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Microsoft Device Manager
Microsoft Windows comes with a helpful little utility that most computer users should take some time getting familiar with called the Device Manager.
Let’s face it, computers don’t always cooperate. Devices stop working, programs lock up, memory runs low, and computers crash. Some of these problems are caused by too many resources running at once; others result from virus attacks; others are due to invalid registry entries, and some are because the device drivers are damaged or out of date.
What is the device manager in windows 11?
Those are just a few of the dozens of potential causes of system errors. Troubleshooting your computer is an involved process and one of the first steps is to rule out hardware issues as the cause. Once you know that all of your system hardware is fine, you can then move on to other tasks such as virus removal, system maintenance, or registry cleaning. The Device Manager helps you rule out hardware problems; it also features basic troubleshooting tools that you can use should problems be found.
To use Device Manager, go into the Control Panel and find the Device Manager icon. Depending on the current view you have set up, this icon may show up right away or you may need to click the System icon first. Once Device Manager opens, you’ll see a list of hardware categories such as computers, disk drives, display adapters, DVD/CD-ROM drives, keyboards, monitors, and so on. Each category has a small plus sign to its left. When you click the plus sign, the list expands to show the installed devices that fall under that category. For example, if you click the category called Mice and Other Pointing Devices, you’ll see all installed pointing devices such as your mouse and touchpad.
Device manager example
The list in Device Manager also has tiny icons which give you a visual indication of the installed device. A small image of a keyboard is next to the Keyboard category; a speaker icon is next to the category for sound cards. If a device is experiencing some problem, you’ll see a bright yellow triangle with an exclamation point inside. This indicates that the device is malfunctioning.
Okay, so you now know that a device is malfunctioning. In fact, you may have already known that based on the fact that it hasn’t been working properly (like no sound coming out of the sound card). Now what?
If you double-click on the device that has the yellow triangle, you’ll see a dialog box with several tabs. The General tab should show an error code inside explaining the problem. For example, it might say something like “the device driver is damaged or missing” or “the device is disabled.” Depending on the nature of the error, a button may appear that you can use to remedy or troubleshoot the error. For example, if the device has been disabled, you’ll see a button that says “Enable Device.”
How do I find a device manager?
The Driver tab is an important feature of Device Manager. Here, you’ll see options for updating and rolling back the driver. If you ever need to install or update device drivers, this is where you do it. You have several different ways to obtain driver updates. One way is to click the Update Driver button and then choose the “Search Automatically” option. Device Manager then searches for updates on the Internet and then automatically installs any update found. Another way is to manually obtain driver updates from the manufacturer and then use Device Manager’s “Browse My Computer” option. A third way is to use third-party device driver tools.
No matter which way you choose to update your drivers, it’s important to do so periodically because even if your device is currently running fine, updated drivers often address known issues and repair bugs. By keeping your devices current, you’ll prevent many potential problems. When your devices are acting up, updating or reinstalling the device drivers may solve your problems. At the very least, use Device Manager as a tool to rule out device problems when troubleshooting system errors.