It is helpful to think of Windows Device Manager as a real office manager. Just as a manager is for the most part not directly involved in a specific product development, but is responsible for the administration of the staff, the device manager plays a similar role.

This quick start guide will walk you through everything you need to get started with Device Manager. First, let's start with a brief introduction.

What is Windows Device Manager?

Device Manager is a free troubleshooting applet developed by Microsoft. It was first introduced in Windows 95 and provides a complete overview of all of the hardware installed on a Windows computer. In addition to a view function, you can also use the device manager to manage and control the functionality of the various hardware connected to your PC.

The hardware you can use to manage includes everything from a graphics card to audio and cameras to hard drives, USB drives and more.

Here is a list of the most useful tasks you can do with Device Manager:

  • Update the drivers

  • Reinstall your drivers

  • Temporarily disable them

  • Check for hardware changes

  • View driver properties and much more.

Think of Device Manager as a place where you can get a bird's eye view of all of the hardware connected to your computer. You will need to access it most of the time when you have problems with your computer's hardware.

Related: Best Free Windows 10 Troubleshooting Tools

How to open Windows Device Manager

There are two different ways you can open Device Manager on Windows. You can follow any approach that you are most comfortable with.

Open Device Manager using keyboard shortcuts

Follow the steps below to open Device Manager using a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Press Windows Key + X. to open Main user Menu.

  2. From there, find and click Device manager Possibility.

Another way to open the Device Manager is to do a simple search in the search bar of the Windows Start menu. To do this, enter the following devmgmt.msc In the Start menu search bar, click on the best result, i. H. Device manager.

From here, you can check for problems in Device Manager or check the status of the drivers to see if everything is working fine.

Using Windows Device Manager

As explained above, the Windows Device Manager lists all hardware and drives installed or connected on your PC. By previewing the list that appears, you can easily find what you are looking for.

You can use Help to view any driver problems related to your Windows computer. For example, if you have problems with your system hardware, such as: For example, a missing driver, an accidentally disabled driver, a lack of CPU resources, etc., you can try to fix them yourself using the Device Manager.

As you can see in the picture below, all drivers are neatly categorized by type. This makes it easier to navigate the app and helps you solve driver problems effectively. For example, if you have a problem with one of your audio drivers, you can simply expand that Audio inputs and outputs and check the specific driver that is giving you problems.

Note that you can also use the to change the display or arrangement of the devices view Tab. Click on view and instead choose the arrangement of drivers you would prefer.

Another interesting fact is that some drivers are hidden by default. To check them, click view and choose the Show hidden devices Possibility.

Related: How Do I Fix Unknown USB Device Error in Windows 10?

How to update a driver using Device Manager

Device Manager is also useful when you need to update an outdated driver, especially when Windows Update has stopped working.

First, open Windows Device Manager, then do the following:

  1. Click the hardware category that you want to update. (Let's say you want to update one of yours System devices Driver, then click System device and select a specific driver.)

  2. Right click on the driver and select Update driver.
  3. Now choose Automatically search for drivers and let the process complete.

Device Manager will then look for the latest driver update on your PC and install it. However, if it turns out that you already have the most current version of the driver, you will see this message instead. In our case, the device was already running the latest version, as you can see below.

However, if you are sure that the driver is not up to date, you can download it directly from the manufacturer's website and use Device Manager to install it.

If you want to go this route, skip to the penultimate section of this manual and explain how to deal with a damaged driver.

Check the status of the installed hardware

Checking Device Manager is not a bad idea if your computer hardware is acting crazy or uncharacteristic.

After opening Device Manager, expand the type of device you want to check out. From there, Right click on a specific driver and open the properties Section.

Then from the General In the dialog box, click the tab Device status Field to confirm its status. If the device status is "working correctly", the hardware is not having a problem due to a driver error and you can investigate other causes.

However, if there is a problem with the component, it will display a description or error code associated with the problem. However, the description or error code by itself does not give you any information on how to repair the driver yourself. To do this, go to the next section.

How to deal with a damaged driver using Device Manager

Just as there is no single way to deal with the complex affairs of life, Windows 10 also has various methods to repair your corrupted device drivers. One such method is through Device Manager.

If a device driver becomes damaged, you can use Windows Device Manager to uninstall the faulty device and then reinstall a clean version.

  1. Open that Device manager, Right click on corrupted drivers and select Uninstall device.

  2. Now restart your PC.

After the restart, Windows automatically detects your system configuration and searches for and removes the removed drivers. However, if the reinstallation does not happen, you will need to do it manually through Device Manager.

Manually download the driver online from your hardware manufacturer. If you get a zip file, extract it and do the following:

  1. Open that Device manager, Right click on the specific driver.

  2. Now click on Update drivers> Browse my computer for drivers.

Select the driver file that you downloaded from the manufacturer's website and click Next. The latest driver will be installed on your PC shortly. Restart your PC once for the changes to take effect.

With the Windows Device Manager you can manage your Windows hardware in the park. Over the years, Microsoft has introduced a number of such tools to help improve the performance of the Windows 10 operating system, which we hope will continue to do so in the future.

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About the author

Shaant Minhas
(25 articles published)

Shaant is a staff writer at MUO. A graduate in computer applications, his passion for writing explains complex things in plain English. When he's not researching or writing, he's enjoying a good book, running, or hanging out with friends.

From Shaant Minhas

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