How to Fix Code 31 Errors

By Nina Nixon

On occasion, computers running Windows 7 will display Error Code 31,"This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device" may appear. While some error codes can be misleading and take you on a trip through a troubleshooting maze, Error Code 31 means exactly what it states. The problem deals directly with the device attached to your computer, not the computer's operating system. This is good news because by instantly knowing the cause of an error, troubleshooting time is drastically reduced. It is also one reason Code 31 type errors can be handled faster than most errors with a few quick steps.

Step 1

Visit the Microsoft Compatibility Center (the link is listed in Resources) and verify that the attached device is compatible with your computer's operating system. If it is, continue; if it is not, skip all steps and install another device that is compatible so that it can work correctly with your computer's operating system.

Step 2

Click the "Start" button and then click "Control Panel."

Step 3

Click "System and Security" located under System and then click "Device Manager."

Step 4

Click the device you want to update and then double-click its name.

Step 5

Click the "Driver" tab and then click "Update Driver." Enter your administrator password or provide confirmation, if prompted. If you still see the Code 31 error, continue.

Step 6

Visit the Microsoft Automated Troubleshooter website and run the "Mr. Fix It" diagnostic test.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check device and operating system compatibility before you purchase any device that will be attached to your Windows 7 system. This will allow you to eliminate compatibility as the issue when problems arise. Also, being aware of alternative device selections expands your purchasing options.