Updating Windows regularly is important to improve the stability and security of the operating system. From time to time, however, an update may get stuck during download or installation. The problem can be fixed fairly easily and usually without much effort. Read on to find out common solutions to fix a stuck Windows update.
After you run a Windows update, you often get the message: “Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer.” The process can take longer than expected so it’s important to be patient. But if the wait takes too long, Windows may be stuck. Read on to find out how to fix the problem.
Solution 1: Wait
If “Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer” does not disappear even after you’ve waited a long time, your patience may be tested. Depending on the performance and capacity of your PC, this process could take several hours. How long it takes depends on your device. However, if the configuration takes more than three hours, there may be an error.
Regularly back up your Windows system to avoid losing important data in case of update errors. Find out how to create a Windows 10 backup in our Digital Guide.
Solution 2: Shut down computer and disconnect power source
Several hours have passed and the Windows update is still processing? Try restarting the PC by pressing the reset button. If this is not possible, turn off the computer manually by holding down the power button for a few seconds. Disconnect the computer from the main power supply. For laptops, you will need to unplug the power cord and remove the battery. If you’re unable to remove the battery, leave the power on until the battery runs on empty and the laptop shuts down.
Wait a few minutes and then restart the computer or laptop. Windows 10 will now try to install the update again. In most cases, this should solve the problem.
Solution 3: Deinstall updates
Every now and then it happens that Windows gets stuck in a loop and tries to perform the update over and over again. To fix this issue, use the Windows startup options. You can access them by pressing the key combination [Shift] + [F8] during startup. If that doesn’t work, use the power button to turn on the PC and then turn it off right away. Repeat this process several times. Windows 10 will then automatically open the startup options. In the advanced troubleshooting options, select Uninstall updates. This will remove recently installed updates.
Solution 4: Repair Windows automatically
When your computer does no longer start up properly, this may not necessarily be due to a Windows 10 update. It’s possible that a file in Windows could have been damaged or deleted. In this case, try to repair the system automatically. Windows provides several tools to fix errors.
Repair Windows via troubleshooter
- Launch Settings.
- Navigate to Troubleshooting.
- Now click Run troubleshooter.
Repair corrupt system file
- From the Start menu, open Command Prompt (administrator privileges necessary) by typing cmd in the Windows search.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt result and select Run as administrator.
- Enter the command sfc/scannow in the window.
- Windows now checks the system and will repair faulty files – if necessary.
- Finally, restart the computer.
To simplify error diagnosis and repair, you can start Windows 10 in safe mode. This launches the operating system with only basic functions and makes it easier to detect and repair critical system errors.
Solution 5: Reset Windows 10
If the problem persists you can always reset Windows. You may need the boot stick to do so. Find out more about resetting Windows 10 in our guide.
The suggested solutions refer to Windows 10, but they are applicable to other Windows versions. If you don’t know which one you are using, you can easily check your Windows version.