Find missing drivers and hidden devices in Windows, with Device Manager

Even though System Information is a tool that shows all there is to know about your system’s components (hardware and software), we don’t really like the way it displays information. Instead of using it, we prefer the much simpler tool named Device Manager. Why? Because with just a few clicks or taps, you can see and manage all the devices installed on your system, view the devices for which you did not install the appropriate drivers and also view and manage “hidden” devices. If we made you curious to learn more, read this tutorial to find out everything you need to know about using the Device Manager in Windows:

NOTE: This tutorial contains instructions that work in all the modern versions of Windows: Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

How to open the Device Manager in Windows 7

First, let’s find out how to open the Device Manager. In Windows 7, the fastest way to open the Device Manager is to search for the word “device” in the Start Menu search box. Then, click on the Device Manager search result.

A second method to launch Device Manager is to use the Control Panel. Go to “Hardware and Sound” and then click the Device Manager link from the “Devices and Printers” section.

Still, in the Control Panel, you can find another link to the Device Manager in the “System and Security” category, in the System section.

If you prefer using a more advanced interface, you can also find the Device Manager as part of the Computer Management console.

Regardless of the method you chose to follow in order to open the Device Manager in Windows 7, this is what its window should look like:

How to open the Device Manager in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, the fastest way to open the Device Manager is to search for it. Switch to the Start screen and start typing the word “device”. Then, click or tap on the Device Manager result.

A second way to open the Device Manager in Windows 8.1 is to use the power user menu. Right-click or tap and hold the Windows button from the bottom left corner of the screen and then click or tap on the Device Manager shortcut. Note that you can also press the Alt + X keys on your keyboard to quickly open the power user menu.

A third method to open the Device Manager in Windows 8.1 is to use the Control Panel.

Launch the Control Panel and go to the “Devices and Printers” section from the “Hardware and Sound” category. There, you’ll find an entry for the Device Manager.

Alternatively, you can also access the Device Manager from the Computer Management console.

No matter which path you chose to open the Device Manager , this is what its window should look like in Windows 8.1:

How to open the Device Manager in Windows 10

In Windows 10, the quickest way of opening the Device Manager is to use the search feature offered by Cortana.

Enter the words “device manager” in the search box from the taskbar and then click or tap on the Device Manager result.

In Windows 10, you can launch the Device Manager from the power user menu as well. Right-click or tap and hold on the Start button and then click or tap on the Device Manager shortcut. It’s worth noting that you can also press the Alt + X keys on your keyboard to quickly open the power user menu.

Another method of opening the Device Manager in Windows 10 is by using the new Settings app. Go to Devices and scroll to the bottom of the Printer & scanners section. There you’ll find a shortcut for the Device Manager.

If you prefer, you can also use the traditional Control Panel. Go to the “Hardware and Sound” category and then click or tap on the Device Manager shortcut from the “Devices and Printers” section.

Just like in Windows 7 and in Windows 8.1, the Device Manager can also be accessed from the more advanced Computer Management console.

Regardless of the method you choose to follow, this is what the Device Manager window should look like in your Windows 10:

Read the next page of this tutorial to find out what kinds of information you’ll find inside Device Manager and also how to find missing drivers for your hardware components or peripherals, how to view hidden devices and how to disable or enable devices.