What to do if Windows 10 got stuck on Preparing Windows screen
You might have experienced a situation when you restarted your Windows 10 PC after an upgrade and you tried logging into your account but only a screen with a message saying, “Preparing Windows”. If the screen only stays that way, this indicates that Windows 10 is trying to complete the upgrade or waiting for some files to load up so that you can use your account. Some users also reported that when they tried logging into their accounts, they also get the same message on their screens. To resolve this issue, read on as this post will show you what you can do if your Windows 10 PC is stuck on the “Preparing Windows” screen.
A lot of users have tried logging back into their account once more but to no avail as the same screen still greets them. And even when they tried the Ctrl + Alt + Del combo, it still didn’t work. This only goes to show that your account might somehow be corrupted.
Option 1 – Try booting your PC into Safe Mode
The first thing you can do to resolve the issue is to try booting your computer into Safe Mode and then log in using an Admin account. If it seems like your admin account has caused the problem, you need to create an admin account first and then login after you reboot into the account and then log off. After that, restart your PC normally and check if the problem’s resolved or not. If not, refer to the next given option below.
Option 2 – Try to repair your corrupted profile via Registry
In this second option, you can try to repair the corrupted profile using the Registry but before you proceed, make sure to create a System Restore point and then follow the steps below.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Then type “regedit” in the field and hit Enter or click OK to open the Registry Editor.
- Next, go to this registry key: ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList
- Once you’ve opened the registry key, you should see a list of all the user profiles in your computer. Now click on each S-1-5 folder and look for the “ProfileImagePath” entry and double-click on it to check which user account it is related to. You will see a path like “CUsersACK” where “ACK” is the username.
- You should know which among the user account is corrupted. Just look for a key named “RefCount” and change its Value data to “0” and click OK. And if it isn’t available, simply right click on the right pane and create it.
- After that, double click on the key named “State” and make sure that the Value data is “0” and click OK.
- Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer to apply the changes made.
Option 3 – Try running the System File Checker
System File Checker or SFC is a built-in command utility which helps in restoring corrupted files as well as missing files. It replaces bad and corrupted system files to good system files that might be the cause why your screen is stuck at “Preparing Windows”. To run the SFC command, follow the steps given below.
- Tap Win + R to launch Run.
- Type in cmd in the field and tap Enter.
- After opening Command Prompt, type in sfc /scannow
The command will start a system scan which will take a few whiles before it finishes. Once it’s done, you could get the following results:
- Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
- Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.
Option 4 – Try to repair hard disk errors using the Chkdsk utility
You can also run the Chkdsk utility to resolve the problem. If your hard drive has issues with integrity, the update will really fail as the system will think that it’s not healthy and that’s where the Chkdsk utility comes in. The Chkdsk utility repairs hard drive errors that might be causing the problem.
- Open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
- After opening Command Prompt, execute the commands listed below and don’t forget to hit Enter right after you type in each one of them.
- chkntfs /t
- chkntfs /t:10
You also have the option to create a new user account in your Windows 10 PC. However, this is kind of time-consuming as you will need to set up your account to install apps and whatnot. To save you all the trouble and time, you can use Restoro instead. This program is a one-click solution that will not only resolve the screen stuck at “Preparing Windows” but also other issues in Windows 10 – all from minimal issues to extreme ones. This program is a useful tool that could repair corrupted registries and optimize your PC’s overall performance. Aside from that, it also cleans out your computer for any junk or corrupted files that help you eliminate any unwanted files from your system. This is basically a solution that’s within your grasp with just a click. It’s easy to use as it is user-friendly. For a complete set of instructions for downloading and using it, refer to the steps below.
Perform a full system scan using Restoro. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit Enter.
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, https://errortools.com/download/restoro in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run Restoro to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.