Fix the “USB Freezes Computer” issue in Windows

Computers hanging after plugging in the USB drive is a very common issue in Windows. Corrupt USB disks (maybe with hardware errors) and corrupt USB drivers can cause this issue. So, if your computer hangs or freezes when plugging in or unplugging the USB disk, try the steps we have shared below.

The Windows Updates automatically update all the drivers without any intervention. However, you can also try updating drivers manually via the Device Manager. You can also try downloading the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

SEE ALSO: How to Repair a Corrupt Memory Card or USB Drive?

Computer Freezes When Plugging in or Unplugging the USB? – Here is the Fix

Keeping in mind the issues with USB disks and drivers, it can’t be denied that sometimes ports are the main cause of the error. With time, ports get corroded, resulting in improper connection of the USB drive with the computer causing PC freezing issues after plugging in USB devices.

It’s a good idea to keep the ports clean to avoid connectivity issues. To ensure that you have no issue with the USB disk, try connecting it to another PC. It may give a better idea about where the actual problem is.

If nothing works and you don’t have another PC to try your USB device, you may try the following steps if your computer freezes when plugging in or unplugging the USB. This is pretty useful when you need to troubleshoot and fix problems caused by leftover drivers.

Step 1: Show Corrupt Devices via Registry

We will first enable the display of hidden and corrupt devices via the Registry Editor. This can display the USB device that hangs or freezes your PC. To open the Registry Editor, launch the RUN utility, type regedit and press ENTER.

Go To Run Type Regedit And Press Enter Or Click Ok
Run > Type regedit > Press Enter

You may see a UAC Prompt, click Yes to continue. Next, in Registry Editor, go to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment

Right-click in the right pane and create a new key by selecting New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

In Registry Editor Create Dword In Session Manager to display USB devices that freezes your computer
In Registry Editor select New > DWORD

Name new DWORD as “DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES“. This DWORD will allow us to view hidden and non-present USB devices in Device Manager that are freezing your Computer when plugged in.

Name Dword To Show Hidden Devices causing your computer to freeze when plugged in

Right-click on the newly created DWORD and select Modify… to change its value which is set to 0 (Zero) by default. You can also double-click on it to modify its value. Now, set the Value data to 1 and click on OK to continue.

Set The Dword Value To 1 To Show Non Present Devices
Set the DWORD value to 1

The registry part is done and you can close the Registry editor. It’s time to finish the remaining work in Device Manager.

Step 2: Display Non-Present Devices in Device Manager

Now, we will uninstall non-present, hidden, or corrupt devices from Device Manager if your computer freezes or hangs when plugging in or unplugging the USB.

So, launch the RUN utility, type devmgmt.msc and press ENTER to open the Device Manager.

Go To Run And Type Devmgmt Msc To Open Device Manager
Run > Type devmgmt.msc > Press Enter

In the Device Manager, click on View from the menu and select Show Hidden Devices.

It will make all the hidden devices (the devices that were installed on your PC but now are not connected) visible. When you plug in or unplug one of these USB devices, it hangs your computer.

Show Hidden Devices In Device Manager
Show Hidden Devices in Device Manager

SEE ALSO: How to Hide All Drives in Your Computer?

Step 3: Uninstall the USB Device that Freezes the Computer when Plugging in or Unplugging

It’s time to uninstall those hidden USB devices. How to find a hidden device? Look for devices with blurred icons. There are two main places to look for hidden devices – under Disk drives and Universal Serial Bus controllers.

Let’s start with Disk drives. Select a hidden USB device that is no longer connected to your PC, right-click on it, and select Uninstall device.

Uninstall Usb Devices That Freezes Your Computer When Plugged In
Uninstall non-present USB Devices

A “Uninstall Device” popup will appear. Now, click on Uninstall to continue the uninstallation of the selected Device.

Uninstall Corrupt Usb That Freezes Your Computer
Click Uninstall

Similarly, uninstall all other hidden USB devices in Universal Serial Bus Controllers as well. Select a device, right-click, and click on Uninstall Device. Then click on the Uninstall button again to continue.

Step 4: Restart your Computer

After successfully uninstalling all hidden USB drives, restart your computer. Sometimes, you may be required to restart your PC at least TWICE to clear leftover device drivers from your PC.

After restart, the corrupt USB drivers that slow down your PC will be removed. When you plug in your USB again, it will install fresh drivers for your USB device.

Restart Your Computer
Restart Your Computer

Fix the “USB Drive Freezes Computer When Plugged-in” Issue

After uninstalling all hidden USB devices, restart your PC and connect your USB drive again. This time your USB drive should not hang or freeze your PC.

If the computer still hangs or freezes when plugging in or unplugging a USB, there might be a hardware problem either in your USB drive or your computer ports.

Please note that this method doesn’t fix hardware issues. However, this tutorial can definitely help you with software-related issues. You can write down your queries in the comment section below. You may also subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates directly into your inbox.

Editorial Staff

Hi there, we are the editorial staff at WINDOSPC (former HELLPC). We are a team of funny and technical people. Feel free to get in touch with us via Contact-Us page.


  1. I have a desktop Windows 10 PC with an ASUS motherboard. I recently began having the problem of my PC crashing every time I insert a flash drive into any USB ports. I know it is not bad flash (I’ve tried several) or bad USB ports (no way – not all six). Also, the flash drives work in other PC’s.

    I tried your solution to remove hidden, corrupt USB devices but this did not make a difference.
    I suspect my problem may be due to bad drivers. Because my USB drivers were automatically updated by Windows on June 22, 2021. I would like to try rolling back the drivers but don’t know how to do this as ‘Rollback’ option under ‘Properties’ is greyed out and not usable.

    Very frustrating problem. I can use the flash drive in a USB port if I boot Windows in SAFE MODE with DOS prompt. So this proves that it is not a hardware problem.


    1. Hi NICK, sorry to hear that. That definitely looks like a driver or any programs problem. So, have you tried uninstalling any recently installed software? Besides that go to Device Manager, expand System Devices and look for “PCI to USB Controller”. If it is present there, try to update it’s driver. Also, in Device Manager, expand “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and uninstall each device. Don’t worry they will automatically install when you plug them in. Make sure to restart your PC TWICE after that.
      If it still doesn’t solve your problem, try System Restore or Reset your PC using Recovery.

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