Find Out Which USB Devices Have Been Used on Your PC

It always amazes me to discover just how much information Windows stores, regarding previous activity on the PC.  We all know about stuff like your web browsing history, for example, and all those thousands of cookies associated with web sites.  Thankfully, there are programs which can delete this information in order to help maintain your privacy.

But did you know that, buried deep within the OS, is a list of all the USB devices currently connected, as well as all the devices you've connected in the past?  No, me neither.  Well, not until I discovered a handy little utility from the ever-wonderful Nirosft, which extracts the information and displays it in a handy table.

The program is free, is a tiny download of less than 1 MB, runs under Windows XP and above (32- and 64-bit), and you can get it from http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html.  That's a rather long page, so note that the download links are near the bottom, just above the table of international language versions.

As you can see from the screen shot below, taken from my PC, you get the device description, its type (printer, camera, disk drive etc), whether it's currently connected, whether it's safe to unplug, whether it was connected via a USB hub, its drive letter, and (not shown below) the device's serial number.  All of which is incredibly useful as a way of finding out whether someone's been using your PC without your knowledge, perhaps to copy files to an external device.

It's a handy troubleshooting tool too.  Next time you ask "What did you change?", and your friend says "Nothing, honest", you can use USBDeview to prove that they recently installed a new printer!

 

 

USBDeview

 

 


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Comments

by kwatk1422 (not verified) on 29. May 2012 - 16:21  (94149)

Is there anyway to tell when the last use date was?

by winki (not verified) on 30. November 2012 - 21:54  (103134)

Yes, you can see the date your last use was. :)

by Nagaraju (not verified) on 26. May 2012 - 6:30  (93969)

Hi,

I want to get an laert by mail when any one connected an USB device.
Is there any software which can perforn the above function.

If you have any solution please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

by Anonymouzzz (not verified) on 7. August 2010 - 5:32  (55560)

Thanks, it's very usefull

Anyway, yesterday I connected my usb flash drive to one of the ports, I got warning that I needed to use different port because this port is slow or something. I believe that port is USB 2.0, same as the flash drive.
I disconnected the drive then plug it again to the same port. I got no message.
I occasionally got error too when I plug the usb modem, it sometimes disconnected itself.

I'll try to unistall all of the previous installed drives using this USB Device View. Hope it clear the things up.

by MidnightCowboy on 7. August 2010 - 8:58  (55567)

On some PC's the back ports are faster than those installed at the front. It is quite common to plug a device into a slow port for it to be recognized and function one time but not another. Flash drives and devices like modems are always best plugged into the rear ports. If you don't have enough of these then your mouse, speakers or another low power requirement device can go into one of the front ones.

by Chuck W. (not verified) on 29. July 2010 - 16:20  (55132)

I went to the page to download the file, but before I got there, ZoneAlarm warned me that this site was a known spyware distributor. That turned me off, in a hurry!!

by Faust (not verified) on 30. July 2010 - 1:35  (55158)

Nirsoft software is perfectly safe.

Many Nirsoft apps use techniques that trigger generic malware detection. This is a known issue.

by MidnightCowboy on 29. July 2010 - 18:11  (55140)

Pity ZopneAlarm doesn't warn you about the Check Point page :D (only joking).
This warning will be due to the nature of some of the programs contained on Nir Sofer's site.

by Anupam on 29. July 2010 - 16:27  (55133)

Its a false positive definitely. Nirsoft has one of the most useful programs.. and it has got loads of them. Do visit the site.

by irwanwr on 5. August 2010 - 21:41  (55510)

yes, they are. they do have lots of goodies.
worth visiting and trying.

by Geert on 29. July 2010 - 12:54  (55119)

>> As you can see from the screen shot below...
The screen shot below is way too small to be able to see anything on it.
It would be a good idea to make the screen shots of articles clickable (which then brings you to the original dimension screen shot)

by mrib (not verified) on 29. July 2010 - 13:09  (55121)

Hold control and scroll up on your mouse scroll button

by Jake Maverick (not verified) on 29. July 2010 - 21:57  (55155)

good tip! never knew that! ;-)

by Jojo Yee on 30. July 2010 - 2:54  (55165)

Try also holding the Control button and press "+" a few times. To revert to the original scale, hold Control and press the numeric key 0.

by really (not verified) on 29. July 2010 - 13:05  (55120)

I could read it just fine, and I wear glasses. Plus, if you bothered to click on the link in the article, you would see a larger image.

by StaleOnion on 28. July 2010 - 17:23  (55056)

Anybody know where Windows stores this information or where USBDeview is pulling it from?
Thanks,
Stale

by StaleOnion on 29. July 2010 - 16:10  (55131)

For anyone else interested in this:

The developer of USBView confirmed it is in the Registry:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB.

I also found this page interesting: http://www.forensicswiki.org/wiki/USB_History_Viewing.

This page pointed me to this key:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR.

Thanks for you input Robert.
Stale

by robert.schifreen on 28. July 2010 - 18:39  (55063)

It's in the registry. Much of it appears to be in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Portable Devices\Devices, at least on my Windows 7 machine.

Robert

by Pilgrim on 28. July 2010 - 13:14  (55039)

One thing to note with this program that I have never seen anywhere.
If you have had the same device connected to more than 1 port at different times it will show the device against all of them, but you cannot uninstall it from a single port.
If you uninstall a device from any port, it uninstalls it from the system.
The only way back is to reinstall.

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