How to Show or Conceal Devices in Device Manager

Did you know that your Device Manager doesn’t show you everything? There may be hidden devices that you aren’t aware of.

Here’s a registry tweak that will force the Device Manager to display all devices, even the hidden ones. This tweak is for Windows XP based machines only and involves editing the registry, so make sure you create a backup of your registry before you begin.

Here’s how the tweak works.

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit. This will bring up your registry editor.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE found on the upper left side of the registry editor. Click the cross on the left side of the folder to expand.
  3. Next, go to SYSTEM. Expand the SYSTEM folder.
  4. You will be able to find CurrentControlSet. Expand this folder.
  5. Now go to Control. Expand the Control folder.
  6. You will now be able to see Session Manager. Expand this folder.
  7. Go to Environment.
  8. Look at the right hand side of your registry editor. Can you find DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES there? If so, go to step nine. If you can’t, create the value using the following steps.
    • Right click on the right hand side of the registry editor.
    • Select New and then select String Value.
    • Rename the new String Value DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES. You can also right click on the new string value that comes up and select Rename.
  9. Double click on DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES. A new box will pop up.
  10. In Value Data, enter 1 if you want to show all devices. Enter 0 if you want to hide devices.
  11. Exit the registry and reboot.

Found any hidden devices yet?