One of the common driver errors is error code 10. This makes the Device Manager unable to start a hardware device. You can check the device status in the Device Manager and it will show this device cannot start. (code 10). This is usually caused by corrupted or outdated drivers. Error code 10 can occur for any hardware device, however, it usually occurs in audio devices and USB devices. This error can occur on any of the OS versions of Windows like Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows  10, etc. So, if you are facing this problem and looking for solutions, then you are in the right place. 

Methods to solve the error of “device cannot start code 10”

So, let us check the different solutions that you can implement to solve this error code 10. As the error is related to the drivers, most of the time this issue is fixed by some tweaks with the device drivers.

Restart the computer

This is the easiest solution for almost every computer problem. If this error is caused due to some temporary problems with the Device Manager, then restarting your computer will hopefully solve this problem.  

Undo all the changes that you have made on the device driver

One of the reasons for the error of ”this device cannot start. (code 10)” to show up is because of all the changes and the devices that you might have added to the Device Manager. So, if rebooting your system did not solve the problem, you can take the following measures:-

  1. You can reconfigure or remove all the devices that you have lately installed.
  2. Select the driver updates that you have done recently and roll them back to their previous version. 
  3. Perform a System Restore for undoing all the changes that you have made recently to the Device Manager. 
  4. If you see that the error of “this device cannot start. (code 10)”  is occurring on a USB device, then you have to uninstall all the devices that are present under the section of “Universal Serial Bus Controllers”. This section contains elements like USB Root Hub, USB Host Controller, and USB Mass Storage Device. 

It is very important to install the driver of a device properly. If something goes wrong, this code 10 error can show up. Hence, you have to completely remove the drivers and then reinstall them again properly to solve this problem.     

Uninstall the Driver

When you will face the error code 10, the first thing that you can do is uninstall and reinstall the driver of the hardware that is causing this error code. Follow the steps below to complete this process successfully.

  1. Locate the option of “Device Manager” and open it. 
  2. Now, find the driver of the device that is facing the error code 10. Right-click on the driver and select the option of “Uninstall”. 
  3. After that, you will see a prompt to uninstall the driver. Here, you have to check the box beside the option of “Delete the driver software for this device”. Then, press the button of “OK”. 
  4. Now, restart your system. 

Check if the problem of the “device cannot start code 10” error is solved or not. 

Driver update

If you see that uninstalling and reinstalling the driver has not solved your problem, then you can try updating the driver. However, you can update your driver in two different ways: manually or automatically.   

Updating the driver manually

To update the driver manually, you have to go to the official website of the manufacturer of the hardware that is facing the error code 10. After that, search for the latest update of the driver. Make sure that the update is compatible with your system. 

However, there is another way by which you can download the update from the Start menu and you don’t have to go to any website.

Updating the driver automatically

  1. Open the Start Menu and in the search bar, you have to type “device manager”. Now, click on the option of “Device Manager”. 
  2. You can select a category to find the name of the device. After locating the name, right-click on it. 
  3. Now, select the option of “Search automatically for updated driver software”. 
  4. Next, you have to click on the “Update Driver” option. 
  5. Windows will automatically find the latest update and install it. 


I hope that you will be able to solve your problem by using the above-discussed solutions. All these solutions are very effective and simple and you will face no difficulty in implementing them.