Device Manager is empty & and not showing anything in Windows

The Device Manager is a useful Windows Control Panel applet that allows a user to manage devices & drivers on a Windows PC – and even disable specific pieces of hardware. Some users have reported that they find that the Device Manager is blank and displays nothing. This can happen if one of the critical Windows service is disabled or if the permissions in the registry for the Device Manager key has corrupted. If you face this issue, here’s how to fix the problem.

Device Manager empty & not showing anything

1] Enable Plug and Play Windows Service

To function properly, it is essential that the Plug and Play service has to be running. So, to check this, type services.msc in Start Search and hit Enter to open the Windows Services Manager.

Scroll down and find the ‘Plug and Play’ service.

Device Manager empty & not showing anything

Double-click on it and make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic and click Start if the service is not running.

Verify if the problem is solved. If not, jump to the second option.

2] Edit the registry permission

Open the ‘Run’ dialog box, type regedit in the empty field of the box and hit Enter to open the Windows Registry Editor. Next, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum

Here, right-click on Enum and choose Permissions. If the Group or User names list box is empty, then you know this is the problem! It should have two names in there, System and Everyone.

Click the Add button and type in Everyone and click OK. Also, select the ‘Allow’ box marked against ‘Read’ option.

When done, click Add again and type in System. Check the ‘Allow’ box next to ‘Read’ and ‘Full Control’ for ‘System’. It should look like this:

Device Manager blank

Both the check boxes under Allow should be selected when you highlight System. Click OK and if a warning message pops up, just click OK.

Finally, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. It should help.

3] Re-register DLL files

One last thing you could do to fix the problem of  Device Manager window being blank or white, would be to re-register the following three dll files and see if it helps.

  • vbscript.dll
  • jscript.dll
  • mshtml.dll
This post will show you how to register DLL files.

Hope something here helps you!

Similar problems:

  1. Windows Update page blank
  2. Turn Windows Features on or off is blank
  3. Control Panel or System Restore window blank.
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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.