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Windows 7: Device Manager : Hidden Devices

Device Manager : Hidden Devices

How to View Hidden Devices in Windows 7
Published by Bare Foot Kid
11 Apr 2010
Published by

How to Show and Access Hidden and Ghost Devices and Drivers in Device Manager

This will show you the devices and drivers from programs you no longer use, it will free up some disk space, not to mention help resolve potential conflicts between drivers that are no longer needed.

warning   Warning
You do not want delete any Generic Volume Shadow Copy Drivers or Non-Plug and Play Devices before you make sure of their functions as you could disable the PC entirely or at the least some programs / apps will fail to function.

Let's get started!

1) In the Windows 7 start menu right click computer and select properties, in the "System" window that opens in the upper left pane select Advanced System Settings.

Device Manager : Hidden Devices-properties.jpg

Device Manager : Hidden Devices-devices2.jpg
2) In the system properties window that opens under the advanced tab select the Environment Variables button, in the Environment Variables window select new, then in the New User Variable window type "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" (without the quotes) and give it a value of " 1 " then click ok to add the entry, then ok again to finish.
Device Manager : Hidden Devices-devices3.jpgDevice Manager : Hidden Devices-devices4.jpg
Device Manager : Hidden Devices-devices5.jpgDevice Manager : Hidden Devices-devices6.jpg
3) Again in the Windows start menu right click computer and this time select manage, in the window that opens in the left pane select Device Manager, at the top click view and select Show Hidden Devices.
Device Manager : Hidden Devices-manage.jpg
Device Manager : Hidden Devices-devices8.jpg
4) You can now see hidden / ghost drivers and devices by expanding the entry, they will be faded compared to the others.
Device Manager : Hidden Devices-devices9.jpg

11 Apr 2010   #1

Win 8 Release candidate 8400

Excellent Tutorial and I am sure few people know about it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Thank you Ken!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit

Thanks much. I had done this in XP and I had forgotten about it. Excellent tutorial. +1
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Apr 2010   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Thanks Carl!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

Way to go Ted, Great Tutorial. Very Helpful, Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2010   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Thank you Derek!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]

I used to do it on XP and was the first thing i did on Win7...

Good remind to get rid of ghost devices!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #8
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello NoN, I'm glad you find it useful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Hello NoN, I'm glad you find it useful.
Hi, yes of course!

That's pretty handy when many devices had been plugged onto the computer...then, if you do not need them anymore, it free the place for other one!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Device Manager : Hidden Devices

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