Windows 11 stuck in a reboot loop? Try these fixes

Kazim Ali Alvi
by Kazim Ali Alvi
Author
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take a look at the hardware, although... Read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Several users have reported encountering the reboot loop problem in Windows 11 in the recent past.
  • It could be fixed by removing recent Windows Update, uninstalling malfunctioning applications, updating drivers, amongst other methods listed here.
  • Also, find out how to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode. You'll be required to enter this mode when applying some of our solutions.
OS stuck in a reboot loop
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Windows 11, the latest iteration from Microsoft, is the most advanced of all, though it too is prone to errors. Whether the frequency has gone up from the previous iterations, the jury is still out. One such error that users have reported encountering is Windows 11 being stuck in a reboot loop.

In this case, when you power on the device, instead of booting the OS and taking you to the sign-in screen, the system is stuck in a loop where it keeps loading Windows and crashing on each attempt.

In the following sections, we will walk you through the underlying causes of the reboot loop error in Windows 11 along with the most effective methods to fix it.

Why is Windows 11 stuck in a reboot loop?

You could be encountering the error due to several reasons. While some might be fixed within a minute, others will require a holistic approach and will take time. Here are the common reasons behind the Windows 11 stuck in reboot loop error:

  • Problems with the current version of Windows
  • Corrupt system files
  • Running an outdated driver
  • System infected with malware or virus
  • Secure boot disabled
  • Incompatible or malfunctioning apps

Now that you know the various underlying causes, see if you are able to identify the one with your device. In case you do, head to the relevant fix and execute it, or proceed with them in the listed sequence for quick troubleshooting.

How can I boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode?

  1. First, turn on the computer, and as soon as Windows starts booting, press and hold the Power button to shut it down.
  2. Again, follow the same steps by starting the system, and turning it off when the OS is about to boot.
  3. Repeat the process the thrice.
  4. Now when you boot Windows 11 the fourth time, your computer will launch the Startup Repair, a built-in utility that fixes problems preventing the OS from booting.
  5. Wait for the process to complete.
  6. Your device will most likely show the Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC screen. Now, click on Advanced options.Advanced options to launch Safe Mode
  7. Select Troubleshoot from the listed options.Troubleshoot to fix the reboot loop error in Windows 11
  8. Click on Advanced options.View Advanced Options
  9. Next, select Startup settings from the six options listed here.Startup Settings
  10. Click the Restart button.Restart to boot in Safe Mode and fix reboot loop in Windows 11
  11. Now, click on any of the keys from either 4-6 or F4-F6, to launch the various types of Safe Mode.
Note icon
NOTE
You would be required to enter the Safe Mode from the second fix onwards in the next sections. So, be sure to understand the process for quick and effective troubleshooting.

If you are unable to boot Windows 11, most of the fixes listed here wouldn’t work. But, a quick way around the problem is to get into the Safe Mode and execute these.

Safe Mode is primarily a troubleshooting environment with minimum drivers, background apps, processes, and services running in the background.

There are multiple ways you can boot Windows 11 in the Safe Mode, but since you are unable to access the system, the force shutdown method is your best bet.

How can I do if Windows 11 is stuck in a reboot loop error?

1. Remove external peripherals or devices

In many cases, it’s an external peripheral, such as the printer, speakers, or microphones, that’s causing the reboot loop error in Windows 11. If the connected peripheral is incompatible or malfunctioning, it may prevent the OS from loading.Remove external peripherals to fix reboot loop in Windows 11

A quick fix is to remove all such peripherals, with just the basic ones connected to the system. Now check if the reboot loop error in Windows 11 is resolved. In case the problem persists, it lies somewhere else, hence, head to the next method.

2. Uninstall recent Windows updates

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed in the naviagation pane on the left.Windows Update
  3. Click on Update History.Update History
  4. Click on Uninstall updates under Related settings.Uninstall recent updates to fix reboot loop issue in Windows 11
  5. Select the recent Windows update and click on Uninstall to remove it.Remove Windows Update
  6. Click Yes on the confirmation box that pops up.Confirm uninstall

Problems with the recent Windows update are also known to cause the reboot loop issue in Windows 11. In this case, it’s recommended that you uninstall the recent update, and wait for a newer one to release before updating.

Although updates are meant to release new features and boost the system performance, they may at times act counterproductive and introduce instability. After uninstalling the update, check if the problem is resolved, and Windows 11 boots properly.

3. Enable Secure Boot

Secure boot is one of the critical system requirements and you must enable it before installing Windows 11. If it’s somehow disabled while running the latest iteration, there’s a chance of you encountering the reboot loop error in Windows 11.

Although, there’s no credible evidence to suggest that disabling Secure Boot may cause the reboot loop issue, re-enabling it worked for a lot of users. Also, since Secure Boot is a system requirement, it makes no sense to disable it on Windows 11.

It’s fairly simple to enable Secure Boot on your computer, and you can follow our dedicated guide for the process. If you haven’t disabled Secure Boot or enabling it didn’t fix the issue, head to the next method.

4. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Windows Update from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Update windows to fix reboot loop error in Windows 11
  3. Click on Check for updates to look for any newer versions of the OS available for download.Check for updates
  4. If one is available, install it.

As discussed earlier, there could be a bug in the current version that’s causing the reboot loop error in Windows 11. So, if there’s a newer version available, installing it should solve the problem.

Microsoft identifies the bugs in the recent versions and releases patches for them in the subsequent updates. Hence, in all likelihood, the latest version would have a patch for the bug causing the reboot loop error.

5. Delete files in the Software Distribution folder

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.
  2. Enter Windows Terminal in the text field at the top, right-click on the relevant search result, and select Run as administrator from the context menu.Launch Windows Terminal to fix reboot loop in Windows 11
  3. Click Yes on the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that appears.
  4. Then, click on the downward arrow at the top, and select Command Prompt from the list of options to launch it in a new tab. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + Shift + 2 to launch the Command Prompt tab. Open Command Prompt tab
  5. Type/paste the following command and hit Enter:net stop wuauservExecute command
  6. Next, type/paste this command and hit Enter to run it:net stop bitsExecute command
  7. After disabling the two services, press Windows + R to launch the Run command, enter the following address in the text field and click on OK:C:\Windows\SoftwareDistributionNavigate to the Software Distribution folder
  8. Press Ctrl + A to select all the files and hit the Del key to delete them.Delete all files in Software Distribution folder to fix reboot loop issue in Windows
  9. Choose the appropriate response in case a confirmation box pops up.
  10. Now, restart the computer and check if the reboot loop problem in Windows 11 is resolved.

If a Windows Update didn’t go all the way through and an error was encountered during the process, the OS may fail to load. To fix this, follow the steps listed above to delete the relevant temporary files, and then try to update Windows 11.

6. Remove recently installed applications

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Apps from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Apps tab
  3. Click on Apps & features on the right.Apps & features
  4. Click on the ellipsis next to the recently installed app and select Uninstall from the list of options.Uninstall app to fix reboot loop in Windows 11
  5. Again, click on Uninstall in the confirmational prompt.Uninstall recent app

Certain apps are known to conflict with the functioning of the OS, and could as well cause the reboot loop problem in Windows 11. If you encountered the error after installing a certain app, removing it from the system can fix the issue.

It’s best that you remove these apps one at a time, and verify if the error is fixed. This way, you will be able to identify the conflicting app and reinstall the others removed during the process.

If uninstalling the recent apps didn’t solve the issue, head to the next method listed here.

7. Update drivers

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.
  2. Enter Device Manager in the text field at the top and click on the relevant search result that appears.Launch Device Manager
  3. Double-click on any of the hardware devices category.View devices under hardware catergory
  4. Right-click on the device, and select Update driver from the context menu.Update drivers to fix reboot loop in Windows 11
  5. Next, select Search automatically for drivers from the two options that appear in the Update Drivers window.Search automatically for drivers
  6. Similarly, update the drivers for other external hardware devices connected to the system.

Running outdated drivers for connected hardware is also a known cause of the reboot loop error in Windows 11. It’s recommended that you always keep the drivers up-to-date to eliminate the chances of encountering issues as well as boost the system performance.

The Device Manager method listed above only searches for an updated version of the driver that is already downloaded on the system, basically acting as an offline update.

In case one cannot be found, you can always look for the latest driver version in Windows Update or the manufacturer’s official website.

If the above methods sound a bit too intricate, you can also use a dedicated third-party utility. We recommend using DriverFix, a tool that will scan the web for updates, and keep the installed drivers up-to-date.

8. Run a quick SFC scan

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.
  2. Enter Windows Terminal in the text field at the top, right-click on the relevant search result, and select Run as administrator from the context menu.Launch Windows Terminal with administrative privileges to fix reboot loop problem in Windows 11
  3. Click Yes on the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that pops up.
  4. Next, click on the downward arrow at the top, and select Command Prompt from the list of options.Launch Command Prompt tab in terminal
  5. Type/paste the following command and hit Enter to run the SFC scan:sfc /scannowRun SFC scan
  6. After the scan is done running, restart the computer.

Corrupt system files are also known to cause problems with the functioning of the OS. And in this case, it’s the SFC (System File Checker) scan that comes to the rescue.

An SFC scan locates the corrupt system files and replaces them with their cached copy stored on the computer. If the above fixes have not worked, running the scan might help fix the reboot loop problem in Windows 11.

9. Scan for malware and virus

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu.
  2. Enter Windows Security in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.Launch Windows Security
  3. Click on Virus and threat protection from the six options listed here.Virus & threat protection
  4. Next, click on Scan options under Current threats.Scan options
  5. Select the option for Full scan and click on Scan now.Run full scan to fix reboot loop in Windows 11
  6. Wait for the scan to complete. It would take sometime depending on the amount and size of files to be scanned.

If none of the methods listed above worked, it is most likely that your computer is infected with malware or virus, which is causing the reboot loop error in Windows 11.

We choose the built-in Windows Security to scan for viruses and malware but you can use any third-party antivirus compatible with Windows 11.

After the scan is done running, the reboot loop error in Windows 11 would be fixed.

What are the other errors similar to Windows 11 stuck in reboot loop?

Similar to the reboot loop error in Windows 11, users have also reported encountering the black screen with cursor issue. Also, several users came across the sign-in screen missing problem.

Windows 11 stuck on Preparing Windows screen is another common inconvenience faced by users.

Many also encountered another similar error where Windows 11 failed to boot. While the system didn’t automatically reload the Windows in this case, it couldn’t load it either.

If you are facing any of the other errors listed above, just check our linked guides for quick and effective troubleshooting.

That’s all there’s to the Windows 11 reboot loop problem. Execute the methods listed above in the same sequence as they are mentioned.

In case nothing works, you can reset Windows 11 to its factory settings or roll back to Windows 10.

Tell us which fix worked for you and your experience of Windows 11 thus far, in the comments section below.

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