

greater than 7 minutes

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It can be annoying when your PC shuts down unexpectedly while you’re in the middle of completing important work. It’s even more frustrating when you’re certain that you did not do anything wrong to cause the problem. For instance, a lot of users complained about their computers shutting down or restarting whenever they try to plug in their USB device.

There are several reasons why this issue can happen. It’s likely that the USB ports have moved and are touching each other. On the other hand, the problem can occur because of faulty drivers, motherboards, and basic hardware. It can be challenging to pinpoint the root cause of the issue. However, we can always try some troubleshooting steps to fix Windows 10 turning off when a USB device is plugged in.

Worry no more because we can help you get back to using your USB device without unintentionally shutting down your computer. You can use this guide to learn how to fix a PC restarting when a USB device is plugged in. We’ve listed the software fixes before the hardware solutions. So, make sure you work your way down the list.

Solution 1: Reinstalling and Updating Your USB Drivers

One of the reasons why your computer is restarting or shutting down when a USB device is plugged in is because of faulty drivers. As such, we recommend that you try reinstalling and updating your USB drivers. To uninstall your drivers, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R.
  2. Once the Run dialog box appears, type “devmgmt.msc” (no quotes), then click OK.
  3. On the Device Manager, click View.
  4. Select Show Hidden Devices from the options.
  5. Now, expand the contents of the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ category.
  6. Right-click the first device from the list, then click Uninstall Device. Repeat this step for every device under the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ category.
  7. Now, expand the contents of the ‘Disk Drives’ category.
  8. Evaluate the list, then determine which of the devices are not connected to your computer. Right-click any you’ll find, then select Uninstall Device.

After uninstalling your USB drivers, restart your PC. Your system should automatically reinstall the missing drivers. Once the process is complete, try plugging in your USB device again and check if you can use your computer without issues. Now, if the problem persists, we recommend that you update your USB drivers.

Here are some of the ways to update your USB drivers:

  • Using Windows Update
  • Using the Device Manager
  • Downloading the Drivers Manually
  • Using a Trusted Driver-Updating Program

Using Windows Update

Installing updates for your operating system also covers your device drivers. So, one of the ways to update your USB drivers is by using Windows Update. Usually, the tool downloads available updates in the background. However, you can trigger the process to start. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your taskbar, then right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Select Settings from the menu.
  3. Once the Settings app is open, click Update & Security.
  4. On the left-pane menu, click Windows Update.
  5. Move to the right pane, then click the ‘Check for Updates’ button.
  6. If updates are available, download them.
  7. You can begin the installation process by restarting your computer.

Using the Device Manager

  1. Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
  2. Inside the Search box, type “Device Manager” (no quotes), then select Device Manager from the results.
  3. Once the Device Manager appears, expand the contents of the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ category.
  4. Right-click the first device on the list, then select Update Driver.
  5. When the new window appears, click the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ option.

Let the Device Manager download and install the updates for the USB driver. Once the process is complete, update the other devices under the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ category.

Downloading the Drivers Manually

It is worth noting that the Device Manager can miss the latest updates for device drivers. This is the unfortunate downside that comes with the convenience that the tool offers. So, you may still end up going to the manufacturer’s website to download the latest USB drivers. However, before you use this method, you should be aware that installing drivers that are not compatible with your processor and operating system can cause issues on your computer. So, make sure you thoroughly scour through the available driver versions to find the correct ones.

Using a Trusted Driver-Updating Program

While Windows Update and the Device Manager offer a convenient way to update your USB driver, they can be unreliable sometimes. On the other hand, downloading and installing the drivers manually can be risky and time-consuming. Imagine how much effort and time you’ll need to invest in searching for the correct driver versions online!


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Fortunately, there is an easy and risk-free way to update your USB drivers. You can use a trusted tool like Auslogics Driver Updater. This tool recognizes your operating system version and processor type as soon as you install it. Within a few clicks, Auslogics Driver Updater will identify all faulty, missing, and outdated drivers on your computer. It will show you a list of problematic drivers you can fix, and you have the freedom to choose which ones to address. On the other hand, you can opt to resolve all issues in one go. Once the process is complete, you will enjoy more efficient and stable performance from your PC.

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Solution 2: Performing a System Restore

A lot of users also claimed that performing a simple system restore helped them fix the issue. So, if you want to know how to fix a PC restarting when a USB device is plugged in, you should learn how to bring your system back to a previous restore point. Here are the steps:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+S to bring up the Search box.
  2. Inside the Search box, type “System Restore” (no quotes).
  3. Click Create a Restore Point from the results.
  4. On the System Properties window, click System Restore.
  5. Once the new window appears, click Next.
  6. Make sure that the ‘Show more restore points’ option is selected.
  7. Select a restore point wherein the USB driver issue did not exist.
  8. Click Next to begin the process.

After performing a system restore, check if your computer won’t shut down or restart when you try to plug in a USB device.

Solution 3: Running the Hardware and USB Troubleshooters

Windows 10 comes with built-in troubleshooters for common issues. Since the problem has something to do with a hardware device, you can use the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter to fix it. Here are the steps.

  1. Launch the Settings app by pressing Windows Key+I on your keyboard.
  2. Once the Settings window appears, click Update & Security.
  3. Go to the menu on the left, then click Troubleshoot.
  4. Move to the right pane, then click Hardware and Devices.
  5. Click Run the Troubleshooter.

Let the troubleshooter fix the problems it will detect. Now, if the issue persists, you can use the Windows USB Troubleshooter from Microsoft to get rid of it. This tool comes in handy when you want to resolve problems related to USB audio, print, and storage devices. A lot of people use it when they are unable to safely remove their USB devices or when their computer fails to recognize their portable devices. That said, you can still use it to stop your PC from shutting down or restarting when you plug in your USB device.

You can download the Windows USB Troubleshooter from Microsoft’s official website. Once you run the tool, it will scan your computer for potential issues related to your USB devices. You will get a detailed report of the results, and you will be given the option to let the utility fix the problems automatically. On the other hand, you can also choose the items to resolve from the list.

Solution 4: Checking the External Devices Plugged Into the USB Ports

If you’re trying to plug in a USB device that requires high power to run, then your computer may unexpectedly shut down. This issue can happen when your PC is unable to handle the demand. To see if this is the case, we recommend that you try connecting your external USB device to a different computer. If the other PC continues to function even with the USB device plugged in, then you’ve isolated the problem. In this case, you may need to bring the external device to a professional technician to see if they can fix the issue.

Solution 5: Checking Your USB Connectors

Before you try this method, you should know that this involves opening up your computer. So, if you are not comfortable with this solution, you should move on to the next method. On the other hand, if you are confident with your skills, you can take your screwdriver and open your PC. Once you’ve done that, you need to check the metallic connectors and ensure that they are fully attached to the motherboard. Now, if you notice that the terminals are soldered to the motherboard, you need to ensure that they are still linked adequately. Otherwise, you need to bring your computer to a technician to properly solder the terminals.

Solution 6: Changing the Power Supply Unit

All the components of your computer get power from the PSU. In many ways, it functions as the heart of your PC. Now, one of the reasons why your computer shuts down or restarts when you try to plug in a USB device is because of a faulty PSU. To resolve the issue, you can try changing the Power Supply Unit of your PC. If you’re using a laptop, try replacing the charger or power adapter. Don’t worry because you can easily find a refurbished or new PSU online. Just make sure that you purchase a unit that meets the highest standards for quality.

Solution 7: Disabling Your USB Ports

If none of the solutions above worked, then your last resort would be to disable your USB ports. We understand that this is not an efficient solution, but it is your best option if you need to use your computer right away. After all, you can still connect to your network if you need to transfer data or files. To disable your USB ports, you can follow the instructions below:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Inside the Run dialog box, type “devmgmt.msc” (no quotes), then click OK.
  3. Once the Device Manager appears, expand the contents of the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ category.
  4. Right-click the first USB device on the list, then click Disable Device. Repeat this step for all the USB devices on the list.
  5. Restart your computer, then check if the issue persists.

Are there other PC hardware issues you’d like us to feature in our blog?

Let us know in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.


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