Device Manager is an important windows utility and a troubleshooting tool. It provides a central and organized view of all the installed hardware that is connected to your computer like a mouse, keyboard, hard drives, USB, printers etc. The components are well arranged in their respective categories. Device Manager can be used to update the drivers, view the components with problems, identifying the conflicts between different drivers and scan for the hardware changes when a new device is connected to your system.
It's an important tool that you should know how to use while troubleshooting the computer's hardware and managing its drivers.
How to open Device Manager
Windows 10 OS offers several ways to open the Device Manager. I will show you the simple and most common way of opening the Device Manager.
Type run in the search bar of your Windows 10 computer. Type devmgmt.msc in the search area of Run utility. Click OK.
That will launch a Device Manager wizard.
How to use Device Manager
Device Manager lets you to view the installed hardware, view hidden devices, update drivers for the device, enable or disable devices from Device Manager, scan for new hardware and adding the Legacy hardware.
Viewing installed hardware
Device Manager lists all the devices in the categories so its easier to find the required device. You can expand each category to view the list of devices under it.
View hidden devices in Device Manager
Some devices are hidden by the Device Manager. To view them, click on the View tab and in the sub-menu that appears, click on Show hidden devices.
It will list all hidden devices in the Device Manager window.
View device properties
If you want to see the details about the device, select the device. Right-click on it and go to Properties.
The properties dialog box will open that will display you the status of the device if it is properly working or not.
View devices that are not working properly
If you want to see the device in your computer that is not working properly, you can see them here in the Device Manager marked with a yellow triangle containing exclamation sign.
You can right-click the device and go to Properties to read the details about the problem.
Update device drivers
You can update an already installed driver for the device. Device Manager allows you to search for updates online or to browse from your computer if you have already downloaded to your system.
Enable or Disable devices from Device Manager
Device Manager lets you enable or disable the device. Disabling the device is not recommended, but if the device is causing a problem, you can temporarily disable it. Right-click the device and from the menu, click Enable Device. The device that is disabled is marked by a black arrow.
Similarly, you can enable the device by right-clicking the option to Enable this device.
Scan for new hardware
If the Windows is not detecting new hardware that has plugged in, you can use the Device Manager to scan for it.
To scan for new hardware, click on the Action in the top menu and then click Scan for hardware changes.
Adding Legacy hardware
The Microsoft Device Manager is loaded with legacy device drivers, but if you need to use them, you have to add them manually. Click on Action in the top menu bar. In sub-menu, click on Add legacy hardware.
It's good to know what to look for in Device Manager for troubleshooting a device that is experiencing with a driver issue, resource conflict or other hardware problems. Moreover, the Device Manager shows the error code which you can also use to search on the internet to properly resolve the error.