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.

Open Device Manager

That will launch a Device Manager wizard.

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.

Viewing installed hardware

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.

View hidden devices in Device Manager

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.

View device properties

The properties dialog box will open that will display you the status of the device if it is properly working or not.

properties dialog box

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.

View devices that are not working properly

You can right-click the device and go to Properties to read the details about the problem.

Device Properties

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.

Update device drivers

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.

Enable or Disable devices from Device Manager

Similarly, you can enable the device by right-clicking the option to Enable this device. Enable 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.

Scan for new hardware

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. Adding 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.

How to Open and Use the Device Manager in Windows 10
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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn

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