What is Device Manager? (In General)

Device manager is a feature available on almost any of the generally used Windows operating systems today. What does it do? Its name says it all. It is used to manage hardware devices that are connected to the computer such as Keyboards, speakers, mice, USB devices and even Processors.

It provides easy access to the user to view hardware devices connected, enable or disable devices, manage USB drivers, find out conflicts between devices if there are any and so on. For a common non-technical person, it is very helpful as it notifies the user if there is any hardware failure and also where it is.

Make a note that Device Manager is a feature which is already present on your computer (if you’re using Windows). You do NOT need to need to download another application for this. Sure there are apps called “Device Manager” which is similar to this, but it is not the Device Manager originally present on Windows. Keep reading to know how to access it.

Well to conclude, Device Manager is not just a feature. It’s a central hub from which all the hardware devices can be accessed. Any hardware device installed on the computer can be configured or managed under this one roof.

A little extra about Device Manager

This was first introduced in the operating system, Windows 95 which dates back to 1995. Ever since this feature is available in all Windows computers.

However, Device Manager isn’t present on Mac computers. It is either called System Information or System Reports in Mac. But some claim that Mac does not have any such feature- Mainly because their devices usually manage themselves and need no fiddling around.

One of the sub-features that Device Manager offers fascinated me- it lets the user know about devices that are not presently connected but were installed previously.

Of course, the user should have successfully installed the device before. Also to access this info, a specific command prompt should be typed but let us not get too deep with it right away.

 How to access Device Manager?

As I said earlier, the Device Manager can be accessed in various ways. But generally, it is accessed from the control panel or the command prompt. If you’re completely new to this, let me go in details on how to access Device Manager through Control Panel.

You can simply type Device Manager present in the search box on your Windows Start button.

If that isn’t possible, then go to Control Panel- click on Hardware and Sound. Under the first heading ‘Hardware and Printers’, you will see Device Manager on the right end. This is for Windows 7 Ultimate. The names might vary here and there but it will be present.

Another small yet significant point, you need to have an admin login in order to access Device Manager.

How to use Device Manager?

Device Manager

As you can see in the picture above, this is typically how Device Manager appears once you access it.

It displays the devices in the form of categories to make it easy to locate the particular device you want to configure. For example, the category ‘Processors’ has been clicked in the picture under which there are two Processor headings.

When you double-click a heading, a small window displaying full details of it pops up as shown on the right-hand side of the picture. Here, you see the Device status as ‘The Device is working properly’. However, to check if all the devices are working, you don’t have to double click every one of them. If there is an error, it will be indicated with a small yellow exclamation mark.

About this Article…

This specific piece doesn’t really fit into place with this blog. I’d written it for a purpose but later couldn’t find a place to nest it. So I decided it could help some of you out there. 🙂



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