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How Do I Disable a Device in Microsoft Windows®

October 04, 2011  |  Difficulty: Medium

How to disable any hardware device in the Device Manager

From time to time, you may face a problem that requires you to switch off an installed device. Not physically, but you will only set your operating system software to disable it. It might be useful when you have two sound cards and you want to avoid a possible conflict if you mix them up by mistake. In the several steps below, you will learn how to disable any hardware device in the Device Manager of Microsoft Windows®.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows® XP:

  1. Click “Start” then right-click on “My computer” and choose the “Properties” option.
  2. Switch to the “Hardware” tab.
  3. Click on the “Device Manager” button.
  4. In the Device Manager tree find the hardware device you want to disable.
  5. Right-click on it and choose the “Disable” Option.
  6. Confirm the action by clicking on the “Yes” button.

Instructions for Microsoft Windows Vista® and Windows® 7:

  1. Click “Start” then right-click on “Computer” and choose the “Properties” option.
  2. Click on the “Device Manager” link on the left pane.
  3. In the Device Manager tree find the hardware device you want to disable.
  4. Right-click on it and choose the “Disable” option.
  5. Confirm the action by clicking on the “Yes” button.

Tips and Tricks:

  • You can enable the device by right-clicking on it and choosing the “Enable” option.
  • To get detailed information about the device, right-click on it and choose the “Properties” option.

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