How To Open Device Manager in Windows 10, 7 & 8

As common as it is for most of us to browse, work on custom applications, and create presentations and documents, not all of us might be familiar on how to handle a technical glitch in your Windows system, especially those related to your mouse or flash drive not being recognized.

A desktop support technician will open what looks to you like a complicated screen with too much information to digest. The truth is that those screens are not a big deal. The techie expert had just opened the Device Manager to see how things are going on the hardware devices on your computer.

You can take a peek at the Device Manager too so that when you run into technical issues you will know at least where the problem lies before dialing up an expert. This article takes you through the details of opening the "Device Manager" in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Table of Contents

What is the Device Manager?

The Device Manager is a built-in program which catalogs all of the hardware devices associated with your Windows computer or laptop. Usually, you can access it from within the Windows Control Panel. Examples of hardware devices include attached USB drives, your keyboard and mouse, game controllers, network adapters, printers and more.

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The device manager holds hardware related information like:

  1. Device type and manufacturer

  2. Device status

  3. Device details

  4. Related Driver information and settings

  5. Device events

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Why You Should Care About the Device Manager

The device manager not only lists all hardware but can help you control and manage all the hardware devices that are detected in your system. By control, we mean that you can:

  1. Easily configure a hardware device

  2. Enable or Disable a device

  3. Check if your hardware is working as intended as seen in the Device status box

  4. Find information on when your hardware was configured or updated

  5. Troubleshoot issues on your hardware devices

How to Open Device Manager in Windows 10

The Device Manager can be accessed through the Start button as well as the control panel in Windows 10.

Option 1 - Using the Start Button

Right click on the Microsoft logo that you see on the left corner at the bottom and choose "Device Manager".

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Option 2 - Using the Control Panel

  1. Type in "Control Panel" in the Search bar that you see at the bottom of your screen and select Control Panel.

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  3. Adjust how you view the icons by size and you’ll be able to see the "Device Manager" in the screen that appears.

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How to Open Device Manager in Windows 8

In Windows 8, you can also open Device Manager using the Start Button and the Control Panel.

Option 1 - Using the Start Button

  1. Hover to the left extreme at the bottom of your screen. You should be able to see a miniature version of your start screen there.

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  3. Right-click on the minimized start screen and choose Device Manager.

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Option 2 - Using the Control Panel

  1. Click on the Windows logo on your keyboard, and start typing "Device" in the search bar.

  2. Select "Settings" and you choose Device Manager in the list that appears.

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Option 3 - Using the Windows button on your Keyboard and the Control Panel

  1. Press the Windows logo on your keyboard and type "Control Panel" in the search bar.

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  3. Select "Control Panel" and in the screen that appears next, pick "Device Manager".

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    How to Open Device Manager in Windows 7

    Similar to the other versions, Device manager can be accessed through search and control panel in Windows 7 too.

    Option 1 - Using the Start Button

    Click on the Start button (Windows logo) at the bottom of the screen and search for device manager.

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    Option 2 - Using the Control Panel

    1. Click on Start and go to Control Panel from the "Getting Started List".

    2. View the Icons by large and select the Device Manager from the list on the screen.

    Option 3 - Using the Start Button (method 2)

    1. Click on the Start button and right click to go to Computer Properties.

    2. Select Device Manager then on the left pane.

    Quick Tip

    A common way to open Device Manager in all three versions is through the run console.

    1. Press Windows logo + R together. Now the Run console opens.

    2. Type in "devmgmt.msc" and press the Enter key. Device Manager opens directly.

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    The next time you face a hardware device related issue on your computer, now you know where to go to troubleshoot it. You can explore and get your hands dirty with the device manager.

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