My Computer Won't Recognize My MP3 Player

By Ruri Ranbe

Some manufacturers, such as Apple, require you to install vendor software or device drivers to your computer to access your MP3 player. If you've set up your MP3 player following the instructions in your owner's pamphlet, but your computer won't recognize the device, the problem might not necessarily be with the player itself. Before you contact your vendor for assistance, perform some basic troubleshooting to see if you can resolve the issue on your own.

Step 1

Connect your MP3 player to each of the USB ports on your computer, one by one, to see if the problem is with a particular port or set of ports.

Step 2

Disconnect the player if the other USB ports on your PC also fail to recognize the device. Fully power the MP3 player on and off to clear the internal memory of any possible bugs that could be affecting the device's performance.

Step 3

Press "Windows-X" and then click "Control Panel." Select "Uninstall a Program" from under Programs.

Step 4

Scroll to, and then select, the device software for your MP3 player. Choose "Uninstall" or "Uninstall/Change" from the toolbar and then follow the on-screen prompts to remove the application from your system.

Step 5

Restart your computer. Launch your Web browser and navigate to the device manufacturer's website.

Step 6

Download the latest version of the software from the manufacturer's website and then install the application to your computer when the download completes.

Step 7

Launch the application and then reconnect the device to your computer. If your computer still fails to detect your MP3 player, disconnect it from your PC and then reconnect it to another computer.

Step 8

Install the required software, if applicable. If the other computer doesn't recognize your device either, restore your MP3 player to its factory default configuration according to your manufacturer's guidelines.

Step 9

Reconnect the device. If your computer won't recognize your media player even after troubleshooting, contact the device manufacturer for more assistance.

Tips & Warnings

  • If Windows 8 was in an inactive state, such as sleep or hibernation, when you connected the device, you may need to reboot your system for the MP3 player to be recognized.
  • USB selective suspend is designed to "turn off" USB ports when not in use to save power, but the feature may fail to re-enable the ports. If Windows 8 also fails to detect other USB devices, press "Windows-Q," type "powercfg.cpl" and then press "Enter." Click "Change Plan Settings," then "Change Advanced Power Settings." Expand "USB settings" and "USB Selective Suspend Setting," and then change "Setting" to "Disabled." Click "OK" to save your changes.
  • Restoring your device to factory defaults may erase all of the content from the device.