What Is an Infinite Reboot Loop?
Windows 10 is not particularly prone to endless startup loops, but this is not uncommon.
This is easy to judge, especially if Windows does not load after you turn on the computer correctly. In contrast, the computer will not reach the login screen until it returns to the start screen and tries to reload Windows. This is what it means when Windows gets stuck in an endless loop of startup and crashes.
This error occurs due to a problem with the Windows system registry. Unfortunately, if you do not boot into Windows, you cannot repair the registry, which makes the operating system inaccessible. This is the case of Catch22.
To resolve this issue, use the Windows 10 recovery options.
What Causes a Windows 10 Infinite Reboot Loop?
The Windows 10 restart loop can be frustrating. But what caused it? Generally, errors can be traced to one of three things:
- Windows Update
- Update or new Windows driver
- Install new software (application or game)
There was a problem with this process, and the result was that the computer got stuck in an Infinite Reboot Loop. This is a problem that has plagued Windows for many years.
When Automatic Repair Fixes the Windows 10 Boot Loop
If you are lucky, the Windows Repair or automatic repair feature (sometimes called Startup Repair) may activate without prompting you. This usually happens after multiple restarts, so please give your computer time to enter this stage. Some manual intervention may be required. Use the automatic repair option here and follow the steps.
However, if this does not happen within 15 minutes, it may not happen. This means it’s time to take matters into your own hands.
1. Take Out Removable Devices And Perform a Hard Reboot
The first thing to try is to remove all peripheral devices from the computer, such as printers, pen drives, speakers, etc. Because in some cases, these devices can lead to a bad start.
Now perform a hard restart. This is a method of restarting the PC directly from the hardware instead of the operating system software. After disconnecting the peripheral device from the computer, press and hold the power button of the system for about five seconds.
The computer is shutting down. Now wait about 30 seconds, and then press the power button again to start your PC. It should start normally.
2. Dual Boot Windows System
If you have multiple versions of Windows installed on your computer, please wait for the operating system selection screen to appear. If you can choose, instead of Windows 10, choose to change defaults or other options. Then follow the steps to access safe mode.
3. Manually Access Safe Mode
In some cases, you can access Safe Mode from Windows 10. This is possible if a restart cycle is triggered when an application or connected hardware is started.
Before triggering a restart, you can restart Windows 10 in safe mode through three options:
- Hold Shift then Start > Restart to boot Windows 10 into Advanced startup options.
- You might also open Settings (press Windows Key + I) then Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now.
- In an elevated Command Prompt (input cmd in the Start menu search bar, then right-click and select Run as administrator). Enter shutdown /r /o to reboot the computer into the Advanced Boot options.
As mentioned earlier, you may not have been typing commands for a long time. So the first option may be the fastest.
4. Use Installation Media to Access Safe Mode
However, if you cannot access safe mode, you need to use the installation media. Windows 10 users should have a recovery partition on their PC hard drive. If not, you can create a USB or DVD recovery drive by downloading the Windows 10 installation media. Please note that this needs to be created using a different computer.
If Windows 10 is stuck in the restart cycle, all you have to do is insert the installation media. Or, visit UEFI/BIOS (click Del, F8, or F1 when the system starts) and find the boot manager.
Select the recovery partition as the main device, and then restart the computer.
Both methods should guide you through the automatic repair tool or give you access to the advanced options screen.
Fix Infinite Boot Loop in Windows 10 Safe Mode
While the computer is in safe mode, you can take some steps to prevent further boot loops. This can be anything from uninstalling the driver to uninstalling Windows Update from the command prompt.
1. Solve a Windows Update-Based Boot Loop
Open Command Prompt as an administrator, enter:
net stop wuauserv
Follow this with:
net stop bits
Wait for the answer, and then navigate to C: Windows\SoftwareDistribution. Delete all the contents of the directory here. If you are using a command prompt, please use our Windows Command Line Guide for help using RD (Delete Directory).
(If you can only access the advanced options screen, use the command prompt. This is also an option in safe mode.)
When you restart Windows 10, it should start normally.
2. Did an App or Game Cause a Boot Loop in Windows 10?
Do you suspect that the startup loop is due to an application installed (perhaps an application that was launched at startup)? Maybe this is the game you installed recently. In both cases, this can be solved by uninstalling the software.
Just find the software in the start menu, right-click on it and select uninstall. When you restart Windows 10, the boot loop issue should be resolved.
3. Stop Hardware Driver Boot Loops
If the system is in a boot loop due to hardware drivers, this can also be solved once you are in safe mode.
- Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager. Here, search for the suspect device. Typically, this will be something you’ve recently added, although not always.
- Right-click the device, select Properties > Drivers, and choose Roll Back Driver.
- If this doesn’t work, disable and uninstall the driver. With the device selected, right-click and choose Disable Device, then Uninstall Driver.
You can then restart Windows 10.
4. Reset Windows Registry
Again, this method only works if you can start the system in safe mode. If not, you can skip this section.
Poor history can cause many problems in Windows, one of which may be an infinite restart problem. Although the Windows registry itself does not provide a special method to reset the registry file, you can use the built-in Windows reset tool; i.e. system Restore.
System Restore works by restoring your computer files to the state they were in before they worked normally. First, enter “Create Restore Point” in the “Start” menu search bar and select the best match.
On the “System Protection” tab, select “System Restore”. Choose a specific restore point and click Next to restore your previous settings.
Please note that you must have previously created a restore point to make it work. If you have never done this before, this method will not work for you.
Factory Reset Windows 10 to Fix the Infinite Boot Loop
If you cannot access safe mode or the repair does not work, the final solution is to use a factory reset. This process essentially reinstalls Windows 10, leaving you with a blank sheet of paper. Remember to back up your personal data first!
You Fixed Your Windows Boot Loop
The Infinite Reboot Loop has long been a problem on Windows. Although previous versions provided some escape routes in terms of recovery options, these solutions are far from comprehensive. Fortunately, Windows 10 has excellent recovery and recovery tools that can easily solve the Infinite Reboot Loop problem.
If you have successfully resolved the Windows 10 restart loop, it’s time to take precautions.