Fix: This Device Cannot Start. (Code 10) Error on Windows 11

Outdated or faulty drivers could trigger this error

by Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Henderson Jayden Harper
Passionate about technology, Crypto, software, Windows, and everything computer-related, he spends most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. He also enjoys... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
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  • Code 10 error on Windows 11 can occur when Windows can’t run a piece of hardware.
  • The error can occur due to outdated or corrupt drivers on your PC.
  • Updating your drivers and operating system can resolve the error.

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There are several errors users can run into on their Windows computers. Some of these errors can render the system inaccessible or prevent you from using its installed programs. This device cannot start. (code 10) error on wWindows 11 pops up on the screen when Windows can’t run a hardware.

What causes the error code 10, this device cannot start?

This device cannot start Code 10 appearing on your computer indicates that Windows can’t run a piece of hardware on your PC. So, if your PC can’t run the needed components, it can run into an error.

Some factors that can cause the error are:

  • Outdated or faulty driver – Every device on the system depends on a driver that provides the necessary support and resources. If the drivers are outdated or inaccessible, Windows may not be able to start the devices, depending on their services. Hence, it results in error code 10.
  • Hardware issues – Error code 10 may appear on your computer if there is an issue with any hardware connected to your PC. Windows not being able to run the hardware may affect its activities, causing errors with the services that need it.
  • Outdated Windows OS – It is undisputed that Windows can run into several problems when it is not up-to-date. It prevents it from accessing the needed updates and patches for fixing bugs and causes compatibility problems. Hence, you can encounter issues with your hardware if it isn’t compatible with your OS.

There are lots of other factors that are liable to cause the error. Hence, we’ll discuss some basic fixes to resolve the error and get your PC running again.

How do I fix this device cannot start (Code 10) error on Windows 11?

Before proceeding with any advanced fixes, try the following preliminary checks:

  • Turn off background apps on your PC.
  • Unplug and reconnect external devices to your computer.
  • Restart your PC and check if the error persists.

If you can’t fix the error, proceed with the following solutions:

1. Update the driver on your PC

  1. Press Windows + R key to prompt the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc, and open the Device Manager.
  2. Click on a device, then right-click on the driver you want to update and click the Update driver option from the drop-down.
  3. Then select Search automatically for drivers.
  4. Restart your PC and check if the error persists.

Expert tip:


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Updating the drivers on your computer will help their devices run properly and fix bugs affecting them. Check our guide on how to update drivers on Windows 11 for other methods to use.

2. Update your Windows

  1. Press Windows + I key to open the Windows Settings app.
  2. Click on Windows update and click on Check for updates. If there are any updates available, it will search for and install them.

Updating Windows will fix the bugs and compatibility issues that may prevent the code 10 error. Read about fixing Windows not connecting to update service if the error occurs on your PC.

3. Modify your Registry

  1. Press Windows + R key to open the Run dialog box, type Regedit, then press OK to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class
  3. Press Windows + R key to prompt the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc, and open the Device Manager.
  4. Find the device causing the error and double-click on it.
  5. Click on the Details tab, change the Property dropdown box to Class Guid, then go to Value to note the strings of characters it contains.
  6. Go back to the Registry Editor window and click the characters’ string that matches the device’s on the left pane.
  7. Find the UpperFilters and LowerFilters, right-click on them and select Delete from the drop-down.
  8. Restart your PC and check if the error appears.

Clearing the filter driver values can fix the issue with the device and Windows.

4. Run System Restore

  1. Left-click the Start button, type Restore, and tap on Create a Restore Point.
  2. Click the System Protection tab and select System Restore.
  3. Choose a different system restore and click Next to select a specific Restore Point.
  4. Select the last time your PC worked perfectly, and click Next.
  5. Click the Finish button.

System Restore reverts your system to the selected restore point when it works properly. Check how to fix Restore Point if it’s not working and if you have any issues running it.

Also, users report that Windows failed to start after a hardware or software change error on Windows 11.

Further, our readers can check our article on fixing the inability to activate Windows after a hardware change on your PC.

Conclusively, this guide should help you troubleshoot this device cannot start. (code 10) error on Windows 11. If you have further questions or suggestions on this, kindly drop them in the comments section.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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