Identify Unknown Devices On Windows 10 And 11 Pcs

How to fix the Unknown Hardware Device error, how to identify it, and how to fix it manually or with a program

The “unknown device” problem has always been one of the more difficult ones to solve on Windows PCs, even if it occurs much less frequently in the latest versions.

This error occurs when the Windows system cannot recognize what kind of hardware device has been connected to the computer. For example, such a problem can occur if you connect a USB stick and it is not recognized. The consequence of this error is the impossibility of being able to load the driver, i.e., the software, manage it, and be able to use it.

In the following guide we will show you how identify unknown devices on Windows 10 and 11 PCsso you can resume using the device or peripheral not recognized by the driver system integrated in Windows.

1) Use Windows Update

The first method to identify unknown devices is to use Windows Update so as to immediately receive the missing driver directly from Microsoft servers. To proceed, we open the Start menu, search for Windows Update, and let’s open up Windows Update settings (or check for updates).

In the new window, we look for new Windows updates, and if there are downloadable drivers, we proceed without delay so as to immediately identify unknown devices. Alternatively, if we right-click on the Start menu, we open the menu. Device management: Rightright-click on the unknown device, press on drivers Update drivers. we select the item Automatically search for drivers and then press “Check for updated drivers” in Windows Update.

To learn more, we can read our guide on how to troubleshoot Windows Update if it doesn’t download or find updates.

2) Use troubleshooter

Another very effective method to solve a hardware problem with an unknown device is to use the Windows troubleshooter.

To proceed, we open the Start menu, search for problem resolutions, and let’s open up Settings Troubleshooting. From this menu, we can immediately view the solution to driver problems and try to solve them automatically; alternatively, we can also open the menu Other troubleshooting tools and try one of the tools present (such as, for example, printer, Bluetooth, or network card, depending on the type of device).

3) Use an automatic driver program

Those in a hurry and lacking the experience to identify drivers themselves can identify unknown devices on Windows 10 and 11 PCs using a free, automatic program like Driver Boosters.

Launching this program will scan the system, looking for missing drivers and drivers for unknown devices. The program will offer the download and immediate installation of the missing drivers without user intervention (the user only has to restart the PC after the driver installation is complete).

To learn more, we can read our guide on How to Update Windows PC Drivers Automatically.

4) Identify and download drivers manually

If none of the previous methods work, you just have to do things the “old way,” i.e., identify the hardware ID of the unknown device and look for the drivers on some reliable online site.

To proceed, press the right button on the Start menu, open the menu Device management, right-click the item from the drop-down list Hardware IDs, and copy the identification code on the screen (something like acpiven_1002&dev_33a0).

After obtaining this code, we can search for it directly on Google or on the following sites:

On the first site, just press the button Download ZIP to download the driver immediately, while on the second site, we will have to download the driver at the bottom of the page (if there are more drivers, choose the one from the motherboard or laptop manufacturer).

To learn more, we can read our guide on how to download the right drivers for an unknown device.


With the methods seen above, we will certainly be able to identify unknown devices on Windows 10 and 11 PCs. using Windows Update and the tools integrated into the system to immediately find the right drivers and restore any problems to old peripherals or devices connected to the computer at that precise moment.

If the integrated methods do not work, we can always use Driver Booster to find new drivers automatically, or we can start searching for drivers manually, retrieving the hardware ID and searching directly on Google or on one of the sites listed above.

more,To learn more we can read the guides on how to see the list of drivers installed on the PC and how to download updated drivers to install safely.


Professional writer with a passion for technology and all things related to personal computing. With years of experience in the field, William has honed his craft as an expert in writing about how to use PCs, laptops, mobile devices, and staying up-to-date with technological updates.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button