How to Fix a Broken USB Port - Repair on a Laptop

USB devices have become a commonplace piece of technology for us now- with every PC having at least two ports to plug in USBs. We all know how useful USB adapters can be when we need an instant transfer of data without the hassle of an internet connection.

How to Fix a Broken USB Port

Has it ever happened that you plug a USB drive into your computer one day and it works fine, but the next day it doesn’t register as a device on your PC? However, when you put that same flash drive in a different port of your PC or on some other PC, it works normally. The problem in such cases may be the port and not the flash drive!

There are many ways to perform troubleshooting on the port by yourself and repair it. You can update your Windows OS to the latest version and check if it fixed the port. If not, you can update your USB drivers so that it can easily recognize all devices.

In case there is any physical damage to the USB port, you may have to open up your laptop and perform a physical repair. Do this only when your laptop is very old. If you have a new laptop which is under warranty, your laptop manufacturer will fix the problem for you for no additional charges.

How to fix a broken USB port

  • Restart your PC- Restarting your laptop forces your Windows OS to scan for all hardware and make them work again, including the USB port.
  • Check the device manager on your PC- Here’s the shortest way to open your device manager- Open the Start menu, type devmgmt.msc and hit the enter key. The device manager opens right away.
    • Inside the device manager window, check the Universal Serial Bus controllers for the keywords “USB Host Controller.” You will find two controllers that have those keywords. If you cannot find any, that means you found the problem.
    • If you couldn’t find any USB Host Controller, go to the Toolbar on the top and click the icon that pops up with a description ‘scan the hardware changes’. The look and position of the icon may vary according to your Windows version, so go through all icons carefully.
    • Once you click the button, your PC will check all your hardware devices again. It might register the USB port and show you a USB Host Controller. If not, you will have to install the controller manually, which is slightly harder to do.
  • Uninstall the USB Host Controllers from the PC- Uninstalling the USB Host Controllers disables all your USB ports, including any external keyboard/mouse that you may use. Press the right-click on one of the USB controllers and select uninstall. Do this for all USB Host Controllers you can see. Once that is done, restart your PC.
  • Clean out the device manager of your PC- Inside the device manager, if you see a lot of devices installed but no longer used, it means your device drivers are piling it. Sometimes the device drivers stay back in your PC after you remove the device.
  • Update driver- If you are using a USB WiFi adapter for connecting your several PCs or other WiFi enabled systems, then sometimes it is needed to update the drivers regularly. If the driver is outdated, then also it may cause a problem to the working of the USB port. Check whether you have installed or updated the latest drivers for the USB devices or not. You can do this from the official websites or by using third-party software.
  • Fix the hardware-If none of the above works, you should know how to replace USB port on your PC. To repair a USB port physically, open up your laptop and check the chip board that has the USB port connected to it. Next, check if the ports themselves are broken or if the soldered joint connecting the board to the port is poorly done. If your USB ports are broken, you can order them online and solder them to the board.
    If the ports are safe and unbroken, you will have to repair USB ports. To do that, disconnect the battery from your laptop so that if anything goes wrong, you won’t be blowing up your laptop! Once you complete that, remove the circuit board and try to eliminate every trace of the old solder that left on the board. Finally, hold the ports in their respective places and start soldering. (if you have never soldered before, just heat the terminals of the USB port with the soldering iron and apply the solder metal to join the USB ports and the circuit board).
    Once the solder has cooled and solidified, place the circuit board back in place and put back your laptop together. Check if the USB ports work with the new soldering.

These are just a few answers we have on how to fix a broken USB port. There are much more ways that we can repair USB port. It is mostly just an Operating System issue or a driver-related problem, which you can solve easily. However even if it is a hardware problem, you can fix it in a quick, simple and inexpensive manner.

Can you tell us any other troubleshooting tips for fixing broken USB ports? Have you ever soldered a USB port with a laptop? Do you know any software tools that might help in repairing a USB port? We’d love to hear about it!