Fix USB-C problems

USB-C overview

With a USB-C connection, you can charge your Windows 10 PC, and you can also connect to other USB Type-C devices such as mobile phones, docking stations, display adapters, and other devices that have a USB-C port.

USB type-C port

Unfortunately, some combinations of hardware and software may cause problems. If this happens, you may get a notification that there’s something wrong with the USB-C connection. We’ve provided some tips below to help you fix things. And if you want to change whether you see notifications about USB issues, here's how:

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings > Devices > USB.

    Open USB settings

  2. Select or clear the Notify me if there are issues connecting to USB devices box.

Note: If you're having trouble downloading photos, see Import photos and videos from phone to PC.

Here are some USB-C notifications you might receive if there’s a problem:

You might be able to fix your USB device

 Your USB device ran into a problem. Follow these steps to try to fix it. (Error code ____)

Try these solutions

Possible cause

  1. Find the error code on your Windows 10 PC (or phone) and then note it.

  2. For the error code you see, follow the troubleshooting steps described in Error codes in Device Manager in Windows.

Note: This applies to all the error codes shown in Device Manager except error Code 28 (drivers for the device aren’t installed).

The USB device that you connected to reported a problem, or there’s a problem with the device driver.

  1. Select the Start  button, then in the search box on the taskbar, type device manager and select Device Manager from the list of results.

  2. In Device Manager, find the device. It should be marked with a yellow exclamation point symbol.

  3. Choose the device, press and hold (or right-click) it, and then select Properties. The error code is displayed under Device status.

  • Swipe down from the top of your screen to open action center. The notification appears in action center with the error code listed there.

Slow USB charger connected

To speed up charging, use the charger and cable that came with your device.

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • Use the charger and cable included with your PC (or phone).

  • Make sure you're connecting your charger to the USB-C charging port on your PC (or phone).

  • Use a can of compressed air to clean the USB-C port on your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t compatible with your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t powerful enough to charge your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t connected to a charging port on your PC (or phone).

  • The charging cable isn't powerful enough for the charger, PC, or phone.

  • Dust or dirt inside the USB port on your device prevented the charger from being inserted correctly.

  • The charger is connected through an external hub or dock.

Notes: 

  • A PC (or phone) with USB Type-C connectors has larger power limits. If the connector supports USB Power Delivery, it can charge even faster at greater power levels.

  • To charge faster, your PC (or phone), charger, and cable must all support the industry standards. Your charger and cable must also support the power levels your PC (or phone) requires for the faster charging. For example, if your PC requires 12V and 3A for the fastest charging, a 5V, 3A charger won’t give you the fastest charging.

  • Chargers that don't have a standard USB Type-C connector might use a proprietary, nonstandard connector that your PC (or phone) doesn’t support.

PC (or phone) isn't charging

To speed up charging, use the charger and cable that came with your device.

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • Use the charger and cable included with your PC (or phone).

  • Make sure you're connecting your charger to the USB-C charging port on your PC (or phone).

  • Use a can of compressed air to clean the USB-C port on your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t compatible with your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t powerful enough to charge your PC (or phone).

  • The charger isn’t connected to a charging port on your PC (or phone).

  • The charging cable doesn’t meet the power requirements for the charger, PC, or phone.

  • Dust or dirt inside the USB port on your device might be preventing the charger from being inserted correctly.

  • The charger is connected to your PC (or phone) through an external hub or dock.

Notes: 

  • A PC (or phone) with USB Type-C connectors has larger power limits. If the connector supports USB Power Delivery, it can charge even faster at greater power levels.

  • To charge faster, your PC (or phone), charger, and cable must all support the industry standards. Your charger and cable must also support the power levels your PC (or phone) requires for the faster charging. For example, if your PC requires 12V and 3A for the fastest charging, a 5V, 3A charger won’t give you the fastest charging.

  • Chargers that don't have a standard USB Type-C connector might use a proprietary, nonstandard connector that your PC (or phone) doesn’t support.

The USB device might not work

Try connecting it to a PC.

Try these solutions

Possible cause

  • Make sure your Windows 10 phone has all the latest updates for Windows. To check for the latest updates, on Start , swipe over to the All apps list, and then select Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates. This lets you check for the latest updates for Windows and the latest device drivers. For more info, see Windows 10 Updates.

  • If your Windows 10 phone is already running the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile, try to connect your device to a Windows 10 PC instead.

There's a driver in the device you connected to that isn't supported in the version of Windows 10 Mobile your phone is running. For information about the supported devices, see Universal Serial Bus (USB).

USB or Thunderbolt device functionality might be limited

Make sure the device you're connecting to is supported and that you're using the right cable.

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • Make sure your PC (or phone) supports the same USB-C features as the connected device.

  • Make sure the cable supports the same USB-C features as the connected device.

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected directly to your PC (or phone).

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected to the USB-C port on your PC (or phone) that supports the correct Alternate Mode. For example, if you're connecting a Thunderbolt Alternate Mode device, make sure you connect to the USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt.

  • The device or dongle you connected to has new features for USB-C that your PC (or phone) doesn’t support.

  • The device you connected to has new features for USB-C that the cable doesn’t support.

  • The device or dongle isn't connected to the correct USB-C port on your PC (or phone).

  • The device or dongle is using an external hub or dock to connect to your PC (or phone).

  • Too many other Alternate Mode devices or dongles are connected to your PC (or phone).

Notes: 

  • USB Type-C has a new feature called Alternate Modes. If your USB-C cable has this feature, you can connect to non-USB devices that support the same Alternate Mode. For example, if your USB-C cable has the Thunderbolt Alternate Mode, you can connect to Thunderbolt devices. There's no setting to turn on—your device automatically uses the appropriate mode if it's supported. 

  • The Alternate Mode feature must be supported on the PC or phone's hardware and software, and the connected device or dongle. You might also need a specific USB-C cable.

Display connection might be limited

DisplayPort/MHL connection might not work. Try using a different cable.

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • Make sure your PC (or phone), the external display, and the cable all support DisplayPort or MHL alternate modes.

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected directly to your PC (or phone).

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected to the USB-C port on your PC (or phone) that supports the correct Alternate Mode. For example, a DisplayPort Alternate Mode adapter should be connected to the USB-C port on your PC (or phone) that supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode.

  • The device or dongle you connected to has new features for USB-C that your PC (or phone) doesn’t support.

  • The device you connected to has new features for USB-C that the cable doesn’t support.

  • The device or dongle isn't connected to the correct USB-C port on your PC (or phone).

  • The device or dongle is connected to your PC (or phone) using an external hub or dock.

  • There are too many other devices or dongles connected to your PC (or phone) that use a USB-C connection.

Notes: USB Type-C has a new feature called Alternate Modes which allows you to use non-USB connections with the USB-C cable and connection. There's no setting to turn on—your device automatically uses the appropriate mode if it's supported. Here are the display Alternate Modes that your cable may support:

  • DisplayPort

    The DisplayPort Alternate Mode lets you project video and play audio on an external display that supports DisplayPort.

  • MHL

    The MHL Alternate Mode lets you project video and play audio on an external display that supports MHL.

  • HDMI

    The HDMI Alternate Mode lets you project video and play audio on an external display that supports HDMI.

These two PCs (mobile devices) can't communicate

Try connecting one of them to a mobile device (PC).

Try this solution

Possible causes

Connect your Windows 10 PC to a Windows 10 phone instead.

These types of connections aren’t currently supported:

  • Connecting two Windows 10 PCs together with a USB-C connection.

  • Connecting two Windows 10 phones together with a USB-C connection.

Use different USB port

This USB port doesn't support DisplayPort or Thunderbolt or MHL. Plug the USB device into a different USB port on your PC.

- OR -

The USB device might have limited functionality when connected to this port. Plug the USB device into a different USB port on your PC.

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected directly to your PC (or phone).

  • Make sure the device or dongle is connected to the USB-C port on your PC (or phone) that supports the features of the device or dongle. For example, if you're connecting a Thunderbolt device, make sure it’s connected to the USB-C port on your PC (or phone) that supports Thunderbolt.

  • The device or dongle isn't connected to the correct USB-C port on your PC (or phone).

  • The device or dongle is connected to your PC (or phone) using an external hub or dock.

USB device might not be working properly

Your PC (or phone) might not provide enough power to the USB device. Plug a power adapter into your USB device, or try to use a different PC (or phone).

Try these solutions

Possible causes

  • If the USB device can be powered externally, plug it into an external power source.

  • Plug your PC (or phone) into an external power source and don't run it on battery power.

  • Disconnect any unused USB devices that are connected to your PC.

  • Your PC (or phone) can't power the device you connected to because that device isn't supported.

  • Your PC (or phone) has a low battery, so it has temporarily limited the amount of power it can provide to the device.

  • Your PC (or phone) is providing power to other devices, so it has temporarily limited the power it provides to the device you just connected to.

  • The device you connected to requires more power than the PC (or phone) can provide.

Unsupported USB audio adapter

Connect a USB-C digital audio adapter instead.

Try this solution

Possible cause

If you have a USB-C analog audio adapter connected to your PC, unplug it, then connect a USB-C digital audio adapter instead.

Your PC doesn't support the audio adapter you connected to.

Note: There are two types of USB-C audio adapters: analog and digital. Most PCs only support USB-C digital audio adapters, which contain hardware that converts digital audio data from your PC to an analog signal that your headphones or speakers can play. USB-C digital audio adapters are often more expensive than analog audio adapters.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×