How to Fix Code 28 Errors

A troubleshooting guide for Code 28 errors in Device Manager

What to Know

  • Code 28 errors are usually caused by missing drivers for the piece of hardware that the error appears on in Device Manager.
  • Updating the drivers for the device will almost always fix the problem.
  • If that doesn't work, chances are the hardware has a physical problem and will need to be replaced.

The Code 28 error is one of several possible Device Manager error codes you could see for a piece of hardware. As mentioned above, it's almost always caused by a missing driver for that particular piece of hardware.

There are a number of possible reasons that a driver might not be installed for a device, but your troubleshooting of the problem, outlined in detail below, will be the same no matter the root cause.

Code 28 errors will almost always be worded exactly like this:

The drivers for this device are not installed. (Code 28)

Details on Device Manager error codes like Code 28 are available in the Device Status area in the device's properties and will almost always look like this:

Device error Code 28 on Windows 10 desktop

The Code 28 error could apply to any hardware device in Device Manager, but most seem to affect USB devices and sound cards.

Device Manager error codes are exclusive to Device Manager. If you see the Code 28 error elsewhere in Windows, chances are it's a system error code that you should not troubleshoot as a Device Manager problem.

How to Fix a Code 28 Error

Any of Microsoft's operating systems could experience a Code 28 Device Manager error, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and more. These directions apply to all of those Windows versions.

  1. Restart your computer if you haven't done so already.

    Restart menu in Windows 10

    There's always the slim chance that the Code 28 error you're seeing in Device Manager was caused by a fluke with Device Manager or in your BIOS. If that's the case, a reboot might fix the problem.

  2. Did you install a device or make a change in Device Manager just before you noticed the error? If so, it's very possible that the change you made caused the problem.

    Undo the change, restart your PC, and then check again for the Code 28 error.

    Depending on the changes you made, some solutions might include removing or re-configuring the newly installed device, rolling back the driver to the version prior to your update, or using System Restore to undo recent Device Manager changes.

    System Restore button for Windows 10
  3. Update the drivers for the device. Installing the latest manufacturer supplied drivers for a device with the Code 28 error is the most likely solution to the problem.

    Make sure you install the drivers for the correct operating system. For example, if you're using Windows 10 64-bit, install the drivers designed for that specific version of Windows. Many of these errors are caused by attempting to install the wrong drivers for a device. One way to be sure you're getting the right driver is to use a free driver updater tool.

    If the drivers won't update, try disabling your antivirus software during the update process. Sometimes these programs misinterpret your driver updating as malicious and block it.

  4. Install the latest Windows service pack. Microsoft regularly releases service packs and other patches for their operating systems, one of which may contain a fix for the cause of the Code 28 error.

    We know for sure that certain service packs for Windows Vista and Windows 2000 have contained specific fixes for some instances of this specific error in Device Manager.

  5. Replace the hardware. As a last resort, you may need to replace the hardware that has the error.

    It's also possible that the device is not compatible with this version of Windows. You can check the Windows HCL to be sure.

    If you still think there's a software/operating system component to this Code 28 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 more drastic options before you try replacing the hardware, but you may have to if you're out of other options.