Windows automatically suspends your USB devices when they aren’t being used. This helps save power, but may cause problems with some USB hardware. Your USB devices will use more power if you disable this feature, but it can fix peripherals that stop working properly after Windows suspends them.

You should only change this setting if you’re having problems with a USB device in Windows. If your USB peripherals work properly, there’s no reason to disable USB suspension.

This setting is part of the power plan options on Windows. Whether you’re using Windows 7, 8, or 10, you’ll need to change it from the Control Panel’s power plan window.

Head to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options to find these settings.

RELATED: Should You Use the Balanced, Power Saver, or High Performance Power Plan on Windows?

Click “Change Plan Settings” to the right of the power plan you’re using. Windows uses the Balanced plan by default, and you probably don’t need to change power plans. But, if you are regularly changing power plans, you’ll need to modify this setting for each power plan you use.

Click the “Change advanced power settings” link here to open the advanced settings window.

Scroll down and locate the “USB settings” option in the list of advanced power settings. Expand this section and set “USB selective suspend setting” to “Disabled”.

Click “OK” to save your settings. From now on, Windows won’t automatically suspend any connected USB devices.

If you want to change back to the default settings and have Windows suspend USB devices to save power in the future, just return to this window and set the “USB selective suspend setting” option back to “Enabled”.

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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