Introduction to WinUSB for developers


This topic is for programmers. If you are a customer experiencing USB problems, see Troubleshoot common USB problems

WinUSB is a generic driver for USB devices that is included with Windows.

WinUSB includes:

  • A kernel-mode driver (Winusb.sys)
  • A user-mode dynamic link library (Winusb.dll) that exposes WinUSB functions described in winusb.h. You can use these functions to manage USB devices with user-mode software.

By default, Winusb.sys is installed in the device's kernel-mode stack as an upper filter driver. Apps communicate with the device's UMDF function driver to issue read, write, or device I/O control requests. In this configuration, Winusb.sys serves as the device stack's Plug and Play and power owner.

You can also install Winusb.sys as the function driver for a USB device.

This section includes info on:

  • Selecting the correct driver for a device
  • Using WinUSB to communicate with USB devices
  • Installing Winusb.sys as the function driver for a USB device

Also find detailed code examples that show how apps and USB devices communicate.


Windows 7 supports WinUSB on x86-based, x64-based, and Itanium-based systems. More recent versions of Windows support WinUSB on x86-based and x64-based systems.

WinUSB supports isochronous transfers starting in Windows 8.