Plug and Play overview

It is simple to install a Plug and Play device. Just plug it in and Windows does the rest by installing any necessary drivers, updating the system, and allocating resources. Most devices manufactured since 1995 are Plug and Play.

For example, you can dock a portable computer and connect to a network without changing the configuration. Later, you can undock that same computer and use a modem to connect to the network, again without making any changes to the configuration. Windows does it for you.

With Plug and Play, you can be confident that new devices will work together properly and that your computer will restart correctly after you install or uninstall hardware.

Plug and Play also recognizes new hardware when you start your computer and loads any drivers that the hardware device needs.

When you install or uninstall a hardware device, Plug and Play works with Windows Power Options to manage the power requirements of your hardware and peripherals, shutting them down or conserving power when you are not using them. And, if you are working in another program when you install or uninstall a device, Plug and Play lets you know that it is about to change your computer configuration and warns you to save your work.

If something does go wrong, Plug and Play records the information in an event log

Plug and Play devices often have connectors that look like this:


Plug and Play device ports, located on your computer, typically look like this:


Using Plug and Play with ACPI hardware

Managing power when installing a Plug and Play device

Getting Plug and Play device driver support

Power Options overview

Managing power on a portable computer

Installing devices overview

Using Event Viewer

Using Device Manager

© 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Contact Us |Terms of Use |Trademarks |Privacy & Cookies