Getting Windows Ready Stuck? Here Are 9 Solutions to This Problem

While the installation and update process of Windows operating systems have become much smoother and simpler with every new iteration, some users will experience problems when completing fresh installs or operating system upgrades. The “getting Windows ready stuck” problem, also known as an infinite boot loop, causes users to experience an ever-loading loop which prevents them from accessing Windows. It can happen during a fresh Windows install and it can happen after an update. Typically, users will think that their computer has frozen as their computer will keep them on this blue screen for hours at a time. This becomes frustrating as one cannot perform normal troubleshooting steps. Luckily, there are several workarounds you can try out.

Getting Windows Ready Stuck Screen

Why Does This Error Happen & How Long Should an Update Take?

The “Getting Windows ready, Don’t turn off your computer” blue screen is mostly seen when you are doing a fresh installation of the Windows operating system. It also pops up after you have initialized an update to the operating system as well. Generally, you should only see this screen for 5-10-minutes while the operating system installs the necessary files needed to finish the installation process, as it will reboot when done. However, if you have recently installed new software, have corrupted files on your computer, or an incorrect update gets pushed through, then the installation process can get stuck. 

9 Solutions to Fix the Getting Windows Ready Stuck Error

Solution 1: Do Nothing and Wait Patiently. 

The first suggestion is going to be to wait. Even if you have been painstakingly waiting for 30-60-minutes, this method is routinely suggested by Microsoft Technicians. Why? When you do a fresh installation of Windows or install an update to the operating system, your computer must process tasks in the background. This can include downloading and installing files, modifying applications, and reorganizing code. This can take quite a bit of time to do. If you have waited for longer than 2-4 hours, then consider trying the other workarounds in this list.

Solution 2: Do a Power Reset.

The second workaround we suggest you try to get your computer out of the “getting Windows ready stuck” problem is by power resetting it. This is a hard and forced reset of your computer and involves shutting the power and clearing out all of the information in your computer’s memory (it does not damage disk data). This is a recommended workaround for those who think that they may have corrupted files on the computer that is causing the ever-loading loop. 

Close up of laptop power button
  1. Find your power button, either on your laptop or on your desktop tower. Hold it down by pressing it until your computer turns off.
  2. Once powered down, unplug any hardware devices that are connected via USB ports. This includes headphones, speakers, USB drives, external hard drives, power cables and adapters. If you are on a laptop, remove the battery from its place. If you are on a desktop, unplug the power cable.
  3. Now press and hold the power button down for 30-seconds. This will drain out any remaining charge from your computer’s capacitors. Your computer should not turn back on at this stage.
  4. Now reconnect your power cables and re-insert your battery if on a laptop. Do not plug in any hardware devices like headphones, speakers, or USB devices.
  5. Press down your power button and reboot your computer.

Solution 3: Uninstall the Most Recent Update.

While making sure your computer is running with the latest update is a good habit to get into, sometimes these updates get pushed out too quickly or are erroneous for some users. If you get the “getting Windows ready stuck” error right after installing a new update, you can reverse the update to fix the issue.

Advanced Startup Options Screen Windows 10
  1. Access the advanced startup options menu. This is the central place for fixing problems with the operating system. From here, you will want to select the “startup settings” option from the menu and choose to boot into safe mode. If you are unsure of how to get to the advanced startup options menu, you can use 1 of these 6 ways to get there.
  2. Once your computer has booted into safe mode, hit your start menu button and open up the control panel. You will want the programs and features section, so click on “programs”.
  3. In the programs window, find the “view installed updates” and click it. This will give you a list of your most recent updates. Click on the latest one and use the uninstall button at the top of the window.
  4. Exit the window after the uninstall is done and restart to see if the issue is resolved.
Control Panel - View Installed Updates

Solution 4: Run a System File Check.

If you think that your computer may have corrupted or damaged system files that is causing the “getting Windows ready stuck” error, then run a system file check. Normally you would run this program from your desktop, but because you cannot access your desktop, you will need to use your computer’s advanced options menu.

  1. Access the advanced startup options menu. From here, you will want to select the “command prompt” option from the menu; often found under troubleshoot. If you are unsure of how to get to the advanced startup options menu, see the link in step 3.
  2. Type in sfc /scannow and hit Enter.
  3. Wait for your computer to run the program and repair any corrupted files.

Reboot to see if the loop still exists.

Note: If you run into an SFC /Scannow error when starting the scan, don’t worry. We have written dedicated articles on what to do if SFC scannow is not working, including:

Solution 5: Perform a System Restore.

If you have created a system restore point, you can roll your computer back to see if that fixes the issue. To perform a system restore, follow these steps.

  1. Boot your computer from a Windows installation disc to access the advanced startup menu options. You will want the troubleshooting option from this menu, as it contains the system restore option.
  2. Click on system restore and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. You will be given a list of restore points that you created. Select the one you want to restore from. It is recommended that you restore from the most recent.
  4. Click the “finish” button.
  5. Wait for the system restore to finish.

Windows will automatically reboot once the restoration process is done. See if the error still persists.

Solution 6: Delete Any Problematic Files Found.

If problematic files were found but they were not fixed with your system check, you can delete them with the command prompt.

  1. Access the advanced startup options menu. From here, you will want to select the “command prompt” option from the menu.
  2. Type in C: cd Windows\System32\LogFiles\Srt.SrtTrail.txt and hit enter on your keyboard.
  3. Once the scan is complete, if any boot critical files come back stating that they are corrupt, you will need to follow the on-screen command prompt instructions to delete the problematic file.

Solution 7: Perform a Startup Repair. 

If you are finding that you get the “getting Windows ready stuck” error on almost every single boot up, it’s an indication that there is a problem with your computer’s startup process. You can fix this by using the Windows startup repair tool.

  1. Access the advanced startup options menu. From here, you will want to select the “startup repair” option from the menu. If you are unsure of how to get to the advanced startup options menu, see the link in step 3.
  2. Allow the startup repair to run fully. It should fix any startup problems that your computer is having and restart when it finishes. However, if it does bring back an error stating that it could not repair the issue or that automatic repair could not be completed, you will need to try another method on this list.

Solution 8: Consider Disabling Automatic Updates.

While having automatic updates enabled is fantastic for those who always forget to update their computer, it can also cause you to experience the “getting Windows ready stuck” error on Windows 8 and 10 computers.  If you get this error a lot, consider disabling automatic updates to see if that fixes the issue.

  1. Right-click your start menu and choose “run” from the list or hold down the Windows key and press your “R” key on your keyboard. Type in services.msc and hit enter to pull up the services configuration window.
  2. Scroll through the configuration window until you find the “Windows update” option listed. Double click it to pop open the Windows update properties menu. From here, you will be on the general tab. Find the startup type (it should say automatic) and change it to disabled with the drop-down menu. Apply the change and exit. Close all programs and restart your computer.
How to Disable Automatic Updates

Solution 9: Do a Fresh Install of Your Windows Operating System.

If none of the other 8 methods work for you, do a fresh reinstall of your operating system. Always do a backup first of any data that you do not want to lose (files, images, etc.) as a clean installation of your operating system can erase personal files. You will also need to have the license key ready, as you will need to input this in again.  Now because you cannot access your computer due to the “getting Windows ready stuck” problem, you will need to be comfortable moving through your computer’s BIOS system. Here are the steps needed to do a fresh install:

  1. Restart your computer or do a power reset to get to reboot.
  2. While it is rebooting, use the appropriate function key to boot into your BIOS.
  3. In your BIOS, change your boot order to your Windows installation media. This would be either a USB drive OR a CD/DVD drive.
  4. Save the settings and exit the BIOS.
  5. Your computer will now try to boot from the installation media, prompting a new install.
  6. Choose your desired language.

Follow the on-screen instructions to finish reinstalling a fresh copy of your operating system.

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