If you see a Unknown USB Device (Link in Compliance Mode) message with a yellow triangle next to it in Device Manager, you’re not alone. Hundreds of users have reported the same. 

But don’t worry, it’s usually not hard to fix at all…

To fix Unknown USB Device Link in Compliance Mode 

  1. Update your device drivers (nearly always fixes the problem)
  2. Reconnect the hard drives

Fix 1: Update your device drivers (nearly always fixes the problem)

Perhaps the most common cause of the ‘Unknown USB Device (Link in Compliance Mode)’ message in Device Manager is an outdated/corrupted/faulty device driver on your computer. It can be difficult to put finger on which one is offending, so we should update every single one of the drivers available until the problem is solved.

There are two ways to update your device drivers: manually and automatically.

Update your device drivers manually –  You can update your drivers manually by going to the manufacturers’ official websites, and searching for the latest drivers for all your hardware. But if you take this approach, be sure to choose the drivers that are compatible with the exact model number of your hardware, and your version of Windows system.


Update your device drivers automatically – If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your drivers manually, you can, instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. Driver Easy handles it all.

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

  3. Click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

  4. Restart your computer and check if the Unknown USB device problem is solved. If the problem still exists, then move on to Fix 2, below.

Fix 2: Reconnect the external devices

An incorrectly connected external device can also be the cause of the Unknown USB Device Link in Compliance Mode message in Device Manager.  And unless you know the exact offending device, you might have to disconnect them all before reconnecting them to your computer to troubleshoot the problem.

To do so:

  1. Eject all the external drives and unplug them from your PC.
  2. Power off your PC.
  3. Disconnect all the devices that use an AC adapter from power supplies and unplug them from your PC.
  4. Wait 5 minutes.
  5. Power on your PC and see if the Unknown USB Device Link in Compliance Mode problem is solved:
  • If Unknown USB Device Link in Compliance Mode disappears in Device Manager, then you might have to plug the ALL external devices correctly back to where they are.
  • If Unknown USB Device Link in Compliance Mode still displays in Device Manager, then the problem doesn’t lie with the external devices on your computer. 

How have the fixes above helped you with your troubleshooting? Do you have any ideas or tips to share with us? Drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts. 

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