How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (2023)

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Getting "This device cannot start (Code 10)" error in Windows? This error can appear on all versions of Windows and is quite vague, so it's understandably frustrating.

Let's see what code 10 in Windows is, some common reasons why it happens, and how to fix it.

What is error code 10?

Code 10 This device cannot start error is usually related to removable drives. Appears when Windows is unable to properly run a piece of hardware, such as a printer or USB drive.

That's why you can see it after Windows tries to install the driver for a new device. Can sometimes prevent CD drives, Bluetooth hardware or storage devices from appearingthis computer.

You can also view this status for affected devices onGenerallytab in the Device Manager entry, which we'll discuss later. Code 10 is often seen due to issues with USB or audio devices. Let's see the solutions to this problem.

1. Restart your computer

As with most computer issues, you can sometimes fix this code 10 issue in Windows with a simple restart. You should always do this basic troubleshooting step first so you don't waste time with more advanced methods.

Restart your computer and try to access the device again. It's a good idea to unplug your device and plug it back in after the reset if you experience an intermittent connection or other minor issue.

If you still get the error message after this basic step, then proceed to advanced troubleshooting.

2. Run the Hardware Devices Troubleshooter

Windows includes several automated troubleshooters to help you solve many problems. one of them is thehardware and devicesTool that solves problems in this area. While it's not guaranteed to find anything, it's worth a run if you're having this problem.

For some reason, Microsoft has removed this particular utility fromProblems solutionMenu in Windows 10 and 11, but you can still access it from the Run or Terminal menu. Presswin + RThen, to open the Run menu, type the following line:

 msdt.exe -I WENT device diagnostics 

This will open the troubleshooter in a new window. give a clickNextgo through Once the wizard is complete, you will be informed about the problems found and the results of how to fix them.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (1)

3. Look for more information in Device Manager

Device Manager collects information about all devices connected to your PC, so this is an important place to look if you see a Code 10 error. To open it, presswin + xor right-click the Start button and selectDevice administratordo menu.

You can expand each category to see the individual devices below it. If a device has an issue, you'll see a small yellow warning icon next to it. This should show the device causing the error. Double click on these items and check.device statusField; it is saidThis device cannot start (code 10), then it will not work correctly.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (2)

Although you should review all categories here,Audio inputs and outputsYuniversal serial bus controllerare two common culprits. If you don't find the problem with any of these devices, check other USB devices includingDruckerYMice and other pointing devices. If you've recently added hardware to your computer, take a look at that too.

If you find the device listed with an error, try unplugging it, waiting a few minutes, and plugging it back in. If this has no effect, you should continue to update or remove the driver for this device.

4. Update hardware drivers

Hardware often misbehaves because you have installed an outdated or incorrect driver for it. GoSettings > Update & Security > Windows Update(Windows 10) oSettings > Windows Update(Windows 11) to check for new updates, which is always a good idea if you're having problems with Windows.

Running this update check will also find driver updates. These may appear belowSee Optional Updates > Driver Updates(Windows 10) oAdvanced Options > Optional Updates(Windows 11), check there too.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (3)

To update a specific driver not shown here, right-click Device Manager and selectUpdate Driver > Find Drivers Automatically. This will check for a newer driver on your computer.

If that doesn't help (which it usually does), look up your device's name online to see if there's a newer driver from the manufacturer. follow ourInstructions for Updating Old Windows Driversfor more help. If the latest driver doesn't work (perhaps the manufacturer released a buggy update), you can try installing an older version. This isn't a good long-term solution, but it's worth a try.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (4)

5. Uninstall non-working drivers

If updating the device driver doesn't work, the next thing to try is to replace or remove the driver. Right click on the problematic device and select itCharacteristics, followed byconductorGuide to some options.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (5)

To choosereversal controllerundoes all recent updates and reverts to the previous version. However, this is only accessible if there is an older version to fall back on.

If you can't do it, you must chooseuninstall deviceto completely remove it from your system. After that, restart. Windows should install generic drivers for some devices, such as mice and keyboards, when it restarts. However, you may need to manually reinstall manufacturer-specific drivers, such as gaming mouse drivers.

Hopefully an updated driver will make the code 10 error stop. If not, there are other ways to fix the device cannot start message.

6. Try a different USB port or hub

Once you've determined which device is causing error code 10, try plugging it into a different USB port on your computer. There is the possibility ofYour USB port may be faulty, causing a communication problem between the device and your PC.

Also, if you use basic USB hubs with your computer, consider replacing them with self-powered models. A USB hub that has its own power source, such as aHub Sabrents USB 3.0 4 ports, is more reliable than the one that relies on your PC's power.

7. Remove UpperFilters and LowerFilters from the registry

As an advanced step, you can delete some registry values ​​related to filter drivers that work between Windows and the hardware. Sometimes clearing them can fix the Code 10 error.

Improper registry changes can cause other problems, so be careful during this process. see ourInstructions for working safely in the registrybefore continuing.

To find relevant registry entries:

  1. Presswin + Rto open theRundialog box and typeto governto launch the registry editor.
  2. Use the navigation tree on the left to navigate to the following location:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class.
  3. With himClassroomIf you expanded the key, you'll see a lot of keys below that are long strings. These GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers) correspond to all the different types of hardware in Device Manager.
How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (6)

Now you need to find the correct GUID for the device type you are looking for. To do this, go back to Device Manager and double-click the problem device. switch todetailstab in the resulting window and change thePropertydropdown box tooclassroom leadership.

AWertappears in the next field, which corresponds to one of the registry keys.

How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (7)

In Registry Editor, click on the corresponding string in the left pane of the registry to open its contents in the right pane. Some of them look the same so make sure you get the right one.

Once you're in the correct folder:

  1. to search forobere filterYlower filtersArticle. You can only see one of them, which is fine. If you don't see either, make sure you have the correct GUID. If you're sure you've done it right and you still don't see them, this isn't working for you.
  2. The right mouse buttonobere filterEUlower filtersand chooseextinguish. Confirm the warning and the file will be removed.
  3. Restart the computer and check the device again to see if it works.
How to Fix "This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)" Error in Windows (8)

Please note that depending on the GUID removed, some programs that used these devices may not work correctly until you reinstall them.

8. Test your hardware elsewhere

If you are still seeing error code 10 at this point, the device is most likely at fault. If possible, try connecting the hardware to another computer and see if that works.

If your device does not work on another system, contact the manufacturer or replace the device. If it works on another system, the problem is with your computer.

9. Perform a System Restore or Reset

If you have tested that your device works on another computer, you can do sotry a system restoreto see if there is a Windows quirk that prevents the hardware from working. This will restore your system to an earlier point in time, which is helpful if the issue started recently.

If not, you can reset Windows, but that's overkill for this problem. Hardware issues, particularly at this point, are usually an issue with the device itself, but if your device worked elsewhere and you don't mind giving it a try,perform a Windows resetcould possibly solve the problem.

Fix Error Code 10 on Windows: Success

Now you know what to do if you get "This device cannot start (Code 10)" in Windows. I hope you don't have to troubleshoot too much to get your hardware working again. Fixing driver errors is never fun, but knowing where to look helps a lot.

Unfortunately, this is not the only external device issue you may encounter in Windows.

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