How do I free up com ports on Win 7?

Posted on 2015-01-28
Last Modified: 2015-02-08
Had to remove some Bluetooth software on a Win 7 PC as it was using ever more com ports.  After removal, Windows 7 shows com 2 through com 90 still in use.  The procedures I found on the net tell me how to re-use the ports, but not how to free them up without reassigning them.  Also, it would be helpful if I could find the list of applications/hardware that is using or supposedly using the ports so that I only free up the ones that are actually not in use.
Question by:anAppBuilder
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40576363
I have Bluetooth on my Windows 8 machine and it is not using any COM Ports.

Is your Bluetooth software Windows 7 compliant?  Do you see these ports in Device Manager?  That is where I looked.

Author Comment

ID: 40576552
Thank you, John Hurst.  The software, compliant or not, has been uninstalled;  I do not plan to re-install it.  But the ports still show as in-use.

Only the real in use ports are listed in the device manager under ports.  However, if you try to assign a new port it does show them in use.

How do I free up the now no longer used ports without reassigning them?

How do I find the list of applications/hardware that is using or supposedly using the ports so that I only free up the ones that are actually not in use?
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40576654
I only see two ports in use on my Windows 7 desktop (which does have serial ports) COM1 and COM3. There are no others, not even Hidden.

On my Windows 8 machine with no serial ports, I see two. COM6 for Intel Active Management and COM4 for my Nokia USB Internet stick.

Windows 7 shows com 2 through com 90 still in use.  <-- I suggest you look for a Port you know not to be in use. Then uninstall it in Device Manager. Restart. Any ill effects?  Probably not. You may have to work through a process like this to get rid of the rest.
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Author Comment

ID: 40578682
Thank you again.

For the ports that (probably) are not in use, but appear to be in use, is there any tool that will give me a list of applications/hardware that is using or supposedly using each port?
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40578686
I am not aware of any tool that manages ports. Just Device Manager.

Author Comment

ID: 40578691
And the only way to free up the ports is to uninstall them in Device Manager?
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 40578696
If you used non-compliant software (which I think is the issue) then yes, using Device Manager is the only way I know.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40596812
@anAppBuilder  - Thanks. Sorry there is not a better way for this.

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