Frequently Asked Question

How to Prevent Unplugged Devices in DriverFinder Scan Results
Last Updated 11 months ago

In some cases, DriverFinder will recommend new drivers for unplugged devices. Although these are valid updates, all devices listed in the unplugged category might not be in use anymore.

Why does DriverFinder even show new drivers for unplugged devices? You see, Windows keeps track of every device connected to your computer, so unless you uninstall these devices, they will show as unplugged and trigger driver updates. Examples of such devices are your mouse, keyboard, monitor, webcam, or other USB devices.

Although you can simply ignore the driver updates that you feel are not applicable, it is also possible to uninstall old devices so that they do not trigger any driver recommendations. However, in order to uninstall unplugged devices, you need to locate them first!

In order to configure Device Manager to display unplugged devices, you will need to add a special Windows Environment Variable, which is basically a system configuration parameter.

Here are the steps to display unplugged or hidden devices in Device Manager.

First, create a new Windows Environment Variable.

  1. Open the Run window.

    • For Windows XP: Click the Windows Start button and select Run.

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    • For Windows Vista and 7: Click the Windows Start button > All Programs > Accessories > Run.

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    • For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10: Right-click the Windows Start button and select Run.

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  2. Type sysdm.cpl, then press the Enter key.

  3. Next, click System and then select Advanced system settings.

  4. Click the Advanced tab, then click the button named Environment Variables.

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  5. In the Environment Variables window, under System variables, click the New button.

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  6. In the New System Variable window, enter the variable name devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices, and variable value 1.

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  7. Click the OK button thrice to close all windows.


Next, open Device Manager to show and delete the devices.

  1. Open the Run window.

    • For Windows XP: Click the Windows Start button and select Run.

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    • For Windows Vista and 7: Click the Windows Start button > All Programs > Accessories > Run.

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    • For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10: Right-click the Windows Start button and select Run.

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  2. Type devmgmt.msc, then click the OK button to open Device Manager.

  3. In the View menu of the Device Manager, click Show hidden devices.

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  4. For each category, click the + button in front of it to expand the tree and show all devices in the category.

  5. Now look for the grayed devices. These are devices that are not connected.

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  6. Skip the devices that you are still using, but for the others, right-click the device, and in the popup menu select Uninstall.
Now, any subsequent scans with DriverFinder will no longer show driver updates for the unplugged category.

Note: Not all devices need to be listed in the DriverFinder unplugged category of course, since they only show there if a newer driver is available for it.

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