How Do I View a Device's Status in Windows?

Open the device's properties in Device Manager to see its status

What to Know

  • From Device Manager, right-click the problem device and go to Properties > General tab.
  • The device status contains the current state of the hardware as seen by Windows.
  • This should be the first step if you suspect that a device is causing a problem or if it has a yellow exclamation point.

This article describes how to view a hardware device's status in Device Manager in Windows.

These steps apply to Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer.

How to View a Device's Status in Device Manager in Windows

You can view a device's status from the device's Properties in Device Manager. The detailed steps involved in this procedure vary a little depending on which Windows operating system you have installed, so those differences are called out when necessary below.

  1. Open Device Manager
    , which you can do from the Control Panel in every version of Windows.

    However, if you're using Windows 11, Windows 10, or Windows 8, the Power User Menu (Windows Key+X) is probably faster.

    There are a couple of other ways you can access Device Manager in Windows that might be quicker that the Control Panel method. For example, you could instead use the devmgmt.msc command to open Device Manager from the command line. See Other Ways to Open Device Manager (at the bottom of that link) for more information.

  2. Now that Device Manager is open, locate the piece of hardware you want to view the status of by working down through the hardware categories using the > icon.

    Device Manager categories in Windows 10

    If you're using Windows Vista or Windows XP, the icon is a plus sign (+).

    Specific pieces of hardware that Windows has identified in your computer are listed within the major hardware categories you see.

  3. Once you've located the piece of hardware you want to view the status of, tap-and-hold or right-click it and then choose Properties.

    Device Manager hardware properties menu
  4. In the General tab of the Properties window that's now open, look for the Device status area toward the bottom of the window. There's a short description of the current status of this particular piece of hardware.

    Device Manager status that says This device is working properly

    If the Device is Working

    If Windows sees the hardware device as working properly, you'll see this message:

    This device is working properly.

    Windows XP adds some additional information here:

    If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter.

    If the Device Isn't Working

    If Windows determines that the device isn't working properly, you'll see an error message as well as the Code 43 error. Something like this:

    Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)

    If you're lucky, you may get even more information about the problem, like this:

    The SuperSpeed link to the USB device keeps going to an error state Compliance. If the device is removable, remove the device and then disable/enable from device manager to recover.
  5. That's it!

Important Information on Error Codes

Any status other than one that explicitly says that a device is working properly should be accompanied by an error code. You can troubleshoot the issue that Windows sees with this device based on that code: Complete List of Device Manager Error Codes.

There may still be an issue with a piece of hardware, even though Windows might not report it via the device's status. If you have a strong suspicion that a device is causing a problem, but Device Manager doesn't report an issue, you should still troubleshoot the device.

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