How To Fix “This Device Cannot Start (Code 10)” Operation Error on Windows

Here are ten sure-fire ways you can fix the “This device cannot start.” error on Windows! Learn how to fix the issue and continue using your PC without a glitch.

We all get Windows errors. They’re not fun, but they can be fixed easily if you know how to troubleshoot them properly. Windows error “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” is one of the Windows errors that might seem impossible to fix at first glance, but it’s easy to fix.

It can be hard to know where to begin because it’s related to your Device Manager and other technical things that you may not understand. However, with this article on fixing Windows’ error Code 10, we’ll show you precisely how to tackle this problem!

What causes Code 10 error in the Device Manager?

For the proper functioning of your computer, you need to make sure all devices and software installed work as intended. Suppose anything fails for any reason (including bad or corrupt drivers). In that case, the problem can lead to errors with startup or functionality, which results in “This device cannot start Code 10” being displayed on the screen:

This device cannot start. (Code 10)

{Operation Failed}

The requested operation was unsuccessful.

This error, in particular, can be caused by a plethora of things. Anything goes from a faulty driver, missing files, or a temporary system error.

In short, the Code 10 error means that there are some kinds of unspecified driver or hardware issues on your device. It can happen on every modern Windows version like Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 7, etc.

Note that error codes in the Device Manager are usually for Device Manager only. If you see a different error called Code 10 elsewhere on your computer, it’s probably referring to a system or software problem that needs troubleshooting by other methods.

Solved: This device cannot start (Code 10)

It’s important to know how to address driver-related errors, as they can cause severe problems with operating your computer if not fixed. We compiled 10 solutions to the frustrating error, which will help you resolve any problematic drivers, system issues, and more.

The methods below work best for Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers. Some steps may vary if you’re using an older version of the operating system. If you need any assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

Method 1. Restart your computer

Here’s a quick fix to the most common computer issues: simply restarting your system. A reboot will flush many temporary files and allow each application to launch with a clean slate, including the Device Manager. Here are simple steps for how to do this on Windows 10:

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left of your screen to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Click on the Power option, and then choose Restart. This is going to close all of your open applications and completely restart your computer.
  3. After your computer has restarted, check if the error persists when you check the Device Manager.

Method 2. Update the problematic device driver

A tried and true way of solving driver problems on any computer is by simply updating your drivers. Even if you think they’re up to date, a new update may have been released recently, or your driver files could’ve gotten corrupted since you last installed them.

Updating the drivers of a device that’s producing the “This device cannot start (Code 10)” error on your PC is simple:

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
    update device driver
  2. Expand the category of the problematic device by clicking on the arrow icon in front of it. Right-click on the device you’re having issues with (you can locate it by looking for a yellow exclamation mark) and choose Update Driver.
    update device driver
  3. Select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” to let Windows look for the latest drivers compatible with your device. Note that you’ll require a connection to the internet to perform this step.
    search automatically for device driver
  4. Once the new driver has been downloaded and installed, restart your computer. After rebooting, make sure to check if the error is still present when you go back to the Device Manager.

Method 3. Update your operating system

An update to your operating system may fix many underlying issues, such as the device issue leading to the Code 10 error in your Device Manager. Try to download the latest version of Windows to see if the problem persists afterward.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or use the Windows + I shortcut.
    update operating system
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your Windows Update settings and choose when to receive updates.
    update operating ystem
  3. Make sure to stay on the default Windows Update tab. Click on the Check for updates option and wait for Windows to find available updates. If you see any updates already displayed, click on the View all optional updates link to see and install them.
    update operating system
  4. Click on the Install option and wait for Windows to download and apply the necessary updates if an update is found.

Method 4. Make a Registry modification

The Registry is a central place for all sorts of features in your system. It’s almost like an under-the-hood view of your machine, allowing you to tweak hidden settings and more. It can also be used to fix errors and bugs, just like in this article we’re dealing with.

If you know how to work the Registry, this method will guide you through the steps. However, if you’ve never touched this application before, it might be better to create a Registry backup first. Even a small typo can cause severe damage when it comes to editing files here!

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This is going to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “regedit” without the quotation marks and press the Enter key on your keyboard. This will launch the Registry Editor application.
    modify Windows registry
  3. Use the Navigation pane to reach the following Registry key, or use the address bar and copy-paste the file’s location:


modify windos registry

4. You should see a list of Class GUIDs, which are a series of alphanumeric characters between braces. Determine the correct Class GUID for the device you’re having issues with using this list. It should look like this:


5. In the results that appear on your window, locate UpperFilters and LowerFilters values. Delete both of them by right-clicking their respective names and choosing Delete from the context menu.

registry modification


6. Click Yes when prompted with the “Deleting certain registry values could cause system instability. Are you sure you want to permanently delete this value?” question.

7. A few seconds later, after confirming, the deletion process will be completed successfully. Reboot the computer for good measure and check if the Code 10 error returns afterward.

Method 5. Switch to a powered USB hub

Some USB devices require more voltage than your computer’s universal ports can give. So, if you notice the “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” error on your Windows PC, try using a powered hub to see if it assists with device connectivity or initialization difficulties.

You can purchase a brand new powered USB hub from Amazon for as low as $19.99 plus shipping to your location.

Method 6. Rollback, the driver

The Roll Back Driver function in Device Manager is the perfect tool for those not satisfied with their drivers or are having issues with the latest update. It enables you to remove any currently installed driver and then automatically install that same version of Windows’ original, previously installed one so everything goes back how it was once before!

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
  2. Expand the category of the problematic device by clicking on the arrow icon in front of it. Right-click on the device you’re having issues with (you can locate it by looking for a yellow exclamation mark) and choose Properties.
  1. A new pop-up window should appear. Here, switch to the Driver tab and then click on the Rollback driver button if available.

Method 7. Uninstall the driver and reinstall the latest version

Sometimes your drivers need a clean start. It’s possible that some driver files were damaged or deleted entirely during system updates, by malware, or during new driver installation. To ensure you have all files necessary in working order, you can remove the current driver and reinstall a fresh one.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
  2. Expand the category of the problematic device by clicking on the arrow icon in front of it. Right-click on the device you’re having issues with (you can locate it by looking for a yellow exclamation mark) and choose Uninstall device.
  3. Click on Action from the Device Manager menu, and then choose Scan for hardware changes. You can also use the shortcut icon as shown on the image below:
  4. After the driver is reinstalled, check if the same error appears when looking at your device in the Device Manager. If everything is in working order, create a restore point to ensure you can roll back to this state in case of any future problems!

Method 8. Use a System Restore point

If you or your system created a restore point before the “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” device issue appearing for the first time, you’ll be able to return your system to that state. This could fix the problem, as it automatically installs the working device driver and removes anything that may have interfered with the device itself.

  1. Open the search bar in your taskbar by clicking on the magnifying glass icon. You can also bring it up with the Windows + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type in System Restore and click on Recovery from the search results. This should be on the top, in the Best match category.
  3. You’ll be taken to the Control Panel. Here, click on the Open System Restore link that can be seen in the Advanced recovery tools section.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore a past point in time. You can select a restore point yourself or use the recommended one if Windows 10 shows the option. Don’t forget to check what files and applications will be affected!
  5. After choosing the options you’re happy with, click on the Finish button and wait for Windows 10 to restore your computer.
  6. After the restoration process is complete, check if you’re able to download and install a new Windows 10 update.

Method 9. Replace the hardware

Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do on your computer to make the problematic device work. It’s a possibility that your device is damaged, in which case all you can do is get a replacement or send it in for repair if possible.

Make sure to test the device on a different computer first and see if the Code 10 error happens as well. If the error is present on a second computer, too, we recommend getting in touch with the manufacturer or reseller you purchased from to arrange a replacement swiftly.

Method 10. Refresh or reinstall Windows

If nothing above worked, your issue might only be fixed if you reset or reinstall Windows 10. Depending on your preferences, you may reinstall the system without losing any personal files. Unfortunately, most of your applications and system configuration will be deleted to give your device a fresh start.

Check our How to Install Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 Using a Bootable USB guide for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to install Windows 10. For refresh and reset instructions, head to the official Microsoft support page.

Before you go...

If this article helped solve your problems with the “This device cannot start. (Code 10)” issue, check out some of our other articles on using Windows or get more information about Windows errors, tips and tricks, and troubleshooting.

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