I'm having an unusual problem with Windows 10 where the Devices and Printers dialog shows the green progress bar for almost 5 minutes before loading. When it does load, it is almost unusable with lag.

When I try to open Device Manager, it doesn't respond for a while, then eventually loads the list of device categories. After a few seconds it sometimes then stops working, but the times when it doesn't reveals thousands upon thousands of "Generic volume shadow copy" entries, which I imagine are slowing down Devices and Printers.

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NirSoft's DevManView, which also takes several minutes to load, reveals that I have 11500 devices, almost all of which seem to be these "General volume shadow copy" entries.

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How can I make my Devices and Printers (and Device Manager) load quickly again? Some seem to relate this problem to Bluetooth, but I am on a desktop computer with no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

  • Have you considered, for the time being, disable File History? You can also adjust the amount of space reserved for this purpose to achieve the same results. Understanding and getting rid of device listing of "Generic volume shadow copy". Disabling the space reserved for File History then enabling it again will clear out the devices the proper way.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 16, 2016 at 19:51
  • @Ramhound Thanks; how would I disable File History? According to Control Panel it's not turned on, but I could be looking in the wrong place. (I'm in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\File History.) Nov 16, 2016 at 19:56
  • If you have proper backups, go nuclular on the service, How to Turn Off Volume Shadow Copy. The value of http://ccm.net/faq/2679-how-to-turn-off-volume-shadow-copy determines if File History is on or off. Before you do that, issue the Vssadmin list shadows command, in an elevated command prompt.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 16, 2016 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


This is from: https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/10390-devices-printers-slow-open-2.html

** It seems to be a Windows bug, with Generic volume shadow copies, which keep building up through time, as you connect more and more volume devices to your computer. These devices include USB flash drives. For each USB flash drive connected, a new shadow copy is created, which is not deleted after the USB drive is disconnected.

To see that go to:

Device Manager > View > Show hidden devices Then go again to View and click Devices by connection and expand Volume Manager.

This will display a list of Generic volumes. The shadow ones are grayed out. These can be any number from few to hundreds.

These shadow copies, seem to significantly slow down the classic (i.e. from the Control Panel) “Devices and Printers” screen and even the system startup.

To clean up these useless shadow copies download a tool released by Microsoft, called ‘devnodeclean’ Microsoft DevNodeClean from Official Microsoft Download Center - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42286

The downloaded file contains both x86 and x64 versions of the tool. Please use the one suitable to your Windows version.

This is a command line tool, to be run from an elevated command prompt.

Type DevNodeClean and hit to clean up all these unused (grayed out) shadow copies.

The command accepts two parameters: DevNodeClean /n Lists the registry entries for orphaned storage devices that can be cleaned up. DevNodeClean /? Displays the help screen

After the command completes, restart your computer.

Once done, you can check again in Device Manager that the shadow copies are gone.

This process should be done periodically, i.e. every month depending on the number of new volume devices you add to your computer and should reduce the time needed to load the classic “Devices and Printers” screen. **

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