Computer Stuck on Restarting: 7 Ways to Fix it

Check expert recommended solutions to get things running

by Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew is not just trying to bring you closer to Windows, but he's truly interested in this platform. He just happens to be passionate about sharing that knowledge... read more
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  • Restarting your Windows device should be an intuitive task. However, due to specific reasons, this process might encounter some problems.
  • Some users recommend force-shutting down the PC, and it, indeed, worked for many.
  • Disabling startup apps, disconnecting problematic peripherals, removing overclocking, and keeping overheating in check are other methods that helped users.
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If you turn on the computer and get a slow boot or the entire computer freezeing, it might affect your entire workflow. But the worst is when the computer keeps restarting randomly, with no obvious process happening in the background.

In some situations, the restart process is completed after a few minutes, while in others, the process may take hours.

Why is my computer restarting so long?

  • Problems with the background processes – The background processes can often be unresponsive or conflict with the restart process, leading to this error.
  • Issues with driver or installed programs – The computer may restart if a particular driver or program is not loading or triggering errors.
  • Pending updates, which the computer is trying to install – A computer restarts to install an update, but if the process runs into a bug, the computer will enter a restart/reboot loop.
  • Misconfigured startup settings – Issues with the startup settings or conflicting services configured to start at boot may lead to the PC getting stuck on restarting.
  • Malfunctioning RAM – RAM is one of the most critical pieces of hardware, and problems can cause restart errors.

Why does my PC keep restarting randomly?

  • Overheating – A computer automatically restarts when a certain temperature (depends on the BIOS settings but usually in the 70-100 °C range) is reached to prevent damage to components, so it’s imperative that you check for overheating.
  • Power failure or fluctuations – If the computer (desktop) doesn’t have a stable power supply, it will keep restarting randomly.
  • Issues with the hardware – If the RAM or CPU fails, the computer will restart without any indication.
  • A problematic app, process, or driver causing the restart – Any of the three can trigger a restart, so you will have to check for each.
  • Bug in the installed version of the OS – Many users reported the problem after updating the OS, which arises due to a bug in the last installed version. You could wait for a new version or revert to the previous stable release.

Why does my computer keeps restarting before Windows loads?

If the computers keep restarting before Windows loads and the logo can be displayed, it’s likely a sign of hardware failure or issues with the MBR (Master Boot Record).

To identify a hardware failure, verify the various components, especially the RAM, CPU, and connections. Besides, a corrupt BIOS is as likely to get a Dell computer stuck on restarting.

What do I do if my PC is stuck on restarting?

In this article

Before we head to the slightly more complex solutions, let’s try a few quick methods and see if it helps fix things when the computer keeps restarting randomly.

  • Turn off the computer using the power button and then turn it on. In many cases, it was a one-off thing, and force restarting the computer did the trick.
  • Remove the external peripherals connected to the computer, as these could cause a power surge or drop.
  • Check for overheating. Often, it goes unnoticed on desktops since the CPU may not be directly visible. Find out how to reduce overheating.
  • Make sure the CPU fan is running. You can also manually control the CPU fan and configure it to run at a higher speed for enhanced heat dissipation.
  • Remove any overclocking if your CPU isn’t capable of withstanding the currently set voltage.

If none of these work, let’s head to the other solutions:

1. Update the outdated drivers

  1. If the computer is taking forever to restart, press Windows + X and choose Device Manager.device manager
  2. Select a category to see the names of devices under it.
  3. Now, right-click on the one you believe is causing the problem and select Update driver. Device manager updating graphics driver - Silhouette running slow
  4. Select Search automatically for drivers and wait for Windows to automatically locate the best driver on the computer and install automatically for drivers

Similarly, update the drivers for other devices listed here. Again, there might be a driver conflict involved, so make sure to use the keyboard and mouse while the update process is underway to fix your computer if it keeps restarting randomly.

Drivers that belong to different hardware might enter into a conflict state, and that might cause the restart freeze issue, which can be done either manually, or with the help of third-party software.

Most common Windows errors and bugs can result from faulty or incompatible drivers. An outdated system can lead to lags, system issues, or even BSoDs.

You can prevent these problems by using an automatic tool that will search and install the correct drivers on your computer with just a few clicks. That's why we recommend you use Outbyte Driver Updater. Here's how to do it:
  1. Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
  2. Launch the software.
  3. Wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
    OutByte Driver Updater Scan
  4. Afterward, it will show you a list of the drivers found to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
  5. Click on Update & Apply Selected to download and install the newest versions.
  6. Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.
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2. Reinstall the corrupt drivers

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type devmgmt.msc in the text field, and hit Enter.devmgmt.msc
  2. If you see any device with a warning sign at the corner of its icon, right-click on it, and select Uninstall device.uninstall device to fix computer keeps restarting randomly
  3. Click Uninstall in the confirmation prompt in order to fix the laptop taking forever to restart issue.uninstall to fix computer keeps restarting randomly

Once done, verify whether the computer keeps restarting randomly or the problem is fixed. In case it’s the former, head to the following method.

3. Disable startup apps

  1. If the laptop is restarting for a long time, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager, and select the Startup apps tab from the left.startup apps
  2. Locate the programs that read Enabled under the Status column, select them, and click on Disable.disable startup apps to fix computer keeps restarting randomly

While disabling startup apps, keep two things in mind. First, disable all third-party apps that appear in the list. Second, if any critical program or process is listed and enabled, keep it that way. This should fix the Windows 10 is stuck on restarting issue.

4. Check the RAM

A problematic RAM can often cause the computer is stuck on restarting screen problem, and the underlying cause here could be related to either hardware or software. So first, turn off the computer, remove all the memory sticks, clean them gently to remove any carbon deposits, and then reseat them firmly.

Run the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostics tool if this doesn’t solve things. It helps identify issues with the RAM and automatically fixes things.

For a more detailed investigation of RAM issues, you could run Memtest86+, an open-source tool that runs many tests on the memory sticks, even individually, and lists each problem.

If the RAM is faulty, replacing it should get things running if the computer keeps restarting randomly.

5. Restart the stuck update

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges. cmd to fix windows 11 stuck restarting
  2. Click Yes in the UAC prompt.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter: net stop wuauservrun command to fix windows 11 stuck on restarting
  4. Now, input the following commands and press Enter after each: cd %systemroot% ren SoftwareDistribution SD.old net start wuauserv

If the computer is stuck restarting during/after update, reinitiating the process should do the trick.

6. Run the troubleshooter

1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box, enter Control Panel in it, and then click on OK.

control panel

2. Click on the View by dropdown menu and select Large icons from the list.

large icons

3. Choose Troubleshooting.


4. Select View all from the left.

view all

5. Click on System Maintenance.

system maintenance to fix computer keeps restarting randomly

6. Follow the other on-screen prompts to complete the process.

follow instructions

7. Once done, verify if the computer keeps restarting randomly. If yes, try the next solution.

If your computer is stuck restarting, you should try using the Windows Troubleshooter. All Windows PCs have a built-in Troubleshooter that can detect and fix problems on your PC and it’s likely to solve your problem.

7. Update the BIOS

If nothing so far has worked, and the Dell/HP/etc.. laptop is stuck on restarting, you should update the BIOS.

This is an intricate and critical process, so we recommend you practice extra caution and follow the steps as it is. For more help updating the BIOS, read the instructions on the OEM’s website.

The methods listed above should fix things when the computer keeps restarting randomly. Also, you may try reinstalling Windows if you are sure it’s a software-related issue.

After fixing the restart loop or reinstalling the new OS, we recommend to boost your Windows PC’s performance just to make sure you avoid similar problems in the future.

Also, if the Settings app resets on reboot, read the highlighted guide to fix the problem for good.

If you know other troubleshooting solutions that might address this issue, share them with our readers in the comments below.

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