How to find an application that is using a device

1 min to read
To identify which application is using a device, if it couldn't be found manually, Windows process explorer program can be used.

Process Explorer

  1. Open official Microsoft Sysinternals Downloads page.

  2. Click on Download Process Explorer.

  3. Open downloaded archive and run procexp.exe application.

  4. Find device ID:

    • Open Device manager.

    • Find necessary device in the list of categories.

    • Right-click on it and select Properties.

    • Go to Details tab.

    • Select Physical Device Object Name in Property drop-down menu.

    • Copy the displayed value by right-clicking and selecting Copy.

      Device physical name

  5. Return to the downloaded program. At the top, open Find menu and select Find Handle or DLL.

    Windows process explorer find menu

  6. Paste copied device ID to search bar and press Search button. In case of success, a list of applications that are using your device will be displayed.

    Found programs in Windows process explorer

Please note that this program does not always give a positive result.