Fix USB Composite Device Can’t Work Properly With USB 3.0

Being in a fast-growing globe and a world full of technology, advancements to how operations are carried out is key. This starts all the way from data transfer from one device to another all the way to how we receive information from other remote locations. If you just bought a brand new computer, there’s a huge possibility that all your USB ports are USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 port is much more dependable, way faster, when transferring data from your PC to an external storage device or the other way round. The whole world is slowly adopting the new technology standards. However, there are cases where the USB composite device can’t work properly with USB 3.0.

You will encounter this problem almost all times if all your USB ports for your PC are 3.0. If that is the case then it is at the risk of facing major compatibility issues. This is especially when dealing with most older devices that have adopted to use USB 2.0.

This problem is mostly encountered when you try to connect an old printer to a USB 3.0 port.

Common error messages

The common error message that you will see regarding this issue are:

  • “USB composite device is an older USB device and might not work in USB 3”
  • “USB Composite Device can’t work properly with USB 3.0″.
USB composite device can’t work  main errors

Technically, you will not encounter this problem when you connect a 3.0 USB device to a 3.0 USB port. This is because USB 3.0 is backward compatible and should work just fine with USB 2.0.

However, a lot depends on the versions of your printer and also the device drivers you’re using. This is seen in cases where connect your old printer that uses USB 2.0 to a USB 3.0 port. Chances are it won’t work out as you expected.

Also, for some Windows 10 users, some have even reported that their USB 2.0 printers have stopped working immediately after they conducted a Windows 10 update.

These issues have lead to a global trend of moving away from USB 2.0.


The fact that we are shifting from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 should not make you to dispose your printer. Before you accept the inevitable future, there are a few things we can do make your USB 2.0 printer compatible with a USB 3.0 port.

Below are various methods that can solve this issue

Solution 1: Install the printer driver manually

As it has been the trend with Windows 10, it is tremendously good at finding device drivers for each device you try to connect to your PC automatically.

But if I were you, I wouldn’t entirely rely on this feature. It might not find the ideal driver for your old printer.

The computer will detect the printer but it doesn’t function well. If this is the case then you should start looking for some drivers first.

Quickly find out if you have a driver problem by following these steps:

  • Navigate to the Control Panel
  • Go to Hardware and Sound
  • Now select Devices and Printers. 

From here, you will be able to see several drivers and if the printer driver includes an exclamation mark then automatically you will need to download some latest printer drivers.

Similarly, you can get the latest printer driver from your printer manufacturer’s website or, you can also get it automatically through Driver Easy.

Every printer comes with an installation disk and this is the time you should start looking through your stuff for that it. When you find it, install the driver from there.

If you are not able to locate the disk then you have no other option than start looking online for it.


Make sure that you stay within the official download pages and repositories so that you don’t install drivers that won’t match your printer.

Solution 2: Connect the printer to the charging port

Every computer whether new or old model has one USB port that is specifically designed for charging purposes. Maybe you did not know.

If you didn’t manage to fix the bridge between your old printer and a USB 3.0 port, and now that you know there is a special charging port, let’s use it as an alternative approach.

Connect your printer to a USB charging port. It’s usually easy to locate the charging port because it charging icon or label next to it.

There must be one charging port even if your PC only has USB 3.0 ports. One of them is bound to be a charging port and should fix your USB composite device can’t work properly with USB 3.0 problems.

Solution 3: Disable and re-enable the USB controllers

If it happens that the first two methods were not helpful, uninstalling and reinstalling the native USB drivers could be of help.

The USB controllers could be corrupt and this can lead to this misbehaviour as well.

Using these procedures, Windows will scan for any hardware changes automatically and then reinstall the correct drivers automatically.

Here’s what should be done:

  1. Hit Windows key + R in order to open the Run command box.
  2. Now type “devmgmt.msc” and then hit Enter for you to open the Device Manager.
USB composite device can’t work  -run box
  1. On the next window, that is, inside Device Manager, scroll down until you see Universal Serial Bus controllers.
  2. Expand the entry.
  3. Afterward, right-click on the first USB controller then click Uninstall in order to remove it.
  4. When it has successfully been removed, simply repeat the procedure from step one with every USB controller that is listed under Serial Bus controllers.
  5. Once you’ve removed all the USB controller drivers, restart your PC.
  6. Upon restart, Windows will now scan for any hardware changes automatically and install the missing drivers.
  7. When that process is complete, plug in your printer and check to see if you’re able to print.

Solution 4: Use an Auto repair print tool (HP only)

Well, this solution is for HP users only. I’m not that sure if other printer manufacturers have a tool like this, but all HP printers, there is software called Print and Scan Doctor.

This software is capable of diagnosing and resolving any compatibility issues like the usb composite device can’t work properly with usb 3.0.

Just download the tool from HP’s official website and run the executable file.

If you are using a different brand like EPISON and other brands, please find their support websites and find out if they have any tools for solving this problem.

Print and Scan Doctor for HP automatically detects USB connection issues. It then scans and apply a series of automatic fixes.

Again, if you are not using an HP printer, please search online for an equivalent tool from your manufacturer. If you run this tool then the problem at hand will not be fixed but HP printers will now work fine if you connect them to that PC. Also, this tool should be used when the printer is connected to the PC.

Solution 5: Use Windows USB Troubleshooter

Sometimes we tend to ignore the inbuilt troubleshooting tools that come with windows. This is usually a powerful tool that can run diagnostics for several problems that you may encounter and fix them or give you possible options on how to handle such errors.


That said, if none of the above solutions worked so far, It is time to put the Microsoft-developed tool in use. Run the troubleshooting tool and if it doesn’t work, try the super powerful web-based tool for automatic diagnostic & repair from Microsoft.

The only challenge is that this tool is not bundled with any version of Windows.

In order to use Windows USB Troubleshooter, you will need to download it from this official link.

After the download process is complete, simply open the tool and follow the on-screen instructions.

The tool will scan your PC and if it encounters any inconsistencies, the Windows USB Troubleshooter will apply the required fixes automatically and that is it.

Solution 6: Stop Windows from turning off the device

At times this issue could be caused by the OS itself. To find out the problem is caused by Windows, your printer usually connects for a moment then disappears.

This happens due to a Windows glitch that automatically turns off the device to save power.

This is known to happen with various laptop power saving plans.

To stop windows from turning off the printer and fix USB composite device can’t work properly with USB 3.0, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Hit Windows key + R keys on your keyboard in order to fire up a Run command.
  2. Type the command “devmgmt.msc” and then press Enter. This command will open the Device Manager.
USB composite device can’t work -devmgmt
  1. Now scroll all the way down to USB Serial Device Controllers
  2. Locate the USB Root Hub entries and then right-click on a USB Root Hub.
  3. G to Properties and then navigate to Power Management Tab.
  4. On the screen that opens, uncheck the box next to Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power. 
USB composite device can’t work  -save power
  1. Hit Ok to save your selection.
  2. Restart your computer in order to apply the changes you just made and reconnect your printer. Problem solved!

Solution 7: Use a USB 2.0 hub or USB 2.0 expansion card to solve USB composite device can’t work properly with USB 3.0

Well, doing the unexpected is sometimes helpful. See, technology and computers are not like chemical reagents where you must follow a specific procedure for you to come up with a concrete solution.

The same logic is exactly what we are going to apply if at all none of the above has fixes has ripped any results.

The other option to solve this error will involve buying of some hardware.

Don’t panic, I am not talking about acquiring a new printer. Of course that would be too costly. There is a cheap solution to buying a new printer or throwing away the current printer.

The cheapest solution is to buy a USB 2.0 hub. See when you connect this USB 2.0 hub to your PC, the USB 3.0 port that you connected it to will be converted to USB 2.0. This will automatically remove any compatibilities issue that you might have.

If you own a desktop, you can also opt for a PCIe USB 2.0 expansion card. They tend to be even cheaper than a USB 2.0 hub.


Connecting a USB 3.0 hub to a USB 2.0 port will not convert that port to USB 3.0.

Solution 8: Update your USB controller driver

If your PC’s USB controller driver is corrupted, old or maybe missing, then you will probably run into this error.

You can solve this by updating your USB controller driver. This can be done either manually or automatically.

There are two distinct options to achieve this

Option 1

  1. Visit the manufacturer’s website of your computer brand or USB controller,
  2. Search for the latest USB controller. The USB controller should be corresponding with your specific Windows version type (for example, Windows 64 bit)
  3. Download the driver saving it to a location you will find with ease.
  4. Once the download process is complete and you have confirmed that you downloaded the correct drivers for your system, double-click on the downloaded file
  5. Now follow the on-screen prompts in order to install the driver.
  6. Restart your PC and reconnect your printer. That should fix the problem.

Option 2

If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to locate the exact driver for your PC, download and update the USB controller driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

This driver update tool will recognize your system and find the correct drivers automatically.

The importance of using this tool is that you don’t need to know what system your computer is running.

If you don’t want to run into the risks of downloading and installing the wrong drivers, don’t worry at all. Driver Easy got you covered.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks.

To do this, follow the following instructions:

  1. Visit this site to download and install Driver Easy tool.
  2. Once the download process is complete, run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. During this process, this tool will scan your computer and detect any problematic drivers.
  3. Now click the Update All button to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system.

The update all feature requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All. If you are not in a position to upgrade to the pro version, simply update one driver after another even though
it feels like partly manual.

After updating the USB controller driver to the latest version, restart your computer to see if your printer is connected successfully.

Solution 9: Adjust your BIOS setting

You can adjust the BIOS settings of you PC through the Legacy USB Support, which enables you connect older USB device with the USB 3.0 port. If the Legacy USB Support is not turned on, you might also get the error.

If you’re still without your printer, access your BIOS/ UEFI settings and see whether USB Legacy Support is enabled for your USB controllers. You might find it under similar wording or in two separate categories for Standard and USB 3.0 controllers. In my ASUS bios, USB Legacy Support can be found in the Advanced tab.

Follow these steps in order to enable Legacy USB Support on your PC:

  1. Restart your computer and when it is off before it starts booting immediately press the function key, like F2, to enter the BIOS of your system. Please find out which function key your computer uses to enter the BIOS.
  2. When your computer boots into BIOS, hit the right arrow key on your keyboard, in order to select Peripherals.
  3. Press the down arrow key to select USB Configuration then hit Enter.
  4. On the USB Configuration pane, press the down arrow key to now choose Legacy USB Support. Press Enter to set it to Enabled.
BIOS settings
  1. Save your setting and exit BIOS.

Once you exit the BIOS settings, your PC will then boot into the normal system. See if you can use your printer.

That’s it. You might be able to use your printer with your Windows computer now. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

Parting Shot

I believe that the above solutions were helpful and that you have managed to fix USB composite device can’t work properly with USB 3.0 problem.

If you did not manage to, you can visit a nearby technician for more technical assistance. Or perhaps you can visit the Microsoft support page and see what they have to say about the issue. Sometime they might be working on a bug fix which will include solutions for the same error.

We also will be happy to read from you in the comment section below. Tell us if you managed to fix this error. It will be good if you mentioned the type of computer you are using, the type of printer and the solution that solved your troubles.

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