Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & Windows 11: 3 Common Problems (Solved)

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a portable and affordable audio interface that has gained popularity over the last couple of years.

However, some users have experienced difficulties when using it with Windows 11.

If you are facing such issues, there’s no need to worry! In this article, we’ll cover 3 common problems and give you some solutions to get your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 working with Windows 11.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface unit

Before we get stuck in – if you’re looking for troubleshooting help with Windows 10 and Focusrite, we have an entire article dedicated to this. 

You’re Getting a “No Hardware Detected” after Upgrading to Windows 11

If you’ve just upgraded to Windows 11 but are getting a “No Hardware Detected” message when trying to use your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s start off with some simple troubleshooting tips to get you started:

Diver Re-Install

Firstly, it’s important to note that if you installed the driver for your Focusrite box while it was connected to the computer, that may have been the cause of your issue.

Follow these steps to rectify the issue:

  1. Begin by unplugging the Focusrite 2i2, then proceed to uninstall the driver.
  2. Afterward, restart your computer without reconnecting the 2i2.
  3. Next, reinstall the driver, ideally followed by another restart.
  4. Finally, you can plug the 2i2 back in.

Check EFI-BIOS Settings

If the above scenario doesn’t apply to you, the next step is to check your EFI-BIOS settings.

EFI-BIOS settings, also known as UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) settings, refer to the configuration options available in the computer’s firmware that controls the system’s boot process and hardware initialization.

By accessing EFI-BIOS settings, users can make adjustments to optimize hardware compatibility, enable/disable certain features, or troubleshoot issues related to the computer’s firmware (in this case, your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2).

You’ll need to ensure that your USB3 ports are configured to communicate with USB2 as well.

Some motherboards may still have this configuration, and adjusting the settings accordingly can help with compatibility.

Don’t Use Front USB Ports

Another possible cause for your connectivity issues is that you might be using the wrong USB ports.

Try to avoid connecting the Focusrite 2i2 to the USB ports located on the front panel of your computer.

While the exact reasons can vary, one common issue is that not all front USB ports are designed to deliver sufficient power to adequately support connected devices.

This becomes particularly crucial for audio interfaces like the Scarlett series, which require a stable and adequate power supply to function properly.

Front USB ports often have limited power output compared to the USB ports located on the back of the computer. This limitation can result in insufficient power being supplied to the Focusrite 2i2, leading to potential performance issues or malfunctions.

To ensure the proper operation of the Scarlett series, it is recommended to connect the 2i2 to the USB ports located at the rear of the computer.

The reason for this is that the USB ports at the back of the computer are typically directly connected to the motherboard and are designed to deliver adequate power to connected devices.

By utilizing these ports, you can ensure a reliable power supply to the Focusrite 2i2, minimizing the risk of audio dropouts, distorted signals, or other connectivity issues.

You’re Experiencing Audio Pops and Crackles When Using Scarlett and Windows 11

If you’re facing issues like pops, clicks, and distorted sounds, these tips will help you troubleshoot and optimize your system.

First, let’s cover some basics!

These are easy problems to have and can often be overlooked, so it’s important to go through them.

Hard Drive Space

Ensure you have enough free space on your computer’s boot drive.

To check the storage usage:

  1. Click the Windows icon.
  2. Type and select “Settings”
  3. Then, go to “System”
  4. Finally, click “Storage”

Remove unnecessary files or move them to external/cloud storage to free up space. You can also use the Disk Cleanup tool to remove temporary files and folders.

Having sufficient memory is crucial for running large projects with sample libraries and plugins. Aim for at least 8GB of RAM on your computer to ensure smooth operation.

Cable Connection

Cable connection is a surprisingly common audio issue that I’ve experienced from time to time.

When connecting your Focusrite 2i2, use a short USB cable (preferably the one provided with the interface) or a cable shorter than 2 meters.

Longer USB cables may cause dropouts or glitches.

Make sure to try a different cable before moving on to the next step.

System Performance

We need to make sure that our systems are running to the best of their abilities, especially when using power-hungry music software.

To optimize system performance, close unnecessary background applications before running your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

Close music streaming apps, web browsers, and office applications to free up power for your DAW.

Please also check out our article about common issues with Focusrite Scarlett and Logic Pro X.

USB Selective Suspend

USB Selective Suspend can be the cause of potential problems with USB-connected devices like the Scarlett 2i2.

Here’s how to disable it:

  1. Access the power plan settings.
  2. Navigate to USB settings.
  3. Disable USB selective suspend for both “On battery” and “Plugged in” modes.

Processor Scheduling

Allowing for enough processing power can hugely alleviate the resources for your DAW and Focsurite Scarlett 2i2.

One way to do this is to set the processor scheduling to “Background services” which will prioritize audio processing.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Select “System”
  3. Go to “Advanced system settings”
  4. Click on “Settings” under “Performance”
  5. Set the processor scheduling accordingly.

Another way to do this is to disable any unnecessary startup programs.

Simply open the Task Manager, go to the “Startup” tab, and disable programs that launch automatically at startup.

You’re Experiencing Latency, Slow Performance, or Crashes

If you’re having frustrating problems such as latency when recording, slow performance from your machine, or even system crashes when using your Scarlet 2i2 with Windows 11, you’re in the right place!

Here are some ideas to help you get to the bottom of your computer performance woes:

Create a High-Performance Power Plan Tailored for Audio Work

A High-Performance Power Plan on Windows 11 is a power management option that prioritizes performance over power efficiency.

Open the Power Options Settings: Press the Windows key, type “Power Options,” and select the matching result.

Create a New Power Plan: In the Power Options window, click on “Create a power plan” from the left-hand menu.

Choose the High-Performance Option: Select the “High Performance” power plan from the list of available plans.

Customize Power Plan Settings: Once the High-Performance plan is selected, click on “Change plan settings” for the newly created plan.

Adjust Display and Sleep Settings: In the plan settings window, customize options like “Turn off the display” and “Put the computer to sleep” according to your preferences. For maximum performance, it’s common to set both of these options to “Never.”

Set Processor Power Management to 100%: In the same Advanced Settings window, expand the “Processor power management” category.

Look for settings related to minimum and maximum processor state and set both values to 100% for both “On battery” and “Plugged in” modes.

This ensures that the processor operates at its maximum performance level at all times.

Switch Up your USB Power Management Settings

For additional optimization, adjust USB power management settings in the Device Manager by disabling the option to turn off USB devices to save power.

Ensure that Exclusive Mode is Disabled

Disable “Exclusive Mode” for audio devices to prevent applications from taking control.

To do this:

  1. Access the Sound settings in the Control Panel
  2. Then, go to the Playback and Recording tabs.
  3. Select your audio device.
  4. Uncheck the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” option.

Disable System Sounds

If “System Sounds” interrupt your recordings, disable them by accessing the Sound settings in the Control Panel and selecting “No Sounds” under the Sound Scheme menu.

There’s also a chance you may experience audio issues due to your network adapters causing conflicts with audio drivers.

Try temporarily disabling them in the Device Manager to see if the issue is resolved.

Adjust your “C States” in BIOS

Finally, if you’re comfortable accessing your computer’s BIOS, try disabling “C States” to prevent your processor from entering power-saving modes.

This step can help avoid performance issues on certain systems.

Consult your motherboard manufacturer, which can be found online for BIOS configuration.

Remember to reboot your computer after making any of these changes to ensure the settings take effect.

General Pros and Cons of Using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and Windows 11

When it comes to using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with Windows 11, there are both positives and negatives to consider.

Here’s an overview of the pros and cons:


The Scarlett 2i2 offers great value for its price and is built with quality materials. It’s also generally compatible with various operating systems, including Windows 11, which will ensure smooth integration when in use.

Setting up the Scarlett 2i2 on Windows 11 is usually a straightforward process. The operating system often detects the device automatically and installs the necessary drivers through Windows Update.

Focusrite provides the Focusrite Control software, specifically designed for Windows 11. This software allows you to have comprehensive control over important settings like input/output levels, sample rate, and routing. It streamlines your audio workflow and enhances your control over the interface.


  • Users have sometimes gotten a “No Hardware Detected” message after having upgraded to Windows 11.
  • Certain users have experienced audio pops and crackles when using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 with Windows 11.
  • You may experience latency, slow performance, or even crashes when working on Windows 11.

Final Thoughts

Although I hope these tips have done the trick, it’s also worth considering the possibility of a hardware fault with your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 that may be causing the connectivity problem.

To rule out any hardware issues, I recommend trying your Scarlett 2i2 with an alternative system, such as a Mac, instead of a Windows system. This way, you can test whether the hardware is functioning properly.

The good news is that the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is designed to be plug-and-play, which means troubleshooting the problem should be a quick and efficient process.

It’s also worth noting that troubleshooting these kinds of problems can be a step-by-step process, and it’s important to approach it methodically and patiently.

Sometimes, the solution can be a simple step that’s easy to miss! Good luck 😊


Optimizing your PC for Audio on Windows 11
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