Why is My Device Manager Empty?

device_managerOne of the applets that computer users can find in the Control Panel of Microsoft Windows operating systems, Device Manager helps them control and see the hardware that are connected to their laptops or computers. This is very helpful because the malfunctioning hardware is highlighted in the applet so users can instantly fix it. However, there are instances in which computer users find the applet empty. To deal with this problem, it is important to know what causes the situation.


Why is my Device Manager empty? There are two reasons why this Control Panel applet in your computer is not functioning as expected. It can be because this Windows service was critically disabled or it can be due to the corruption of registry permissions that are important to the functioning of Device Manager. To help you solve the problem, below are the simple instructions that you can follow to improve the functionality of the applet in your PC.

Instructions for Enabling the Windows Service

Make sure that the Plug and Play service in the Device Manager is functioning properly. If you found out that this special service was disabled, you need to enable it. To do this, click Start in your computer screen. Select Control Panel and double click on Administrative Tools. Select Services and look for the Plug and Play icon. Open the service and check the Start Up type. Set the Start Up type to Automatic. If the service is not running, click Start. Go back to Device Manager and check if the list of hardware appears.

If the Control Panel applet is still empty, there is another effective way to enable the other services available in Windows OS. Go to Start and click Run. Type MSCONFIG and select the Services option. Select Enable all. Close the window and restart your PC. Go to Device Manager to see if it is functioning.

Instructions for Editing the Registry Permissions

Select Start and click Run. Type REGEDT32. Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE window. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetEnum. Click Permissions and look at the user names or Group list box. If it is empty, select the Add button referring to the Read tab and type Everyone. Select OK and click on the Allow box. Select Add and type System. Click the Allow box referring to Full Control and Read. Click the box referring to Replace permission entries. Select Advanced. When a warning message appears, select OK. Close all the windows and restart your PC. Go back to Device Manager and check if it contains a list of all the hardware attached to the PC.

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