Windows 11 Will Make USB4 Easier to Troubleshoot

Windows 11 logo

USB4 is showing up on more computers each year, but its added features over USB 3 can be difficult to manage, especially on Windows. Microsoft is hoping to change that.

Microsoft has released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23419 to the Dev Channel for Windows Insider testers with several changes, including updates to the Print Screen key’s functionality. The build also has a new Settings page, located at Bluetooth & devices > USB > USB4 Hubs and Devices. The new screen displays a full tree of all connected USB4 hubs and devices, complete with detailed technical information and a list of each device’s capabilities.

So, why does Windows 11 need a special panel specifically for USB4, and not previous versions of USB? Well, USB4 can have more complex connections that are prone to causing issues if you don’t have the right cable, or if there’s a conflict with another connected device. USB4 2.0, the newest available version, supports a maximum speed of 80 Gbps. Some USB4 ports are also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, which supports external GPUs and other use cases that aren’t possible on USB 2 or 3.

Settings app image

Microsoft said in a blog post, “USB4 enables new productivity scenarios for docking, high performance peripherals, displays and charging. The USB4 settings page provides information about the system’s USB4 capabilities and attached peripherals on a USB4 capable system. These insights are meant to assist with troubleshooting in case users need support from their device manufacturer (OEM) or system administrator.”

The new Settings page should be available for all PCs that support the Microsoft USB4 Connection Manager, but it’s not clear when it will roll out to all Windows 11 PCs.

Source: Windows Insider Blog