Installing an OS is a complicated task. Users only see a few progress bars as their system goes through the various steps of installation. They will have to provide some input e.g., select a language, a timezone, a keyboard layout, a user account name and password, etc. Beyond this, the process is more or less automated and users don’t have to do much.
Under the hood, the installation of any OS goes through several different steps/stages. Often, the progress bar we see, or the messages we get may disappear or remain on the screen longer.
Getting Windows Ready Stuck
When Windows 10 is installed, or updated, the system must restart several times. On the final leg of the installation, after which a user will boot to the desktop, Windows 10 displays the ‘Getting Windows ready’ message. This message doesn’t show a progress bar but will show a percentage in terms of progress. The progress may reach 100% but it tends to remain on the screen, on average, for fifteen to twenty minutes.
That said, this message may remain on your screen for considerably longer. Reasons the message remains on the screen much longer include, but are not limited to;
- A slower system running older hardware e.g., a slow hard disk drive.
- A particularly old Windows 10 installation that is being updated to the newest version e.g. 1703 to 2004.
- A device that is low on storage space on the installation/C/Windows drive.
If the Getting Windows ready message appears to be stuck, try the following fixes.
1. A bit of patience
The Getting Windows Ready message may remain on the screen for twenty minutes on a good, stable system. If your system is a bit old, it is best to give the OS some time to finish installing.
Many users have reported that waiting significantly longer e.g., two or three hours, eventually completed the installation and they were able to boot to their desktop. This is one reason why installing Windows 10 or updating it should always be a weekend project.
2. Restart the system
Sometimes the screen really does get stuck at the Getting Windows ready message. You can force shut down and reboot the system manually but only after you’ve waited a considerable amount of time for the message to go away on its own.
Press and hold the power button on your PC until it powers down. Wait a few minutes and then press the power button to boot the system again.
If you see the Getting Windows ready screen again, wait a while for it complete. It should eventually take you to your desktop.
3. Disconnect external drives
If you’ve connected an external drive to your system, disconnect it. You will have to restart the PC (see previous section).
If you’ve connected an installation disk or if it’s a storage drive that you back items up to, remove it and then allow the update or the installation to continue.
4. Run Windows startup repair
A Windows installation or an update can go wrong. This normally happens if the process was interrupted (in case of a clean installation), or if the installation media has problems (in case of installation or upgrade), or if you had apps installed on the desktop that are known to cause problems with updates (in case of Windows updates).
To fix it, you should run Windows Startup repair.
- Force shut down the system by holding down the power button.
- Connect Windows installation media (normally created on a USB) to your system.
- Boot to the installation screen and select the Windows 10 version and language you want to use.
- Click the repair option.
- Go to Troubleshoot>Startup repair.
- Run Startup repair and you will boot to your desktop.
Progress bars that we see during the installation of an OS are rarely accurate. In many cases, as long as the progress bar is ‘moving’ it means nothing is wrong. The ‘Getting Windows ready’ screen tends to remain on a certain percentage for quite some time which is why users think it is stuck. In most cases, waiting for it to complete is often the best and most reliable solution.