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I'm using apps like HWInfo to learn this, but I've always wondered if it's possible to learn this from Device Manager, especially when I'm remoting into a customer's PC with Teamviewer, without having to install an app.

Any help much appreciated

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Unfortunately, the Windows Device Manager won't be able to give you this information reliably, but Microsoft USB Device Viewer that is part of the Windows 10 SDK can show detailed information. There is a freeware version by Uwe Sieber, named USBTreeView. It's a standalone app that is less than 1MB and is based on the Microsoft code and doesn't require you to install/download the SDK.

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    Useful, Thank you. You're right, Device Manager won't tell you, I looked into every nook and cranny. Nov 25 at 20:19
  • For anyone, As the information about where you can get this Microsoft USB Device Viewer in this answer is incomplete, this tool is only available through the SDK. Nov 27 at 17:12
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Devices can themselves decide to be USB 2 (in fact, they should) when connected to a USB 2 hub / controller. So, you can not find out whether a device would work at USB 3 super speed if connected via USB 3. What you can figure out is how it's connected:

Under "view" you can select to show things "by connection"; find your USB device. If it's attached to an xHCI (eXtensible Host Controller), then it can be USB 3, if attached to an OHCI / UHCI / EHCI controller, it's USB 2 or 1.

But: USB 2 devices can be connected to an xHCI, so it's a "necessary, but not sufficient" condition.

However, I think you can find the connection type, by going into the settings, "Bluetooth and other devices", and going down the list until you hit the USB devices, where you'll find info if it's USB 3. Not sure that's always accurate, though.

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    Yep, they can even decide to be USB 1.1 (and in fact, most cheap USB keyboards do this because they don’t need more bandwidth than what they get from USB 1.1). This behavior is an important part of why USB (and PCI-e, and various other standards with similar down-negotiation) works so well and has survived so long. Nov 25 at 19:57
  • Windows settings don't state if it's USB 2.0 OR 3.0, by what I can see. And device manager won't tell you by checking if it's connected to the EHCI or xHCI controller, as the user may have plugged the device into any port without checking the USB type. Thanks all the same. Nov 25 at 20:23
  • @Antonio23249 it definitely does; in the connection view, as described, you can see to which kind of controller it's connected to. Nov 25 at 20:57
  • @MarcusMüller That doesn't work for "virtual" devices that a USB device driver can create. For example, my Logitech mouse driver/software creates a number of "Logitech Virtual Keyboard/Mouse" devices under "Human Interface Devices" (when viewing Devices by Type), but when viewing Devices-by-Connection they appear under a top-level node named "Logitech Virtual Bus Enumerator".
    – Dai
    Nov 26 at 2:26
  • @Dai interesting! And that has no representation under actual USB hosts? Because, there's still a USB device there... Nov 26 at 10:30
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Nir Sofers NirSoft USBDeview has a column listing the USB version. The column will not be at the front by default, but you can move it there. The option "Retrieve USB Power/Version Information" must be enabled for this to work.

I could not find documentation whether this column only shows the "apparent" USB version (e.g. showing 2.0 for devices which are 3.0 but have chosen a backward compatibility mode).

Nirsoft USBDeview

I find this tool easier to provide a better overview instead of the mentioned USB tree view.

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  • I adore NirSoft, but I have had issues with USBDeview where it won't see some USB mass storage devices (e.g. USB 3.0 HDD enclosure) and it often suffers from prolonged hangs. USBTreeView seems to cope better with all devices in my experience. Nov 27 at 0:39
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    @spaceman-spiff: thanks for the feedback. I'll take USB TreeView into my tool library as well. Nov 27 at 8:27
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I don't know about the device manager, But on the laptop, it differs with color in the USB slot. Blue means it's USB 3.0, Black is USB 2.0.

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    "especially when I'm remoting into a customer's PC with Teamviewer" - how would one figure out the color of the USB ports then? Other than that, my laptop has black USB ports only, but they all have the USB 3.0 SS (super speed) logo. Those colors are not reliable. There are also red 3.2 USB ports (e.g. on the Sabretooth Z77), white USB 1.x ports and even yellow ones (always on). Blue can have 2 shades (3.0 / 3.1 typically). All in all I doubt that this answer is useful. Nov 26 at 13:32

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