How To Fix The “Personalized Settings (Not Responding)” Error On Windows 10

Have you ever booted your PC or Laptop, and ended on a black screen with a message; personalized settings not responding? In such a case, you would not be able to access anything on your desktop. Most of the users encounter this problem after they update their Windows. If you are here to know more about this error and find a solution, stay tuned!

What does this error message mean?

In simple terms, from your desktop background to its layout, the color scheme you use, and even the way your home screen looks, everything comes under personalized settings. Windows Explorer is the application that is responsible for handling all of it.

However, when due to some reason, Explorer fails to load properly, resulting in a faulty desktop, Windows prompts you with the error message – personalized settings not responding.

Why do you get the personalized settings not responding error?

It is important to understand that since its development, Windows has come a long way. With constant interface updates, Microsoft strives to make the operating system better every day. It is capable of resolving issues without causing any inconvenience to the user. Even so, there may arise certain complications that need fixing from the user.

Personalized settings not responding is an error that can occur due to a number of reasons:

  • Issues with updates: This might be the root cause of most of the cases. An update might carry a bug which causes Windows Explorer to slow down and crash multiple times after booting up your PC or laptop. A failed Windows update might also result in a personalized settings not responding error.
  • Corrupted system resource files can cause this issue. A corrupted system might not run Windows Explorer on boot time, due to discrepancies in the startup logs.
  • Faulty drivers might lead to such a scenario.

This error has a direct impact on the usability of a Windows device. If you cannot access the desktop, you cannot access any other data or file in your system. If you are someone who is facing this problem, there are quite a few ways in which it can be fixed.

5 easy ways to fix the personalized settings not responding error

Below mentioned are some ways that have proven effective in resolving the personalized settings not responding error. We start from the basic ones, and move on to more complex methods.

Restart Your PC or laptop

Whenever you boot your Windows, it restores all the data resource files and system variables/resource files to default. This might resolve the personalized settings not responding error, and load the desktop in no time.

It might seem like the power button in the Start menu is inaccessible when the error occurs. Following the steps mentioned below, you can easily restart your system:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del. The Windows Security Screen will open.
Windows Security Screen
  1. In the bottom right corner of the screen, click on the Power Icon.
Restart system from the Windows Security Screen
  1. Out of the options available, select Restart.

Give some time to your PC to reboot. Check for the error. If the error does not go away, don’t worry. Read on for more alternatives.

Quick Fact #1: The Ctrl+Alt+Del collectively are also referred to as “Security Keys”.

Switch The Network Connection State

Just like you have two network modes in your smartphone; cellular mode and airplane mode, there are two modes in a PC/laptop too. Under normal conditions, you can access and toggle the modes by accessing the notification bar at the bottom right of a Windows 10 desktop. But if you are stuck with the personalized settings not responding error, you might have to do this the other way round.

  1. Enter into the Windows Security Screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del.
  2. Click on the desktop symbol in the bottom right of your screen.
  3. Click on Airplane mode. Turn it on. The purpose here is to switch between the network state.
  4. Sign out from your current session using the option at the center of your screen. Log in and check if the desktop is back.
Switch network connection state to airplane mode.

If the issue lingers on, try the method given below.

Quick Fact #2: There is a feature called Mobile Hotspot in Windows 10. It enables you to share your internet while still being on a WiFi connection.

Restart Windows Explorer

As discussed earlier in this article, the error arises when Windows Explorer fails to function properly. It is either frozen or fails to boot properly, resulting in the black screen. But, there is a way to restart it manually. And that is what we are going to do for this fix.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your desktop, enter into the Security Screen.
  2. From the menu that appears in the center, select Task Manager.
  3. The Task Manager Window would open. Under the Processes tab, search for Windows Explorer. Once found, right-click on it and select Restart from the drop-down menu.

Note: If the Task Manager opens in preview mode, click on more details in the bottom left corner of the window to access all the processes.

Restart Windows Explorer

If simply restarting doesn’t do the trick:

  1. Right click on Windows Explorer under the Processes tab, and select End Task.
  2. After that, click on the File Menu in the top left corner, select “Run new task”.
  3. Type “Explorer” in the window that appears, and check “Create this task with administrative privileges”.
  4. Click on OK.

You should have your desktop back immediately. Restart to see if the issues still persist. Hopefully, things will be up and running by now. Somehow, if the personalized settings not responding error shows up again, we have got a few more ways to try.

Quick Fact #3: The Task Manager on a Windows device is capable of showing the real-time stats of your system. Open the Task Manager as the way stated above and go the Performance tab. It shows usage details of the CPU, GPU, Wi-Fi, Memory, and Disk Drives.

Using The Scannow Command (SFC) To Check For Corrupted System Files Manually

Before a graphical user interface was developed, computers used to work on a text-based interface. The operations were limited to execution of commands. One could do that in modern computers as well, using Command Prompt. Now, since you cannot access your Start Menu, or Windows Run command, you would have to open it using Task Manager.

Just like an antivirus software, the ScanNow Command looks out for broken or corrupt files on your system that might be causing the error and replaces them with new ones. This might take some time, so be patient. Follow the steps given below.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and open Task Manager from the Windows Security Screen.
  2. In the top left corner, go to File and click on New Task.
Run new task from Task Manager
  1. Type “cmd” into the dialogue box that appears. Do not forget to check the box for “Create this with administrative privileges”. Click OK.
Start Command Prompt
  1. The Command Prompt opens before you. Type the following: sfc /scannow
sfc /scannow command
  1. Press Enter.
  2. The system now begins to scan for any corrupted files. Wait until it finishes.
  3. Once the command is executed, return to the Security Screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, and restart your system to check if it still shows you the personalized settings not responding message.

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:

If this doesn’t work either, we have got one last coin in the bank.

Quick Fact #4: The command prompt is a lot more capable than it looks. Using the right commands, you might be able to shut down another PC connected to yours via Bluetooth, or even a LAN connection.

Delete An Installed Update

If the issue has come up after you installed an update on your PC, chances are that it is the update that is responsible for it. Windows keeps the record of updates in the form of keys. Together, they are stored in a list called Registry.

Deleting an update, or simply erasing its key can restore your machine. You would have to access it using Task Manager.

Warning: follow the steps precisely. Deleting the wrong file might increase your troubles.

  1. Open the Task Manager.
  2. Go to File, and then click on “Run new task”.
  3. Type “regedit” in the dialogue box, check the box below for administrative permissions, and click OK.
Start the Registry Editor
  1. The Registry Editor would open. Navigate through the folders using the arrow beside them. Click on the arrow for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”, then for “SOFTWARE”. Search and click on “Microsoft” followed by “Active Setup” and lastly, on “Installed Components”.
Navigate to the Windows Update folder in the Registry Editor
  1. There would be a list of folders. Search for the following:
  2. Under this folder, look for “Default”, with the value “Windows Desktop Update”. Select it and delete is using right click. Click Yes on the confirmation window.
Delete the Windows Desktop Update key in the Registry Editor
  1. Once done, return to the Security Screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, and restart your system. Your desktop should restore to normal.

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