Have you wanted to add extra ram to your notebook but don’t know how to do it yourself because the manual that comes with it didn’t teach you how to do it? Sending your notebook to the place where you bought your notebook to upgrade the RAM will cost you double compared to do it yourself. Or if you’re the slightly more adventurous type and want to do something like replacing a broken laptop keyboard. Getting access to it is often a puzzle within itself!
With so many electrical devices around in your home, from phones to TV’s, to washing machines, sometimes you might have to refer to the manual just because you can’t remember how a setting or mode works. Then you discover you can’t find the user guide. A lot of them are not easy to find, especially if the device is quite old. It’s quite frightening the number of times I’ve seen people throw something away because they don’t know or can’t remember how to use it. Most consumer products can have a few minor repairs carried out by a sensible person who doesn’t just poke around inside an electrical device with a screwdriver! A lot of the hard work is actually knowing what to look for, where it is and how to easily get to it.
This is where it’s very handy to be able to lay your hands on replacement user guides, service manuals and datasheets to give you the best chance of getting your device working the way you want or repaired. Either way, this could save you a lot of money.
Here’s a selection of websites that offer user guides, manuals, datasheets, schematics and many other different types of document for you to look at and download.
As a VERY basic test I tried to browse and download 5 completely random manuals from each site to see if they were actually available. Finding the document you desperately need listed and then discovering it isn’t there would be highly annoying! This isn’t to say every single manual on each site is there, but it does give a general idea of how likely what you’re looking for will actually be available if listed.
Offers over 10,000 of Diagrams, Schematics, Datasheets and Service Manuals all downloadable in PDF format. There are around 600 manufacturers available in a big list or you can simply search for what you want. Documents ranging from old vehicles to consumer electronics are available.
To download the document, enter the captcha and click the button. All 5 random manuals were there.
eServiceInfo lists well over 50,000 datasheets, service manuals, schematics, diagrams and other informational documents for most types of electronic equipment from just about every manufacturer. They also host software downloads for things such as diagnostic software and ROM’s or EPROM’s. The huge database is fully searchable. There is also a forum where you can request a manual you need or perhaps share a manual someone else needs.
Although there is no captcha or anything, you do get a limit of 50 downloads per day, and 500 per month. Enough for 99.9% of people. All 5 downloads I tried were available.
Manuals Online has over 300,000 manuals listed in the Manuals Online database ranging from baby care products and home appliances, to power tools and computers. There is also upward of 5,000 brands to search through. An online community is also available to share or seek information.
Apart from there being an online viewer, you can also download the manual by using “View Original Manual”. All 5 random manuals were available.
UsersManualGuide is quite a small site relative to the others here, and it only lists around 20 brands. It has user manuals, operating instructions and guides for electronic equipment like mobile phones, cameras, PC Components such as monitors, software and home entertainment etc. Everything is listed by manufacturer and type, there is no search option.
The manuals are linked directly to the original manufacturer’s website document so some might not be there if they have been changed on the parent website. 3/5 of the ones i looked for were there.
This website is more specialized and focus’s on datasheets and manuals for electronic components and semiconductors from most of the major manufacturers. There are around 1 million datasheets available.
All the files I found were in PDF format and the 5 I randomly downloaded for were all there.
The database on SafeManuals is over 3 million user guides from around 10,000 different brands! There is also a large number of catagories including; domestic appliances, automobiles, electronics and computers, sports equipment, jewelry and baby products. Once you select the manufacturer, a search box is available to narrow it down to your product.
All the random PDF files I tried manuals were there, but there’s a rather odd flash based captcha system to get to the download. You either have to rate the product by clicking on a star system to rate on “Ease of use”, “Reliability” etc, and leave a short opinion (can be random text), or click the “Security code” link and enter a 4 digit captcha where you have to remember the numbers as they flash on the screen!
With a quoted 700,000 manuals available, Manuals Mania has quite an extensive collection. Unfortunately a percentage of the manuals are not free and cost around 3 Euro’s each.
3/5 random free to download manuals were available and are protected by the standard two word recaptcha system.
Well, there you are, 7 websites where you’ll hopefully find the documentation you’re looking for. Of course, it’s always worth checking the manufacturer’s website if you get really stuck or try one of the sites with an online community which could help point you in the right direction.