Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· ajithhub

Remove missing/hidden devices from Windows

When you remove hardware from windows sometimes the devices actually stick around, waiting until they are attached again. This can cause problems, say when you want to rename a network connection to a name that was used by a now missing network card. Windows will complain that the name is already used, by this missing network card

You probably already know that the Device Manager has a Show hidden Devices feature, but this does not show you devices that are no longer preset.

From a command prompt:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

Start the device manager from that same command prompt:


Select Show hidden Devices, and now you should see the hidden devices, and you can remove them.