computer software

Windows 10 Stuck on Preparing? Here’s How to Fix It

After a Windows 10 upgrade when you reboot or just tried logging into your account, you may have encountered this screen that says “Preparing Windows.“ This screen on your PC could mean that your Windows 10 is trying to finish off something or it’s just waiting for some files to load up so that you can start using your account.

Some of the users have also complained that there are times when they’re logged into their accounts, but still, they got the same message “Preparing Windows.“ However, people have tried to re-login into their accounts, but this still keeps showing up. Even the CTRL+ALT+DEL Keys don’t work. This makes it a situation, in which your account is somehow corrupted.

In this article, I will show you what you should do when you find your Windows 10 stuck on the Preparing Windows screen.

Boot your PC into Safe Mode

Your computer can be booted into Safe Mode, and then you can log in with a working Admin account.

If it’s an admin account which caused the problem on your system, then you need to make sure to create an Admin account first. And then you will need to log in, after you reboot into the account, and then log off.

Note: Reboot your PC normally and check if the problem persists or not.

Repair Corrupt User Profile via Registry

  1. First of all, you need to create a system restore point.
  2. Then you have to type ‘regedit’ in the Run prompt. Doing so will open the Registry Editor.
  3. Here you will need to navigate to the following key:
  • Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  1. Doing so will present a list of all user profiles available on your computer.
  2. Then you will have to tap on each of S-1-5 folders and later double-tap on the ‘ProfileImagePath’ entry. Now, doing so will find out which user account it belongs to. Then on one of them, you will find a path similar to ‘C\Users\ACK’ where the username is ‘ACK.’
  3. Now you have come to know which account has been corrupted. So, you need to look for a key with name ‘RefCount’ and then you also have to change the Value data to 0 and tap on the OK button.

Note: If you don’t find anything like ‘RefCount,’ you then should right-click in the right pane, and create one.

  1. Then double-tap on the key State, you then have to make sure that the Value data is again 0 and tap on the OK button.
  2. Finally, you just need to close the registry editor and restart your computer.

Check if the problem is fixed. If not, move to the next solution given below.

Run System File Checker

System File Checker works to repair corrupted or damaged Windows files. However, all you need is to run this command from elevated CMD, which is command prompt launched with the privileges of admin.

Repair Hard-Disk Errors

When it’s about errors on the hard-drive, the update will not be successful as the system may believe that you hard-disk is not well.

Thus, you need to run ‘chkdsk’ in the command prompt in order to troubleshoot those issues.

If this too fails to fix your problem, you may have to start thinking about replacing the hard drive. When you begin to do so, you need to make sure that you backup all your data on your Windows 10 computer. Moreover, you can use it as a secondary hard drive too.

Create a New User Account

If everything (the solutions mentioned-above) fails to work, it is recommended to create a new account in your Windows 10.

Note: This whole process is going to take more time as you will have to set up your account to even install apps and many more.

Thank you for reading this article; I hope this information will be useful to you.

Aida Martin is a creative person who has been writing blogs and articles about cyber security. She writes about the latest updates regarding and how it can improve the work experience of users. Her articles have been published in many popular e-magazines, blogs and websites.


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