Restart is the quickest way to eliminate most problems on Windows computers. However, sometimes your computer gets stuck on the restart screen. It is a common issue if you have an old or slow computer. But the error can appear in other cases too. So the question is, how to fix stuck at restart screen in Windows?
Well, getting rid of the error is not complicated. There are a couple of ways to fix the problem but before that, let’s look at the possible reasons.
Why Is Your Windows PC Stuck at Restart Screen?
There are many reasons why your Windows PC might be stuck on the restart screen. Some of the common reasons are:
- Your computer did not shut down properly last time.
- Windows is installing new Windows updates and takes a lot longer.
- One or more unresponsive processes are running in the background.
- Some drivers, programs, or hardware were not installed correctly.
- Fast Startup is enabled.
Apart from these, there can be many other reasons behind the issue.
Quick Fixes for Stuck on Restart Screen
Before you get into any complicated method, here are some quick actions that you can perform to get rid of the problem:
- You need to force a shutdown if your computer is stuck on the restarting screen. Press the power button for about 5 to 10 seconds to shut down your computer.
- Remove peripherals not required to run your computer, like USB disks, printers, or any other device.
- Next, Power on your computer and boot up. If the problem occurs after installing a new program, then remove it.
- Finally, restart your computer and see if your Windows still gets stuck on the restart screen.
Boot into Safe Mode or Advanced Recovery for Troubleshooting
Since your Windows is stuck on the restart screen, you cannot perform most of the steps in regular mode. So you need to boot into Safe mode or Advanced Recovery to use these solutions.
There are three ways to enter the Safe Mode.
- Force Shutdown PC, and then restart again by pressing F8 or F11.
- Press and hold the Shift key while selecting Power> Restart. However, since we don’t have access, you will have to use the above method.
- Advanced Recovery that we have discussed below:
- Create a Windows bootable USB drive and plug it into the USB port of the PC
- When booting Windows, press Del or F2 key to boot into UEFI or BIOS
- Change boot order and set external storage or USB
- Restart and this time PC should boot from the USB
- When you get an option to install, click on the Repair Windows option
- It will take you to Advanced Recovery
- For safe mode, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Enable Safe Mode.
Fix Windows Stuck at Restart Screen
Now that you have already tried the quick fixes, let’s take a look at some detailed troubleshooting methods:
Safe Mode Methods
- Uninstall recent Windows Update
- Disable Third-Party Services
- Force Windows to re-create the Windows Update Store folder
- Update Drivers
- Run the System Maintenance
- Disable Fast Startup
- System Restore
- Repair Windows System Files
Make sure you have an admin account.
1. Uninstall recent Windows Update
The error usually appears right after a Windows update. So if you have recently updated your Windows, it would be a good idea to uninstall newly installed Windows updates and then see if it works.
For this, follow the below steps:
- Go to Windows settings > Windows Update.
- Click on Update history > Uninstall updates.
- Select the recently installed updates from here and click on the Uninstall button.
2. Disable Third Party Services
- Press Windows Key + R to launch Run.
- Type down msconfig and press enter to launch System Configuration.
- From the System Configuration utility, go to the Services tab.
- Over here, click on Check Hide all Microsoft Services.
- Then select Disable all.
- Click on Apply > OK.
- When prompted, click on Exit without restart.
- Then shut down your PC.
- After that, Power up your computer, restart it again, and see if the problem still exists.
If it did fix the issue, relaunch the System Configuration utility and enable the disabled services. Restart every time, and check if the PC still has problems after allowing one of those disabled services.
3. Force Windows to re-create the Windows Update Store folder
Your computer might be getting stuck at the restart screen because of pending updates. For this, you can try recreating the SoftwareDistribution folder. By doing this, you will be forcing Windows to redownload Windows updates and install them on your PC.
For this, follow the below steps:
- Right-click on the Windows start menu icon.
- Click on Windows Terminal (Admin)
- In the Windows terminal, run the following command and press the Enter key
net stop wuauserv
- Then run these commands one by one:
ren SoftwareDistribution SD.old
net start wuauserv
- Close Windows Terminal.
- Then go to Start > Settings > Windows Update.
- Click on Check for updates.
- Now let Windows look for updates, and if it finds anything, let it download and install.
- Once done, reboot your computer and see if your computer is stuck on the restart screen or not.
4. Update Drivers
Outdated drivers can also be one of the reasons why your computer is stuck on the restart screen. Windows now install driver through Windows updates. So if you have not updated your Windows yet, go ahead and do it.
You can check if an update is available through Windows Update by going to Windows Settings > Advanced Options > Optional Updates.
Also, you can use a third-party driver updating tool that automatically detects outdated drivers on your computer and updates them to the latest version. You can check this list of best third-party software to update drivers for further information.
5. Run the System Maintenance
Next, you can try running a system maintenance troubleshooter. It is a useful tool that performs everyday maintenance tasks in Windows, such as cleaning up unused files and shortcuts.
It looks for unused files and shortcuts that you can clean up or remove so your computer can run faster. To run this, follow the below steps:
- Go to Windows search and type Control Panel and launch it.
- Type Troubleshooting into the search box in the top right corner.
- Select Troubleshooting and click View all from the left pane.
- Click on System Maintenance.
- Finally, follow all the onscreen steps.
Once you complete the above steps, the restore point will apply to undo system changes that might be causing any issues with the restart process.
6. Disable Fast Startup
You can also try disabling fast startups. You will first need to boot your PC into safe mode and disable it. So follow the below steps:
- First of all, shut down your computer. If it’s taking too long, press the power button on your computer.
- After a few seconds, power up your computer and continuously press the F8 key, and you will get into the Windows safe mode. For some PCs, the function key would be F11 instead of F8.
- Once you are on the safe mode, right-click on the Start menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
- In the Windows terminal, type down
powercfg -hoff and press Enter.
That’s it. Fast Startup is now disabled on your computer. Now go ahead and restart your computer, boot into normal mode and then see if you still encounter the same error.
7. System Restore
System Restore can get your PC back to a working state. It is beneficial right after an update or software installation. You can use this both in Safe Mode and Advanced Recovery, depending on if you can access it.
Using Advanced Recovery
- Boot into Advanced Recovery using the bootable USB method.
- Next, click on Troubleshoot > Advanced options.
- Go to System restore.
- Next, select your Windows user account and enter a password.
- Then click the Continue button, followed by the Next button.
- Next, select the restore point.
- After that, click on Scan for affected programs button to confirm that apps will be removed, which were added after creating a restore point.
- Then, click on the Close > Next > Finish button.
Search for System Restore in the Start menu, and click on Recovery. Click on Open System Restore, and then follow the wizard to complete the process. Make sure to restart once it’s done.
8. Repair Windows System Files
You can also try out repairing system files. In case any corrupted files cause the restart issue, Windows might fix the files. For this, follow the below steps:
- In the Advanced Recovery, lick on Troubleshoot > Advanced options.
- Over here, select System Repair or Startup Repair.
- Now let Windows look for errors and fix them by itself.
Once done, boot your PC into normal mode and see if it worked.
So those were a couple of quick fixes for being stuck at the restart screen in the Windows 11/10 issue. Now go ahead and try the above fixes and see if they help you. Also, if you are stuck on anything, drop a comment below.
How Do I Change Windows Startup Settings?
You can use MSCONFIG to change the Windows Startup Settings. To launch it, type msconfig in the Run prompt (Win + R), and press the Enter key. Once the window appears, make the changes, save it, and restart the PC.
How Do I Change the Boot Menu Order in Windows?
Turn on and restart your computer and press the delete or F2 key to enter the BIOS setup. Go to the Boot option using arrow keys, press Enter and select your Boot Device. Save and exit to make the changes.
You can achieve the same from within Windows by using msconfig. You can launch it using the Run prompt and change the boo order. However, this is restricted to changing the boot order of the installed OS.