Tips & Tricks

Device Manager is a powerful tool for managing hardware, but it’s also rather technical and intimidating, which is probably why Windows 7 has introduced a more basic alternative in the Devices and Printers applet.

The first improvement is purely visual, with lengthy and cryptic device names replaced by large icons for major hardware items only (monitor, mouse, hard drive, printer and so on).

The new applet can also save you time, though, by providing a quick and easy way to access relevant functions for each device. If you’ve got some printer-related issue, say, right-clicking your printer icon displays a list of useful options – See What’s Printing, Printer Preferences, Printer Properties, Delete Printer Queue and more – and all you have to do is select whatever you need.

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