Using the Device Manager

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 19, 2015)

The Windows Device Manager lets you graphically view and manage devices on your local computer. Its capabilities include:

  • Verify that your hardware is working properly
  • Change hardware configuration settings
  • Obtain device driver information
  • Change settings for devices
  • Install updated device drivers
  • Enable, disable, and uninstall devices

How you invoke the Device Manager depends on the version of Windows you are using. If you are using Windows 7, click the Start button, right-click Computer, and select Properties. If you are using Windows 8, display the Charms (press Win+C), click Settings, and click PC Info.

Regardless of the version of Windows you are using, a Control Panel screen appears that displays some information about your system. At the left side of the screen click Device Manager. Windows displays the Device Manager dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Windows Device Manager

The Device Manager uses a hierarchical display, meaning that you can expand or collapse different groups of items displayed in the window. For instance, if you wanted to see what disk drives were installed in your system, you would click the small triangle just to the left of the Disk Drives entry. Clicking the triangle again would collapse the category.

With the actual devices in your system on display, you can do things like update driver software, uninstall the device, look at the device's properties, etc. Just right-click on the device you're interested in and choose the appropriate option from the Context menu. When you are finished, close the Device Manager dialog box.

 This tip (12628) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Using File History

Backing up your data is an important part of computer management. Enabling File History is a painless way to be able to ...

Discover More

Changing File Explorer's Default Startup Location

The File Explorer can start in either of two locations. This tip tells you how to set its default startup location to one of ...

Discover More

Checking for Faulty RAM

Although it's rare for RAM to go bad, it does happen. This tip tells you how to check for faulty RAM by using the Windows ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Determining if You Have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows

There are occasions when you may want to know whether you're running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. This tip shows ...

Discover More

Ending a Process Using the Task Manager

One of the many functions of the Windows Task Manager is to allow you to control processes running on your system. If you ...

Discover More

Clearing Your Jump Lists

Ever since their introduction in Windows 7, I've found Jump lists to be great timesavers. Some people have privacy concerns ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.