Stuck on Getting Windows ready? Grab a full guide to fix it

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The Windows installation process has been constantly simplified with every new version launched.
  • But that does not always guarantee a smooth upgrade. For instance, you might have come across the ever-loading Getting Windows ready screen. 
  • There is no need to wait an eternity - check out some quick fixes to exiting this update loop. Speaking about updating your OS, make sure to bookmark the Windows Update Errors page for quick access.
  • Don't be shy to look for more solutions and expert guides on our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub as well.
Windows install issues
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The install process of Windows gradually becomes easier with every new system introduction. Most of us remember the lengthy installation procedure of XP, with all the buzz about drivers and initial setup. Luckily, that’s not the case with Windows 10.

But, there’s good reasoning why users detest oversimplified installation processes. Firstly, most of your drivers are auto-installed through the setup.

Secondly, there’s something that may go wrong with the installation. And when that happens, you may run back to Windows 7 or even good old Windows XP.

One of the problems that troubled a lot of users is that Getting Windows ready stuck Windows 10 laptop or PC screen. The estimated waiting time is around 5 minutes or so. However, some users were waiting for ages.

It’s hard to address this issue, though, since you’re unable to reach your system and perform troubleshooting. Here are some workarounds you can try out below.

Getting Windows ready stuck? Here are 4 potential fixes:

  1. Just wait
  2. Hard shut down your PC
  3. Perform a clean reinstallation
  4. Uninstall recently installed software

Fix: Getting windows ready. Don’t turn off your computer stuck

There are various issues that can occur with Windows updates, and in this article, we’re going to focus on the following problems:

  • Getting Windows ready infinite loop, update loop, boot loop, restarting loop – According to users, this is one of the most common problems. Many users reported that they are stuck in a restart loop that prevents them from accessing Windows.
  • Getting Windows ready after restart – According to users, this error message also appears after restarting your PC. This issue is most likely caused by an incomplete update, and Windows will try to finish its installation every time you restart your PC.
  • Frozen at Getting Windows ready – Many users reported that their PC seems frozen on Getting Windows ready screen. This process can take a while, sometimes even hours, so it’s no wonder that users think their PC is frozen.
  • Getting Windows ready working on updates – This is a variation of this message that appears usually after a major Windows update. To fix this issue, be sure to try some of the solutions from this article.
  • Getting Windows ready stuck after update – In certain cases this issue can appear after installing an update. Sometimes the installation process isn’t finished and that can cause this message to appear.

1. Just wait

Yes, that’s actually what some Microsoft’s support technicians advise. For no real reason, some users need to wait longer than others until this screen completes what it’s doing. We advise you to wait no more than 2-3 hours before you cancel.

2. Hard shut down your PC

Getting Windows ready after restart

After some time, you should hard shut down your PC. Keep in mind that this isn’t as dangerous as some would say. The procedure may be finished after a while, but the screen will remain in the idle state.

The best way to determine the right time for the hard restart/shutdown is to look at the HDD activity lamp. If the lamp isn’t blinking, that means that the procedure is over and you should shut down your PC.

If the system starts as intended, you should be good to go. If that’s not the case, your only viable option is to start the reinstallation procedure from scratch.

But, this time we advise you to perform a clean reinstall. There’s a grave danger that your system won’t perform like it’s supposed to after this kind of failure.

3. Perform a clean reinstallation

In the end, a clean reinstallation should get you going. Make sure you back up sensitive data from the system partition and have your license key ready because otherwise, you’ll be in a lot of trouble.

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Moreover, the reinstallation process is not as lengthy and you should be able to finish it in less than one hour or so, including driver check-up and customization of the system to your liking.

To perform a clean installation of Windows 10, you’ll need to create a Windows 10 installation media using Media Creation Tool. Since you can’t access your PC, you’ll have to create installation media on another PC. After doing that you need to follow these steps:

  1. Connect the Windows 10 installation media to your PC and boot from it. Keep in mind that you might have to press the appropriate key or change your boot priority in BIOS in order to boot from Windows 10 installation media.
  2. Choose the desired language and click on Next.
  3. Click on Install Now and follow the instructions on your screen. Keep in mind that clean install will remove all files from the selected drive, so be sure to back up important files beforehand.

In addition, you must select the correct drive in order to perform a clean install. If you accidentally select the wrong drive, you’ll remove all files from that drive, so be extra cautious.

After the setup process is completed, the problem should be completely resolved. If you’re unsure how to perform a clean reinstallation, this guide will provide you with a detailed explanation. Since clean install can be a complicated procedure, many users are suggesting to reset Windows 10 instead.

To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 from above.
  2. Now click on Repair your computer.
  3. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  4. Select your Windows installation and choose Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  5. Now click on the Reset button to start resetting your Windows 10 installation.

Both reset and clean install will remove all files from your system drive and reinstall Windows 10, so feel free to use any of these methods. If you want to know more about Windows 10 reset, we wrote a detailed guide on how to reset your Windows 10 PC.

4. Uninstall recently installed software

If your Windows update process went smoothly prior to installing particular software on your computer, then we may have found the culprit. If the respective software solutions are not fully compatible with the latest Windows 10 OS version, you may encounter update errors.

So, before downloading any software on your PC, make sure it’s fully compatible with your OS.

In this case, use the power button to turn off your computer, power it back on, and uninstall any recently installed apps and programs. Then restart your machine and check for updates again.

We certainly hope this will help you upgrade to the latest Windows edition and unblock the computer stuck on getting windows ready.

If you have any comments or questions about your update experience, make sure to post them below.

FAQ: Learn more about Windows update errors

  • How long should I wait for getting Windows Ready?

According to Microsoft itself, some users need to wait longer than others until the Getting Windows ready screen completes. Our recommendation would be to wait no more than 2-3 hours before you cancel.

  • What do I do if my computer is stuck on getting Windows Ready?

You can try to hard shut down your PC or consider performing a clean reinstallation from an installation media. As a quicker alternative, some users suggest resetting Windows 10 to factory values.

  • Why is it taking so long to restart my computer?

Some PCs get stuck on the restart sequence for a long period of time (either the boot is slow, or the restart process freezes completely). You can try to end unresponsive processes via the Task Manager and restart without connecting peripherals. Check out this complete troubleshooting guide for more details.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • I recommend everyone to stop buying windows, make sure their business goes bankrupt (unlikely though). Just ditch microsoft windows and buy Mac.

    • I agree, an issue with windows update and likely has the windows out of space due to cbs perstistant log files. There has to be a solution that does not require a reboot which just continues the problem or a reload which does as well.