Whenever AMD introduces a new update for its graphics driver, my laptop always runs into a problem. Yesterday, AMD rolled out a big update for Radeon GPUs. Windows 10 OS, as usual, downloaded the same and asked me to restart the laptop. Once the computer rebooted, the OS showed “hardware settings have changed” message.

Windows 10 OS was showing the same error each time my laptop started. After wasting 3 hours, I managed to fix the “Your hardware settings have changed” problem by installing the driver manually. Here’s what I did.

Manual Installation

Windows OS automatically downloads drivers for important peripherals in your system. For example, if your laptop or PC has a dedicated graphics card, Windows and will download and install the driver software. Then, it will prompt you to restart the system.

If the driver doesn’t work, the OS will automatically reverse the update and show “Your hardware settings have changed” message. The OS will ask you to reboot the computer. For some reasons, the Win 10 OS might show this message each time you restart the PC. Follow the below steps to fix the problem:

Download stable version of the driver from the hardware manufacturer’s website.

Open device manager and right click on the driver which Windows has updated. Chose the uninstall option and select “delete the driver software for this device” checkbox. Click OK button.

device manager : Fix hardware settings have changed error in Windows 10

Use the free CCleaner software to fix registry issues and clean up the junk files. Now, open services.msc program and disable Windows updates. Restart the system.

Install the software which you have downloaded in step #1.

The above steps worked for me. If you want the Windows update service running, you can configure Windows OS to avoid downloading updates for device drivers.

How to turn off Windows driver updates.

Follow the below steps to prevent Windows from updating device drivers.

Visit control panel and open the system configuration window. Select Advanced settings from the left sidebar.

advanced settings : disable Windows 10 driver update

Click on the hardware tab and choose device installation settings. Now, you will see a dialog box with the below two options:

  1. Yes (recommended).
  2. No (your device might not work as expected)

Click option #2 and press the save changes button. Now reboot the PC.

Conclusion: Hardware settings have changed is the most frustrating issue I have encountered in Windows 10 OS after the dreaded start menu problem. If you are facing the same issue, follow the instructions I have shared above to fix it.


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