How to Troubleshoot VirtualBox Failed to Attach USB

Wondering how to troubleshoot the ‘VirtualBox failed to attach USB’ error on your PC?

Oracle VM VirtualBox (formerly Sun VirtualBox) is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor for x86virtualization designed & developed by Oracle Corporation. Recently, several users reported that their screens display the VirtualBox failed to attach a USB error code upon their attempt to access USB devices from the VirtualBox device menu. 

We had a look into this issue and discovered that it can be caused due to a number of reasons including:

  • A bug or corruption error within your Windows computer
  • VirtualBox Extension Jack and Guest Additions are not installed on your computer
  • VirtualBox USB drivers are corrupt

If you are facing a similar issue, you are in the right place because in this guide, we will walk you through several methods of resolving this issue. All the troubleshooting methods are easy to execute and should not take much of your time. 

Let’s get started! 

1. Restart Your PC.

One of the most common reasons behind the error under consideration is temporary bugs and glitches within the operating system. 

Luckily, you can get your system back on track by simply restarting it in most cases. We encourage you to restart your PC before getting into the technical troubleshooting steps. If a bug is causing the issue, restarting should fix it. 

2. Install the VirtualBox Extension Pack and Guest Additions.

Guest Additions are software packages that can be installed on guest systems to improve their performance and to provide new communication and integration options with the host. Without this extension pack, you will lose many features.

Here is how you can install Guest Additions:

  1. Launch your Virtual Machine and click on Device.
  2. Now select Install Guest Additions from the context menu and wait for the process to complete.
  1. Once done, it is time to install the VirtualBox Extension Pack. To do so, head over to the official VirtualBox website and install the pack.
  2. Next. launch VirtualBox and click on Tools.
  3. Select Preferences and then go to the Extensions section.
  4. Click on the green plus icon on the upper right corner of the window and select the extension pack.
  5. Once done, right-click on Virtual Machine in VirtualBox and select Settings.
  6. Click on Ports and then select USB.
  7. Now enable the USB 1.0, USB 2.0, or USB 3.0 controller and click on the Add button.
virutalbox failed to attach USB
  1. Finally, hit OK to save the changes.

You can now unplug and re-plug the USB to see if the issue is resolved.

3. Modify Windows Registry.

Windows’ Registry is a database that stores information about an operating system’s processes and applications. During relevant operations, Windows relies on the Registry Editor for vital information. This makes the Registry Editor an important component of our operating system.

Here is how you can use Windows Registry to make the desired changes:

  1. Unplug your USB device and close VirtualBox.
  2. Now press Windows + R keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open a Run dialogue box.
  3. In the text field of the dialogue box, type regedit and hit Enter.
  1. Once you are inside Windows Registry, navigate to the location mentioned below.
  1. Now right-click on the UpperFilters key in the right pane and delete it.
virutalbox failed to attach USB

Once done, restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.

4. Try Using CleanMyPC.

Was the last time you cleaned out your computer and deleted all the useless files that were taking up space on it? In the case that it did not happen recently, there is a high probability that you are experiencing an issue connecting the USB because of this.

The simplest way to remove these junk files is by using an efficient PC cleaner. If you’re looking for a recommendation, we recommend CleanMyPC

Install CleanMyPC on your PC

This easy-to-use cleaner detects problems with your operating system and fixes them automatically. It comes with a wide range of system maintenance tools like a Multi-Uninstaller, Registry Cleaner, and Speed Booster that can take care of all your PC-related issues in no time. 

Install CleanMyPC now and get your PC up and running like new in no time!

 Try CleanMyPC Now!

5. Reinstall the VirtualBox USB Drivers.

There is also a chance that you are facing the issue at hand due to a VirtualBox USB driver issue. 

  1. Launch File Explorer and navigate to the location mentioned below. 
C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\drivers\USB\filter
  1. Locate VBoxUSBMon.inf on your screen and choose Install from the list of options available.
virutalbox failed to attach USB

Once the installation is complete, restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.

This brings us to the end of our guide on ways to fix the ‘VirtualBox failed to attach USB’ error on Windows. We tried walking you through all the steps in detail and hope that one of the methods mentioned in this post did the trick for you. In case you still have any confusion about the steps, please let us know in the comment section below!

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Zainab Falak

    Zainab Falak is a staff writer for Saint and an expert in Microsoft Windows, having authored more than 200 posts. She has a Bachelors in Actuarial Sciences and her passion for computers extends to exploring various aspects, from UI customization to the Windows registry and exploring error codes. Twitter LinkedIn

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