Install, view, and manage your devices and printers

When you want to see all the devices connected to your computer, use one of them, or troubleshoot one that isn't working properly, open Devices and Printers.

To open Devices and Printers

  • Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

Picture of Devices and Printers
Devices and Printers gives you a quick view of devices connected to your computer.
To watch a video, see Picture of a Play buttonVideo: Connect devices to your computer.
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What's in Devices and Printers

Devices displayed in Devices and Printers are typically external devices you can connect to or disconnect from your computer through a port or network connection. Your computer is also displayed.

Devices listed include:

  • Portable devices you carry with you and occasionally connect to your computer, such as mobile phones, portable music players, and digital cameras.

  • All devices you plug into a USB port on your computer, including external USB hard drives, flash drives, webcams, keyboards, and mice.

  • All printers connected to your computer, which include printers connected by USB cable, the network, or wirelessly.

  • Wireless devices connected to your computer, including Bluetooth devices and Wireless USB devices.

  • Your computer.

  • Compatible network devices connected to your computer, such as network-enabled scanners, media extenders, or Network Attached Storage devices (NAS devices).

    Note

    • Devices and Printers can only display network devices that are able to connect to your computer. To check the compatibility of a network device, try adding it to your computer from Devices and Printers. If it doesn't appear in the list of devices you can connect to, check the information that came with the device or go to the manufacturer's website. For more information, see Connect to Bluetooth and other wireless or network devices.

What's not in Devices and Printers

Devices and Printers doesn't display:

  • Devices installed inside your computer case, such as internal hard drives, disc drives, sound cards, video cards (graphics cards), memory (RAM), processors, and other internal computer components.

  • Speakers connected to your computer with conventional speaker wires. (USB and wireless speakers can be displayed.)

  • Certain older devices, such as keyboards and mice connected through a PS/2 or serial port.

Note

  • To find devices that are connected to your computer but aren't listed in Devices and Printers, look in Device Manager. Device Manager lists all the hardware installed inside your computer as well as devices connected externally. Device Manager is primarily for advanced computer users and does not display icons for your devices. You must be logged on as an administrator to make any changes to device settings in Device Manager.

What you can do in Devices and Printers

Devices and Printers allows you to perform many tasks, which vary depending on the device. Here are the main tasks you can do:

  • Add a new wireless or network device or printer to your computer.

  • View all the external devices and printers connected to your computer.

  • Check to see if a specific device is working properly.

  • View information about your devices, such as make, model, and manufacturer, including detailed information about the sync capabilities of a mobile phone or other mobile device.

  • Perform tasks with a device.

    When you right-click a device icon in Devices and Printers, you can select from a list of tasks that vary depending on the capabilities of the device. For example, you might be able to see what's printing on a network printer, view files stored on a USB flash drive, or open a program from the device manufacturer. For mobile devices that support the new Device Stage feature in Windows, you can also open advanced, device-specific features in Windows from the right-click menu, such as the ability to sync with a mobile phone or change ringtones.

    To interact with a demo, see Picture of a Play buttonWindows 7 Device Stage demo.
  • Take steps to fix devices that aren't working properly.

Troubleshoot a device with a problem

  • Right-click a device or computer with the yellow warning icon Picture of the yellow warning icon, click Troubleshoot, wait while the troubleshooter tries to detect problems (this may take several minutes), and then follow the instructions.

For more information, see Troubleshooting in Windows.