How to fix the display adapter code 31 error in Windows 10

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

display adapter code 31

Display Adapter Code 31 error can be problematic and negatively impact your multimedia experience. However, there’s a way to fix this problem once and for all.

The display adapter code 31 error is one that prevents Windows loading a VDU (monitor) driver. Code 31 does not have its own error message window. However, the Device Manager displays this device status error message for the display adapter, “This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device (Code 31).” So if something is up with your VDU, it might be due to a code 31 error.

Having problems with Graphics device driver error code 31? Try these solutions

  1. Restart Windows
  2. Open the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
  3. Update the Display Adapter Driver
  4. Roll Back Windows with System Restore
  5. Edit the Registry
  6. Check for updates

Solution 1 – Restart Windows

It might be the case that the code 31 error is only a temporary Device Manager issue. As such, restarting Windows might be a straightforward fix. After rebooting, open the Device Manager from the Win + X menu, right-click the display adapter and select Properties to open a General tab that includes the device status. Does that tab still include the code 31 error?

Solution 2 – Open the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

If restarting Windows doesn’t do the trick, open the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. That might detect hardware issues and automatically fix the code 31 issue. This is how you can open the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

  1. Click the Cortana button on the Windows 10 taskbar. Alternatively, open the Start menu’s search box in earlier Windows platforms.
  2. Enter the keyword troubleshoot in the search box.
  3. Select Troubleshoot to open the Settings window directly below.
    troubleshoot display adapter code 31
  4. Select the listed Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, and then press its Run troubleshooter button.
  5. That will open the hardware troubleshooter window which automatically scans. If it detects anything, you can select an Apply this fix option.

apply this fix display adapter code 31

Solution 3 – Update the Display Adapter Driver

The code 31 error pertains to the VDU’s driver. As such, updating an outdated display adapter driver will probably resolve the issue. This is how you can update a driver by downloading it from the manufacturer website.

  1. First, you’ll need the graphics card chipset model and 32 or 64-bit Windows platform details. To obtain those details, enter ‘System Info’ in the Cortana search box; and select to open the System Information window below.
    system information display adapter code 31
  2. System Summary lists the platform and system type details. Click Components > Display to open the required graphics card details.

system information display display adapter code 31

Now you need to download the driver. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the manufacturer’s website for your display adapter.
  2. Click on drivers or download center link on the manufacturer’s website to search for the driver.
  3. Then enter your chipset model in the search box to find the up-to-date driver.
  4. Download the most update driver listed that matches both your Windows platform and system type.
  5. Press the Win key + R hotkey to open Run.
  6. Enter devmgmt.msc in the text box and press Enter to open Device Manager.
    device manager display adapter code 31
  7. Double-click Display adapters and then right-click your listed display adapter to open its context menu.
  8. Select Update driver to open the window in the snapshot below.
    update driver display adapter code 31
  9. Select the Browse my computer for driver software option to open a path box as below.
    browse for driver display adapter code 31
  10. Press the Browse button to select the folder path that includes the update display adapter driver.
  11. Then click Next to install your new graphics card driver.

Update drivers automatically

Permanent damage can be caused by the installation of the wrong driver version. Thus, we strongly suggest updating your driver automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will keep your system safe and updated with a click. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Below you find a quick guide on how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window display adapter code 31 Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.tweakbit driver updater scanning display adapter code 31
    2. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      update drivers automatically
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

Solution 4 – Roll Back Windows with System Restore

The code 31 issue might have occurred because you installed a hardware device or your PC had a recent system update. Reversing those system changes can also potentially fix the display adapter code 31 error. The System Restore tool will undo system changes and roll back updated drivers. This is how you can roll back Windows with the System Restore utility.

  1. Open Run, enter rstrui in the text box and click OK to open System Restore.
  2. Selecting Recommended restore will undo the most recent system changes.
    system restore display adapter code 31
  3. If you need to go a little further back, select Choose a different restore point. However, note that restoring Windows also removes software installed after a selected restore point.
  4. Click the Show more restore points option, and then select a date to roll Windows back to.
    system restore point display adapter code 31
  5. Click Next > Finish and Yes to give the go ahead for System Restore to roll back Windows.

Solution 5 – Edit the Registry

This resolution requires that you delete corrupted UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values for your video adapter. Note that not all display adapters will include those registry values. You can erase those registry values as follows.

  1. Open the Registry Editor by entering ‘regedit’ in the Run.
  2. Now open this path in the Registry Editor window:
    registry editor display adapter code 31
  3. First, create a registry backup for {4d36e967-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318} by clicking File > Export. Then enter a title for the backup file, select a folder for it and press the Save button.
  4. Now right-click UpperFilters on the right of the Registry Editor window and select Delete.
  5. Right-click LowerFiltes and select Delete.
  6. Close the Registry Editor, and then restart your laptop or desktop.

Solution 6 – Check for updates

If you’re still getting Display Adapter Code 31 error, perhaps you can fix the issue simply by updating Windows to the latest version. If Windows isn’t up to date, you might encounter various glitches, and the best way to deal with them is to keep your system updated.

This is fairly simple, and Windows already automatically checks for updates, but you can also check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security
  2. Now click Check for updates button in the right pane.

Windows will now check for available updates. If updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background and installed as soon as you restart your PC. Once your system is up to date, check if the problem is still there.

Those are a few resolutions for the display adapter code 31 error. These fixes might also fix code 31 issues for other hardware devices. If you have further suggestions that might resolve this issue, please share them below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.