Device Manager overview

Device Manager provides you with a graphical view of the hardware that is installed on your computer. You can use Device Manager to update the drivers (or software) for hardware devices, modify hardware settings, and troubleshoot problems.


Incorrectly altering your hardware configuration can damage your system. Be sure to read the appropriate instructions before making changes to your hardware configuration.

You can use Device Manager to:

Determine whether the hardware on your computer is working properly.

Change hardware configuration settings.

Identify the device drivers that are loaded for each device, and obtain information about each device driver.

Change advanced settings and properties for devices.

Install updated device drivers.

Disable, enable, and uninstall devices.

Roll back to the previous version of a driver.

Print a summary of the devices that are installed on your computer.

You will typically use Device Manager to check the status of your hardware and update device drivers on your computer. Advanced users who have a thorough understanding of computer hardware might also use Device Manager's diagnostic features to resolve device conflicts and change resource settings.


Changing resource settings improperly can disable your hardware and cause your computer to malfunction or be inoperable. Only users who have expert knowledge of computer hardware and hardware configurations should change resource settings.

Ordinarily, you will not need to use Device Manager to change resource settings because resources are allocated automatically by the system during hardware setup.

The following permissions and privileges are required in order to manage device drivers. Administrators are granted these permissions:

The Load\Unload Drivers privilege.

The permissions needed to copy files to the system32\drivers directory.

The permissions needed to write settings to the registry.

Being logged on to your computer with these privileges can make your computer's security vulnerable. For more information on why you should not use administrator privileges unless absolutely necessary, see Why you should not run your computer as an administrator

You can use Device Manager to manage devices only on a local computer On a remote computer, Device Manager will work only in read-only mode.

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