Solution for Stuck "Preparing to Configure Windows. Please Do Not Turn Off Your Computer."

"Preparing to configure Windows" screen.
"Preparing to configure Windows" screen.

Stuck on "Preparing to Configure Windows" Update

If you use Microsoft Windows 7, you are likely familiar with the message “Preparing to configure Windows, please do not turn off your computer," appearing when you turn on your computer. This means your system is running its normal necessary updates, and it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes or half an hour.

Recently during one of these routine updates, however, I waited for more than eight hours with the same notification on my screen. I wondered if this was happening because of a particular update, and therefore routine, but that didn't seem to be the case. I did a hard reboot which under normal circumstances is not a good idea, but I had no other option. After turning back on, it went back to the same configuration process, stuck again.

Here are some things you can try to bail your system out of updating purgatory.

“Failure Configuring Windows Update" Error Message

"Failure configuring Windows updates" error message.
"Failure configuring Windows updates" error message.

When trying to reboot, you may be confronted with the message, “Failure configuring Windows update. Reverting changes. Do not turn off your computer." This means that something in the update has failed, and the system is attempting to undo the updates and return to previous settings.

Don't panic! This process shouldn't take too long and you should be able to log in normally. If it works, you can then run the necessary updates manually.

However, if it gets stuck, there are things you can do to fix or work around this issue.

1. Reboot in Safe Mode

Switching on a computer system can be done from a number of modes, one of which is Safe Mode. This process will bypass the normal booting sequence of a computer. Before doing any of the following, see if your computer will reboot in Safe Mode. Once you are able to log on, you can repair the problem.

2. System Restore

You may need to undo the changes that were made during the aborted update. System Restore is built into Windows, and is a way to undo system changes without altering personal files.

  1. Once you are able to log in using Safe Mode, go to Start and type System Restore into the Search box.
  2. Select System Restore. Selected Recommended Restore and Next. Review the restore point, then select Finish. You may be prompted to supply your administrator username and password. To choose a different restore point, select Choose a Different Restore Point.
  3. To review selected restore points, click Scan for Affected Programs, to learn how each restoration would impact your system.
  4. System Restore will revert the system back to a Restore Point, which has been automatically created by Windows.

Before running into any update problems, you can also manually create a restore point. To do so:

  1. Go to the System Restore box and select Create a Restore Point.
  2. A System Properties window will open. Select Create...
  3. You will be prompted to give your restore point a name. Select Create and wait for the restore point to be created.

3. Prevent Windows Update From Getting Stuck

  1. Maintain your system by checking for and installing updates as recommended. This way, many updates won't stack on top of each other, and are less likely to face errors or incompatibilities. Install updates as soon as you receive the notification.
  2. Install a reliable antivirus program and malware remover. Viruses or bad files can be interfering with updates.

If the above solutions fail, you may need to contact a certified manufacturer technician, as there may be hardware issues.

Comments 34 comments

lorokk 3 years ago


mahesh 3 years ago

hi all my pc has the same problem but it was restarting every time ..... how can i over come this problem..... can any one tell me the solution for this....

infotechnology profile image

infotechnology 3 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria. Author

hi, mahesh

What exactly is written on your PC screen. Is it the same as this article suggest. You got to do more explanation because there could be other factors, if this proffered solution did not help you.

sandeep d 3 years ago

hi ...i hav also got d same problem since 1 month." reverting changes , do not turn off ur computer". it takes almost 15 -20 mins to start my laptop. its windows 7.

infotechnology profile image

infotechnology 2 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria. Author

Except there are other technical problems, the steps I discussed will bail you out.

shey 2 years ago

Hi .

I found an error " failure configuring windows update...... " so I waited then after a while it shows restarting. Then it goes back again in the same error..

infotechnology profile image

infotechnology 2 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria. Author

Follow the steps I discussed and the problem will be solved. If the problem persist contact Microsoft help desk or perhaps you may need to format your system.

Prem 2 years ago

F8 doesn't work for me

maya 2 years ago

Will this delet every thing from my computer?

sherry 2 years ago

my computer say failure configuring windows updates reverting changes do not turn off computer. but It turned off and then when i turned back on it says the same thing what should i or shouldn't i do?

Bia 2 years ago

mine goes back to that same screen...f8. didn't help at all ctrl alt del didn't either please heeelllppp :/ win8

Jonathan 2 years ago

If I turn off then on will it go back to it Answer No

Tracy 2 years ago

Omogiade, thank you so much for posting this. I waited an hour on that stupid screen and your instructions worked perfectly. Thanks again sit!

Joe black 2 years ago

My laptop said please wait and I waited 20minutes already.Can someone please fix this and tell how to do it and it said restarting but it went back the same problem.

infotechnology profile image

infotechnology 23 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria. Author

Thanks for all comments. I observed that starting some systems from safe mode may not resolve the issue. It is however the primary starting point which has proved useful as attested to many computer users. If the configuration process is 100% done as written on the system screen, you need to be patient, no cause for alarm.

If every avenue to get it resolved is exhausted, you may need to re-install an operating system.

Celeste 23 months ago

Last week I had 10 updates which failed and I had to revert back to an older update. Now for a week I have tried to install updates (146 of them now because I reverted to back before a service package) anyway... The updates install then when I turn it back on it goes to configuring windows update - doesn't pass 0% before failure to configure and I get stuck in the reverting stage.

Reading a windows troubleshoot said to turn off antivirus for one reset then turn back on once configured. Still failing to configure.

Any advice on why this may be?

Gerald 21 months ago

thanks a lot of this article it help my problem. god bless

insky 20 months ago

It was not possible initially to start my computer as I could not get past

the message Failure configuring updates uninstalling programs do not turn off your computer, however I found that holding down the Enter key

for several seconds enabled the computer to start.

I hope this is just a one off.

A.Hop 19 months ago

Ironic, at this very moment my laptop is stuck on the "Failure Configuring Windows Updates" error message screen (for the past 3 hours), and I just discovered that I do not have restore points at all on that system, as I just installed a new hard drive yesterday. This means I get to reinstall Windows 7 - all over again. Fortunately, I also have this relic of a desktop...

Deniz 17 months ago

Try Ctrl+alt+del. Sometimes it just shows the animation even though it's done updating.

Same thing happened to me, it just brought me the login screen with Ctrl+alt+del

Patrick 17 months ago

Deniz you saved my life!!

Never did a hard restart but was still stuck on the "Preparing to configure Windows..." and trying to be patient. Stuck all night. CTRL+ALT+DEL brought the login prompt right up!!


ranjana kaplish 13 months ago

Failure. Configuration. Windows update reverting not turn off. Your computer... Its showing this thing.. What should i do??

Vincent Baird 13 months ago

If pc continuously 'reverting changes' manually install the available Windows updates one at a time until you find the failing update- troubleshoot individually, or exclude the failing update from the install list

tochii 8 months ago

My window 7 has been stucked on the failure to configure page. I have tried safe mode as directed but it still gets stucked same place. Can any other thing I done with me having to lose my files?


Umesh 5 months ago

Please disable auto restart option in F8 function then it will work.

Michael 4 months ago

When in safe mode make sure C: drive is not out of space. In my case I have to increase the size of C: drive which fixed the problem. I have virtual environment, if your PC is physical make sure you delete unwanted space from your C: drive to get back the space.

thusang 4 months ago


CTRL+ALT+DEL worked for me.

Balaraju 7 weeks ago

CTRL+ALT+DEL worked for me... thanks for the suggstion

Sanjay mathew 6 weeks ago

Holy cow , Ctrl alt delete worked for me!!!

Rob 6 weeks ago

Thanks Deniz! That did the trick.

Nanotapepr 5 weeks ago


You can also try to kill a TrustedInstaller process on a remote machine:

Jason 5 weeks ago

There's a big difference between a 'solution' and a 'suggestion'. Your article title uses the word "Solution"but all you've done is make 'suggestions' that MIGHT resolve the issue.

Mike 3 weeks ago

CTRL+ALT+DEL did the trick. Thank you!!

Tracey 10 days ago

I have tried f8 and ctrl+alt+del and it's still stuck on 15% configuring? Its not doing anything! Is there something else I can try?

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