COM port in Windows 10: fix any COM port-related issues in 2 easy ways

COM port in Windows 10

In this article, we are going to discuss two ways to resolve the problem of the lack of COM ports on computers running the Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 COM port issues plague many users whose computers have been designed without the inclusion of any serial interfaces. The absence of physical COM ports can hinder a user’s ability to make use of computing peripherals that transmit their data serially.

The way to resolve this issue is through the use of Windows virtual serial ports. It can be very frustrating to query your Device Manager with the expectation of finding COM ports only to find that they are not present. We are going to show you two different methods you can use to add COM ports to Windows 10. One is a procedure that employs the native functionality built into the operating system and the other uses third-party software.

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The Problem: Windows 10 COM ports missing


Locating virtual COM port in Windows 10 can be a problem for users. You navigate to your Device Manager with the expectation to see the virtual COM port drivers that were previously loaded on your machine and find they are not there. The serial port option might not be available due to the installation of a Windows 10 update. The update may have impacted the ability of the virtual serial port drivers for certain devices to load by default. This poses a significant issue when you are trying to use these devices.

First, we will investigate the use of Eltima Software’s Virtual Serial Port Driver to add Windows 10 virtual serial ports. We provide a step-by-step procedure which can help you eliminate issues related to COM ports on Windows 10 in as little as three clicks. Read on to learn more about how to use this efficient virtual COM port driver for Windows 10.

Add COM port Windows 10 with Virtual COM Port Driver


When the COM and LPT ports do not appear in your Windows 10 Device Manager your ability to perform your work is negatively impacted. There is a way to resolve this annoying problem in a manner that will prevent it from recurring. The solution is to install the aforementioned Virtual COM Port Driver from Eltima. This application allows the creation of an unlimited number of virtual serial port pairs. The virtual COM port pairs employ a virtual null-modem connection to enable communication with each other.

Virtual COM Port Driver

When you use Virtual Serial Port Driver to create Windows 10 virtual COM ports, each virtual port replicates the settings and functionality of a physical interface. They will consistently appear in Device Manager just as if they were actually real ports.
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Users engaged in the practice of developing and testing serial applications and hardware will benefit from the configuration options that are possible through the use of Virtual Serial Port Driver. One example is the ability to allow two applications to share data via virtual serial ports. Connecting the apps with a pair of virtual COM ports lets the data written by one program be immediately made available to the other program. This can save significant time and effort when debugging and testing serial apps and devices.

Step-by-step guide to add virtual COM port Windows 10:


Following these steps with Virtual Serial Port Driver (VSPD) will enable you to easily create virtual serial ports on a Windows 10 machine:

  1. Download and install VSPD on your Windows 10 computer.
  2. Launch the application and navigate to the “Manage Ports” tab. Here you can select ports from the drop-down menu or manually enter custom port names.
  3. After selecting the port names, simply click the “Add Pair” button and you are done! You have now created virtual COM ports which will appear as if they were physical ports in both Serial Ports Explorer and your system’s Device Manager.
  4. If you desire to delete the pair of ports, simply select it in the Serial Ports Explorer. In the “Manage port” tab just select and click on “Delete pair” and they are gone.

Native method to mount virtual COM ports in Windows 10


There is a fix to the problem of mounting virtual COM ports in Windows 10 that does not require the use of a third-party app. These are the steps to follow to use the Windows 10 operating system fix:

  1. Go to the Device Manager and type “Device Manager” in the lower left corner of the screen. (See below) Device Manager Device Manager
  2. Locate the USB to Serial Converter Settings. After plugging a USB device into your machine, expand the “Universal Serial Bus controllers” list in Device Manager. Click on the “USB Serial Converter” and open the USB Serial Converter properties. USB Serial Converter
  3. Enable the VCP Driver loading by opening the “Advanced” tab within the USB Serial Converter properties. Make sure the “Load VCP” option is enabled and then click OK to load the VCP.
  4. Re-connect the device. Unplug the USB device and re-connect it to your computer. At this time, Windows 10 should recognize the device and load the Virtual Com Port Driver.

How to change COM port settings in Windows 10


Some software applications are designed to only operate with designated serial ports. If you need to work with this kind of program, you may need to know how to find port numbers in Windows 10 so you can modify them if necessary.

In many cases when working with older devices or applications, you will be called upon to change COM port numbers to successfully operate the programs and peripherals. Some legacy equipment is only capable of working with specifically named serial ports.

The following procedure allows Windows users to change the COM port number for any attached device.

Just follow these simple steps on a Windows 10 machine to change the default COM port number.


  1. In Device Manager, navigate to the COM & LPT ports section and locate the device which needs its number modified. Right-click on the selected device and choose Properties in the displayed menu. Step 1
  2. Open the Port Settings in the Properties window and select the Advanced button. Step 3
  3. The Advanced Settings window is where you perform the number reassignment. You select an available port number from the list presented in the lower-left of the window. In our example, we are updating the device’s number from COM 3 to COM 5. Step 3
  4. Save the settings by clicking the OK button. This will close the open windows. The new number may not be assigned until the device is removed and reconnected to the computer.

Tip: Here is what you can try if COM ports are not showing in Device Manager:


  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Search for “device” using the box in the top-right corner and select Device Manager from the results.

How to assign a COM port to a USB device Windows 10?


There are multiple scenarios in which you may need to assign a COM port to a USB device on your Windows 10 computer. Some devices need to have a COM port identifier that falls within a certain range, say between COM1 and COM4. Windows may have assigned a different identifier to the port which you will be required to modify. It’s a relatively simple procedure to perform.

Here is how to assign a COM port to a USB device Windows 10:

  1. Open the Windows Device Manager.
  2. Click on the Ports (COM & LPT) to expand the selection. You will see the ports currently in use along with their designated port identifier.
  3. Right-click on the device whose designation you want to change and select Properties. COM to USB Windows 10
  4. Click on Port Settings and then click the Advanced button.
  5. Locate the COM Port Number at the lower left of the Advanced Settings window.
  6. Click the Com Port Number to change the currently assigned port identifier. Select the COM port identifier that you wish to assign to the USB device attached to the port.
  7. Click OK on all open Property windows.
change the COM port identifier for USB devices

Following these steps will enable you to change the COM port identifier for USB devices attached to your Windows 10 machine.

Conclusion

Virtual COM Port Driver is an advanced way to add virtual COM port pairs. There are many instances where this Windows 10 COM Port Driver software can be instrumental when working with serial devices and applications. Some of the uses of the software include testing and debugging in usage scenarios that include:

  • Verifying the functionality of serial applications for intercepting data transmitted over the network;
  • Troubleshooting serial applications which are using null-modem connections;
  • Developing firmware for devices that are not physically located near your computer;
  • Testing virtual serial port emulators such as GPS, fax, and other devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of way to access the Device Manager in Windows 10:


  1. Using Windows Search

    The easiest way is to use the default Windows search bar located next to the Start Menu on the toolbar. Simply start typing “Device Manager” into the search field and it will be located for you with an easy “Open” link to access it.


  2. From the Control Panel

    • Open the Control Panel on your computer.
    • Locate the “View By” option in the top right of the “Control Panel” screen.
    • Select “Large icons” or “Small icons” according to your preference.
    • “Device Manager” will be listed - all icons are ordered alphabetically in ascending order.

  3. From the WinX menu

    There are two ways to access the WinX menu. Either right-click on the “Start” menu or you can press Windows + X keys on the keyboard at the same time.

    Device Manager will be listed as an option in the menu that appears.


  4. Using PowerShell command or command prompt

    If you prefer using command line, open the Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt windows. Type in any of the following commands (only one):


    devmgmt.msc

    mmc devmgmt.msc

    control hdwwiz.cpl


  5. Using the Run command

    Open the Run window (Windows + R or simply type run in the Search field)

    As with Command Prompt and PowerShell options, type one of the following commands:


    devmgmt.msc

    mmc devmgmt.msc

    control hdwwiz.cpl


  6. From the Computer Management Console

    You can access the Device Manager from the Computer Management Console. Device Manager will be listed in the left panel under System Tools.

  1. If the details of your COM ports are not visible in the Device Manager, open Device Manager and click on “Action” from the menu bar.
  2. Select the “Add legacy hardware” option, then click Next.
  3. Choose the “Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)” option, and click Next.
  4. When complete, the “Ports (COM & LPT)” group will be listed in the Device Manager. Expand the group to view your device. The port along with the port number ie. Communications Port (COM4) will be displayed accordingly.
A virtual Serial Port Driver can be installed in three easy steps:

  1. Download Virtual Serial Port Driver
  2. Double click to launch the application. If you see a User Account Control message, click “Yes” to allow the application to be installed.
  3. Follow the steps in the installation wizard. Read and accept the License Agreement, and click Next to continue.
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