Install a modem

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

To install the modem hardware on your computer, refer to the manufacturer's documentation. Generally, the following instructions apply:

  • If you have an older, internal modem with jumpers, set the jumpers for Plug and Play.

  • If you have an external modem, ensure that it is attached to the computer, plugged into the power source, and turned on before you turn on the computer and start Windows.

  • Ensure that your modem is properly connected to the phone line and to your computer.

Most modems manufactured now are compatible with Plug and Play and installed automatically after they are connected to the computer. However, older modems and external serial modems might not be detected. If your modem is not installed automatically, then use the procedure below to install it manually. To choose the modem type manually, see Install an unsupported modem.

Any user account can be used to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.

To install a modem

  1. In Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Phone and Modem Options.


In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, open Control Panel. In View by, click either Large icons or Small icons. Click Phone and Modem.

  1. If you are prompted for dialing location information, enter dialing information for your location, and then click OK.

  2. In the Phone and Modem dialog box, on the Modems tab, click Add.

  3. Follow the instructions in the Install New Modem page.

Additional considerations

  • A standard user can install and use a modem if the driver for the modem is included with Windows, or if the driver has been staged on the computer by an administrator. Otherwise, you must have administrative privileges to install a device driver that is not included with Windows. For more information about staging device drivers, see "Step-by-Step Guide to Device Driver Signing and Staging" on the Microsoft Web site (

  • If the Install New Modem page does not detect your modem or you cannot find it listed, see Install an unsupported modem.

  • If you are installing an external modem and a cable is not provided, refer to the manufacturer's instructions for cabling requirements. Most common cables will work, but some cables do not have all the pins connected. Do not use the 9-to-25 pin converters that come with most mouse hardware, because some of them do not carry modem signals.