If you’re struggling to get your Windows 10 or 11 computer booting properly, you’re not alone. Boot looping is a common issue that can cause a lot of frustration.
When you start your computer, it loads several stages of the operating system. However, if something goes wrong during one of these stages, your computer may end up in a boot loop.
This prevents you from being able to access the main screen or start any of your programs.
In this post, we’ll show you how to fix boot loop on Windows 10 and 11 PC using a few simple steps.
- Unplug Connected Devices and Hard Reset the PC
- Bypass the Restart Screen
- Use the Windows Automatic Repair Tool
- Use Safe Mode to Fix the Boot Loop Screen
So, before we get into how to resolve this issue let me take you through what boot loop is and why it’s a common occurrence.
Recommended Read: How to Access the Boot Menu on Windows 11 and Windows 10
What is a boot loop on Windows?
In layman’s terms, boot loop is the process when Windows fails to load post the startup screen and the computer will get stuck in a reboot loop.
This issue is quite common on systems running Windows 10 and off late we’ve seen the same problem occur on systems running Windows 11.
While the main startup process of a Windows computer shows you the boot screen and Windows logo, there are many other startup tasks that happen behind the scenes.
A problem loading any one of these background tasks can result in an infinite boot loop.
While the easiest fix is to reboot the computer and let the background tasks load once again, there are chances that the computer will keep running into the boot loop process until the underlying cause is rectified.
What causes a boot loop on Windows?
There are many reasons behind why your computer is stuck in boot loop mode, but most of them revolve around a system change or software change prior to shutting down the computer.
Some of the common causes of the infamous boot loop on Windows are:
- Your computer has been infected with Malware
- The drivers you tried updating do not match the requirements
- Bugs with the software or firmware
- A recent Windows update
How to Fix Boot Loop on Windows 10 and 11
Unplug Connected Devices and Hard Reset the PC
Generally, when it comes to the infinite boot loop issue, the problem would be caused by a USB storage drive, printer or a digital camera that is connected to the computer.
These devices can interrupt the boot process and result in a never ending boot loop.
Removing the devices from the computer and performing a hard reset of the system will help resolve the problem.
Make sure that the only devices connected to your computer are the keyboard and mouse. In order to perform a hard reset,
- Shut down your computer
- Remove the battery and then press the power button down for 15 seconds
- Re-insert the battery and then plug in the charger.
- Restart your computer
By hard resetting the computer, Windows will close and restore any application or process that’s causing the problem.
Bypass the Restart Screen
Another way you can fix the boot loop issue on Windows is by bypassing the restart screen.
This method is possible only on Windows 10 and is a great fix if you have tried and failed at the first step of unplugging the devices and hard resetting the computer.
- Press and hold the Function (Fn) key on your keyboard while powering on the computer.
- As the computer boots up, tap the Windows key on the keyboard to bypass the traditional start screen.
The computer will now take you directly to the login page from where you can proceed to access your PC normally.
Use the Windows Automatic Repair Tool
The Windows Automatic Repair tool is a built-in troubleshooter that runs when Windows OS is unable to boot successfully.
This tool will diagnose the issue and try resolving it on its own with minimal intervention.
The Automatic Repair tool generally starts when the computer has restarted a number of times.
However, there are chances that the tool will not launch on the computer and if it takes longer than 15 minutes, it’s safe to assume that the tool will not open at all.
You can run the Automatic Repair tool by inserting the Windows installation disc or USB drive.
- To start, boot up your computer and once you receive the Windows logo on the boot screen, press F12 to open the boot menu
- Make sure the Windows installation disc is inserted into the CD drive
- Make sure the Windows installation USB is inserted into the USB port
- On the boot menu, you will find four primary boot options. Select the most appropriate option from the list.
- Removable Devices
- Hard Drive
- CD-ROM Drive
- Network Boot
- On the next screen, press any key on the keyboard to begin the boot process
- Click on Troubleshooting and then Advanced Boot Options
- Now, on the Advanced Boot Options, click on Repair your Computer
- Click on Startup Repair and wait for the computer to diagnose and fix the problem.
Once these steps have been followed, your computer will reboot and you will be able to login to your PC without any interruption.
Use Safe Mode to Fix the Boot Loop Screen
Safe Mode is a way you can fix the restart loop issue or the boot screen issue on your Windows computer.
Think of it as a fail-safe built into the operating system that you can use to uninstall any drivers, updates, restore your computer and even reinstall Windows.
This section will take you through how you can run Windows in safe mode and also the different fixes for boot loop issues using Safe Mode.
How to Boot into Safe Mode
There are three main ways you can boot your computer into safe mode
- Press the Shift button on the keyboard and restart your computer using Start > Restart
- Press Windows key + I on the keyboard and then launch Settings. Next, go to Update and Security followed by Recovery and Advanced Startup to restart the computer into safe mode.
- Run the Command Prompt tool as an administrator and then enter the following code to restart the computer in Safe Mode.
- Shutdown /r /o
Safe Mode Fix 1: Boot Loop Caused by an Update
If you have recently installed an update on your computer and you’re facing the boot loop issue only post the update, then you can follow these steps to fix this issue.
- Once you’re in Safe Mode, run Command Prompt as an Administrator
- Enter the following command
- Net stop wuauserv
- Followed by
- Net stop bits
- Once the tool delivers its response, launch the Software Distribution directory on the computer and delete all its files.
Once you have deleted all the files from this drive, your computer should boot up normally.
Safe Mode Fix 2: Boot Loop Caused by Installed Applications
If you have installed a new application on your computer just prior to your boot loop issue, then uninstalling the app will fix the issue once and for all.
Login to your Windows computer in Safe Mode and locate the app you recently installed. Next, right click on the app name and then on Uninstall.
Now exit Safe Mode and restart your computer.
Safe Mode Fix 3: Boot Loop Caused by Faulty Drivers
Outdated drivers can result in Windows crashing or you’d be dealing with a reboot loop. The only way you can rectify this error is by rolling back the update and disabling the driver. But these steps have to be carried out in Safe Mode.
- Run Windows in Safe Mode and then right click on the Start icon.
- Select Device Manager from the list of options and search for the driver that’s causing the problem
- Right click on the driver and then proceed to click on Properties
- Now, click on the tab labeled Driver and then on Roll Back Driver
If rolling back your driver update doesn’t do the trick then you can try disabling the driver and rebooting your computer.
- Right click on the driver and then click on Disable Device.
- If this doesn’t work, right click on the driver and then click on Uninstall Device.
Safe Mode is a great way to get rid of any software or hardware issues on your computer. It can also help fix or revert your computer to its original settings.
If you’re facing boot loop issues on your computer, force restart the device 3 times to gain access to the Advanced Boot Menu from where you can diagnose or fix any problem.
I hope these methods help get your system out of boot loop mode and you’re able to diagnose and fix whatever is causing the problem with your computer.
You can also check out our other articles on how to fix boot problems with macOS, Android, iOS and even Windows.