How do I open and use the Device Manager?

Started ‎04-10-2013 by
Modified ‎02-02-2015 by
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How do I open and use the Device Manager?

Question

How do I open and use the Device Manager?

Answer

Device Manager is a useful tool for seeing information on devices built into your computer and accessories connected to your computer. Note that the Device Manager allows you to make changes to the hardware of yoru computer. Making incorrect changes could cause problems.
 
How you open Device Manager depends on the version of Windows used by your computer. Once it's open, using Device Manager is generally the same regardless of version. This article will first cover how to use Device Manager with a later section detailing how to open it.
 
 

Using Device Manager

 

Device Manager shows a list of the components of your computer called devices.

 

Devices are organized into different categories. Other troubleshooting documentation will commonly ask you to remove a device from Device Manager. The category is dependent on the type of device you're troubleshooting. Once you find the specific device, you can right-click it and select "Uninstall" to remove it. To reinstall it, restart the computer or right-click on any entry and select "Scan for hardware changes."

 

If you're troubleshooting a touchpad, expand the "Mice and other pointing devices."

 

If you're troubleshooting your keyboard, expand "Keyboards."

 

If you're troubleshooting USB, expand "Universal Serial Bus controllers."

 

If you're troubleshooting your wireless/Wi-Fi or your Ethernet, expand "Network adapters." Note that this category will usually have multiple entries. If you're looking for your wireless device specifically, find the entry that mentions wireless in the name. Any entries that have "Ethernet" in the name are definitely not the wireless device.

 

Opening Device Manager in Windows 8.1

 

Hold the Windows key and press the 'x' key to open a menu in the lower-left.

 

Select "Device Manager."

 

Opening Device Manager in Windows 8

 

Hold the Windows key and press the 'w' key to open a settings search panel on the right of the screen.

 

Type "Device Manager" in the box.

 

Select "Device Manager" from the results.

 

Opening Device Manager in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

 

Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.

 

Type "Device Manager" in the Start Menu's search box.

 

Select "Device Manager" from the results.

 

Opening Device Manager in Windows XP

 

Locate "My Computer" on the Desktop.

 

Right-click "My Computer."

 

Select "Properties."

 

In the "System Properties" window, select the "Hardware" tab.

 

Click the "Device Manager" button.

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