How to get rid of stuck on “Preparing to configure Windows” screen?

September 25, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

If your Windows PC is displaying a blue screen with the sentence “Preparing to configure, please do not turn off your computer”, you have come to the right place. Usually, this error still persists even after you have restarted your computer, and this can get quite annoying. Luckily, there are users that experienced this problem before, and you can benefit from that. Below you will find proven fixes for this issue, so one of them will surely help you.

If you are a curious enough user, you will be asking yourself: “Why do I get the message: “Preparing to configure Windows, please do not turn off your computer?” And you should ask that because the solutions below show that this issue could be a sign of some more complex problems that your device may be experiencing.

Most of us never give a second thought to the processes that need to run in order for our devices to function properly. And while it’s nice to just open the computer and start working, it’s always prudent to prevent possible malfunction by executing some basic maintenance. In other words: fix the symptoms, but cure the cause. One of the main reasons for the “Preparing to configure Windows” sign appearing on your screen is a software conflict, i.e. unupdated drivers. Another possibility is a preexisting issue that you were not aware of. This, it makes sense to figure out what the malfunction could be to prevent crashing of the system in the future. It’s also always great to create a restore point when your computer is doing fine, just in case.

Here is a list of possible solutions to the issue you are having. You can pick the one that is right for your specific situation or try them one by one until the issue is fixed:

  • Install Windows system updates
  • Disconnect all devices from your computer and do a hard reboot
  • Perform a clean boot
  • Restore your Windows system
  • Update your drivers

Below you will find detailed instructions on how to perform all of the fixes stated above:

Solution 1

Depending on what you were doing at the time the blue screen appeared, you can figure out if you can use this fix or not. If you were installing or configuring updates, it is possible that your Windows system was stuck because the updates that it needed to install were very extensive. Or because you neglected the necessary updates. The fix here is simple – just wait. The minimum recommended time in this situation is 2 hours. After that, if your device is still stuck on the “Preparing to configure Windows, please do not turn off your computer” screen, try the next fix.

Solution 2

It might seem strange, but your device can also get overwhelmed with different commands and updates that need the system’s attention. It is because of this that we suggest disconnecting all the external devices that you are using and performing a hard reboot. Follow these instructions to perform it right:

  • Step 1. Hold the power button of your computer until your PC shuts down completely.
  • Step 2. Disconnect all USB flash drives, external hard disk drives, etc. Remove the battery from your laptop if it is easily accessible.
  • Step 3. Hold the power button for approximately 10 seconds.
  • Step 4. After waiting a few minutes, connect the battery back to your PC or plug in your device.
  • Step 5. Press the power button again. The system will now reboot.
  • Step 6. In the list of options presented, select the option to boot normally.

Now, to check if the fix worked, do the following:

  • Step 7. Press the logo key and type ‘windows update’ into the search bar.
  • Step 8. In the presented list, click on Check for updates.
  • Step 9. A window will open to your right, click the button to Check for updates.
  • Step 10. Any available updates will now be installed onto your device.
  • Step 11. Restart your device to make sure that the blue screen doesn’t appear again. If it does, move on to the next fix.

Solution 3

If the issue persists, you might resort to performing a clean boot of your system. This is a troubleshooting method for detecting and fixing software conflicts in your system. Here is how to perform a clean boot:

  • Step 1. Use the Win key + R shortcut and open the Run dialog box.
  • Step 2. Type ‘msconfig’ and hit Enter.
  • Step 3. In the System Configuration window, select the Services tab and navigate to the bottom of the page.
  • Step 4. Check the Hide all Microsoft services box and then click the Disable all button.
  • Step 5. Next, open the Startup tab and click the Open Task Manager option.
  • Step 6. Select each startup item and disable it by right-clicking it.
  • Step 7. Return to System Configuration and click OK.
  • Step 8. A pop-up window will give you the choice to restart your device. Opt to restart the system.
  • Step 9. After Windows restarts, make sure to get all the available Windows updates. Continue with these steps to initiate the process:
  • Step 10. Use the Windows logo key and type ‘windows updates’ in the search bar.
  • Step 11. Select the option Check for updates.
  • Step 12. In the window on the right, click the Check for updates button.
  • Step 13. Wait for the updates to get installed. This could take a while.
  • Step 14. Restart your PC after all the updates have been installed. This is to check that your issue has been resolved.
  • Step 15. If your issue has been resolved, you now have to go back to System Configuration and enable the services that you have disabled. Remember to restart your computer after enabling the services again – this will apply the changes. However, if after this, you are greeted with the blue screen again, your only viable option will be to restore your system.

Solution 4

Restoring Windows. Hopefully, you have already created a restore point on your system. Otherwise, this fix won’t work. Follow the instructions below to revert your system:

  • Step 1. Use the logo key to open the search bar and type ‘restore’. The list will show the results, where you will be able to choose “Create a restore point”.
  • Step 2. If asked for permission, give it and open System Protection settings.
  • Step 3. Check that the Protection status of the local disk drive is ON.
  • Step 4. Select System Restore.
  • Step 5. Check Choose a different restore point and proceed to the next window by clicking Next.
  • Step 6. Select the restore point that you had created before you ran into the blue screen issue and then click Next.
  • Step 7. Press the Finish button.
  • Step 8. A pop-up window will want your confirmation, click Yes.
  • Step 9. The restore of your system will now begin. This should take care of the annoying issue “Preparing to configure Windows”.

Solution 5

Update you drivers. We suggest this fix last because the issue you are having may be connected to some compatibility issues and you can only be sure of that once you’ve eliminated all other potential culprits. However, that doesn’t mean that this fix won’t uncover some profound issue that you might want to deal with first.

Malfunctioning drivers are extremely harmful to your system. The software and hardware need a mediator that is consistent, intuitive and, above all, has the right capabilities. We suggest getting Auslogics Driver Updater, a tool that can fix your drivers without you even noticing. The scheduled scans make it possible to automate this part of your system’s maintenance and focus on some other issues.

Hopefully, this article was helpful to you and you have resolved the issue with the “Preparing to configure Windows” screen.

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