How to determine what processes are using a device

January 24, 2017
April 3, 2018



On Windows, determining which processes are using a given device is easiest using the Process Explorer. 


  1. Open the Windows Device Manager by searching for ‘Device Manager’ in the Windows taskbar.
  2. In the Device Manager, locate your device, right click on it and select Properties.
  3. In the Properties window, select the Details tab.
  4. From the Property drop-down menu, select Physical Device Object name.
  5. Right click on the the entry in the Value list and select Copy.
  6. Open Process Explorer.
  7. In Process Explorer, select the Find:Find Handle or DLL… menu item.
  8. Paste your Physical Device Object name into the Handle or DLL substring field and click Search.


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