Removing Hidden devices in Device Manager

When you physically uninstall a device in Windows, the device drivers are often not uninstalled and will remain in your Device Manager, even though it’s no longer visible. Removing the drivers for these ghosted devices can avoid lot of weird issues caused by driver conflicts, or more importantly, prevent issues from occurring in the first place.

One of biggest use case is .if you convert a physical machine into VM. Then you should remove hidden devices from your converted machine to optimize the VM configuration.

There are “two ways” to remove hidden device from device manager.

  1. Remove using safe mode (down side of this process is to reboot in safe mode and it will take extra time).
  2. Remove using normal mode

In this article. I am going to demonstrate you how to remove hidden devices from device manager in normal mode.

open the command prompt and run the following commands

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
devmgmt.msc or start devmgmt.msc


NOTE: Starting the Device Manager from this command prompt is essential, as the command to show the missing devices only does it for that instance.

Once “Device Manager” is open, click on “View-Show hidden devices”.


Mow go through each object in device manager and “expand it” to see if there is any hidden device exists.


In my case I have some hidden (unused) devices available in “monitor and “portable devices” objects  as shown above.

To uninstall a hidden device . right click on the device and choose “Uninstall”.


it will prompt your for confirmation . Click “OK”

Similarly go through all hidden devices and uninstall it and finial you will see you objects look like as shown below


Thats it. now you may close the devices manager and restart you machine one time now or later.


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