Fix Blank/Empty Device Manager on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP

Sep. 04, 2018 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows Driver Solutions

You may encounter a blank Device Manager when you’re going to update a certain hardware device driver with this Windows tool. It feels strange at the first sight of the empty Device Manager in the Computer Management. At such a situation, the Device Manager doesn’t show anything and a PC restart won’t help out. It seems you’ve opened a fake Device Manager on your Windows 10, 8.1, 7, XP, etc. laptop or desktop.

The Device Manager is a Windows Control Panel applet that allows you to consult or make driver changes to the hardware devices attached to the PC. If the Device Manager shows nothing, you won’t be able to check the network, display, audio and other devices as well as install the latest device drivers. Thus some driver problems like unidentified network problem, Bluetooth not working, no mouse pointer, etc.

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Today, let’s have a close look at how to fix the “Device Manager not showing anything” issue on your Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista or XP computer.

Top 3 Ways to Troubleshoot the Blank Device Manager Problem on Windows OS

In this Windows guide, we'll walk you through top 3 ways to troubleshoot the “no device in Device Manager” issue. If the previous one solution didn’t work for your computer, try another one.

Way 1. Register the .DLL File to Solve the Blank Device Manager

The unregistered msxml3.dll file can cause the no device in Device Manager problem. You can re-register the .dll file to make the Device Manager available again:

1. Use Windows shortcut keys Win + R to launch the Run.

2. Type into regsvr32 msxml3.dll.

3. Press the Enter.

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After that, if the “DllRegisterServer in msxml3.dll succeeded” box pops up, then you’ve registered the file. And now open the Device Manager to see if the blank area shows the hardware device entries.

Way 2. Enable the “Plug and Play” Service and Fix the “Device Manager Doesn’t Show Anything”

The Plug and Play is a Windows service that helps the computer to recognize hardware devices and make the driver changes take effect. If this service is disabled or stopped, then the Device Manager can’t initiate the devices and shows nothing. So you need to go to the Windows Services to check the “Plug and Play” and enable the service.

1. Launch the Run.

2. Type into services.msc.

3. Scroll down and double-click the Plug and Play service.

4. Click Start button if the Service status is Stopped.

5. Select the Automatic from the drop-down menu of the Startup type.

6. Click the Apply and the OK button.

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Then restart the computer and open the Device Manager to see if the “no device in Device Manager” issue still persists.

Way 3. Modify the Registry to Troubleshoot the “Device Manager Not Showing Anything”

You can also modify the registry to get your Device Manager back on track. Note: Windows Registry is a database storing key Windows data. Some values will be generated by the OS automatically if they are deleted, while some may never recover once removed and will cause other serious PC issues, like blue screen of death problem, black screen, 100% disk usage, etc. So don’t forget to backup the registry before any modifications.

1. Launch the Run.

2. Type into the regedit.

3. Hit the Enter key.

4. Expand the keys according to the path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar.

5. You will see three keys under the Toolbar: Explorer, ShellBrowser, WebBrowser.

6. Right-click the value ITBarLayout in each key and select Delete.

7. Restart the computer.

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How to Update Drivers When You Have a Blank or Empty Device Manager

Once you fail to update or repair Microsoft Arc mouse driver, Realtek audio driver, NVIDIA graphics driver, etc. with the blank or empty Device Manager, in point of fact, you can use Driver Talent to assist in making the driver changes.

Driver Talent is the safest and the fastest way to update drivers, which offers the best-matched official and WHQL drivers you need for the hardware devices. You can click the button below to get the driver updates if your Device Manager doesn’t show any devices on your Windows 10, 8.1, 7, XP or other Windows OS.

Download Now

Here are 3 easy steps to update the drivers in seconds.

1. Click Scan to detect all the outdated, missing or corrupted drivers.

2. Click Update or Repair to download and install the best-matched drivers.

3. Perform a restart to make the driver changes take effect.

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That’s it. Hope this post can help you make your blank Device Manager back to work again. If you still fail to get the empty Device Manager back on track, please comment below or click the left menu or go to the OSToto Official forum for more solutions.

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