The “Preparing to Configure Windows” message appears stuck or for a long time on your Windows PC when new updates are being installed or the user is performing a clean install of Windows. This problem is triggered due to corrupt or missing files or some disk errors.
If you are confronting this problem with your Windows 11 PC, then go ahead and read this post. Here, we have listed some methods that can help your resolve the Windows stuck on the Preparing to Configure Windows loop.
Method 1 – Repair Corrupt System Files
Step 1. Restart your PC and press the F11 key repeatedly on your keyboard till the Advanced startup screen opens.
The above key can change from one manufacturer to other. In case you are not able to figure out the key, then you can follow the method mentioned in this article to go to the Advanced startup screen.
Step 2. In the Repair mode, select Troubleshoot –> Advanced Options.
Step 3. On the Advanced Options page, select Command Prompt.
Step 4. Type the command below and hit Enter.
Step 5. Look for the drive where Windows is installed. Mostly, it is the C drive.
Execute the command below.
sfc /scannow /offbootdir=<Windows_Drive_Letter>:\ /offwindir=<Windows_Drive_Letter>:\windows
Note: Replace <Windows_Drive_Letter> with the letter of the drive where Windows is installed.
Step 6. Type and execute the below command next.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Step 7. Lastly, run the Chkdsk utility using the command below
chkdsk [drive_letter] /f /r /x
Note: Replace [drive_letter] with the letter of the drive where you have installed Windows.
Step 8. Restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.
These utilities will scan your system files for any inconsistencies and try to resolve the problems caused by these inconsistent system files.
Method 2 – Wait for all Windows Updates to be Installed
When the updates are being installed and configured on your PC, your system may get stuck on the “Preparing to Configure Windows” screen. If it has been a long time since you performed a Windows update, then it may take more time than usual for all the updates to be installed.
So you will need to wait for some time so that your Windows PC can install all the updates. You may need to wait for around 2 hours for the updates to be installed completely based on the hardware specifications of your PC. During this process, if the updates get stuck on the screen and take more than 2 hours, then you move over to the next method.
Method 3 – Perform a Windows Hard Reboot
Step 1. Shut down your computer by pressing and holding the power button until the system shuts down.
Step 2. If you have any external power supply then disconnect them or if it’s a laptop you can remove the battery.
Step 3. Now, press and hold the power button for 15 seconds.
Step 4. After waiting for some time, connect the power supply to your PC or put back the laptop battery.
Step 5. Reboot your system by pressing the power button.
Step 6. If you see a notification that states the system did not shut down properly, then select the option to restart normally.
After you log in to your Windows PC, try performing a Windows update following the steps mentioned below.
Step 1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
Step 2. Type ms-settings:windowsupdate and hit Enter.
Step 3. On the Windows Update page, click on the Check for updates button.
Step 4. Wait for Windows to download and install all the updates available for your PC.
Step 5. Once the update is complete, reboot your PC and check if you are still getting stuck on the Preparing to configure Windows.
Generally, it is better if you plug in your computer and allow it to configure the updates for the entire night. If the PC still gets stuck after the whole night, then perform a hard reboot and move over to the next fix.
Method 4 – Perform Clean Boot
Step 1. Open the Run dialog using the Windows + R key combination on your keyboard.
Step 2. Type msconfig and hit Enter to open the System Configuration.
Step 3. Go to the Services tab.
At the bottom left corner, check the box next to Hide all Microsoft services.
Then, click on the Disable all button at the bottom right corner.
Step 4. Select the Startup tab.
Now, click on the Open Task Manager link.
Step 5. This opens the Task Manager on its Startup tab.
Here, for each program in the startup, select it and then click on the Disable button.
Step 6. Close the Task Manager and go back to the System Configuration window.
Step 7. Click on Apply and then on OK.
You will be prompted to restart your system in order to apply the changes. Here, click on Restart.
Step 8. After the system reboots, try performing a Windows update as mentioned in the fix above.
Step 9. Once the PC restarts after a system update, if your PC doesn’t get stuck then go back to the System Configuration window to enable the services that you had disabled previously one at a time.
Restart after you enable each service in the list to check the problematic service.
If you see the problem even after this, then the only option is a system restore.
Method 5 – Use System Restore
Step 1. Press Windows + R to open Run.
Step 2. Type rstrui and hit Enter to open the System Restore window.
Step 3. In the System Restore window, click on Next to select a restore point.
If you see any options on this screen, then select Choose a different restore point and click on Next.
Step 4. Choose a restore point from the list displayed that was created just before you faced this problem.
Click on Next to move ahead with the restore.
Step 5. You will be shown the details of the restore point. To confirm the restore point, click on Finish.
Step 6. Click on Yes to confirm the restore process.
Step 7. Windows will now restart and start restoring your PC.
Wait for it to complete.
After the system starts up, check if the problem with the screen getting stuck is resolved.
If you are unable to log in to your Windows to perform a System Restore, then follow the steps below.
Step1 . Restart your system and press the F11 key continuously at startup.
If you are not able to do so, click here and follow the method.
Step 2. You will see the Advanced Recovery Options screen.
Here, click on Troubleshoot.
Step 3. Select the Advanced options on this page.
Step 4. Choose System Restore and it will open up the System Restore window for you.
Select a restore point and follow the onscreen instructions to perform a system restore.
Step 5. After the restore completes, check if the issue is fixed.
If none of the methods worked for you, then perform a clean install of your Windows PC.
We hope that the troubleshooting methods mentioned in this article have helped you overcome the Windows stuck on “Preparing to configure Windows” error on your PC. Did you find this article informative and useful in resolving the problem? Please let us know your thoughts and opinions on the same.