Device Cleanup Tool is a nifty little Windows utility that works with all modern versions (7, 8.1 and 10). It speeds up and automates the process of removing absent, unwanted, or obsolete device entries from Device Manager’s listings. Otherwise, such items must be removed laboriously, one at a time. The Device Cleanup Tool (abbreviated here as DCT for brevity) puts this under the user’s control, and lets one remove all absent devices in one go, or pick multiple devices for removal, as one might choose.
Installing Device Cleanup Tool
Today’s focus is the just-named DCT, which shows up on the Miscellaneous Tools on Uwe Sieber’s webpage (or, “Tools für dies und das” or “Tools for this and that,” in German). The executable for the tool is named DeviceCleanup.exe, and comes in 32- and 64-bit versions. Both are included in a file named DeviceCleanup.zip that you can download from the previous link(s).
No installer is involved, so you can simply unpack the ZIP file’s contents wherever you like, and run the program from there. All my systems are 64-bit so that’s the version I used for this blog post. If you’re into portable software, that’s another plus for this program: you can simply load DCT on your Toolkit UFD (USB Flash Drive) and take it with you wherever you need it, and run it from there.
Here’s what the intial output from DCT looks like on my 2012-vintage Lenovo T520 laptop:
Notice all the duplicate Dell Color printer and Logitech Driver interface entries.
I don’t want (or need) the extra 4 copies of the Dell 2155cn Color multi-function printer that are showing, so I’ll highlight them. Then, I right-click those entries, to produce the pop-up menu shown whose options include Remove Device (to delete them) and Properties (to show their Properties windows). I’ll pick “Remove Device” to make them disappear!
It’s really just that easy. You can hold down the CTRL key and click as many items as you want to remove, then right-click, select Remove Device and “Poof!” they’re gone. Especially on systems where removable devices come and go with any frequency, this beats the pants off one-at-a-time removals via uninstalling those devices in Device Manager itself. Sure, this is a tool with very narrow focus and capability. But it’s worth keeping around because what it does, it does very well. Highly recommended!
About the Maker
Device Cleanup Tool is the work of German software developer Uwe Sieber whose vanity website is home to a range of interesting and useful tools. Based in Magdeburg, Sieber has been crafting useful tools and utilities since the days of DOS and Windows 3.x. It’s definitely worth spending some time looking around at uwe.sieber.de (English/German). He’s got numerous other tools including these nifty items:
- USB Drive Letter Manager
- USB Device Tree Viewer
- Drive tools: command-line tools for safe removal, eject, remount, and more
As I said before, Sieber’s website is well worth the time involved in making an extended visit. Click the language you’d prefer to use to jump there right now: English or German. The site root is at http://www.uwe-sieber.de. Enjoy!
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.