Windows BCM20702A0 driver

Bluetooth problems in Windows computers are often related to incorrect or missing drivers for a Bluetooth device. In the case of the Broadcom BCM20702A0 device, the right BCM20702A0 driver is required for the device to function in Windows. Otherwise, the device will not work and show an error. Any other Bluetooth devices depending on the BCM20702A0 device will most likely also not work or be recognized.

What is BCM20702A0?

BCM20702A0 refers to a Broadcom Bluetooth 4.0 chip. It is often used in USB Bluetooth dongles, but can also be embedded directly in a computer (laptop or desktop). The chip implements Bluetooth communication which allows a Windows-based PC with this device to connect to external, wireless devices that support Bluetooth. Examples are headsets, game controllers, printers, mice, mobile phones, and similar.

BCM20702A0 driver

Since the BCM20702A0 chip is used on hardware solutions from different manufacturers, a driver specific to the manufacturer may be required to ensure the BCM20702A0 device is recognized by Windows. Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and others all have drivers available for hardware using the BCM20702A0 chip.

BCM20702A0 Related Problems

If the BCM20702A0 driver is not installed, or not compatible with the installed device or Windows version, there will be an error. In the Windows Device Manager, the device will be listed under the Other devices category. An exclamation mark on the device icon indicates it is not working properly.

The possible error message for not working Bluetooth devices in Windows:

  • This device cannot start. (Code 10)
    Bluetooth code 10 error
  • The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)
    Bluetooth code 28 error
    In Windows 10 and Windows 11, the message will say “There are no compatible drivers for this device”. Instead of “There is no driver selected for the device information set or element”.
  • This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)
    Bluetooth code 31 error

In normal circumstances, all working Bluetooth devices will show in the Bluetooth category in the Device Manager. If the right driver is not installed, this category might not show at all.

Bluetooth USB Module device

The result of a non-working Bluetooth module is that Windows will not be able to connect to any Bluetooth devices.

Steps to solve BCM20702A0 problems in Windows

The most common cause of the problems related to the BCM20702A0 device is a driver problem. So, in solving the error, the first steps are focused on getting the right driver installed. If after that, the device still does not work, try the other methods to fix the issue.

Before starting with the steps, make sure that the Bluetooth USB dongle is plugged in case an external Bluetooth solution is used. Trying to solve the Bluetooth problem without the device physically present in the computer will not work. This sounds silly but better that than wasting time trying to fix a non-issue. Also, make sure you reboot your computer. Pending restarts after updates can be the source of problems.

Update the BCM20702A0 driver from the Device Manager

The Device Manager is the most common method to install and update drivers for devices in all Windows versions. So, try these steps to update the driver.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the Run box and press Enter or click OK. This will open the Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager windows, locate the problematic Bluetooth device in either the Other devices category or the Bluetooth category.
  4. Right-click the BCM20702A0 device and in the popup menu, select Update Driver Software (Update driver in Windows 10 and Windows 11).
    BCM20702a0 driver update
  5. Use the Search automatically for drivers option to let Windows find the correct driver for the device. Click Close when the driver has been installed.

In case Windows does find a driver for the device, a driver will need to be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

Manually download the BCM20702A0 driver

If Microsoft has not included a driver for the BCM20702A0 device in the version of Windows that you are running, a driver will need to be added manually. This means a Bluetooth interface driver needs to be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website. Check your computer brand and model and locate the manufacturer’s support website to search for the driver.

Note: Broadcom used to support their own version of the Bluetooth software, including drivers. This WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software is no longer maintained and supported.

Once downloaded, run the setup or install program for the driver package to install the driver in Windows. Note that a user account with administrator privileges is required to install drivers.

If a driver is not available for your Windows version, you can try running it in compatibility mode. For example, say we are running Windows 10, but the Dell installer for the Bluetooth module is suited only for Windows 7. If there is no Windows 10 driver available, we run the Windows 7 installer as follows:

  1. Right-click the downloaded installer file.
  2. In the popup menu, select Properties.
  3. In the file properties dialog box, select the Compatibility tab.
  4. Under Compatibility mode, select the checkbox for Run this program in compatibility mode for (1), and select Windows 7 in the dropdown box (2).
    Compatibility mode Dell BT installer
  5. Click OK to confirm and close the properties dialog box.
  6. Now execute the driver installer again.

Note that the driver needs to match the Windows architecture in order to work. Installing a 32-bit driver on a 64-bit system will not work, even in compatibility mode.

If the downloaded driver package does not have a setup or install program, you need to manually install the driver using the Device Manager.

Update drivers using Microsoft Update

Microsoft has included support for many devices in every updated version of Windows. Although that means that many devices are detected and supported directly, some devices require optional updates. In Windows 10 and Windows 11, optional updates often include updated drivers for devices. To check if the Broadcom BCM20702A0 driver is available, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings windows from the Start menu.
  2. In the Settings window, select Windows Update.
  3. In Windows 11, click Advanced options (skip this step in Windows 10).
  4. Next, click View optional updates.
  5. Under Optional updates, click the Driver updates entry to expand the list and see the available driver updates.
    Windows 10 Optional Driver Updates
  6. If there is an entry for the BCM20702A0 driver, select it and click the Download and install button.

If no driver update is available for the Bluetooth device, the BCM20702A0 device is not supported in Windows. At least not by Microsoft directly. You will need to use the steps to manually download the driver to get it to work.

Restart the Bluetooth Services

This is the first of the steps that do not directly relate to the BCM20702A0 driver. Even if the driver is installed, the device can still give an error, which might be solved by one of the following solutions.

Windows uses several services (background tasks) for making sure the Bluetooth devices and functions can work. In some cases, a service may have a problem, and manually starting or restarting the service can fix the problem.

Here are the steps to restart the Bluetooth services in Windows.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type services.msc in the Run box and press Enter or click OK. This will open the Services window.
  3. In the Services window, locate the Bluetooth Support Service and right-click it.
  4. In the popup menu, click Restart.
    Restart Bluetooth Services
  5. Close the Services window when done.

You can repeat these steps for other Bluetooth services, like the Bluetooth Driver Management Service. If the services are not in a Running state, simply try starting them instead of restarting them. Not all Bluetooth services need to be running for the BCM20702A0 device to be detected and installed. Some are for support tasks, like audio over Bluetooth. But starting or restarting them manually ensures that they are not the reason the device is not working.

Run the Bluetooth troubleshooter

In Windows 10 and Windows 11, there is the possibility to run a Windows troubleshooter for a number of problems. Microsoft has included a troubleshooter function for common problems that can be automatically solved. One such troubleshooter is the Bluetooth troubleshooter.

To execute the Bluetooth troubleshooter in Windows 10, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings window from the Start menu.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & security.
  3. Next, click Troubleshoot in the left-hand pane.
  4. In the right-hand pane, click the Additional troubleshooters link.
  5. Next, under Find and fix other problems, click the Bluetooth option.
    Bluetooth troubleshooter in Windows 10
  6. This will show the button Run the troubleshooter. Click it to start the troubleshooter.
  7. A new window will come up showing Windows is Detecting problems with Bluetooth. Wait for it to finish analyzing and fixing any Bluetooth-related issues.
  8. Click Close when done.

In Windows 11, the steps are a little different.

  1. Open the Settings window from the Start menu (or press the Windows + I keys).
  2. In the Settings window, click System.
  3. Next, click Troubleshoot in the right-hand pane.
  4. Click the Other troubleshooters link.
  5. Click the Run button next to Bluetooth under Other.
    Bluetooth troubleshooter in Windows 11
  6. Wait for the troubleshooter to finish analyzing and fixing any Bluetooth-related problems.

Note: The Bluetooth troubleshooter can take considerable time to complete.

Check the Airplane mode setting

This is mentioned as one of the last solutions since the option would normally only be used on portable devices for a specific reason. But if you have been traveling with your laptop, it is a step that is worth taking.

Personally, I simply disable the Bluetooth option in Windows and only enable it when needed. Active communication on any device is a security risk these days. But if you have Bluetooth turned on normally, you can opt to use the Airplane mode in Windows to disable all communication when traveling.

In both Windows 10 and Windows 11, the Airplane mode can be enabled or disabled by clicking the network icon in the taskbar and selecting the Airplane mode in the quick access popup window.

Airplane mode in Taskbar Quick Access
Note that the Airplane mode will show active when enabled (blue in this example but that will depend on the Windows theme). Airplane mode should be disabled for Bluetooth to work.

If you prefer to use the Windows Settings, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings window from the Start menu.
  2. In the Settings window, click the Network & internet option.
  3. Next, click the Airplane mode option.
  4. Now make sure both switches are in the Off position.
    Disable Airplane mode inWindows 10
    In Windows 11, you have the option to disable the Airplane mode directly, or like in Windows 10, select the Airplane mode option to control the individual settings.
    Airplane mode settings in Windows 11
    Windows 11 remembers which communication was on when you enable and disable Airplane mode. So, if only Wi-Fi was on and Bluetooth was off when airplane mode was activated, Bluetooth would remain off when airplane mode is disabled again. This is why it is a good idea to check this setting.
  5. Close the Settings window when done.

After this, the network and Bluetooth devices should be working. There is no need to restart the computer, the changes take effect immediately.

Reset the hardware devices

Windows keeps configuration information for all devices in the computer. In rare cases, the configuration of a device can be a problem. Installing similar devices with similar drivers, or installing additional USB devices on the same controller can result in a BCM20702A0-based device to stop working.

To fix the issue, it is possible to reset the device by removing it and letting Windows reinstall the device with the proper configuration settings. These steps need to be executed from within the Device Manager.

Follow the steps to update the BCM20702A0 driver from the Device Manager, but instead of picking the Update driver option, select the Uninstall option. In the Uninstall Device confirmation window, click the Uninstall button (1). This will remove the device from Windows. After this reboot to let Windows automatically detect and reinstall the device.

First, try the uninstall option and keep the drivers installed. If that does not fix the issue, use the option Delete the driver software for this device when uninstalling it (2). That will force Windows to reload the driver for the Bluetooth device.

Unistall Bluetooth device in Windows 10

If the BCM20702A0 device is a USB dongle, it can also help to uninstall the USB Host Controllers in the Universal Serial Bus controller category. These controllers ensure that all connected USB devices are detected are installed. Resetting them can solve problems caused by the USB interface itself.

If things are still not working after this, then you might still be able to get things working again. That partly depends on whether the BCM20702A0 device was working on your system previously. If it was, a system restore or system recovery can bring back the working BCM20702A0 driver.

For help in finding the right drivers for your Windows devices, including the BCM20702A0 device, you can use the DriverFinder program. By scanning the hardware present, it will locate and offer the required device drivers.

A driver cannot load on this device ene.sys

When you are updating Windows 11 to the latest version, you might see an error pertaining to the file called ENE.SYS. The error indicates that the driver cannot load. This problem is a result of the security settings in Windows 11 in combination with an older version of the ene.sys file.

A driver cannot load on this device ene.sys

What is ene.sys?

The ene.sys file is a driver file. Like other .sys files on Windows systems, it is a device driver that enables the communication between Windows and a hardware device. The ene.sys file is part of a system called MSI Mystic Light, which controls lights in a PC. This is typically used in gaming systems and is used by MSI for their gaming systems.

Mystic Light is installed as part of the MSI Dragon Center or MSI Center.

Option 1 – disable the memory integrity check

To enhance security Windows 11 has an option called core isolation. You can read all about it on the Microsoft website, but in short, it is a memory security feature that helps prevent critical components from being affected by malware or crashing the system.

To disable the core isolation (memory access protection) in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows 11 Settings from the Start menu.
  2. In the Settings window, click Privacy & security option in the left-hand pane (1).
  3. Next, click Windows Security in the right-hand pane (2).
    Windows 11 Security Settings
  4. Scroll down in the list of Protection areas until you see Device security and click it. The Windows Security window will open with Device security active.
  5. Now click the Core isolation details link.
  6. Toggle the option Memory integrity to Off.
    Disable Memory Integrity in Windows 11

Changing the Memory integrity option to Off will allow incompatible drivers to be loaded. That includes the version of the ene.sys that was shown in the initial error message.

As you will realize, this change will reduce the level of security on your Windows 11 PC. So, it is not the most desired option, but if no newer driver is available, it is the only option to load the driver.

Option 2 – Updating the ene.sys driver file

The better option to deal with the incompatible driver is to install an updated version of the device driver. Installing a later version of the ene.sys file can fix the problem. This will allow the Memory integrity to be enabled and load the ene.sys driver at the same time.

To update the Mystic Light version for MSI, you use the MSI Gaming Center software. Or for Windows 11, the new MSI Center software. The MSI Center can be downloaded from the MSI website.

After downloading and installing the MSI Center, run it to find the Mystic Light option and click the Update button. If the Mystic Light is not in the Installed list, find it under the Installable items and install it to get the latest version.

Mystic Light in MSI Center

Once the installation of the new Mystic Light version is complete, enable the Memory integrity option in Windows 11 again.

Windows 11 will check the drivers installed on the system for compatibility.

Enable Memory integrity in Windows 11

If all drivers are compatible, the option will be enabled and the Core isolation will function properly.

In case a driver is found not to be compatible, Windows 11 will show a message in the notification area.

Incompatible drivers for core isolation

Click the Review incompatible drivers link in Windows Security to find out which drivers are incompatible.

Non-MSI vendors

What if you never used an MSI hardware product? There are other light control products used by other vendors that use the ENE solution as well. Have a look at Trident Z Lighting Control by G.SKILL, ASUS Aura, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and NZXT CAM. SignalRGB is a non-vendor solution for RGB sync.

It is important to only install one of these solutions though, as they can use similar software components and interfere with each other’s operation.

In general, we recommend keeping device drivers up to date. Using the latest versions ensures the most recent digital certificates on the driver files and the best compatibility with Windows 11. Use our DriverFinder program if you have trouble finding an updated driver.

Manually remove ene.sys and related files

In case you cannot fix it by installing, updating, or uninstalling software related to light sync, you might need to do a manual cleanup of anything related to ENE.SYS.

That means checking the Program Files folders on your system for any ENE subfolders and deleting them. Then search for ENE.SYS and ENE.DLL on the system disk and remove those files as well.

The last step is to search for ENE in the Windows Registry and remove any entries related to the driver. Make sure to make a backup of the Registry first by using the Export option in the Registry Editor!

Canon Printer Driver for Windows

Although Canon is known for cameras, its product range also includes printers. Canon offers printers for both the home user, as well as professional office users. Inkjets, laser printers, photo printers, and multi-function devices for scanning, copying, and printing. A Canon printer driver is required to enable Windows to use your printer if you are using a Canon printer in combination with a Windows PC.

Which Canon printer driver is required is determined by the printer model and connection type. Older Canon printers can use a USB port (or even a parallel port), while modern models often use a wireless connection or ethernet connection.

Download a Driver from Canon

As with many computer devices, the software for these devices can be obtained either directly from Microsoft or the product manufacturer. In the case of Canon, the best place to start for finding a printer driver is the Canon website.

  1. Open a web browser and visit the Canon printer website.
  2. Select the type of user you are in the top menu (1).
  3. Next, click the Support option in the main menu (2).
    Canon support website
  4. In the Search field, type the model number for your printer.
    Note: With most Canon printers, the model number is clearly visible on the front or top of the device. If not, look at the sticker on the back or bottom of the device.
  5. In the search result click the link for the product support (2).
    Canon printer model selection
  6. The web page shown next is specific to the selected product. Click the Software & Drivers option next to the printer image.
    Canon printer driver software
  7. Before you can download the Canon printer driver for your model, you need to select the Operating System (1) and Version of the operating system (2).
    Select Windows version
    Note: If your Windows version is not listed, the printer might not be supported on that version. You can try a driver for an earlier Windows version (make sure the architecture is correct – 32/64 bit), but there is no guarantee that it will work.
  8. Next, change the Type to Drivers, so the Results will only list the Canon printer drivers rather than all software.
    Canon printer drivers support
  9. Now click the DOWNLOAD button next to the top recommended entry in the result list. The top recommendation will be the latest version of the Canon printer driver for your printer model.
  10. Click the Yes button to confirm the License Agreement for the driver software if requested.
  11. Wait for the driver file to be downloaded. If required, select the destination on disk for the file when prompted (browser dependent).
  12. Click the Close button on the Canon web page to close the download page.
  13. Open a File Explorer window (Windows + E keys), and navigate to the Download location.
  14. To start the installation of the downloaded Canon printer driver, double-click the downloaded file (or select it and press Enter).
    Execute Canon Driver Installer File
  15. Click Yes in the UAC window to confirm the start of the setup program.
  16. If the printer setup starts automatically, follow the on-screen instructions to install the Canon printer driver (and software).
  17. In some cases, especially for older printer models, the downloaded file is a self-extracting executable. When executing the program, the installation files are extracted into a subfolder.
    Canon extracted driver files
  18. In this case, open the subfolder and navigate into the further subfolders (1) until you see the Setup.exe for the driver. Double-click Setup.exe to install the driver (2).
    Execute Canon driver installer
  19. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.
    Canon Printer driver setup

After these steps, your Canon printer driver is installed, and Windows should be able to communicate with the device.

In Windows 11, use Settings -> Bluetooth & devices -> Printers & scanners to see the installed printers on the PC. Click the printer to print a test page, change the preferences or run the troubleshooter.

Find a Canon Printer driver elsewhere

If you cannot find a driver for your Canon printer on the Canon support site, first make sure you have the right country selection. Not all Canon printers are sold and supported in all regions, so it is important to select the right region.

But for older Canon printers, support is no longer available directly from Canon. Canon offers support up to 10 years after the first release of its products. In that case, you will need to find a driver elsewhere. The best location is an original installation CD since you are certain it is a trusted source. The problem with that (apart from that they often get lost over time), is that it might not be the latest version. Compatibility with newer versions of Windows can be a problem.

Searching online for a driver can give you the right driver if you know how to look for it. But a better solution in most cases is to use a Driver Finder program to locate the driver for you. This program will scan your PC for all devices present and suggest the latest, correct drivers for your version of Windows.

How to Update Realtek Bluetooth Driver – Windows 11

The Bluetooth interface is used on Windows 11 (and Windows 10) systems to connect Bluetooth devices. Mobile phones, speakers, printers, or even another computer. Bluetooth wireless communication is ideal for short-range wireless communication. And like all hardware devices in Windows, the Bluetooth device needs a Bluetooth driver to function. The most common Bluetooth chips used in PCs are from Intel and Realtek.

If no driver is installed, Windows will not recognize the device, or Bluetooth will not function properly. So, if Bluetooth is not working in Windows 11, you might need to update the Bluetooth driver. In this article, we’ll show you how to update the Realtek Bluetooth driver. Of course, we also have instructions on updating the Intel Bluetooth driver.

Note: These instructions apply to both Windows 10 and Windows 11. It is important to update the Realtek Bluetooth driver on Windows 10 already, since the upgrade to a later Windows version can be blocked because of an old driver!

Windows 10 Update Problem Realtek Bluetooth

Updated Bluetooth drivers can solve this type of problem. Updated drivers will also make sure that any known bugs in previous versions are fixed, and performance and connectivity are maximized.

Automatically Update Drivers

Windows 10 and Windows 11 include support for a lot of devices by default. Drivers for the devices are either included in the Windows installation or retrieved during the Windows Update process.

If the Realtek Bluetooth driver needs to be updated, the first step is to run Windows Update. Also make sure that drivers are included in Windows Update, as automatic driver updates can be disabled in Windows!

Apart from Windows Update, a driver can also be updated from the Device Manager.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to bring up the run dialog box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the Run field and press Enter or click the OK button.
  3. In the Device Manager window, locate the device for which to update the driver. Right-click the device, and in the context menu select Update driver.
    Update Realtek Bluetooth driver
  4. Next select the option to let Windows Search automatically for drivers.
  5. Click the Close button when done.

For more details, also see installing driver updates using the Device Manager in Windows 11.

Another method to automatically update Windows drivers is to use the DriverFinder program. This software automatically scans all hardware devices in your PC and then recommends the appropriate device drivers for them. It will not just update the Realtek Bluetooth drivers, but allow you to update all your device drivers.

Manually Update the Realtek Bluetooth Driver

Manually updating drivers in Windows means downloading the driver installation files and running an installer or updating the driver from the Device Manager.

Driver files for Bluetooth devices can be available on the PC manufacturer’s website or the Realtek website. First, visit the support site of your PC manufacturer and check for updated drivers of your model. If they are not available, or still not the latest version, you can visit the Realtek website.

Realtek offers support for most of its devices online. This support includes the option to download Windows drivers for many of their devices.

Using the Realtek Support site

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the Realtek software download page.
  2. On the Realtek web page, use the Product Line dropdown box to select Wireless Lan ICs.
    Realtek Wireless device support
    Note: Bluetooth is a wireless technology, so support is combined with Wi-Fi devices.
  3. Now select the Realtek Wireless LAN IC from the list on the web page that matches the device in your PC. Click the Software link next to it.
    Realtek Wireless LAN ICs
  4. On the specific Realtek LAN IC software page, locate the Bluetooth driver you need and click the download icon.
    Download Realtek Bluetooth driver
    Note: Most onboard Bluetooth solutions use a PCI Express implementation. External, pluggable solutions will use the USB option.
  5. On the Agree the Terms and Download page, select the checkbox I accept the above and then click the Download this file button.
  6. Finally, enter the Captcha and click the Go button.
    Realtek download Captcha
  7. Wait for the file to be downloaded and if required, select the location on disk to save the file. (This will depend on the browser being used.)
  8. Open a File Explorer and browse to the downloaded file. If the downloaded file is executable (EXE file extension), simply double-click the file to execute the driver installation and follow the on-screen instructions.
  9. If the downloaded file is an archive (ZIP file extension), right-click the file and select Extract All in the context menu.
    Extract Realtek driver files
  10. Select the location where to extract the files, and then click the Extract button.
    Extract ZIP archive
    Note: The default suggestion is okay in general, as it is a subfolder of the file’s current location.
  11. Double-click the subfolder in the opened File Explorer
  12. Now locate the setup.exe file in the subfolder and double-click it to execute the driver installation process. Follow the instructions on screen.
    Realtek Bluettoth Driver Installer

With the above instructions, you can download and install updated Realtek Bluetooth drivers for Windows. This should solve any issues you have with Realtek Bluetooth not working in Windows.

 

Install a Prolific PL2303 driver in Windows 11

When you use a device that connects to the computer through a serial port, you’ll probably use a USB to serial cable solution. The most common solution for this from Prolific is the PL2303-based solution. In Windows 11 the device would show up in the device manager under the Ports (COM & LPT) category. If it does not or shows an error, you will need to manually install a Prolific PL2303 driver in Windows 11 to get it to work.

What is Prolific PL 2303?

Prolific is a company that offers a Smart-IO chip that offers a solution for communication with serial ports (like RS232) through USB. This allows a modern computer with only USB ports to use legacy equipment with a serial port. The chipsets from Prolific are the PL23xx and PL25xx chipsets and they are available in different versions for UART, RS232, RS485, I2C, and even IEEE1284 (parallel ports).

Serial to USB Type-A cable

Some examples of the type of products that use a serial connection are:

  • Debuggers and programmers
  • Printers
  • Data loggers
  • AV Receivers
  • PLCs
  • Audio equipment
  • Sewing and embroidery machines
  • Switches

If your PC does not have a serial port, many of these devices can still work with a Windows 11-based computer using a USB-to-serial cable. Since the cables are available for USB Type-A ports as well as USB Type-C ports, a solution is available for most Windows 11-based systems.

An alternative solution is available from Silicon Labs. Their chips in the CP210x series also offer USB to UART solutions (the CP2102 is often used). For Windows drivers, check their support site.

What if Windows does not have a Prolific PL2303 driver?

If the driver for the Prolific PL 2303 device is not installed in Windows 11, you can either get an error message like “Please install corresponding PL2303 driver to support Windows 11 and further OS”, or the device will show with an error in the Device Manager (typically with a yellow exclamation mark).

Install PL2303 Driver in Windows 11
Prolific PL2303 Driver Error

The error code for the device will be “The device cannot start (Code 10)”.

The result in both cases is that Windows 11 cannot communicate with the device that is connected through the USB to serial cable and any programs trying to use it will not find the device.

Detect the PL2303 Chip Type

Like with many hardware vendors, not all variations of their products are supported on all platforms. In most cases, updates to hardware are indicated with revision numbers. With chip manufactures it is sometimes type indicators.

For Windows, Prolific also specifies which types are no longer supported on Windows 11. So it is important to know which variation of the PL2303 chip is in use on your system. Since it is not always possible to see the chip and read the type number, you can use the Prolific utility to determine the version.

After downloading the ZIP file, open it and run the EXE file inside it (e.g. PL2303_CheckChipVersion_v1006.exe). There is no need to install anything, simply run the chip check program.

PL2303 Version Checker

In the program interface, select the COM port in the drop-down field and then click the Check button to get the details of the PL2303 chip connected to the port.

Download and install the Prolific PL2303 driver in Windows 11

To get the latest PL2303 driver, download it from the Prolific website.

Make sure to pick the latest version and take note of the chipsets it supports. If the chipset your cable is using is not included in the Windows 11 version, you can try downloading and installing the previous version for Windows 10.

After downloading the ZIP file (PL23XX_Prolific_DriverInstaller_v402.zip at the time of writing), extract the ZIP file contents, and run the setup program in the subfolder (PL23XX-M_LogoDriver_Setup_402_20220309.exe at the time of writing).

If the User Account Control window shows, click the Yes button to confirm running the installer.

Prolific PL2303 UAC Message

Follow the on-screen instruction in the PL23XX-USB-to-Serial Driver Installer Program window to install the PL2303 driver.

Prolific PL2303 Driver Install

After the installation is complete, you should see the Prolific device in the Device Manager under Ports without any error. Connect the serial device to your serial-to-USB cable and test the device in Windows 11.

For more details about manually installing drivers in Windows 11, check this article.

Changing the COM port

When the PL2303 driver is properly installed, a program might still not detect the device that is connected through the USB-to-Serial cable. The reason in many cases is that the program requires the serial device to be connected to a specific COM-port. Especially older software often does not support higher COM-port numbers, but expects the device to be connected on COM1 or COM2.

In Windows 11, you can change the COM port number using the Device Manager. Here are the steps:

  1. Right-clicking the Start icon in the Taskbar.
  2. In the menu, click Device Manager.
    Windows 11 start device manager
    Tip: You can also use the Run Press the Windows Key + R, then type “devmgmt.msc” and press the Enter key.
  3. In the Device Manager window, click the Ports (COM & LPT) section to open it and show the ports.
    Note: If the Ports section is not shown, clicking Show hidden devices in the View menu might bring it up.
  4. Now right-click the COM port to change, and in the popup menu select Properties.
  5. Select the Port Settings tab.
  6. Click the Advanced button.
  7. Change the COM Port Number to the desired COM port number (it will only allow unassigned numbers).
    Windows 11 change COM port number
  8. Click the OK button to confirm.
  9. Click the OK button on the Properties
  10. Close the Device Manager.

Next, try the program that uses the device on the COM port again. If it does not work immediately, restart Windows first.

Solving Prolific PL2303 serial-to-USB problems

In some cases, installing the driver alone does not solve your problem. As mentioned in the previous section, changing the COM-port can be necessary for a program to find the device connected through the PL2303 cable.

But there are other possible causes of problems with the Prolific PL2303 cables too.

Specific driver version required

For some devices, installing the latest Prolific driver might actually cause the device to stop being recognized or working. This can be the result of the device no longer being supported by the new driver version. Examples are the PL2303HXA, PL2303TA, and PL2303X, which will require an older driver version. For Windows 11 compatibility the recommended chip type is PL-2303GC.

In the Device Manager, use the Roll Back Driver option on the Prolific device, or use the Update Driver option to manually select a different version.

To prevent Windows from re-installing a new version when the new version is installed through Windows Update, you can disable Windows driver updates. Either disable driver updates altogether or just prevent the specific update that pertains to the Prolific driver.

Install a Serial port expansion card

This solution is only possible if you have a desktop computer. But if you do, and the Prolific cable-based solution is not working for your serial device, consider the option to install a serial port expansion card into the PC.

Once installed, you can connect your serial device directly to a serial port rather than using a serial-to-USB conversion solution.

Prolific PL2303 and FTDI cables

Apart from installing the correct device driver for the PL2303-based cable, it is also important to consider the quality of the cable. Most USB-to-serial cables these days are either Prolific PL2303 based or FTDI based. But even though these are the most common chipsets, there are quality differences in the cables sold online. So, if you are facing problems with a serial device, do consider trying an alternative USB-to-serial cable.

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