The Device Manager is one of the essential tools for our entire computer to function normally. Within this tool, which is part of the operating system, we can see a list of all the hardware components connected to the PC. In this way we can see all the connected components and, at a glance, know if something is missing or if any of them is malfunctioning. What’s more, for a long time and several versions of Windows, we could say that this is one of the most important elements of the operating system.
The reason for this statement is due to the enormous amount of useful information that it offers us in a single window. In addition, both novice and expert users can make intelligent use of it to solve multiple problems on their PC. These can be due to reasons related to the software itself, as well as the hardware of the PC. Be that as it may, the Device Manager can help us in all this.
This tool does not have its own icon on the desktop, nor is it something we should enter unless we have specific problems with some component of our PC. For this reason, accessing it, although it is not complicated, is not as intuitive as doing it, for example, to the Windows task manager. With this what we want to tell you is that, initially we do not have a keyboard shortcut like the one we have to open the File Explorer or the Configuration application.
Windows 10 offers us several ways to access the Device Manager so that we can see and manage all the hardware components of our PC easily. Next we are going to see several ways to do it so that we can choose the one we like the most.
Open Windows 10 Device Manager: Several ways to do it
The first of the ways to access this management tool for our computer is to do it directly from the This Windows computer icon. To do this, click on it with the right mouse button and choose the “Manage” option .
In the administration window that opens, we will select the ” Device Manager ” section and we will be able to see these options. This is one of the simple ways we have for this important element to appear on the screen.
Second, another way to open this device manager is by running its corresponding process. To do this, we will open the Windows “Run” tool (by pressing the Windows keyboard shortcut + R) and we will write in it: devmgmt.msc.
We can also open the administrator from any Windows File Explorer window . To do this, we will simply write “devmgmt.msc” in the directory bar that appears at the top and, similarly to the previous point, this panel will open.
Another way to quickly reach this administrator is to do it from the Windows 10 start button. To do this, we simply right-click on the start button and, instead of opening the menu, we can see a drop-down with many options. If we select ” Device Manager ” we can get here. In fact, in this same box of options that we find in the Start menu, we see others of extreme importance such as the Event Viewer, the Disk Manager, or the network connections.
Although there is still no panel dedicated to Device Manager in the Windows Settings menu, if we want we can also access this section from it. To do this, we simply have to open the Settings menu and type in the search bar « Device Manager «, being able to open this tool directly.
Finally, as is obvious, we can also open this tool from CMD or PowerShell. To do this, all we have to do is open these tools (not necessarily with administrator permissions. ”Once opened, in a similar way to how we have done from the administrator panel, we execute the following command:
What is Windows 10 Device Manager for?
As we can see when we open the Device Manager, within it we can see a list with all the hardware components that we have connected to the computer. Each and every one of the components is grouped into categories so that they are easy for us to enter. Starting from the base of that list and in which we find all the hardware components of the PC, we can already get an idea of the importance of this element.
For example, in “Display adapters” we will find our graphics card, in ” Network adapters ” the network card and in “keyboards” the keyboards that we have connected. Thus one by one so that we can locate the specific hardware element we are looking for, in a much more effective way.
Update drivers from Device Manager
If we right-click on any component in the list we can see the context menu. From it we will be able to update the driver for a new version (which will be searched for in Windows Update ), disable the driver to be able, for example, to locate the cause of a problem if something is malfunctioning, uninstall a driver when we do not need it or open the device properties window.
From the Properties panel we will be able to see a tab called «General». This will show us a brief summary of the device and if it is working correctly or has problems. We will also be able to see a series of properties of the controller as such, its details, the last events that this controller has registered and the access to the resources it has had.
By default, the Device Manager will automatically search for new hardware and show the new devices that we connect. However, from here we will also be able to manually search for new devices. To do this, we will simply select the «Action» menu and the option « Search for hardware changes «. This will allow us, in the most efficient and fast way, to avoid that our components are not properly updated at all times. Moreover, we could say that this is something that we should take into account at the moment in which we see that a certain component begins to fail or has a strange behavior. One of the most common causes of all this is that the driver is either damaged or out of date.
Add other hardware components to Windows
If the device does not appear, the ” Add legacy hardware ” option can help us install other components. However, this is a more advanced and complete option designed for very old components, so we will probably never use it.
Finally, if we want to access the configuration of some devices connected to the PC, what we must do is select the option « Devices and printers «. From the Windows 10 Configuration menu we can now configure the hardware of our PC. Something that we must take into account at this point is that the Device Manager works in real time. With this, what we want to tell you is that if we carry out any change in the physical hardware of the PC at that moment, it will be instantly reflected in this window that we have on the screen. For example, if we connect or disconnect a new USB memory or hard drive to the computer.
Show hidden devices
As we have commented at the beginning of these lines, the Device Manager initially shows us all the hardware that we have installed on the PC. However at the same time we have the possibility to see certain hidden components here. When we talk about hidden devices in Windows, we mean the hardware components that are installed in the software, but are not connected right now. For example , removable USB drives, among others, come into play here . But of course, it may also be the case that we need to make a change in them at this time.
That is why the Device Manager that we have talked about will allow us, if necessary, to see those hidden devices from here. Therefore, in the event that, for example, we need to update the drivers of an external disk that we use on the PC, but it is not connected now, this is how we succeed. To do this, we just have to go to the View menu, where we can now activate the option to Show hidden devices.
Thus, we will have in view on the screen, both the components connected at that moment, as well as those that we have from time to time but that are installed in the system.
Another feature of the Device Manager is the ability to disconnect devices without physically “disconnecting” them from the computer. This is useful, for example, to detect a problem that may be causing any of the components of our PC.
To deactivate a device in Windows 10, what we must do is open this device manager. Then we search the list for the device we want to disconnect. To finish we click with the right button on it and choose the option «Disable device».
Using this option, the device will remain connected to the PC, but disabled. Therefore, Windows will not be able to recognize or use it, so we can avoid any possible problems related to the device.
If we want to use it again, we simply have to reopen the context menu of the device and enable it in the same way that we have disabled it.