Unknown Device Identifier

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 10, 2007
Updated • May 28, 2013
Windows, Windows software

Did you ever try to identify devices that the Windows operating system did not identify properly? The devices are displayed with a yellow icon in the system's device manager.

Devices with yellow icons are unknown devices, and Windows provides you with little information about those devices. This can often be resolved by installing drivers that shipped with the device or your PC. Sometimes though, you may not know where to start, and that's where the following program steps in.

The freeware Unknown Device Identifier displays a list of unknown, disconnected or old devices as well as information about each device that help you identify it properly so that you can resolve the issue.

Each device is listed with information about its manufacturers, OEM name, device type and model, and sometimes even the name of the device.

The information help you identify devices properly on your system so that you can install the right drivers to use their full functionality on it.  You need to click on the plus icon in front of the device to display detailed information about the selected device on the screen.

unknown device identifier screenshot

You can right-click any device in the list to display a context menu with options to search for a driver on the Internet, save the information that the program has collected to a file, or backup the drivers that are currently used by the system.

The search is launched in the default browser with Google being used as the search engine of choice.  You are on your own from here on out as you need to go through the results to try and find a driver for the unknown device.

Unknown Device Identifier is compatible with all recent - and not so recent - versions of the Windows operating system. You can use the program to identify USB, IEEE 1394, ISA, AGP, PCI, eSATA and PCI-E devices among others. The majority of unknown devices should fall into those groups. You can download the latest version of the program from the developer website.


  • A right-click displays a contact vendor option that may be useful if you can't find suitable drivers.
  • You can use the shortcut F3 to search for the selected device on the Internet, or F4 to contact the manufacturer of the device. The latter option loads the website of the manufacturer, if known, in the default browser.

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Askar Amam said on August 8, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Its not working on Windows Xp 64bit..Please help

  2. Adger Ubuntu Linux said on February 11, 2007 at 11:51 am

    Thanks unknown devices can be a real pain in windows setup issues.
    Especially with usb setups.
    Universal service bus- not all things to all people.

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