Getting rid of unused COM ports in Windows

Ok, this isn’t new, but Windows has the memory of an elephant, and remembers serial dongles that no longer exist. I was up to COM21 and only had two external USB-serial dongles, so it was time for housecleaning.

Found this page that absolutely was spot-on and that I’d never have divined on my own. I think it was the combination of running Device Manager as Administrator, and that’s apparently not straightforward to do (even though I have admin privileges).

After deleting 6 GPS serial instances,  8 FTDI instances, and another 5 Prolific instances, I rebooted the box, waited for it to find the two USB-serial adapters, and now am happily back to COM3 and COM4.

Small victories are good.

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