How to Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters

01
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Click on the Start Button

Screenshot of the Windows 7 Start Menu
Windows 7 Start Menu.

Deleting the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values is very often the fix for several different hardware problems that generate Device Manager error codes in Windows.

Note: I created this step by step guide to accompany my original How To Delete the UpperFilters and LowerFilters Registry Values how-to guide. There are several very detailed steps in this process, all of which involve the Windows Registry. This visual tutorial should help clarify any confusion and help you feel more comfortable about deleting these items from the registry.

Deleting the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values from the registry should take less than 10 minutes.

To begin, click on the Start button. If you're running Windows XP, click on Start and then Run....

Note: This walkthrough demonstrates this process in Windows 7 but the steps can be followed almost exactly in Windows Vista or Windows XP as well. I'll call out any differences as we proceed through the tutorial.

Important: You might need to reinstall any programs associated with the device you're removing the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values for. For example, if you remove these values for your DVD drive, you may have to reinstall your DVD burning software. This isn't a big issue but I want you to be aware before you continue.

02
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Open Registry Editor

Screenshot of searching for regedit in the Windows 7 Start Menu
Regedit in Programs List in Windows 7.

In the search box (or the Run textbox in Windows XP) type regedit and press ENTER.

If you're running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you have the option of clicking the regedit listing from the search results at the top of the window (as shown in the Windows 7 example in the screenshot above).

The regedit command will open the Registry Editor program, used to make changes to the Windows Registry.

Note: If you're using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you may need to answer Yes to any User Account Control questions before Registry Editor will open.

Important: Changes to the Windows Registry are made as part of this tutorial. To avoid causing major system problems, be sure you're only making the changes outlined in this walkthrough. If you're not comfortable making changes to the registry or you're worried about making a mistake, I recommend that you back up the registry keys we work with. I'll link to instructions on doing that when we reach those steps.

03
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Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

Screenshot of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in Registry Editor
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Selected in Registry Editor.

Once Registry Editor is open, locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry hive.

Expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive by clicking the |> to the left of the folder icon. In Windows XP, it will be a (+) symbol.

04
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Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class

Screenshot of the Class key selected in Windows Registry Editor
Class Key Selected in Registry Editor.

Continue to expand registry keys and subkeys until you reach the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class key.

Click on the Class key once. Registry Editor should look similar to the screenshot above.

Important: If you're going to play it safe and backup the registry keys you're working with in this tutorial (which I do recommend), the Class key is the one to backup. See How To Backup Registry Keys for help.

05
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Expand the Class Registry Key

Screenshot of the Class key expanded in Windows Registry Editor
Class Key Expanded in Registry Editor.

Expand the Class registry key by clicking the |> to the left of the folder icon. As before, in Windows XP it will be a (+) symbol.

You should now see a long list of subkeys appear under Class.

Each of these 32-digit keys are unique and correspond to a specific type of hardware in Device Manager. In the next step, you'll figure out which one of these hardware classes to look for the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values in.

06
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Determine and Click on the Correct Class GUID

Screenshot of the CDROM GUID Class Registry Key in Registry Editor
CDROM GUID Class Registry Key.

Each of these long, cryptic registry keys that you see under Class corresponds to a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) representing a specific kind of hardware in your computer.

For example, the GUID 4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318 (which is represented in the Windows Registry by the {4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} registry key) corresponds to the Display class which includes video adapters.

What you need to do is figure out the GUID for the type of hardware that you're seeing the device manager error code for. You can do that by referencing this list:

Device Class GUIDs for Popular Types of Hardware

For example, let's say your DVD or Blu-Ray drive is showing a Code 39 error in Device Manager. According to the list I linked to above, DVD and Blu-Ray devices belong to the CDROM class and the GUID for that class is 4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318.

Once you determine the correct GUID, click once on the corresponding registry key. There is no need to expand this key.

Tip: Many of these GUIDs look the same but I assure you they are not. They are all unique. It might help to know that in many cases, the difference from GUID to GUID is in the first set of numbers and letters, not the last.

07
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Locate the UpperFilters and LowerFilters Values

Screenshot of the UpperFilters and LowerFilters Registry Values in Windows Registry Editor
UpperFilters and LowerFilters Registry Values.

Now that the registry key is selected that corresponds to the proper hardware class (as you determined in the last step), you should see several registry values to the right.

Among the several values shown, look for one named UpperFilters and one named LowerFilters. If you only have one or the other, that's fine. (There's no need to select them as I did in the screenshot above. I just did that to call out the values.)

Important: If you don't see either registry value listed then there's nothing to do here and this solution obviously isn't one that will solve your problem. Check again that you've chosen the correct device class and have selected the correct registry key. If you're sure you have, you'll need to try a different solution: How to Fix Device Manager Error Codes.

Note: Your registry might also have an UpperFilters.bak and/or a LowerFilters.bak value in addition to the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values. If so, don't worry about it. There's no need to delete them. It won't hurt anything to remove them but it also won't correct any problem you're having either.

08
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Delete the UpperFilters Value

Screenshot of deleting the UpperFilters Registry Value in Windows Registry Editor
Delete UpperFilters Registry Value.

Right-click on the UpperFilters registry value and choose Delete.

If you don't have an UpperFilters value, skip to Step 10.

09
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Confirm Deletion of the UpperFilters Value

Screenshot of the Confirm Value Delete Dialog Box in Windows
Confirm Value Delete Dialog Box.

After deleting the UpperFilters registry value, you'll be presented with a dialog box.

Choose Yes to the "Deleting certain registry values could cause system instability. Are you sure you want to permanently delete this value?" question.

10
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Delete the LowerFilters Value

Screenshot of deleting the LowerFilters Registry Value in Windows Registry Editor
Delete LowerFilters Registry Value.

Right-click on the LowerFilters registry value and choose Delete.

If you don't have a LowerFilters value, skip to Step 12.

11
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Confirm Deletion of the LowerFilters Value

Screenshot of the Confirm Value Delete Dialog Box in Windows
Confirm Value Delete Dialog Box.

After deleting the LowerFilters registry value, you'll again be presented with a dialog box.

Just as you did with UpperFilters, choose Yes to the "Deleting certain registry values could cause system instability. Are you sure you want to permanently delete this value?" question.

12
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Close Registry Editor

Screenshot of the removed CDROM GUID Class Registry Key in Windows Registry Editor
CDROM GUID Class Registry Key (Values Removed).

Verify that neither an UpperFilters nor a LowerFilters registry value exists.

Close Registry Editor.

13
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Restart Your Computer

Screenshot of the Windows 7 Start Menu
Restart Shut Down Option in Windows 7.

You've made changes to the Windows Registry so to make sure your changes are in affect in Windows, you'll need to properly restart your computer.

14
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Wait While Windows Restarts

Screenshot of the Windows 7 Splash Screen
Windows 7 Splash Screen.

Wait for Windows to fully restart.

In the next step, we'll see if deleting the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values from the registry did the trick.

15
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See if Deleting These Registry Values Solved the Problem

Screenshot of a working device driver's status
DVD Drive Device Status Showing No Error Code.

Now it's time to see if deleting the UpperFilters and LowerFilters registry values solved your problem.

Chances are, you're walking through this tutorial because deleting these values is a likely solution to a device manager error code, something you investigated after some piece of hardware quit working properly.

If that's true, then checking the device's status in Device Manager and making sure the error code is gone is a good check to see if this process worked. Otherwise, just check the device and see if it's working properly again.

Important: As I mentioned in the first step, you might need to reinstall programs associated with the device you removed the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values for. For example, if you removed these values for your DVD drive, you may have to reinstall your DVD burning software.

Did the error code remain or do you still have the hardware problem?

If deleting UpperFilters and LowerFilters didn't work, return to the troubleshooting information for your error code and continue with some other ideas. Most Device Manager error codes have several possible solutions.

Having trouble finding the correct GUID for your hardware? Still confused about deleting the UpperFilters and LowerFilters values?

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