Software & Apps Windows Fixing a Yellow Exclamation Point in Device Manager Why does Device Manager show a yellow exclamation point? by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on July 16, 2020 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email See a yellow exclamation point next to a device in Device Manager? Don't worry, it's not that uncommon and it doesn't necessarily mean you have to replace anything. In fact, there are dozens of reasons that a yellow exclamation point might show up in Device Manager, some more serious than others, but usually well within anyone's capabilities to fix, or at least troubleshoot. What's That Yellow Exclamation Point in Device Manager? A yellow triangle next to a device in Device Manager means that Windows has identified a problem of some kind with that device. The yellow exclamation mark provides an indication of a device's current status and could mean that there's a system resource conflict, a driver issue, or, frankly, almost any number of other things. Martin Diebel / Getty Images Unfortunately, the yellow mark itself doesn't give you any valuable information but what it does do is confirm that something called a Device Manager error code has been logged and associated with that particular device. Fortunately, there aren't that many error codes used by Device Manager, and the ones that do exist are pretty clear and straightforward. What this means, then, is whatever problem is occurring with the hardware, or with Windows' ability to work with the hardware, you at least will have a clear direction as to what to do. Before you can fix whatever problem is going on, you'll need to view this special code, determine what it's referring to, and then troubleshoot accordingly. Viewing the Device Manager error code that was generated for whatever piece of hardware is very easy to do. Just head to the device's Properties and then read the code in the 'Device status' area. Once you know what the specific error code is, you can then reference our Device Manager Error Codes list for what to do next. Usually, this means finding the code on that list and then following any specific troubleshooting information we have available that's specific to that error. More Information on Error Icons in Device Manager If you're really paying attention to Device Manager, you may have noticed that this indicator isn't a yellow exclamation point at all; it's actually a black exclamation point on a yellow background, similar to the caution sign in the illustration on this page. The yellow background is triangle-shaped in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista operating systems, and a circle in Windows XP. We also often get asked about the "yellow question mark" in Device Manager. This appears not as a warning indicator, but as a full-sized device icon. The question mark appears when a device is detected but not installed. You can almost always solve this problem by updating the drivers. There's also a green question mark that can appear in some very specific situations but only in Windows Millennium Edition (ME), a version of Windows, released in 2000, which almost no one has installed anymore.