How to Fix “A Device Attached to the System is not Functioning” on Windows


A device attached to the system is not functioning, a frustrating error that users encounter while using an external device with a PC. Think of it this way: you have collected all the episodes of your favorite series to watch in a Pendrive, and when you finally connect it to the PC, the Pendrive does not show. Instead, you encounter the “A device attached to the system is not functioning” error prompt. Isn’t that frustrating?

The error usually appears due to incompatibility of the connected device. The reason behind it can be as simple as a connection glitch and as complicated as using an outdated driver. In both cases, you must know the proper troubleshooting methods or the error might keep returning and bothering your experience. 

Keep on reading, as in this post. We will help you with simple troubleshooting methods to help you fix the error. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Ways to Fix “A Device Attached to the System is not Functioning” Error

The first thing that you should do is check for connectivity errors. Usually, loose connections and malfunctioning cables are the most common causes of the device not functioning error on Windows. In case you have come across the issue, try the following preliminary steps – 

  • Disconnect the device and reconnect it to another port on the PC. This will confirm whether the issue lies with the port or device. 
  • Check that you are using an original and supported cable, as it also affects the device’s compatibility. 
  • Ensure proper permissions are granted to the device. For instance, if you are trying to connect an Android or iOS device to transfer photos, ensure that you have allowed connection via the device and that they are in the correct mode of connection. 

After checking the above factor, if you still cannot access the device or the attached device is not functioning properly, jump to the fixes listed below and try them. 

Fix 1 – Update Windows to Latest Build

Whether using Windows 10 or 11, you always get regular security patches and build updates. Ensure that while trying to use an external device, your PC is up to date with the latest updates. Otherwise, you may encounter incompatibility issues, such as the error “A device attached to the system is not functioning.” 

Step 1 – Press the Win+I key combination on your keyboard to open system settings. Windows Update selected in system settings

Step 2 – From the left pane in the opened Window, select and navigate to Windows Update.

Check For Updates
Step 3 – Click the Check for Updates button in the Update option to refresh the available updates.
Step 4 – If any update is available, click Download and install.

Download and Install Updates

Step 5 – Once the update is downloaded, install it and restart your PC for it to take effect. 

Reconnect the device to check if the error message is resolved or not. Try moving files between the devices to ensure that the error is no longer returning on the device. 

Read Also:  9+ Ways To Fix Windows Stuck on “Checking for Updates”

Fix 2 – Update USB Controller Drivers

If you have tried connecting the device to another PC and it works fine, there is a high chance that your PC is using outdated USB controller drivers. These drivers are responsible for connecting with another device using a USB port. These drivers are necessary for your USB ports to become useful. Hence, we recommend you keep them up to date. 

But how? Well, there is no dedicated functionality in Windows that highlights that the drivers need to be updated. It is when you encounter errors such as the device attached to the system is not functioning. Hence, the ideal way to use a dedicated application that finishes the updates regularly.

We recommend you use Advanced Driver Updater to get the job done. It works in 3 easy steps – 

Step 1 – Download and install the app on your PC.

Step 2 – Launch the app and click on Start Scan Now. This will start a scan to find outdated drivers on the PC.

Start Scan Now
Step 3 – Once you have a list of drivers to be updated, check if it has a USB controller or device drivers for your connection. 

After spotting the drivers, click Update All, and you should be ready. 

Fix 3 – Use DISM and SFC Commands to Resolve System Errors

If all the issues mentioned above are fine, but the device still disconnects the connected devices, you may face corrupt system file issues. The best way to handle that is by using system commands to resolve the error. 

Step 1 – Go to the Start Menu and launch Command Prompt as administrator.Command Prompt_Admin

Step 2 – Use the following commands one after the other in the command prompt. (Press Enter after every command)

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

sfc /scannow

Step 3 – Exit the command prompt once all the commands have run successfully. 

Restart your computer to allow changes to take effect. After restarting, try connecting the device and moving files to see if the device attached to the system is malfunctioning. It may not appear as if you have successfully troubleshooted the error. 

Other than these fixes, giving your PC an instant restart or resetting it to factory defaults can help you. The error can be quite bothersome as it disturbs the process of copying files. However, it is mild and can be easily resolved. Try these fixes, and you should be good to go.

 Let us know in the comments if you need assistance. Thanks for reading, good luck!

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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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