DevCon Disable

Disables devices on the computer. Valid only on the local computer.

To disable a device means that the device remains physically connected to the computer, but its driver is unloaded from memory and its resources are freed so that the device cannot be used.

    devcon [/r] disable {* | ID [ID ...] | =class [ID [ID ...]]}


/r Conditional reboot. Reboots the system after completing an operation only if a reboot is required to make a change effective.

* Represents all devices on the computer.

ID Specifies all or part of a hardware ID, compatible ID, or device instance ID of a device. When specifying multiple IDs, type a space between each ID. IDs that include an ampersand character (&) must be enclosed in quotation marks.

The following special characters modify the ID parameter.

Character Description

Matches any character or no character. Use the wildcard character () to create an ID pattern, for example, disk.


Indicates a device instance ID, for example, @ROOT\FTDISK\0000.


(single quote)

Matches the string literally (exactly as it appears). Precede a string with a single quote to indicate that an asterisk is part of the ID name and is not a wildcard character, for example, '*PNP0600, where *PNP0600 (including the asterisk) is the hardware ID.

=class Specifies the device setup class of the devices. The equal sign (=) identifies the string as a class name.

You can also specify hardware IDs, compatible IDs, device instance IDs, or ID patterns following the class name. Type a space between each ID or pattern. DevCon finds devices in the class that match the specified IDs.


DevCon disables the device even if the device is already disabled. Before and after disabling a device, use the DevCon Status operation to verify the device status.

Before using an ID pattern to disable a device, determine which devices will be affected. To do so, use the pattern in a display command, such as devcon status USB\* or devcon hwids USB\*.

The system might need to be rebooted to make this change effective. To have DevCon reboot the system, add the conditional reboot parameter (/r) to the command.

Sample Usage

devcon disable * (not recommended)
devcon /r disable *DVD-ROM*
devcon /r disable =printer


Example 30: Disable devices by an ID pattern

Example 31: Disable devices by device instance ID