Troubleshooting common problems with a USB extension cable

Troubleshooting common problems with a USB extension cable can determine if the problem is with the cable or with the setup. 

USB ports are the most common ports used to connect devices to computers.

Many computers automatically install devices without the computer needing to read a startup disk. USB extension cables are used to extend the range from one device to another. 

There are many types of USB extension cables available, and depending on the length between devices, specific ones should be used. Otherwise, problems such as those described below may occur.

I cannot find device

When connecting two devices to each other, such as a computer and a peripheral, the devices work when connected to each other, but are not recognized when connected via the extension cable

Or an error message appears, stating that the device cannot be found.


Check the actual extension cord. It may be short and broken. Replace the cable. If it still doesn’t work, then it’s a length issue. 

Many USB extension cables are passive extension cables. Its buffering capabilities are limited, causing the above problem and signal loss.

Signal loss

Loss of signal is causing programs to freeze.


Although it is said that USB cables can extend up to 80 feet for this connection, if a loss of signal occurs, it is recommended to switch to a USB hub or a cable that contains signal boosting capabilities. 

A hub allows you to connect multiple USB cables and run multiple devices. As an alternative, a USB booster cable is also available.

 This wire acts as a transparent hub. Downstream and upstream data traffic is buffered, eliminating signal loss.

Without sound,

There is no sound when connecting a home theater system to a home computer using the extension cord. When the two devices are directly connected, there is sound.


The reason the sound doesn’t work is that the resistance is too high. This happens because the distance is too far. 

The maximum distance to extend a USB cable for this specific configuration is 5 meters. Anything longer than that does not transfer any signal to the computer.

There are many grades of USB cables and extensions available. Many times, increasing the quality of the cable will also get better performance from the devices that are connected. 

When buying a cable, keep in mind that there are usually numbers that follow the manufacturer’s name, such as 2.0 or 3.1. These numbers mean that the higher the number, the better the cable quality.

 If you buy the cable online, commercial-use extension cords are available. 

If the distance is something that cannot be shortened, this can also help limit problems. These are the same cables that offices used to set up their network.

Whenever you encounter a problem with devices that connect to a USB cable, check the cable first and then the distance.


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