How can I view my devices based on how they are connected to each other?

Raymond Chen


More than once, someone mentioned to me that one feature they really want to see in Windows is the ability to view the devices in the system and how they are connected to each other.

It turns out this feature has existed since the first version of Device Manager back in 1995. It’s just that people don’t know about it.

In Device Manager, go to the View menu and select View by connection. This reorganizes the display so that the structure reflects how the various devices are connected to each other.


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  • Avatar
    Fleet Command

    I’ve heard that too. But I’ve also got the impression that nobody considers what Device Manager shows a list of devices. At best, they think of them as a list of geeky stuff related to their devices. After all, they are certain that no matter hard they look on their hardware, among all those chips, circuits, and sockets, there is no such thing as “RRAS Root Enumerator”. In fact, if you ask people to write a list of the devices connected to their computers, nobody would list CPU or RAM.

    I remember a presenter once pointed at the Control Panel’s “Devices and Printers” and asked: Aren’t printers devices?

    When the customers have System Information (msinfo32.exe) but use dxdiag.exe or install Speccy for the same purpose, it’s high time you suspect that you and your customers are not on the same page.

  • Avatar
    Neil Rashbrook

    Occasionally I have felt the need to identify how a disconnected device used to be connected, but Device Manager doesn’t know that, it can only show you current connections.