In previous versions, a Windows 10 Restart Loop may have necessitated a complete reinstall or, at the very least, some tinkering. However, thanks to how Microsoft designed Windows 10, a reboot loop can be fixed relatively quickly.
Here’s how to get your Windows 10 PC or laptop back up and running in minutes.
What is Windows 10 Restart Loop?
Although an endless boot loop is uncommon in Windows 10, it is not unheard of.
It’s easy to spot, as evidenced by Windows failing to load after properly turning on your computer. Instead, the PC will fail to reach the login screen before restarting and attempting to reload Windows. It is what it means when Windows gets stuck in an endless loop of booting and crashing.
An issue causes an error in the Windows system registry. Unfortunately, the registry cannot be fixed without booting into Windows, rendering the operating system inoperable. It is a catch-22 situation! You can solve this issue by using one of the many Windows 10 recovery options.
What Is the Cause of a Windows 10 Restart Loop?
A Windows 10 reboot loop, also known as a boot loop, can be highly inconvenient. But what is the root cause? Typically, the problem can be traced back to one of three factors:
- An update to Windows
- A new or updated Windows driver
- The implementation of the new software (an app or game)
Something in the process goes awry, resulting in a computer caught in an infinite reboot loop. It is a long-standing issue with Windows.
When Auto Repair Resolves the Windows 10 Restart Loop
If you’re lucky, the Repair Windows or Automatic Repair feature, also known as Startup Repair, will kick in without your intervention. It usually happens after several reboots, so give your computer time to get to this point. However, manual intervention may be required; select the Automatic Repair option and follow the instructions.
However, it’s unlikely to happen if this hasn’t occurred within 15 minutes. That means it’s time to take control of the situation.
1. Remove all removable devices and perform a hard reset.
It would be best if you first tried to unplug all of your computer’s peripheral devices, such as printers, pen drives, speakers, and so on. Because, in some cases, these devices may be to blame for a failed startup.
You will now perform a hard reboot, a method of rebooting the PC directly through hardware rather than operating system software. After you’ve disconnected your computer’s peripherals, press the power button for about five seconds.
The computer will be turned off. Wait 30 seconds before pressing the power button to restart your computer. After that, it should boot up normally.
2. Windows System with Dual Boot
Wait for the OS selection screen to appear if you have multiple versions of Windows installed on your computer. Instead of selecting Windows 10, select Change defaults or other options when prompted. Then, to access safe mode, follow the steps in the method.
3. Activate Safe Mode Manually
You may be able to access safe mode from within Windows 10 in some cases. For example, it is possible if the reboot loop is triggered by a specific app or connected hardware launch.
Before the reboot, you have three options for restarting Windows 10 in safe mode:
- To enter Windows 10’s advanced startup options, hold Shift and click Start > Restart.
- You can go to Settings (Windows Key + I), then Update & Security, Recovery, Advanced Startup, and finally Restart.
- In a higher-level Command Prompt (input cmd in the Start menu search bar, then right-click and select Run as administrator). To reboot the computer into the Advanced Boot Options, type shutdown /r/o.
- As previously said, you may not have too much time to enter your command. As a result, the first option is the quickest.
4. Access Safe Mode Using the Installation Media
You’ll have to use installation media if you can’t get into safe mode. Users of Windows 10 should have a recovery partition on their hard drives. If not, you can create a USB or DVD recovery drive by downloading the Windows 10 installation media. It should be noted that this will have to be done on a different computer.
All you have to do to get Windows 10 Restart Loop is insert the installation media. Alternatively, access the UEFI/BIOS (when the system boots, press Del, F8, or F1) and locate the boot manager.
Restart the computer after selecting the recovery partition as the primary device. For more information, see our articles on creating Windows 10 installation media. Both methods should guide you through the Automatic Repair tool or provide access to the Advanced options screen.
How to Repair Windows 10 Restart Loop Safe Mode
With the computer in safe mode, you can take steps to prevent further boot loops. In the Command Prompt, this could be anything from uninstalling drivers to uninstalling Windows Updates.
1. Repair a Windows Update-Related Boot Loop
As an administrator, launch Command Prompt and type:
net stop wuauserv
Then proceed with:
net stop bits
Wait for a response before going to C: WindowsSoftwareDistribution. Then, delete everything in this directory. If you’re using the Command Prompt, consult our Windows command line guide for assistance with RD (remove directory).
(Use the Command Prompt if you can only access the Advanced options screen.) It is also available in Safe Mode.) When you restart Windows 10, the System should boot normally.
2. Did an app or game cause a Windows 10 Restart Loop?
Is the boot loop caused by installing an app (possibly the one that launches at startup)? On the other hand, maybe it was a game you just installed. Either way, this can be resolved by uninstalling the software.
Locate the software in the Start menu, right-click, and select Uninstall. The boot loop problem should be resolved after restarting Windows 10.
3. Put an end to Hardware Driver Boot Loops
If the System is stuck in a boot loop due to hardware drivers, this can also be fixed in safe mode.
- Select Device Manager from the Start menu by right-clicking it. Look for the suspect device here. Typically, but not always, this will be something you’ve recently added.
- Right-click the device, go to Properties, Drivers, and finally, Roll Back Driver.
- If this fails, disable and uninstall the driver. Right-click the device and select Disable Device, then Uninstall Driver.
- After that, you can restart Windows 10.
4. Clear the Windows Registry
This method will also apply only after you’ve successfully booted your System into safe mode. Otherwise, you can skip this section.
A lousy history will cause many problems in your Windows, one of which may be the infinite reboot issue. Though Windows Registry does not provide a way to reset your Registry files specifically, you can use the in-built Windows tool for reset, System Restore. System Restore restores your computer’s files to a previous state when everything works correctly. To begin, type “Create a restore point” into the Start menu search bar and click the “Best match” option.
From the System Protection tab, select System Restore. Next, select a specific restore point and click Next to restore your previous settings. You must first create a restore point. This method will not work if you’ve never done anything like that before. To resolve the Windows 10 Restart Loop, perform a factory reset of Windows 10.
If you cannot access safe mode or the fixes do not work, the last option is to perform a factory reset. This procedure essentially reinstalls Windows 10, giving you a clean slate. Remember first to back up your data!
You Resolved the Windows 10 Restart Loop
Windows has long had a problem with reboot loops. While previous versions provided a couple of options for Recovery, they were far from comprehensive. Fortunately, Windows 10 includes excellent Recovery and restore tools, making a boot loop problem simple to resolve.
If you’ve successfully resolved the Windows 10 Restart Loop issue, you should take precautions against future bugs and problems.