A troubleshooting guide for Code 31 errors in Device Manager
The Code 31 error is one of several Device Manager error codes. It’s caused by any number of reasons that prevents Windows from loading the driver for the particular hardware device. Regardless of the root cause, troubleshooting an error Code 31 is pretty straightforward. If you see Code 31 in Device Manager when checking the device driver status, especially for network adapters, don’t worry! Code 31 is one of the common errors in Device Manager, and you can fix Code 31 easily! The error code generally is displayed as: This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)
If you see the Code 31 error on the Microsoft ISATAP adapter in Windows Vista, you can ignore the error. According to Microsoft, there is no actual error.
The Code 31 error will almost always display in the following way
This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)
Details on Device Manager error codes like Code 31 are available in the Device Status area in the device’s properties.
Device Manager error codes are exclusive to Device Manager. If you see the Code 31 error elsewhere in Windows, chances are it’s a system error code which you should not troubleshoot as a Device Manager problem.
The Code 31 error could apply to any hardware device in Device Manager, but most Code 31 errors appear on optical drives like CD and DVD drives.
Any of Microsoft’s operating systems could experience a Code 31 Device Manager error including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and more.
How to Fix a Code 31 Error
Restart your computer if you haven’t done so already. The Code 31 error could source from a temporary memory glitch.
Did you install a device or make a change in Device Manager just before the Code 31 error appeared? If so, it’s possible that the change you made caused the Code 31 error.
Undo the change if you can, restart your PC, and then check again for the Code 31 error.
Roll back the driver to a version prior to your updates.
Use System Restore to undo recent Device Manager related changes.
Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values. A common cause of Code 31 errors is the corruption of two registry values in the DVD/CD-ROM Drive Class registry key.
Deleting similar values in the Windows Registry could also be the solution to a Code 31 error that appears on a device other than a DVD or CD drive. The UpperFilters/LowerFilters tutorial linked above will show you exactly what you need to do.
Some people have had luck deleting the entire key that holds the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values. If deleting the specific values doesn’t fix the Code 31 error, try backing up the key you identify in that tutorial above, and then delete the key, reboot, import the key from the backup, and reboot again.
Update the drivers for the device. Installing the latest manufacturer supplied drivers for a device with the Code 31 error is a likely fix for this problem.
Reinstall the Microsoft ISATAP network adapter if the Code 31 error is related to the MS ISATAP adapter not working properly.
Open Device Manager and access the Action > Add legacy hardware screen. Start the wizard and select Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced). Click through the steps and choose Network adapters > Microsoft > Microsoft ISATAP Adapter from the list.
Replace the hardware. As a last resort, you might need to replace the hardware that has the Code 31 error.
It’s also possible that the device is not compatible with this version of Windows. Check the Windows HCL to be sure.
If you’re convinced that hardware isn’t the cause of this particular Code 31 error, you could try a repair install of Windows. If that doesn’t work, try a clean install of Windows. We don’t recommend doing either of those before you try replacing the hardware, but you may have to give them a shot if you’re out of other options.
Need More Help?
If above methods failed, you can also try to restore your system to a previous point by using the System Restore feature. If you have a different Device Manager error code, here are all the device manager error codes and solutions.