Windows 11 is leaps ahead in terms of providing usability and productivity through the continuous addition of features. That being said, it is still not completely immune to errors and issues.
A Windows 11 PC stuck on the 'Updates are underway' screen is one such issue. Many users have been reporting that their PC shows the updating screen before booting up and is stuck there in a fault loop.
An issue like this can be really frustrating and annoying as you cannot log in to troubleshoot the issue. Thankfully, you can still Safe Boot your PC and try to troubleshoot the problem.
Probable Causes of PC Getting Stuck on the 'Updates are Underway' Screen
Since the issue can cause a major inconvenience, it is worth knowing the culprit behind the error so you can probably reduce the chances of facing it again.
- Faulty System Files
- Poor Internet Connectivity
- Interrupted Power Supply
- Third-party software/service interference
- Driver faults
To resolve the issue, we will be showcasing all the methods that will eliminate one aforementioned root cause at a time.
Boot into Safe Mode on your PC
Safe Mode only loads essential services and software on your PC. Once you are successfully logged in to Safe Mode, you can perform the troubleshooting steps.
First, power on your system, and at the first signal of boot up, press and hold the power button again for 10 seconds to force shut down the system. You can also pull the plug if you are working on a Desktop PC. Repeat the aforementioned process three times.
On the fourth time, let your PC boot up without any interruption. This shall load the Windows Recovery Environment.
Once the Windows Recovery Environment has been loaded, you will be able to see a 'Choose an option' screen. Click on 'Troubleshoot' to proceed.
On the next screen, click the 'Advanced options' tile to proceed.
Now, locate and click on the 'Startup settings' tile to continue.
Afterward, click the 'Restart' button in the bottom right corner to continue. This will restart your PC immediately.
Once restarted, you will see a numbered list of the modes available. Make sure you press the number for the 'Safe Mode'/'Safe Mode with Networking' option. The 'Safe Mode with Networking' option allows you to connect to the Internet. Once your PC starts up in Safe Mode, you can try the fixes to get things back on track again.
1. Restart Your PC
Many times a simple service deadlock or third-party interference could cause the issue. And though a restart may seem like a very elementary fix, it can work wonders and resolve issues in a swish.
To do so, head to the Start Menu and click the 'Power' icon. Then, select the 'Restart' option.
2. Uninstall Recently Installed Apps
If you have started experiencing the issue after installing an application on your PC, there is a high probability the app is the culprit behind the problem on your system.
To uninstall the app, head to the Settings app from the Start Menu.
After that, locate and click on the 'Apps' tab present on the left sidebar of the Settings window to proceed.
Next, from the right section of the window, locate and click on the 'Installed apps' tile to continue.
Now you can either search or scroll down manually to search for the app.
Once you have located the app, click the 'ellipsis' icon on its tile and select the 'Uninstall' button.
Now, again click the 'Uninstall' button to remove the app from your PC. Once done, restart your PC to check if the issue has been resolved.
3. Run the Update Troubleshooter
If you are sure your PC can connect to the Internet but still cannot install an update, running the troubleshooter is the most elementary and basic step towards resolving the issue.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' tile to proceed.
After that, make sure you are on the 'System' tab from the sidebar on the left.
Then, click on the 'Troubleshoot' tile from the right section of the window.
Now, click on the 'Other Troubleshooters' tile to continue.
Finally, click the option for 'Run' on the right of the 'Windows Update' tile.
Let the troubleshooter run, and if it finds an issue, it will guide you through the steps to fix it. After performing those steps, try updating your system again. If the troubleshooter couldn't find anything, move on to the other fixes in this list.
4. Empty the Software Distribution Folder
Many times, a damaged or corrupted Windows update copy can stall your device from getting updated. Thus, wiping clean the update folder might do the trick for you.
First, double-click on the 'This PC' icon from the Desktop. Alternatively, you can also press
E keyboard shortcut to open it.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address in the address bar of the window and press Enter to navigate to the directory.
After that press
A to select all files and press the
Delete keys to permanently delete all files from the directory. You will need admin privileges to delete the contents of this folder.
Once deleted, restart your PC and try to update your PC once more to see if it rectified the issue.
5 Restart Windows Update Services
In case just clearing the Windows update folder does not resolve the issue for you, try restarting Windows services along with clearing out the logs.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal in the menu to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, right-click on the 'Terminal' tile and click the 'Run as administrator' option to proceed.
A UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen; if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the 'Yes' button to proceed.
Next, click the 'Chevron' icon (downward arrow) and then select the 'Command Prompt' icon to proceed. This will open the Command Prompt in a separate tab.
Now, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned commands to stop the ongoing update services. Make sure you press
Enter after each command to execute them individually.
net stop bits
net stop wuaserv
net stop cryptsvc
After that, press
R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command utility. Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address path.
A keys to select all files and folders. Next, press
Delete keys to delete all files permanently.
Finally, head back to the elevated Command Prompt window, type or copy+paste the following commands one by one, and hit
Enter after each to start the services you disabled earlier.
net start bits
net start wuaserv
net start cryptsvc
Once the process is completed, restart your Windows PC and check if the issue still persists.
6. Run SFC and DISM
Deployment Image Servicing and Management scans will check and repair the existing operating system files installed on your device, along with other system files currently on your PC.
Head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal. Then, right-click on the 'Terminal' tile and select the 'Run as administrator' option to proceed.
Next, if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the 'Yes' button to proceed.
After that, click on the 'Chevron' (downwards arrow) icon and select the 'Command Prompt' option.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will restore the currently installed OS image on your device.
Once completed, type or copy+paste the following command to check and repair the system files on your PC. SFC is a free tool from Microsoft that can help you find and recover corrupted files on your PC.
Once the scan is successful, restart your PC and check if the method resolved the issue.
5. Run CHKDSK
CHKDSK scan will check your hard disk for the physical bad sector and logical errors as well. This will help you to pinpoint problems with your secondary storage device.
First, head to the Start Menu and type
Terminal to perform a search for it. After that, right-click on the 'Terminal' tile and choose the 'Run as administrator' option to proceed.
Then, enter credentials for admin on the UAC screen if you are not logged in with an admin account. Otherwise, click on the 'Yes' button to proceed.
After that, click on the chevron (downward arrow) and choose the 'Command Prompt' option to continue. This will open the Command Prompt in a separate tab.
Next, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit
Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.
After that, press the
Y key to schedule the scan to be initiated when you boot up your PC next time.
6. Roll Back to a System Restore
If you have created a system restore point previously, you can easily roll back to it and have an error-free PC.
Head to the Start Menu and type
Control. Then, click on the 'Control Panel' tile from the search results.
After that, locate and click on the 'Recovery' tile from the grid.
Next, click on the 'Open System Restore' option from the list. This will open a separate window on your screen,
From the separately opened window, click on the 'Next' button.
All created system restore points will be listed on the screen. Click to select the desired one and then click on the 'Next' button to initiate the rolling back process.
Next, a list of drives the rollback will impact will be displayed, along with the timestamp of the restore point created. You can also check the programs that will be affected; click on the 'Scan for affected programs' button. A new window will appear on the screen.
On the new window, you can view the programs that will be deleted and the ones that will be restored (since no programs will be affected on the test PC, the list in the screenshot is empty). Click on the 'Close' button to navigate to the previous window.
Finally, click the 'Finish' button to initiate the rollback process.
7. Reset Your PC
If none of the things worked for you, it is time to bring out the big guns. Resetting your PC reinstalls the complete Windows whilst keeping your personal files and folders intact.
To reset your PC, head to the Settings app from the Start Menu.
After that, make sure you have selected the 'System' tab from the left sidebar present on the Settings window.
Next, from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click on the 'Recovery' tile to continue.
Now, locate the 'Reset this PC' tile present under the 'Recovery options' section and click on the 'Reset PC' button situated on the far right edge of the tile. This will open a separate window.
On the separate 'Reset this PC' window that appears, you will have two options. Choose the 'Keep my files' by clicking on it to roll the system settings and apps to a fresh start whilst keeping your personal files and folders intact.
On the next screen, you will need to choose a method for reinstalling the operating system on your machine. Since there could be an issue with the copy already present on your system, it is recommended that you click on the 'Cloud download' option.
After that, Windows will list the settings that you have chosen. If you wish to change any of it, click the 'Change settings' option to continue.
If you change the settings, you can configure the following settings on the next screen. You can choose not to restore the apps and settings by clicking on the toggle switch under the 'Restore preinstalled apps?' option and bringing it to the 'No' position. You can even switch from the Cloud download to the local installation by clicking on the toggle switch under the 'Download Windows?' option to change the installation method. Once adjusted according to your preference, click the 'Confirm' button to proceed.
Then, click the 'Next' button at the bottom of the window to continue.
It might take a while for Windows to load the next screen. On the next screen, Windows will list the impact of resetting your PC. Read them carefully and click on the 'Reset' button to start the resetting process.
Your machine may restart several times, which is completely normal. It may take several minutes, depending on your computer and the settings for resetting the PC.
Getting stuck on the 'Updates are underway' screen can be frustrating. Fortunately, one of the fixes mentioned in this guide will be able to resolve the issue on your computer.