Windows 10 hangs on initial startup but here’s how to fix that

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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windows 10 hangs on start screen

What to do if Windows 10 hangs on startup screen on my PC/laptop?

  1. Disable Fast Startup
  2. Check your Hardware
  3. Disconnect your USB devices

Today we’re going to solve another Windows 10 Technical Preview issue. This time, one user complained on Microsoft Forum about how he wasn’t able to start his PC, because Windows 10 was hanging on startup.
Fix Windows 10 Hangs On Initial Startup
Reportedly, when he tried to turn on his machine, the system just showed the blue Windows pane and circling dots weren’t shown. When he restarted the machine, everything was back to normal, but this problem appeared again after some time. Fortunately, this is not a serious issue, and the solution for this problem is very simple. It is caused by the Windows 10 feature called Fast Startup, and disabling this feature will solve everything.

How to fix Windows 10 if it hangs on startup?

Fast Startup is the feature introduced in Windows 8, and is still present in Windows 10 Technical Preview. Fast Startup allows your computer to start faster than normal by logging of the user session and saving system related files and drivers to a special hibernation file. Although this feature helps your computer to boot faster, it can also cause some problems with booting, like it did in this case. Fast Startup only works when the computer is shutdown, as it doesn’t affect restart, which explains why things were back to normal after restarting a computer.

1. Disable Fast Startup

To disable Fast Startup feature in Windows 10, follow these instructions:

  • Go to Search
  • Type po bu (short for power buttons) in the search box. It will bring you directly to the ‘Change what the power buttons do’ applet in search results. Click it.
  • System Settings window will appear
  • Click on the ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ link to see the available Shutdown options
  • Untick the Turn on fast startup (enabled) option

Disabling Fast Startup should solve your problem with Windows 10 hanging out on initial startup, but in case you have some questions or maybe this solution does not fix your issue, please check the solutions below.

2. Check your hardware

Many users reported that this may be caused by faulty hardware. Some of them said that the internal SD card reader was faulty and caused this issue. They fixed it by disconnecting the device. We also suggest you check your HDD and it’s connections. In case you cannot check it on your PC, try to check it on somebody’s PC that works.

3. Disconnect your USB devices

According to some users, devices that connect via USB to your PC may cause Windows 10 to hang. Disconnecting your mouse, keyboard or any other USB device before starting your system might help you. If this does not work, try to check our article which explains to you how to fix Windows 10 stuck on the start screen.

Read Also: Full Fix: Windows 10, 8.1 Build Freezes on Login

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • This is old, and a real solution, but the link to “scan and fix blah blah” is malware if anyone didn’t catch on by now.

  • If this doesn’t solve the problem (which it didn’t for me).
    I found that if you go into the Bios and disable the Network Stack Configuration, and the Intel LAN PXE option ROM, the problem will disappear after a couple of boots to clean things up.
    I have no idea why – but it worked.

    I also disabled my Parallel Port at the same time, but I be surprised if that made any difference.

  • Hi! Thanks a lot for the solution, worked perfectly:) (only one thing: searching for ‘po bo’ in the start menu didn’t work for me, but ‘power options’ did the trick) Cheers!

  • Thank you Alex. I joined just to tell you good job on your solution. I was searching for drivers, changing hard drives, and reinstalling windows to fix this problem. Glad i found your discussion.

  • So that’s the cause! For a moment there I thought there was some disk error that would require me to use the check disk function.

    Good to know that it’s such a simple fix.

  • I had a similar problem with windows 10. When I shut down I did have my usb ports connected to external drives and another thumb drive. After shut down I unplugged the the thumb drive and turned off the power to the external drive. When I came back at a later in the day turn on Windows 10 it just hang with the dots going in circles. Hit reset button and it went in to repair mode. Then it ask me to reset again and then it still hangs. So I shut down the system completely and remembering what I did last I plugged back in my thumb drive and turn on the external drive then started Windows 10 and quickly all was back to normal. If you are going to unplug or turn off any external drives or peripherals do it when Windows 10 is running so it remember its last session. I never had this issue with Windows 7 unplug anytime on or off peripherals. Windows 10 is an overkill but works fine. Windows 10 will not allow me to Upgrade from 7 as I have more security stability and more applications on that network pc. It’s more simple and not imposing and cluttered. I will keep 7 until Window 10 will let me upgrade. Still working on it. As stated in the memo above: “Fast Startup allows your computer to start faster than normal by logging
    of the user session and saving system related files and drivers to a
    special hibernation file. Although this feature helps your computer to
    boot faster, it can also cause some problems with booting, like it did
    in this case. Fast Startup only works when the computer is shutdown, as
    it don’t affects restart, which explains why things were back to normal
    after restarting a computer.” Hope this helps. Have a great day. 🙂

  • First go to search tab. Than type power. It will shown power and sleep setting.Click it. Then choose additional power setting. After that click choose what the power button do. After that click change settings that are currently unavailable. On bottom untick turn on fast startup.

  • Fixed mine. With the switch on and it says right there recommended no less which is pretty wrong for my laptop. When I hit the on button, the circling dots would make two turns and freeze. Laptop would sit about 3-4 minutes (foreverrr!) Then the hard drive would start twice and then finally start showing like the PC was going to make it.
    Like the other, Po Bu did not work but sure it’s there.
    This may help? ha but how I did it. (I started with DOS)
    Control panel
    System Security
    Power options
    (choose what the power button does)
    (change settings that are currently unavailable)
    (Unclick Turn on fast startup)

    Laptop still takes forever to start..Lot of checks? going on?

    Is it possible to get rid of the picture that comes up when the start up is finished and you still need to hit return to see the Password box?

  • I’ve tried to follow the instructions above, but the search function in Windows 10 [Search the web and Windows] on doesn’t turn up anything like what is described above using ‘po bu’ or ‘power button’.

  • I started the download on my windows 8 HP in the middle of install the computer froze went to black screen only way to get any thing going on it was to turn it off and press F11 tried to system restore back to windows 8 but the upgrade seem to have wiped it all out any suggestions?