Fix Hardware Problems Caused by Windows 10 Updates

Problems caused by Windows Updates (after updating the computer) are sometimes encountered by computers in relation to the hardware devices attached to them. This is quite ironic because Windows 10 updates are meant to fix computer problems, instead, they, at times, are causing problems.

If you are unfamiliar with Windows Update, it is a service by Microsoft that is used to automatically download and install patches for the Windows OS and other programs. These are regularly released every second Tuesday of the month (also called Patch Tuesdays), and are automatically installed by default.

(Read: Manage Windows 10 Updates to Avoid Potential Problems)

If your system has just recently updated and is now experiencing hardware issues, the probable culprit to this is a software patch that is incompatible, and the solution can be just a simple driver update. You can try to resolve these hardware problems caused by Windows 10 updates by following the guide below. But first, let us get you acquainted with Device Manager.

Device Manager

screenshot of device manager - Fix Hardware Problems Caused by Windows 10 Update
Device Manager

When troubleshooting a hardware problem in Windows, you should first look at the Device Manager because:

  • The device manager displays detailed information about each hardware attached and installed to your computer.
  • The device manager is designed to help you zero in on a device that is experiencing issues by tagging it with a special marker. It then provides you with a unique error code that may help you track down the cause of the problem to find a solution.

The Device Manager’s default tree view provides a comprehensive way to start the investigation of the hardware in your computer system.

In your Windows search bar, type “Device Manager” and open it when it appears.

Device Manager’s default view is “Devices by type”, which displays a list of device categories such as audio inputs and outputs, batteries, disk drives, firmware, processors, and network adapters.

By clicking at a device, for example Bluetooth, in Device Manager, a pop-up window will appear, and it will show the status of your device if it is working properly or not.

screenshot of bluetooth on device manager - Fix Hardware Problems Caused by Windows 10 Update
Bluetooth device is working properly.

Windows 10 Update Problems and Solutions

Now that you know the function of device manager, you can always check the status of your hardware devices (attached to your computer) whenever you encounter any problems.

1. Printer

If your printer has stopped working after a Windows 10 update, work your way down this list until you find the solution that works for you.

  • Make sure that the printer is connected – check if the data cable is connected to the correct port and see if the computer detects it. Make it the default printer and test print a page.
  • Power cycle – power cycling is often an effective way to fix unknown glitches in computer devices. Turn off your printer and unplug it from the power socket. Wait for 30 seconds, plug it back in, and turn on your printer. Print a test page to see if it works.
  • Update your printer driver – this problem may occur if you are using a printer that has an outdated driver. Go to the Device Manager and look for the printer. Right click on it and uninstall device. Right click on it again and choose update driver.
  • Reset the print spooler – print spooler manages the print jobs sent to the printer. To reset the printer spooler:
    • Press the Windows logo key + R > type services.msc > Enter.
    • At the Services window scroll down to Print Spooler > Right-click on it > Stop
    • Again, press the Windows logo key+R > type %WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers > Enter.
    • Select all the files within the folder and delete them. This is to clear the print queues. Return to the Services window > right click Print Spooler > Start.
  • Run Windows Troubleshooter – on your Windows search bar, type “troubleshoot” and click on Troubleshoot > additional troubleshooters. Under the “Get up and running” section, click on Printer > Run the troubleshooter. Wait for Windows to diagnose the problem and follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the printer problem.

2. Display

If you are using a dedicated graphics card and the display has stopped working after a Windows 10 update, download and install the latest driver from the video card manufacturer.

Open Device Manager > double-click on display adapter > right click on your graphics driver > update driver. Reboot the computer after the installation.

Now, adjust the resolution and display settings to the recommended resolution. Go Settings > System > Display. Click the dropdown box below Display Resolution, and choose the one that is recommended.

3. Scanner

If your scanner has stopped working after a Windows 10 update, disconnect the scanner from the computer, and do a Power Cycle (see item 1) on your computer. Reconnect the scanner to the computer after restarting, and see if it is detected. If not, follow the steps below.

Go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features. Look for your scanner software and Uninstall. Go to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners > click on your scanner > Remove device.

Repeat the process backwards. Install your scanner software/driver from the manufacturer’s website and see if it works. Take note that in order to install the correct driver for your device, you should search for the specific driver using the Model Number of your device.

4. Camera

If you are using an external camera and it has stopped working after a Windows 10 update, try connecting it to another USB port on your computer. If that doesn’t work, follow the steps below.

Open Device Manager > Cameras > Right click on your camera device > Scan for hardware changes.

After the process, restart your computer and see if it is working.  If not, download and install the latest driver from the camera manufacturer’s website. Take note that in order to install the correct driver for your device, you should search for the specific driver using the Model Number of your device.

5. Sound/Speakers

If your speakers have stopped working after a Windows 10 update:

Open Device Manager > double-click audio inputs and outputs > right-click on your device > update driver > search automatically for drivers.

You can also check the sound settings. On your Windows search bar, type in “Troubleshoot Setting” > Troubleshoot > additional troubleshooters. Under the “Get up and running” section, click on Playing Audio > Run the troubleshooter > Select your speakers > “Yes, Open Audio Enhancements”. Under the Levels tab, check the volume slider and make sure your speakers are not muted.

6. USB Ports

At times, all attached devices could stop working. In such a case, the USB port may have stopped working after the Windows 10 update. To address this problem, reinstall all USB controllers. To do this:

Open Device Manager > double-click Universal Serial Bus controllers > Right click and uninstall all the devices under it (one by one).

Reboot the computer and let the system reinstall the USB controllers automatically. After the installation, check if the USB ports are working.

Final Words

At times, issues are worse than just malfunctioning devices. Other users get BOSD (or blue screen of death) after the update. Although, this doesn’t happen very often.

Most of the time, problems caused by Windows 10 updates are quite simple to fix. With this easy-to-follow guide, you should now be able to fix some basic hardware issues after a Windows update. The process of scanning for hardware changes, uninstalling the device, and updating the driver using the Device Manager is applicable to any other hardware that is attached to your computer. So, if you encounter problems caused by Windows 10 updates on hardware not mentioned in this article, you can do the same process

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