Easily scan for hardware changes by using the Device Manager

If any devices have failed or are not responding, scanning for hardware changes can help

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Key notes

  • You should update your device’s drivers often and you can do this both manually or automatically.
  • A third-party application can help update the drivers automatically as soon as they are available from the manufacturer.
Scanning for hardware changes

A computer uses various components, both hardware, and software, to function efficiently and perform properly. If it is missing a component, if it is using an outdated component, or if it is using a corrupted component, the start-up can fail.

Windows computers come with the flexibility of upgrading or downgrading various components, such as the CPU, RAM, SSD, and more. For all these hardware components to communicate with the software, you need to install drivers, which are the software components.

If any component is missing or Windows is not detecting it, you can scan for hardware changes using the Device Manager which will help troubleshoot and make the device respond and work again. 

To learn how to do this, keep reading to find out!

How do I use the Device Manager to scan for hardware changes?

1. Scan for hardware changes

  1. Plug the device into your computer.
  2. Click on the start button and search for Run.Searching for Run
  3. Open Run and type devmgmt.msc to open the Device Manager.Opening device manager using Run
  4. Now, right-click on the device that is not working and has a caution icon and select Scan for hardware changes.Scanning for hardware changes inside Device manager
  5. Your device should be able to work now.

2. Update the drivers manually

  1. Open the Device Manager by following the steps above.
  2. Click on the device that is not responding and expand it.
  3. Now right-click on devices and click on Update driver.Updating device drivers
  4. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.Clicking on Automatically search for drivers
  5. Allow some time for Windows to check if there are any new drivers available to be updated with.
  6. Once located, Windows will automatically install the drivers.
  7. Now, click on close.
  8. Restart your computer.

3. How can you install missing devices in the Device Manager?

  1. Click on the start button and search for Computer management.Opening Computer Management using search
  2. In the Computer management window, click on Device Manager on the left side of the window.Clicking on device manager inside computer management
  3. Now, on the right side of the pane, click anywhere on the list of devices.
  4. Click on Action and then select Add Legacy Hardware.Adding legacy hardware
  5. An Add Hardware Wizard window will pop up. Click next to add hardware.Adding legacy hardware using computer management
  6. Now, select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) and click the Next button.Searching and installing the hardware automatically
  7. A new window will open that has the list of all the hardware. Select the hardware that is missing from the Device Manager to add it and then click Next.Adding the hardware
  8. Select the manufacturer and the model and click on Next.Selecting manufacturer and model
  9. Now a new window will confirm if you would like to add the hardware (such as Bluetooth, wifi, etc.). Click on Next.Adding the hardware
  10. Click on Finish after the installation is complete.

A scan for hardware changes helps broken devices work again. If you don’t want your devices to get corrupted or outdated, it is recommended that you always update the device drivers with the latest drivers available by the manufacturer.

Although Windows updates the drivers with every update, they are often not the latest. You can update your device’s drivers both manually and automatically, or you could also use a third-party application that will update the drivers as soon as they are available.

More about the topics: Device Manager, drivers