Windows 10 preparing security options [Fix]

By: Daniel Segun
9 minute read
Windows 10 preparing security options

Windows 10 is a great operating system, nevertheless its major problem are glitches also known as bugs. The OS users may sometimes experience the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ error message displayed in a blue welcome/log off screen.

Meanwhile, users who are able to login after the error occurs, cannot use their PC and also Windows do not respond. An annoying feature of this error is that it runs in the background and hijacks PC usage.

However, Windows 10 users can utilize their PC without the error problem by using “Safe Mode” which is not an applicable solution because it is in a limited state.

So, we would not be considering safe mode as a solution; hence, we have compiled efficient solutions which you can use to solve the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem:

12 Ways to fix Windows 10 preparing security options

  • Disconnect your USB devices
  • Remove SmartPass
  • Remove your fingerprint reader software
  • Run System Restore
  • Remove recently installed updates
  • Disable Fast Startup feature
  • Perform Automatic/Startup Repair
  • Use Command Prompt
  • Disable Credential Manager service
  • Restart Windows Update service
  • Delete the Ngc directory
  • Reset Windows 10

1. Disconnect your USB devices

According to some Windows users, USB devices such as keyboards, mice, and Bluetooth or Wi-Fi adapters can cause this problem to occur.

Some of these USB devices have been penetrated by keyloggers and spyware which generate the error problem.Windows 10 preparing security options

To resolve the issue, you should disconnect all attached USB devices on your PC and try to boot your PC without them. Some Windows users reported that they were able to avert the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem by disconnecting attached USB devices.

ALSO READ: Windows 10 virus removal tools to vanquish malware for good


2. Remove SmartPass

SmartPass is a third-party security application which can meddle with Windows Operating System and cause the problem to emerge. Some Windows users reported that SmartPass application was responsible for this problem on their PC.

To fix the issue, boot your PC in Safe Mode and uninstall SmartPass from “Programs and Features”. After you uninstall the application, check if the issue still persists. If it still persists afterwards, go to the next solution.


3. Remove fingerprint reader software

Fingerprint reader in one of the ideal devices that can protect your PC from unauthorized access, however, certain problems with it can occur. Some users reported that the problem was caused by their fingerprint reader software.

You can fix the issue by removing the software, you need to enter “safe mode”. After entering safety mode, uninstall the fingerprint reader software and restart your PC.


4. Run System Restore

Recent changes on your system can cause the error problem to occur. System Restore is a Windows feature that enables you to reinstate your system to a previous state and fix any recent problems.

This feature is available in all Windows version; here’s how to run system restore on your PC:

  1. Press down the power button until the Automatic Repair message appears.
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Restore.
  3. Now, select your username and enter your password.
  4. Click on Next, select the desired restore point and follow the instructions on the screen to restore your PC.
  5. After your PC is restored, check if the problem still appears.

Alternatively, you can perform System Restore in safe mode. If you are able to enter safe mode, press windows key, type “system restore” and hit “Enter” to start the process.

Windows users have been able to fix ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem simply by carrying out “system restore”.

Read Also: Fix: BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO error on Windows 10


Method 5: Remove recently installed updates

Windows updates can cause certain problems to occur on your PC, even though they are important. If this problem started appearing after you installed an update, it’s possible that the update caused this problem. Follow these steps, to find and remove the recently installed updates on your PC:

  1. Press down the power button and boot to enter Safe Mode.
  2. Press “Windows” and “I” to launch settings.
  3. In the Settings windows, go to “Update & security”.Windows 10 preparing security options
  4. Now, click on Update history.Windows 10 preparing security options
  5. List of all recently installed updates will appear. Identify the recent update from when the problem started.Windows 10 preparing security options
  6. Click on “Uninstall updates”.Windows 10 preparing security options
  7. Finally, in the list of recent updates. Locate the most recent updates on the list and double click them to remove them.

If this method fixes the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem, you should consider temporarily prevent Windows from installing these updates.


6. Disable Fast Startup feature

Fast Startup is a Windows 10 feature which saves your data after PC is being shut down and enables it to boot up faster. However, this useful feature can also cause the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem.

To fix the issue, disable Fast Startup feature in Safe Mode. Follow these steps to disable fast startup:

  1. Press the power button down and boot up afterwards to select “Safe Mode” boot option.
  2. Press “Windows” and “S” key and type “control panel”. Select Control Panel from the list of results.Windows 10 preparing security options
  3. In the Control Panel window, select “Power Options”.Windows 10 preparing security options
  4. Select Choose what the power button does from the menu on the left.Windows 10 preparing security options
  5. Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.Windows 10 preparing security options
  6. Now, uncheck “Turn on fast startup” (recommended) option and click on Save changes.Windows 10 preparing security options

After you disable Fast Startup feature, your PC might boot slower but the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem would be fixed.

Read Also: Here’s why you shouldn’t install Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on PC!


7. Perform Automatic Repair/Startup Repair

Another way of fixing the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem  is by performing Automatic Repair on your PC. By performing Automatic Repair, you will enable Windows OS to fix the error problem for you. Here’s how to perform Automatic Repair:

  1. Restart your computer a few times during the boot sequence.
  2. Click on Advanced options button once it appears.
  3. Now, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Automatic Repair.
  4. After Automatic Repair has been launched, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the repair.

Alternatively, you can also perform Startup Repair instead of Automatic Repair in order to fix the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem. After you complete the repair process, the issue should be resolved.


8. Use Command Prompt

In addition, you can also fix the problem by using Command Prompt. However, you need to utilize ‘Automatic Repair’ as explained in ‘Method 7’ to access Command Prompt. SFC scan verifies the integrity of all system files and repairs files with problems when possible. Here’s how to use Command Prompt:

  1. Restart your computer a few times during the boot sequence.
  2. Click on Advanced options button once it appears.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.
  4. In the Command Prompt window, enter ‘sfc /scannow’ without quotes and hit “Enter”.
  5. After the scan is completed, restart your PC and check if the problem still appears.

However, if the problem still appears, repeat step 1 to 3 and enter the following bootrec command:

  • bootrec /fixmbr
  • bootrec /fixboot
  • bootrec /scanos
  • bootrec /rebuildbcd

After entering the commands, hit the “Enter” key and wait for the process to be completed before you restart your PC.

Read Also10 Best Registry Cleaners for Windows 10


Method 9: Disable Credential Manager Service

Another way to fix this problem is by disabling Credential Manager Service in Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a Windows special segment that runs with default drivers and applications. Follow these steps to enter Safe Mode:

  1. Restart your computer a few times during the boot sequence.
  2. Click on Advanced options button once it appears.
  3. Now, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings.
  4. Click the Restart button and wait for your PC to restart.
  5. Select any Safe Mode version by pressing the appropriate key.

After you enter Safe Mode, you need to access Credential Manager Service program so as to disable it. Follow these steps to disable Credential Manager Service:

  1. Press “Windows” and “R” key to launch the Run Program.
  2. In the Run program, type “services.msc” without quotes and click OK or hit the “Enter” key.Windows 10 preparing security options
  3. In the Services window, locate Credential Manager Service on the list and double click it to open its properties.Windows 10 preparing security options
  4. When Properties window opens, set the Startup type to Disabled and click “Apply” and “OK” to save changes.Windows 10 preparing security options
  5. Restart your PC and boot to windows.

However, so if Credential Manager Service is disabled on your PC, ensure you enable it and check if that solves the problem. Some users reported that this problem occurred on their PC because Credential Manager Service was disabled.

Meanwhile Windows Update service is also another reason for the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem. To resolve the problem, you need to change the startup type of Windows Update service. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Repeat Steps 1 to 2 of ‘Method 9’ above.
  2. In the Services windows, locate “Windows Update” service on the list and double click it to open its properties.Windows 10 preparing security options
  3. In Properties window opens, set the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start).Windows 10 preparing security options
  4. Click on “Apply” and “OK” to save changes. After doing that, restart your PC.

Read Also: Fix: ‘This app can’t run on your PC’ on Windows 10


10. Restart Windows Update service

In addition, you should consider restarting Windows Update service and rename few files so as to fix the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem. However, you need to start by entering ‘Safe Mode’ and by following these steps:

  1. After you enter ‘Safe Mode’, press “Windows” and “X” key and select Command Prompt from the menu.(Alternatively, you can also use PowerShell as an administrator)
  2. In the Command Prompt window, enter the following commands:
  • net stop wuauserv
  • cd %systemroot%
  • ren SoftwareDistribution SD.old
  • net start wuauserv
  1. Hit the “Enter” Key and close Command Prompt.
  2. Restart your PC afterwards.

11. Delete the Ngc directory

Some Windows users who use PIN to sign in to their Windows 10 PC experience the ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem due to Ngc directory. To fix the issue, you need to locate and remove this folder by following these steps:

  1. Start your Windows in Safe Mode.
  2. In Safe Mode, go to My Computer and navigate to C:WindowsServiceProfilesLocalServiceAppDataLocalMicrosoft directory.
  3. Click on the “View” tab at the top and check “Hidden items”.Windows 10 preparing security options
  4. Locate the “Ngc” folder and try to delete it. (However, by default this folder is protected by the system, if you are unable to delete it, right click the directory and choose “Properties” from the menu.Windows 10 preparing security options
  5. Now, go to “Security” tab and click on “Advanced”.Windows 10 preparing security options
  6. In the “Advanced Settings” window, click on “Change” in the Owner section.Windows 10 preparing security options
  7. Enter your user name in the ‘Enter the object name to select’ and click on ‘Check Names’ button. Click on OK to save changes.Windows 10 preparing security options
  8. Hence, check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and click on ‘Apply’ and ‘OK; to save changes.Windows 10 preparing security options
  9. Click “Yes” to continue when a security warning might appear.Windows 10 preparing security options
  10. Finally, after doing that, delete the “Ngc” folder from your PC, and restart your PC.

However, this solution works only for Windows 10 users who use PIN to login to their PC.

Read Also: PC reset won’t work: Here’s how you can fix this issue


12.  Reset Windows 10

A final solution which you might want to consider for the problem is to reset your Windows 10 PC. Resetting your Windows 10 PC will remove all files (both system and user files); hence, we highly recommended that you backup all your files in the ‘Safe Mode’.

In addition, you might need a Windows 10 installation media, because you need Media Creation Tool to create it. After backing up your files in safe mode, you can reset Windows 10 by following these steps:

  1. Restart your PC few times until you start Automatic Repair.
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  3. For the next step you might be asked to insert Windows 10 installation media, so ensure you have it ready.
  4. Now, select your version of Windows and click on only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  5. Click on Reset button.
  6. Hence, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reset.

Finally, after the reset is complete, you’ll have a fresh installation of Windows and the problem should be permanently fixed. As we already mentioned, this solution will remove all programs and files from your system drive, so only use it only if other solutions can’t fix this problem.

In conclusion, solutions listed above are applicable in solving ‘Windows 10 preparing security options’ problem. The solutions have been listed in an easy-advanced order; however, ensure you only try ‘Method 12’ as a final solution to resolve the issue.

If you have any problems trying out any of the fixes we mentioned, please let us know by commenting below.

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