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

Updated on February 23, 2015
"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.

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    • profile image

      lorokk 3 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Omogiade, Stephen Nosakhare 3 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

      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.

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Omogiade, Stephen Nosakhare 3 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

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

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Omogiade, Stephen Nosakhare 2 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

      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.

    • profile image

      Prem 2 years ago

      F8 doesn't work for me

    • profile image

      maya 2 years ago

      Will this delet every thing from my computer?

    • profile image

      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?

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      Jonathan 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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!

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      Omogiade, Stephen Nosakhare 2 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

      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.

    • profile image

      Celeste 2 years 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?

    • profile image

      Gerald 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      insky 24 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.

    • profile image

      A.Hop 23 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...

    • profile image

      Patrick 21 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!!

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      ranjana kaplish 17 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Vincent Baird 16 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

    • profile image

      tochii 12 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?

      :(

    • profile image

      Umesh 9 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Michael 8 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.

    • profile image

      Rob 5 months ago

      Thanks Deniz! That did the trick.

    • profile image

      Tracey 4 months 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?

    • infotechnology profile image
      Author

      Omogiade, Stephen Nosakhare 3 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria.

      You can contact a certified technician if the solution provided did not solve your problem. There may be other issues.

    • profile image

      Laetitia 2 months ago

      What's written in my older brother's PC is "Configuring Windows Updates 12% complete do not turn off your PC" but it's always stuck at 12%. I've been waiting for like the whole day but it's still like that. It restarts and goes to configuring again. By the way I think his PC is still using Windows 7. I'm afraid that he will scold me. What should I do?

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