What is Windows HCL? Windows Hardware Compatibility List

Windows Hardware Compatibility

Windows HCL or Windows Hardware Compatibility List is basically a list of software devices compatible with a specific version of a Microsoft Windows operating system. You must have seen advertisers using a “Certified for Windows” logo. They only use this logo when the device has gone through the Windows Hardware Quality Labs process.

Windows HCL is the short form of Windows Hardware Compatibility List. There are some other terms used for Windows HCL such as HCL, Windows Compatibility Product List, Windows Catalog or Windows Logo’d Product List.

Why Windows HCL

People often ask why they should use Windows HCL. Basically, people use Windows HCL as the reference when they go to a computer hardware shop to buy hardware for a computer you want to install a newer version of Windows onto. It gives you some kind of sense of satisfaction when you make sure that the hardware is compatible with the newly launched version of Windows.

There are some other uses of the Windows HCL such as it is also used as a troubleshooting tool for some STOP errors and Device Manager error codes. Sometimes Windows reports an error related to a specific piece of hardware which may be caused by incompatibility between Windows and that piece of hardware. Now is the time to check if the piece of hardware we talked about above is even compatible with the version of Windows you are running or not. If you discover that the hardware is incompatible then you will have to replace it with the one which is compatible.

How to Use the Windows HCL

Visit the Windows Compatible Products List page to begin.

You must be wondering how to use the Windows HCL. Selecting a group, Device or System, is the first option you will have. When you select Device, you see the options like video cards, network cards, audio devices, webcams, printers, security software, monitors, and keyboards. The second group System has options like mobile devices, tablets, mobile devices, desktops and others.

Once you have selected the group, next you will choose the version of Windows. You will select the version of your Windows in the “Select an OS” section. Now you will go to the third option named “Select a product type”. There you will see options like PC, smart card readers, hard drives, removable storage etc. Needless to say that the options you see in “Select a Product Type” section depending on the group you choose, Device or System. Feel free to use the search field to find the product you want to select if you think searching through all the pages will take a lot of time.

After selecting a product, you will find yourself on a new page where you can have a look at the certification reports. In other words, certification reports say that the product is compatible with the particular version of Windows. You can also check the date of the certification to be more certain.

Hope now you know what Windows HCL or Windows Hardware Compatibility List is and why we use it


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