How to Fix Dell Docking Station not Working

Docking Stations have become a handy device for transforming your slim-design laptop/PC with a limited number of serial ports into a true workstation hub.

They’re excellent port replicators for having more USB ports, increasing file transfer speeds, and creating multiple display channels (with several monitors and projectors). 

dell docking station

Dell Docking Stations are also in increasing demand today for home use. Grab yourself a Dell Thunderbolt Dock, and you’re all set to pair your PS5 console, Xbox one X game box, your Roku Streaming Stick, and Sony Soundbar, all connected to your Samsung smart TV and PC. You don’t have to worry about the limited number of USB and HDMI ports.

A Dell docking station is what some will call “tomorrow’s technology docked today.” As unique and endless as its possibilities are perceived, there have been some misunderstandings among its users about how it works.

dell docking station not working

Perhaps you’ve been frustrated, almost to the point of giving up adding a Dell Docking Station to your setup. This article will restore your faith in the freedom you’re bound to enjoy using a Dell Docking Station.

In this post, we’ve taken the time to scan through tech support channels and popular online communities to analyze the troubles many users have faced over the years in setting up their Docking stations and the best fixes to resolve these issues.

Read on to find out the common causes of Dell Docking Station not working and how to resolve these issues. But first, what are the common issues relating to Dell Docking Stations?

Common Dell Docking Station Issues

  • Trouble setting up and configuring Dell Thunderbolt Dock
  • Issues with pairing Dell Docking Station with Laptops/PCs and other devices
  • Dell Docking Station won’t detect the monitor
  • Thunderbolt Dock won’t power on
  • Docking Station not detected by PC/laptop
  • Keyboard and mouse stopped working through Docking Station
  • Docking Station stopped working after a system software update
  • Thunderbolt Dock won’t charge phones or other devices

What are the causes of the Dell Docking Station not Working?

1. Technical errors

These are usually buildups from previous docking sessions, especially during data transfer protocols.

2. Docking Station not properly docked to laptop/PC

Some users don’t know how to properly dock the Docking Station into the PC. When the docking isn’t correctly set, other devices won’t communicate effectively with the PC.

3. Docking Station driver not installed

Docking may not work when the docking device driver is not installed on your PC.

4. Laptop PC drivers are outdated

Most of us PC users are not in the habit of regularly checking for PC driver updates. 

Your docking station may not work fine when a significant system update relating to System USB devices or graphics display isn’t updated.

5. PC/laptop graphics software is outdated

As mentioned above, PC graphics card drivers won’t work fine unless updated. This usually affects the display of adjoining monitors and projectors on the docking station.

6. Issues with cables and connectors

The condition of the various cables and cords will significantly affect the data transfer rate and quality. 

7. Docking Station not compatible with PC/laptop

Some Docking Stations have specific compatibility requirements. 

8. Issues with PC BIOS settings

Your system BIOS settings will limit the PC connectivity with other devices on the Docking Station.

9. PC/laptop software glitches

The software you’re running on the PC may suddenly freeze and causes issues with other connected devices on the Docking Station.

10. Hardware errors in the docking station

Depending on the handling of the Docking Station, your Thunderbolt Dock may have developed hardware errors.

How to Fix Dell Docking Station not Working issues

1. Power cycle your devices

Begin with complete troubleshooting of your Docking Station setup.

  • Unseat your Docking Station from your laptop.
  • Unplug all devices connected to the docking station, mouse, scanner, printer, monitors, keyboard, etc.
  • Shut down your laptop, then perform a system reboot.
  • Drain off the remaining power in the Docking Station by holding down the power button for 30 seconds.
  • Reconnect your docking station to the laptop and attach all accessories to the docking station.
  • Then power on the docking station.

2. Verify Thunderbolt Docking software has no issues

  • Head to the Windows taskbar and select ^ beside the battery icon to show other hidden icons.
  • Select the Docking Station software icon.
  • Go to ‘View attached devices’ and select ‘Thunderbolt Dock/Cable’.
  • Double click on Connection status to change it to ‘connected”. If it’s already connected, then move to the next fix.
  • Select ‘always connect’ and close the setup.

3. Update laptop drivers

It’s essential to update your drivers for uninterrupted system operations. Drivers to look out for including USB host controller drivers and drivers for sound/audio, mouse/pointing devices, monitors, modems, network adapters, software devices, etc.

Go to Start > Device manager, and ensure all drivers are working fine.

In some instances, you’ll have to update the drivers. Uninstall the affected driver, and restart your Windows 10 PC, to reinstall automatically.

4. Run System updates

Ensure your PC OS is up-to-date. Also, check for updates relating to device security and stability. 

5. Ensure Docking Station is positioned correctly in the PC docking port

You should firmly fix your Docking Station in position on your PC. Ensure both sides are well fixed into the PC. Check for an LED indicator light from the Docking Station to confirm it’s working now.

6. Ensure your PC is compatible with the Docking Station

You’ll not need to worry if you’re using a universal docking station (such as the Dell Docking Station D6000 series).  

Otherwise, you should visit the Dell Docking Station specifications page to verify if you’re facing a compatibility issue.

7. PC hardware Troubleshoot

A more straightforward method of detecting hardware errors is to run PC hardware troubleshooting.

Head to Start on desktop > control panel (set icons view to large icons > Troubleshoot > view all > Hardware & devices > Next

Follow the prompts for a complete hardware scan.

8. Set windows BIOS settings

Windows BIOS settings need to be tweaked to allow certain Docking privileges, primarily if your PC supports USB-Type C and Thunderbolt Docking Stations.

  • Shutdown your PC and restart
  • From the boot menu, hit F2 severally to load BIOS 
  • Head to System Configuration > USB configuration, tick both ‘enable USB Boot Support’ and ‘enable external USB port’.
  • Head to Dell type C Dock – Configuration and select ‘always allow Dell Docks’.
  • Next, go back to System Configuration > USB power share, and select ‘activate’. 
  • Head to Thunderbolt Adapter configuration, choose ‘Enable Thunderbolt Technology support’, ‘Enable Thunderbolt Adapter boot support’, and ‘Enable Thunderbolt Adapter preboot modules’.
  • Head to Security level and choose ‘No security’.
  • At the ‘POST behaviour’ and ‘Fastboot’ options, choose ‘Thorough’.
  • Select ‘Apply’ to save settings and exit.

And that’s all about fixing Docking Station not Working issues. You can leave a comment below to let us know how this guide was of benefit to you.

Note that there’s no need for this BIOS setup if you’re using a universal docking station.  Contact Dell Tech support for more professional advice.

Dell Thunderbolt Dock- WD19TBS 130w Power Delivery


I’m having issues with the USB-Type C charging my laptop. I have a Thunderbolt Docking Station.

Solution: Your docking station can only charge a laptop with a power requirement not greater than 65W. Check your original laptop adapter; if its power rating is higher than 65W, the docking station won’t charge it properly. Disconnect from the docking station and connect the laptop to the Power adapter.

Monitor not working on my Dell Docking Station

Solution: Power cycle your devices, and restart the docking station. Also, confirm your device drivers are updated.

My docking station is not working; what do I do?

Solution: Clean up your devices remove dust and dirt around cables, ports, terminals and power points. Troubleshoot your devices.