A laptop displays a Device Manager concept showed a device selected.

Device Manager

Bringing Device Manager into the 21st-century with a cleaner user interface and new features.

December 21, 2018

The Windows Device Manager has been a crucial component of the operating system since the mid 1990s—and yet it has remained largely unchanged in over 20 years, with only minor tweaks to the categories and iconography.

I believe that experience can be made better by updating the utility with a clean new design that not only brings Device Manager into the modern age, but also adds new information and functionality designed to make it more friendly for all users—whether they are pros or just getting started with Windows.

A fresh design

I’ve updated the look and feel of Device Manager to be more modern and in line with the Fluent Design System.

The new Device Manager.

The left pane displays core information about a user’s PC, including a manufacturer-supplied image and logo (Windows will display a generic image and device name if these aren’t supplied). A percentage bar shows how full the primary storage device is and there are links to common Device Manager actions such as refreshing the list or adding legacy hardware.

By default, the middle panel displays a list of devices by type. There’s an option to search, so typing in “nvidia” would display any NVIDIA graphics cards connected to the PC.

Managing devices

It’s in the name. Device Manager. It’s important that it be easy to view and manage the hardware connected to a PC. The new design offers the exact same actions as the current design.

Device Manager offers the same controls as today.

New information is presented, for example, the device’s capabilities. More information can be accessed through the ellipsis menu, and the panel itself can be un-docked from the app.

Exporting information about the device to a PDF is also possible.

Legacy wizards

The legacy wizards have also been updated with a new design while still retaining the classic Aero wizard look.

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