Windows computer shuts down when USB device is plugged in

Some users may face a problem where their computer shuts down or restarts whenever they plug in a USB device. There could be many reasons that may cause it – like USB ports touching each other, issues with the motherboard, issues with drivers, a fault with the basic hardware, and so on. While it is tough to conclude on the exact cause, we can troubleshoot the issue step by step isolating each possibility at every level. In case the issue is with the internal hardware, we might have to send the system to a hardware technician.

PC turns off when USB is plugged in

Here are the possible solutions that may help you.

1] Update the USB Drivers

Uninstall the Universal Serial Bus (USB) drivers and then re-install the same and check.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter. This will open the Device Manager.
  3. Search for the USB drivers. Right click on the one by one and click on Uninstall to remove all of them.
  4. Keeping the computer connected to the internet, preferably through a LAN cable, restart the system.
  5. While restarting, the computer will try to re-install all the drivers which were deleted earlier.

Check if it fixes the issue. If not, then proceed to step 2.

2] Check the external devices connected to the USB slots

Certain devices like a few hard drives have a high, power requirement. In case your PC is unable to handle it, it might probably crash. To isolate this possibility, try connecting the external USB devices to other computers of equal of less configuration. Check if it works with them. If not, then the external devices are faulty.

3] Run Troubleshooters

Run the Hardware Troubleshooter and the USB Troubleshooter and see if that helps.

4] Disable the USB ports

Obviously, this isn’t a good solution. But if work is more important than connecting the USB devices, it could be considered. If the steps mentioned above failed, it probably means that the issue is with the hardware. Thus, you could disable the USB till to send your system to a hardware technician. The procedure is as follows.

  1. Press Win + R and open the Run window. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open the device manager.
  2. Right click on the USB drivers and click on the option to “Disable device.” Windows computer shuts down when USB device is plugged in

Restart the system and use your system till it is sent for hardware level repair.

5] Change the power supply unit

Those who are a little familiar with hardware, can try this solution themselves.

  1. Change the power adapter if it is a laptop and check if it helps.
  2. Change the power supply unit of the system.

The power supply unit could be faulty if the computer is a refurbished or second hand one.

6] Check the USB connectors

Those who can troubleshoot hardware (at least at a basic level), can try checking if the USB ports are tightly connected to the motherboard using the connectors. Other than this, check if their metallic contacts are touching each other. That could be a reason for the power shutdown.

Let us know if anything helped you or if you have other ideas.

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Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.