Disclaimer: CTechCity puts forth its best effort in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the process detailed below. CTechCity is not responsible for any potential damage you may incur by following our tutorials.
In some rare cases, you may turn on your computer to discover that your USB ports are not reading any of the devices you plug in. Port after port, still no luck. You go into Device Manager and to your dismay -- you discover that the USB ports have been disabled!
Fortunately, there is no need to panic. It is highly unusual for every single one of the USB ports to be malfunctioning, especially on laptops and desktops where there are 4 or more USB ports. As such, the actual underlying problem may be that your USB ports have been disabled in the BIOS! For most computers, we can easily fix this by re-enabling the USB ports in the computer's BIOS menu. We will accomplish this by restoring our BIOS settings to default -- effectively setting our BIOS into a factory state. This video and written guide is specifically-applicable to HP laptops and desktops, however if your computer has similar functionality, then this may be used as a good point-of-reference.
Video Walkthrough: Enabling USB Ports in HP BIOS
What you will need:
- Your laptop (specifically HP)
Step One: Entering the HP BIOS
- Begin by having your HP computer fully powered down. Now, power it up and as soon as the HP splash screen appears, press the F10 key. Typically, the F10 key is pressed 2 or 3 times to ensure that it registers. A small box with 'F10 BIOS Setup' should appear on-screen if this is done correctly.
Note: The key pressed to access the BIOS menu may be different on your computer.
Step Two: Restoring Defaults
- Assuming you are in the BIOS screen, you should now see a menu-style screen with multiple choices. Using the arrow keys to navigate, arrow-down to Restore Defaults and press the Enter key. A prompt should appear, asking you to 'Load defaults,' in which you will select Yes.
- You should automatically be taken back to the initial menu. Select 'Reset BIOS security to factory default' and again, select Yes.
Step Three: Confirming the USB Ports are On
- Now, we will confirm that the USB ports have been turned on. Again, using the arrow keys, navigate to the right until the System Configuration panel is active. Arrow-down to Port Options and press Enter to access the menu. In this menu, confirm that all of your desired ports have a checkmark next to it.
Step Four: Testing the USB Ports
- You may now exit the BIOS, which is done by using the Escape key. Ensure that you save changes!
- Once the BIOS has been exited, your computer should automatically restart. Once it fully boots, plug in any USB device (preferably something like a mouse) and your computer should detect the mouse, subsequently searching for the device's drivers (if you are connected to the Internet).
Your USB ports should now be fully-functional! Again -- it is a rare case for the USB ports to somehow become disabled in the BIOS, so if this tutorial did not solve your issues then you may have issues pertaining to your drivers or there is an underlying hardware malfunction.