What is XHCI hand off? Should You Enable it?

What is XHCI hand off? Should You enable it? It is common to use acronyms and technical jargon in daily conversations in the world of computing and technology.

You’re in the right place to learn about “XHCI Hand Off,” one term that may have piqued your curiosity. What does it mean, and why is it relevant to the performance and functionality of your computer?

This blog will explain what XHCI Hand Off is and why it is important for USB controllers and device management, demystifying the concept.

Furthermore, we’ll show you how to setup XHCI Hand Off on your computer, ensuring your USB devices operate seamlessly.

Let’s dive into the world of XHCI Hand Off and empower yourself with the knowledge to get the most out of it.

What is XHCI Hand Off Feature?

When XHCI Hand-Off feature is enabled, USB 3.0 port will be treated as USB 3.0 port on your PC, while when XHCI Hand-Off feature is disabled, USB 3.0 port will behave as USB 2.0 port.

Thus, when the XHCI Hand Off Feature is enabled, the USB 3.0 port will transfer data at a good speed, while when it is disabled, the USB 3.0 port will transfer data at the speed of USB 2.0. 

XHCI hand-off is automatically enabled in Windows 10 and Windows 11 and you shouldn’t need to enable it unless you want to.

It will, however, be disabled by default if you have an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Vista; you will need to enable it through your BIOS configuration. 

What is EHCI?

A USB 2.0 host controller’s register level interface is explained in this specification. It describes an enhanced host controller interface. # What is EHCI

In order to design hardware components, develop system integrators, and develop device drivers (software), the EHCI specification describes the hardware/software interface between the system software and the host controller hardware.

Getting to know HCI is the first step toward learning EHCI (host controller interface). An HCI interface allows a host controller (such as a Southbridge or motherboard) to communicate with peripheral devices at the register level (such as USB, FireWire, and Bluetooth) at the register level.

In order to establish the connection with the peripherals, HCI begins reading and writing threads as soon as the peripherals are connected to the PC.

As soon as the peripheral is reset, HCI will read the cache size to initiate communication. EHCI (extended host controller interface) has improved HCI. # What is EHCI

Difference between EHCI and XHCI

With the extensible host controller interface (XHCI), Intel has developed a host controller that can interface with USB devices.

This USB protocol, XHCI master control, is used by Intel Xinyi 100 series chips.

An XHCI interface is Intel’s most recent host controller interface. It’s commonly found on motherboards in the 100 series, which correspond to Intel’s sixth-generation Skylake processors.

It’s USB 3.0 compatible and backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

EHCI and XHCI are both host controller interfaces. The former supports USB2.0, while the latter supports USB3.0, as well as USB2.0. To simplify the matter, XHCI is a better version of EHCI.

Because the win7 system lacks an XHCI driver, the USB mouse and keyboard will not work, however the native win8 and win10 systems will work due to the built-in XHCI driver. # Difference between EHCI and XHCI

XHCI hand off

Different Modes Of XHCI Hand Off Feature

The motherboards of today offer different modes of XHCI handoff, such as:

Auto XHCI Hand Off- Until the correct USB 3.0 drivers have been installed, Auto mode will act as a USB 2.0 port.

The USB 3.0 port will only function as USB 3.0 after the drivers are installed and the system is rebooted. 

XHCI Hand-Off Smart Mode- Similar to the auto mode, this mode enables handoff between the sensors to save power.

When the system starts up in this mode, the relevant drivers will be loaded into the memory, and the USB 3.0 port will act as a USB 3.0 port instead of a USB 2.0 port. 

Should You Enable XHCI Hand-Off Feature On Your PC?

You don’t have to enable it in the BIOS configuration for Windows 10, but you do have to enable it in Windows 7, 8, and Vista.

Would it be a good idea to enable it or not? What you need from your computer entirely determines the answer to this question.

For example, enabling USB 3.0 functionality is important if you want USB 2.0 functionality due to faster input, but keeping this feature off is important if you want USB 3.0 functionality. 

How to Enable XHCI Hand Off?

It typically requires accessing your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings to enable XHCI Hand Off. The exact steps may vary depending on the brand and version of your computer’s BIOS/UEFI:

Access BIOS/UEFI: 

Start your computer and look for the keys or key combinations that you need to access BIOS or UEFI settings.

Common keys include F2, F12, Del, or Esc. Refer to your computer’s documentation or the screen during startup to determine which key you need to use.

Navigate to Advanced Settings: 

Navigate to the “Advanced Settings” menu in the BIOS/UEFI settings. The exact location may vary, so consult your motherboard or computer manual for details. # Enable XHCI Hand Off

Find USB Configuration: 

The XHCI Hand Off option is typically found in a section related to USB settings or configuration.

Enable XHCI Hand Off: 

Depending on your BIOS/UEFI, you may find an option called “XHCI Hand Off” under the USB configuration section. Enable it.

Save and Exit: 

You must save your BIOS/UEFI settings (usually by pressing F10 or following the on-screen instructions). Your computer will reboot after enabling XHCI Hand Off.

XHCI Hand Off allows the operating system to be more capable of controlling USB devices from the moment it begins to boot, improving performance and compatibility.

If your USB devices don’t work properly during boot, this is particularly useful. # Enable XHCI Hand Off

How to Fix Charging Paused Battery Temperature Too Low error?


Learning how to enable XHCI Hand Off can improve your computer’s USB device management by understanding its significance.

You ensure smoother device recognition and functionality by allowing your operating system to fully control USB controllers during boot.

Having this knowledge at your disposal can help you make the most of your USB devices and peripherals whether you’re a tech enthusiast or a casual computer user.

Next time you’re adjusting your computer’s BIOS settings or troubleshooting USB-related issues, you can use XHCI Hand Off with confidence, knowing that it’s a valuable tool to help your computer run more smoothly and efficiently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *