How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Remote Device Manager Tool

This free tool manages the devices connected to a remote computer.
It allows you to perform operations like enable, disable, update or uninstall the devices attached to the remote computer in your domain.

  • Remote Desktop Connection
  • Software Inventory Tool
  • System Inventory Tool
  • Currently Logged On User
  • Remote Task Manager Tool
  • Hard Disk Space Monitor
  • Remote Command Prompt
  • Remote Device Manager
  • Local User / Group List
  • Shutdown / Restart Tool
  • Network Share Browser
  • GPO Update Tool
  • Wake On LAN Tool
  • Laptop Battery Power Monitor
  • Join / Unjoin Computer Tool

    News & Reviews

    How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

“I really liked the Remote Device Manager application as it provides access much easier than opening up the Microsoft applet and remoting to a machine from there. This will give me a quick way to stay on top of our expensive graphics cards (who has which one) that impacts the applications the users access daily.”Perry White

This can also be used to manage keyboards, monitors, mice, battery, processor, USB controller, disk drivers, imaging devices, storage volume, display adapter, network adapter etc.,

  1. To know about setting up the tool click here.
  2. Select the Domain name available in the left pane.
  3. Select the Computer from which connected devices data should be retrieved.
  4. Click Remote Device Manager to retrieve the device details from the remote computer.
  5. On the search box, search for the devices you want to manage.
  6. Right click on the device to manage it. You can choose to enable, disable,update or uninstall the device connected to the remote computer.
  7. Click Refresh to get the latest programs and processes from that computer.
  8. The report for the remote computer can be generated by clicking on CSV option.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

With Remote Access Plus’s File Manager, send and receive files / folders right away!

You can use the following guidelines to either verify that your device is installed correctly or diagnose problems with your device installation:

Follow the steps that are described in Using Device Manager to view system information about the device.

Follow the steps that are described in SetupAPI Logging (Windows Vista and Later) or SetupAPI Logging (Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000) to identify installation errors. See below for more information on common installation errors.

On Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, follow the steps that are described in Debugging Device Installations (Windows Vista and Later) to debug co-installers during the core stages of device installation.

On Windows Vista and later versions of Windows, follow the steps that are described in Troubleshooting Install and Load Problems with Test-signed Drivers to diagnose problems related to the installation and loading of test-signed drivers.

Run test programs to exercise the device. This includes the testing and debugging tools that are supplied with the Windows Driver Kit (WDK).

Common device installation errors:

The device installation took too long and was stopped. See the SetupApi logs for more information about the device installation and where the time was spent. Some common causes of timeouts are:

  • A co-installer executing for too long. This could be because the co-installer is performing some unsupported operation that has hung or is too long running. For example, a co-installer is executed in a non-interactive session, so it cannot do something that needs to wait on user input. Co-installers are deprecated and should be avoided. See universal INFs for more information.
  • Starting a device at the end of device installation has hung.

The driver package being installed on the device did not specify an associated service for the device. Please see the SPSVCINST_ASSOCSERVICE flag in the INF AddService Directive documentation for more information.

The installation of the device was blocked due to group policy settings. For more information, see controlling device installation using Group Policy and Mobile Device Management policies for device installation.

At the end of device installation, one or more devices will be restarted to pick up new files or settings changed during the device installation. As part of this restart operation, a query remove operation is performed on the device or devices being restarted. This error indicates that something hung or took too long during the query remove operation for the device being installed. See the SetupApi logs for more information.

At the end of device installation, one or more devices will be restarted to pick up new files or settings changed during the device installation. As part of this restart operation, a query remove operation is performed on the device or devices being restarted. This error indicates that something hung or took too long during the query remove operation for one of the device or devices being restarted. See the SetupApi logs for more information.

At the end of device installation, one or more devices will be restarted to pick up new files or settings changed during the device installation. As part of this restart operation, a query remove operation is performed on the device or devices being restarted. This error indicates that that query remove operation was not able to be performed in a timely manner due to a query remove operation being performed on another device on the system. See the SetupApi logs for more information.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Although one might think of a computer as being a single piece of hardware, this isn’t quite accurate. A standalone laptop, for example, comes packed with a screen, touchpad, keyboard, camera, and more- each of which might be considered a device in and of itself. This is to say nothing of the many potential peripherals that people can add on via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and USB, including computer mice, headphones, external monitors, and much more. This means that even a standalone laptop has quite a few “devices” to manage.

This is where Windows Device Manager comes in; it is a very powerful tool, and if you know when to use it, you can save yourself headaches in a number of circumstances, no matter how many peripherals are at play. As long as you have admin-level credentials for a given device, you can use Windows Device Manager in Windows 10 to troubleshoot device issues, modify device functionality, improve privacy, and more.

You can use Windows Device Manager in Windows 10 to troubleshoot device issues, modify device functionality, improve privacy, and more.

Let’s take a look at ways that you can capitalize on Windows Device Manager. (As a disclaimer, please make sure that you know what you intend to do in Windows Device Manager before accessing it. Windows Device Manager is useful precisely because its components get to the very core of how your computer functions, but this means that mistakes can have major consequences.)

Keep your devices updated

One of the most well-known features of Windows Device Manager is the ability to update device drivers. Microsoft defines a driver as “any software component that observes or participates in the communication between the operating system and a device.” Practically speaking, a driver sends messages between devices and operating systems; having an outdated driver can therefore hinder the functionality of any component of your computer.

Opening up Windows Device Manager reveals a long list of devices. For any of these devices, you can right-click to see what drivers are installed, and check for any available driver updates online; this can be helpful if any computer components are showing erratic behavior. If Windows detects issues with any devices, it will display caution marks next to those devices, letting you find problems with just a quick glance. If a quick search does not show any new available drivers, you can search on device manufacturer websites for newer drivers.

Modern devices usually feature “plug and play” functionality- which is to say, connecting them to your computer automatically installs a driver and requires minimal intervention on behalf of the user. If you have a much older device you need to connect, you can instead use Windows Device Manager’s “Add Hardware Wizard” feature to manually install necessary drivers.

Gain the Upper Hand in Securing Device Privacy

Especially given the public’s increasing vigilance regarding online security, the thought of having a microphone or camera that can always observe someone is disturbing. Like any hardware component, a computer’s built-in microphones and cameras rely on drivers to function, and this means they can therefore be managed using Windows Device Manager.

Windows Device Manager can deactivate any given device, provided it is not essential to the core functionality of your computer. This effectively removes your operating system’s ability to interface with cameras and microphones, meaning that no can intrude on your privacy. What makes this useful is that it is easily reversible- simply right-clicking on the device and choosing to re-enable it will bring it back online.

If you are interested in determining the history of what devices have been connected to your computer in the past, Windows Device Manager also enables you to do this. By selecting “Show Hidden Devices” in the “View” menu, you can see devices that were once, but are no longer, attached to the computer (such as USB drives).

Access from Anywhere

Another benefit of knowing how to use Windows Device Manager is that you can access it in all sorts of ways, even if one or several parts of the computer are malfunctioning. Whether you only have access to a keyboard, or a mouse, or Cortana voice dictation, you will still be able to open up and utilize Windows Device Manager. If you have device issues that require you to reboot a device in Safe Mode, you can even access it there.

Taking Device Management to the Next Level

For an individual user with admin-level credentials, Windows Device Manager is enormously useful. However, for a business, IT admins need to manage anywhere from dozens to thousands of devices, and because the consequences of misusing Device Manager can be disastrous, IT admins need to orchestrate how and when employees use it. This also assumes that Windows Device Manager can be found on every device, which is far from accurate in workplaces filled with iPhones, Macbooks, Android tablets, and other non-Windows devices.

Unified endpoint management technology, like SureMDM by 42Gears, lets you manage devices whether or not they run Windows. UEM technology does for a business what Windows Device Manager does for an individual device; you can quickly assess and rectify any device health issues, or shut devices down if they pose urgent security threats to an organization.

Windows 10 management made easy!

Explore an intuitive Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution for devices running Windows 10.

The Windows Device Manager via Windows 7 operating system.

Device Manager provides you with a graphical view of the hardware that is installed on your computer. All devices communicate with Windows through a piece of software called a device driver. You can use Device Manager to install and update the drivers for your hardware devices, modify hardware settings for those devices, and troubleshoot problems.

1. You can use Device Manager to: Determine whether the hardware on your computer is working properly.

2. Change hardware configuration settings.

3. Identify the device drivers that are loaded for each device, and obtain information about each device driver.

4. Change advanced settings and properties for devices.

5. Install updated device drivers.

6, Enable, disable, and uninstall devices.

7. Roll back to the previous version of a driver. View the devices based on their type, by their connection to the computer, or by the resources they use.

8. View the devices based on their type, by their connection to the computer, or by the resources they use

9. Show or hide hidden devices that are not critical to view, but might be necessary for advanced troubleshooting.

You will typically use Device Manager to check the status of your hardware and update device drivers on your computer. Advanced users who have a thorough understanding of computer hardware might also use Device Manager’s diagnostic features to resolve device conflicts and change resource settings.

Ordinarily, you will not need to use Device Manager to change resource settings because resources are allocated automatically by the system during hardware setup.

You can use Device Manager to manage devices only on a local computer. On a remote computer, Device Manager will work only in read-only mode, allowing you to view, but not change the hardware configuration of that computer.

  • Left click the Start Orb / button.
  • Left click Run on the Start menu (or press the Windows Start key + R at the same time. The run window will appear
  • In the open box type COMMAND and press enter or left click OK. The command prompt interpreter window appears.
  • At a command prompt, type following command:

One of the following occurs:

This procedure works only on Windows Vista. On Windows Server 2008, these steps start the Server Manager program. To start Computer Manager on Windows Server 2008, use the steps in the next procedure by using the command prompt.
  1. Left click Start, then right-click Computer, and then click Manage.One of the following occurs:
    • If you are logged on as the built-in Administrator account, Computer Management opens.
    • If you are logged on as a user that is a member of the Administrators group, then the User Account Control dialog box appears, and you must click Continue to open Computer Management.
    • If you are logged on as a standard user, Computer Management opens.
  2. Click Device Manager in the navigation pane.One of the following occurs:
    • If you are an administrator, Device Manager appears in the details pane.
    • If you are a standard user, a message appears indicating that you cannot make any changes to the devices. Click OK to open Device Manager in read-only mode in the details pane.

Congratulations! You now have a basic understanding of what the Windows Device Manager is and how to use it to modify hardware components installed in a PC.

Find all your hardware devices in one place

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Tim Fisher has 30+ years’ professional technology experience. He focuses on support and Microsoft topics but is an expert in all areas of tech. He’s also the GM & VP of Lifewire.

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Device Manager is an extension of the Microsoft Management Console that provides a central and organized view of all the Microsoft Windows recognized hardware installed in a computer.

Device Manager is used to manage the hardware devices installed in a computer like hard disk drives, keyboards, sound cards, USB devices, and more.

You can use Device Manager to change hardware configuration options, manage drivers, disable and enable hardware, identify conflicts between hardware devices, and much more.

Think of Device Manager as the primary list of hardware that Windows understands. All the hardware on your computer can be configured from this centralized utility.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Device Manager Availability

Device Manager is available in nearly every Microsoft Windows version including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows 95, and more.

Even though Device Manager is available in almost every Windows operating system version, some small differences do exist from one Windows version to the next.

How to Access Device Manager

Device Manager can be accessed in several different ways in all versions of Windows, most commonly from the Control Panel, the Command Prompt, or Computer Management. However, a few of the newer operating systems support some unique ways for opening Device Manager.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Device Manager can also be opened through the command-line or Run dialog box with a special command.

Just to be clear, Device Manager is included in Windows—there’s no need to download and install anything extra. There are a number of downloadable programs called Device Manager that do this or that, but they are not the Device Manager in Windows that we’re talking about here.

How to Use Device Manager

Like what’s shown in the example image above, Device Manager lists devices in separate categories so that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for. You can expand each section to see which devices are listed inside. Once you find the right hardware device, double-click it to see more information like its current status, driver details, or in some cases its power management options.

Some of these categories include Audio inputs and outputs, Disk drives, Display adapters, DVD/CD-ROM drives, Network adapters, Printers, and Sound, video and game controllers.

If you were having troubles with your network card, let’s say, you might open the Network adapters area and see if there are any unusual icons or colors associated with the device in question. You can double-click it if you want more information about it or to perform one of the tasks listed below.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Each device listing in Device Manager contains a detailed driver, system resource, and other configuration information and settings. When you change a setting for a piece of hardware, it changes the way Windows works with that hardware.

More Information on Device Manager

Different things happen in Device Manager to indicate an error or the state of a device that isn’t “normal.” In other words, if a device isn’t in complete working order, you can tell by looking closely at the list of devices.

It’s good to know what to look for in Device Manager because it’s where you go to troubleshoot a device that isn’t working properly. You can go to Device Manager to update a driver, disable a device, etc.

Something you may see in Device Manager is a yellow exclamation point. This is given to a device when Windows finds a problem with it. The issue may be extreme or as simple as a device driver problem.

If a device is disabled, whether by your own doing or because of a deeper problem, you’ll see a black arrow by the device in Device Manager. Older versions of Windows (XP and prior) give a red x for the same reason.

To further convey what the problem is, Device Manager gives error codes when a device is having a system resource conflict, driver problem, or another hardware issue. These are simply called Device Manager error codes or hardware error codes.

Type cmd in the Windows search bar to open the Command Prompt, then enter devmgmt.msc.

Look for your camera under Cameras or Sound, video, and game controllers. If you still can’t find the webcam, go to Action > Scan for hardware changes and wait for Device Manager to scan and reinstall updated drivers. Restart your computer and look for your camera again.

Go to View > Devices by Connection to see what’s connected to each USB port. If you’re still uncertain, right-click a USB root hub and go to Properties > General to see what’s connected to it.

The Device Manager in my Windows 10 PC does not show Bluetooth, Bluetooth Radios, or Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI). As a result, my PC cannot detect any of my 3 Bluetooth dongles. Where and how do we get Bluetooth in the Device Manager?

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Thank you for bringing this concern to us, my name is Anthony I am an Independent Advisor and a fellow Windows 10 OS user like you.

I understand that there where concerns on Bluetooth not showing on device manager anymore on your computer.

Please let us work together to find the a solution for this issue.

Let us use these troubleshooting steps provided on the link bellow

How to Fix Blue­tooth Miss­ing from Device Man­ag­er in Win­dows 10

Please let me know on how I can provide further assistance JayPadriga, I would do my best to help.

Thank you again for posting this concern , I am glad we where able to work together with this issue.

Please continue to be safe and have a good day.

Anthony De Jesus
Independent Advisor
Just a few reminder before we access the site: This is a non-Microsoft website. The page appears to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the site that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the site before you decide to download and install it.

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Thanks for your reply. You see, it has already been a week since I started searching and trying out things to get a fix to my issue, and I’ve been to about a dozen other sites that suggested possible fixes.

Going over the items in the link you shared;

1. Update OS and Reboot – I did this a few days ago; in fact, my Settings now show, “You’re up to date. Last checked: Yesterday, 7:16 AM.

2. Show Hidden Devices – I just did this. Nothing Bluetooth-related shows up.

3. Troubleshooter – The troubleshooting didn’t offer any fix. It just showed a message prompt with a small yellow triangle with an exclamation mark on it.

4. Update Drivers – I did this, and the prompt message reads, “The best drivers for your device are already installed.”

5. SFC and DISM Scan – A Windows tech support rep did this (by remote/screen share yesterday) with me closely observing. The rep was unable to find out any issue.

6. Restart Bluetooth Support Service – I already did this. The startup type has been set to “Automatic,” and the Bluetooth service status can be seen as “Running.”

7. Use a USB Bluetooth Adapter – I have three different ones, and 2 of them are new, having been purchased last week from 2 various vendors. None of them works as my PC cannot detect Bluetooth.

8. Reset – I did this from the start, a week ago.

I’m not a technical guy, but the reason for my question here was I thought that “Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI)” is a driver that we can download and, if installed, Bluetooth will already appear in the Device Manager.

The Device Manager in Windows allows you to update or get driver information about the hardware connected to your computer. We will show you how to open the Device Manager, use it, and learn about drivers.

Knowing more about what a driver is and how it works seems like a complementary bit of knowledge to understand what the Device Manager is actually doing.

If you want to know about drivers in a more in-depth manner, I suggest that you go and read further on Wikipedia.

What is the Windows Device Manager?

It is a small application known as an applet that is found in the Control Panel. It contains a list of all the drivers for all the devices connected to the computer.

You can remove, install and update drivers for each hardware component that has been detected and connected to your computer.

Steps to open the Device Manager

  1. Open the Start Menu (Press the Windows Key on the keyboard).
  2. Type ‘device manager’.
  3. Left-click your mouse pointer on ‘Device Manager’ inside the menu.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

Alternative method

This is my personal favorite way:

  1. Right-click the ‘This PC’ icon on the desktop and left click properties.
  2. Left-click on ‘Device Manager’ to open it.

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

If this shortcut isn’t there on your desktop, you can add it using your theme settings.

If you still aren’t able to get the shortcut on your desktop, press and hold the Windows key () on your keyboard and tap the ‘Pause’ key and release the Windows key.

This will open the System Properties window and then you will be able to left-click on ‘Device Manager’.

Windows Device Manager

How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

You can open the category of the driver by clicking on the arrow on the left of the group name.

It will open a list of all the drivers under that group. Each driver will be assigned to a specific piece of hardware connected to your computer.

The file menu on the top, for most of us, is rarely used. The most likely thing to use would be the ‘View’ menu to view the driver list to your personal preference.

I have never found this to be necessary and have always left it as is.

What is a device driver?

Every device connected to your computer needs a bit of software to tell Windows how to make use of it correctly.

We call this piece of software a driver. It contains information about the hardware, sort of like a datasheet for windows to understand the hardware component’s commands and how to send it data.

This way, the operating system, or installed software can use the hardware in a specific manner.

To give you an example, when you plug your USB flash drive into a USB port on your computer, it gets detected, and a relevant driver is loaded for the drive’s communication controller.

This communication controller is simply a small IC that allows connection to the computer, and it’s able to control all the functions of the drive. Now, the operating system can use generic commands from the user and translate them for the drive to understand.

Now the ability to see, write and read to the drive is known, and these features become available to programs like Windows File Explorer, for example. The operating system will also know other information like the manufacturer, model, and maximum capacity, to name some examples.

How to see if a driver is missing

You can spot a missing driver by looking to see if there are any yellow circled exclamation marks next to a driver.

In this case, you want to try and update it first, then if that doesn’t work, identify the hardware for new drivers to be downloaded and installed.

How to update a driver

If you wish to look for an update for a particular driver, simply right-click on the driver in question and left-click on ‘Update driver’.

Windows will search to try and match the most compatible drive it can find and install it automatically.

You also have the choice to do a manual update, where you select a specific driver file for the hardware component.

How to identify the device without a driver

If you right-click on a driver, you wish to find a driver for and left-click on ‘Properties’. You can click on the ‘Details’ tab to find out more about the hardware component.

Left-click on the combo box under ‘Property’ and left-click on ‘Hardware Ids’. Some values will be listed in the ‘Value’ box just under it.

Take note of the DEV number and copy it (right-click & copy) to do the following search in Google:

Type ‘driver’ (without quotes) and then add a space and paste the hardware DEV number. Complete the Google search.

You will notice that your DEV number will appear in some of the results. Click on the results, starting with the top one. Continue to do this until you come across some information about the type of device associated with that DEV number.

Once you have identified what it is, do another search for the hardware description you found. You can first try the manufacturer’s website to find a driver. If you don’t have any luck, continue onto other websites to find a driver.

Be careful of websites that look spammy. They want you to install other programs to maintain your drivers or keep them updated, etc. Stay away. They aren’t going to be of any help.

Scan for new hardware

After installing new drivers or wish Windows to refresh your current drivers’ list, press the icon on the icon bar just under the main menu.

The icon will look like a screen with a magnifying glass over it.


The Device Manager allows you to improve communication between the operating system and your computer’s hardware.

So you are able to make use of every hardware component as you are meant to.

If you are unable to get the drivers necessary for your hardware, it’s time to upgrade the component.

Unfortunately, this is the nature of computing and it requires spending some money to get it right.

I hope you never have to run into such an issue. Good luck getting your drivers working and up to date.

In Windows, the Device Manager keeps a listing of all the hardware devices on your computer. It is the best tool to use for troubleshooting hardware problems.

  • Accessing the Device Manager
  • Printing a list of all installed hardware (Windows XP)
  • Checking the status of hardware
  • Removing a device

Accessing the Device Manager

Windows 7 and Vista

  1. From the Start menu, select Computer .
  2. Near the top of the resulting window, click System properties .
  3. On the left, click Device Manager .

Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, select My Computer . Alternatively, double-click My Computer on the desktop.
  2. Under “System Tasks”, click View system information .
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager .

Printing a list of all installed hardware (Windows XP)

Note: You may need to have a hardware category or item selected before the print option becomes available.

To print a list of installed hardware from the Device Manager, in Windows XP , with a device or category selected, under the Action menu, select Print .

Next to “Report Type”, select All devices and system summary . The printout will contain all the IRQ (interrupt request) settings, the system resource reports, a list of all devices and their drivers, and each driver’s location on the computer. (If you plan to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows, it is a good idea to print this first, especially if you have off-brand hardware.)

Checking the status of hardware

To use the Device Manager to check the status of hardware:

  1. Select the type of device from the list of devices.
  2. Select your installed device. If the device is not working properly, a yellow circle with an exclamation point will appear over it. Proceed with these instructions to find out which device(s) are conflicting with the selected device.
  3. Double-click the selected device. The General tab in the resulting Device Properties window will note whether the device is working properly. This window also allows you to enable or disable the selected device from all hardware profiles.
  4. Click the Resources tab to determine if there are any conflicts with the device. If the device was flagged with a yellow circle with an exclamation point, check the “Conflicting device list:” box to determine which devices are in conflict with the selected device.

The Resources tab tells which IRQ the installed device is using. Another device using the same IRQ can create a conflict, which may be why the device is not working. In this case, you can either reinstall it with a different IRQ, or change its IRQ. Only advanced users should attempt to change IRQ settings. If the device is Plug and Play (PnP), it should not be affected by changing the IRQ. If the device is not PnP, changing the IRQ may cause it to stop working. Use the instructions above for checking all IRQs in use on your computer, and find an IRQ that is not in use. To change the IRQ, select the Resources tab and uncheck Use Automatic Settings . In the “Resource settings:” box, double-click Interrupt Request to bring up a new window with the option to change the selected IRQ.

Note: If the selected device is a modem or a mouse, the Resources tab will not appear. To check the resources of a modem or mouse, select the Ports option in the list of devices in the Device Manager. Select the port where the modem or mouse is installed, and then click Properties . This will bring up a Port Properties window with a Resources tab, where you can check the resources for the modem or mouse.

  • To update a driver for the selected device, select the Driver tab and click Update Driver. . Follow the steps to update the driver for the selected device.
  • Removing a device

    Only advanced users should attempt to remove a device from the Device Manager. Doing so may require that you log in with administrative rights.

    Removing a device causes Windows to lose all recognition of it, and the device will stop working properly. Windows should automatically recognize a new device when it restarts, but this does not always happen. If Windows does not recognize the device, you will need to use the Add New Hardware icon in the Control Panel for Windows to properly recognize the hardware. Before removing the device, be sure you have all the necessary drivers required for the device; this will help if you need to reinstall it.

    • Windows 7 and Vista: In the Device Manager, highlight the device, and then click the Uninstall button at the top of the window (a computer with a red X). Alternatively, right-click the device and choose Uninstall .
    • XP: In the Device Manager, highlight the device, and then click the Remove button at the bottom of the window, or the Remove icon at the top of the window (a computer with a red X).

    This is document agln in the Knowledge Base.
    Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:11:12 .

    Troubleshooting computer issues can be very difficult especially when you don’t know where to look for things like error logs and configuration problems. There will be times when your computer has an issue and you won’t necessarily know if its software or hardware related. If you think its hardware related and want to check out your installed software then you can go to the Windows Device Manager console and check the status of your installed hardware.

    Device Manager is part a of the Windows operating system that allows you to check what hardware you have installed on you system as well as the status of that hardware. It also lets you perform tasks such as remove hardware devices and update drivers.

    If you are having a problem with a device such as a network card not working for example you should check Device Manager first. It may help to give you an idea as to why it’s not working. If you don’t see it in the list of hardware then that means Windows does not recognize it. You may also have a problem with a driver or conflict with another device. If that’s the case you may see a yellow question mark or exclamation point next to the device.

    To get to Device Manager, right click My Computer and select Properties. From there you will click on the Hardware tab if you are running Windows XP and then the Device Manager button. For Windows 7 and Vista right click on Computer and choose properties. From there you will have a Device Manager link on the left. For Windows 10 its best just to click on Start and type in device manager to have it search for you and then you cn choose it from the list of results.

    How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

    Here you can see the hardware installed on this computer. Notice that Network Adapters section is expanded to show the model of network adapter in this system. If there was a problem with the device it most likely would have the yellow question mark or exclamation point on the icon.

    From here you have options such as troubleshooting the device, reinstalling the driver, rolling back the driver to a previous version and removing the device. You can also check resource settings such as what IRQ and memory address is being used. There will be other configuration options available depending on the device. Just double click the device to get to its properties.

    You can also click on View and then choose options to show hidden devices or show resources by type.

    How to use the windows device manager for troubleshooting

    Device Manager will not solve all your problems but it’s a great place to start to see if Windows is even seeing your hardware to begin with. If you can’t get it to show up here you may want to take another look at the hardware itself.