This device cannot start. Try upgrading the device drivers for this device. (Code 10).  Did you get this driver error while trying to run a device on your Windows computer? If so, you’re not alone. Windows is known for its bugs, especially after certain updates. Luckily, we have compiled a list of methods that have been proven to solve this issue. 

We would suggest Method 2: Update the device drivers as the place to start. This method seems to work for most Windows users. These methods are mostly for Windows 10, but some may work for other Windows operating systems. 

What is Error Code 10: This Device Cannot Start?

Error code 10 is a message you get when a device isn’t working the way it should due to a driver issue. You may see one of two messages: This device cannot start. Try upgrading the device drivers for this device. (Code10). This device cannot start. (Code 10). They mean the exact same thing, but depending on your system, it may show one or the other. 

What Causes Error Code 10: This Device Cannot Start?

Generally, the hardware key for the device contains a “FailReasonString” value The message “This device cannot start. (Code10)” is caused by a few different faults within the Device Manager such as these: 

It’s generated when the Device Manager is unable to start the device, generally caused by a corrupted or outdated driver. 
It could be generated due to an issue within an unspecified hardware or driver issue. It means the Device Manager doesn’t understand a driver error that has been created. 

The code 10 error, “This device cannot start. (Code10)”, can apply to any device in the Device Manager however, the most common culprit is audio and USB devices. 

Furthermore, Device Manager codes are only seen in the Device Manager. If you are getting this code anywhere else within your Windows system, it’s more than likely a system error code or an error that is specific to the software. This should not be troubleshot as a Device Manager problem.

How To Fix This Device Cannot Start. (Code10)

Before we get into how to fix the issue, you need to make your way to the Device Manager program of your computer to check the device’s status. You can do this by following these steps: 

Simultaneously press the Windows Key + X
Locate the hardware you want to check the status of by working your way down the list
Click on the > icon to see everything in a specific category
If you’re on Windows Vista or XP, you will see a + instead
Once you have located the hardware you want to see the status of, right-click on it and choose Properties
Click the General tab of the windows
Locate Device status 

If the device is working as it should, you will see the message “This device is working properly”. If it isn’t working as it should, you will see the error 10 messages. 

Now that you know how to get into the Device Manager, here are some methods that will help you fix “This device cannot start. (Code10)”: 

Restart your computer
Update the device drivers
Uninstall the driver
Try an older driver version
Install the latest updates for Windows
Delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters values
Replace the hardware
Repair Windows

Method 1: Restart Your Computer

There’s always a chance that you see  “This device cannot start. (Code10)” because there is a temporary issue in the Device manager with certain hardware. In many situations, a simple reboot of your computer may solve the problem. 

Additionally, this is a method you would use if you recently made a change to something in the Device Manager. Changes to hardware can generate this code. So if you installed a new device or updated it and all of a sudden you have an error code, undo the changes you made and restart the computer. 

Method 2: Update the Device Drivers

This is the most recommended solution to the error code. You can do this by following these steps: 

Simultaneously press the Windows Key + X
Find the device you suspect to be faulty
Click on Properties
Click on the Driver tab
Select Update Driver to open the Update Wizard

You may be asked to provide the driver’s path. If you are asked for the driver, but you don’t have it, simply download the latest driver from the vendor’s website. 

Method 3: Uninstall the Driver

A lot of times this method is very successful. When you uninstall a driver and restart the computer, the driver will reinstall itself with up-to-date software. Here’s how to do this: 

  • Open your Device Manager
    Locate the device generating the code 10 error 
    Right-click the device and choose Uninstall
    Click Delete the driver software for this device 
    Select OK
    Restart your computer to see if the problem is fixed

Method 4: Try an Older Version of the Driver

Sometimes reverting to an older version of the driver can fix the error. You can do this by performing the following actions:

Open your Device Manager
Expand the category where the device is you want to revert
Right-click the device
Choose Properties
Select the Driver tab
Click Roll Back Driver
Choose a reason you want to roll back
Click Yes
Restart the computer

Method 5: Install the Latest Update for Windows

Microsoft releases patches for Windows frequently. If a computer doesn’t have the latest service packs which contain a fix to the code 10 error, then you will continue to see the message. You can fix it by installing the latest update for Windows if you have one available. Here’s how to check if your computer needs an update: 

Navigate to Settings
Locate Update & Security
Choose Windows Update on the left of the screen
Clock Check for updates

If there are updates available, Windows will automatically begin downloading and installing them once you check the box for updates at a certain time if your computer isn’t being used. 

For Windows 8, 7, and Vista

For Windows 8, 7, and Vista, the process is a little different: 

Open Control Panel
Go to Windows Update
Select Check for updates

Method 6: Delete UpperFilters and LowerFilters Values

If the code is being generated by the DVD/CD-ROM device, then you could try to delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values. Removing these registry values is simple and should take no more than 10-minutes. Here’s how to do it: 

Simultaneously click WIN+R
Type Regedit to open the registry editor
On the left of the Registry Editor, locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Tap on the > or + to expand
Expand until you locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class
Click > or + next to the class key to expand
Use this list to figure out the correct class GUID for the hardware that is throwing the error code
Select the subkey that corresponds with the devices class GUID that you found in the previous step
In that result, locate UpperFilters and LowerFilters values (If you only see one or the other, that’s fine. Continue accordingly)
Right-click on UpperFilters and Delete
Click Yes to the message that pops up regarding deleting certain registry values
Right-click LoweFilters and Delete
Click Yes to the same message you say for UpperFilters
Verify that these registry values no longer exist
Restart your computer

Method 7: Replace the Hardware

Sometimes there may be an issue with the device itself that is making the code appear. To easily solve this problem, replace the hardware. You may need to buy a new mouse, keyboard, DVD/CD-ROM, etc. 

Method 8: Repair Windows

The last step, if all else fails, would be to repair Windows. Only do this if you are certain that a piece of hardware isn’t causing the problem. There are two ways you can do this: 

Repair Windows

Go to Settings
Choose Recovery from the list on the left
Find Advanced startup
Choose Restart
Wait until the Please wait message is gone and Advanced Startup Options opens
Depending on your operating system, you can choose Startup Repair, Repair Install, or Refresh Your PC

Clean Install of Windows

Go to Settings
Choose Recovery from the list on the left
Find Advanced startup
From the Troubleshoot screen, select Reset this PC
Choose whether you want to keep or remove all files

Keeping all files will keep personal files, but remove all installed apps and software 
Removing everything will remove all files, software, installed apps and will leave nothing for you to go back to once Windows is reinstalled
Restoring to factory settings will remove all traces of anything you’ve ever done including custom screens and more. It will be like you just took it out of the box

Let the computer finish the process and continue from there

Our Final Words

We hope that our methods have helped you get your Windows computer back up and running the way it should be. Error codes are always popping up if Windows isn’t up-to-date or running in tip-top shape. It’s important that you install the updates Windows is requesting and checking frequently for driver and software updates to avoid issues with your PC.