Windows is stuck on the lock screen before logging in


Sometimes when you turn on your computer, the Windows 11/10 login screen appears, but it freezes, maybe restarts on its own, or shuts down and doesn’t respond to your command. You can get the login screen, but nothing happens after you enter the password. Another situation is when you are sometimes able to log in, but after that, Windows freezes and requires a manual restart. This article will discuss possible solutions that will help you resolve the situation where Windows is stuck on the lock screen before logging in.

There is an even worse scenario related to this issue. Windows seems to start, but the desktop doesn’t appear and all you can do is move your mouse to a back screen. The reason for the problem could be multiple. A faulty hard drive that cannot load files, incompatible software that takes a long time to load, corrupted system files, etc.

Windows is stuck on the lock screen before logging in

If you’re stuck on the lock screen before logging in, it could be due to boot issues, incompatible software, driver issues, outdated software, corrupted files, and more. The most common solution to fix this issue is to press CTRL + ALT + Del keys together or reboot the system. But what if it doesn’t work? Follow these suggestions.

  1. Repair using SFC tool
  2. Repair corrupt file using DISM tool
  3. system restore
  4. boot repair
  5. Perform a clean boot
  6. Run the disk surface test.

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You will need administrator permission for some of these suggestions.

Since you can’t get to your desktop, you’ll need to restart your computer in safe mode or go to the Advanced Boot Options screen or use a bootable media to boot.

If you have already activated the F8 key before, things are easier because you press F8 during boot, to enter Safe Mode. Otherwise, press Shift and click Restart to boot to the advanced boot options screen. Open Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Advanced startup > Restart now. Paste stop /r /o at an elevated CMD prompt to reboot your computer into Advanced Boot Options or Recovery Console.

If you can’t get into safe mode, you may need to start Windows 11/10 with your Windows installation media Where recovery unit and select repair your computer to go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Boot Options > Command Prompt. Now you can use CMD to run commands. You can use Windows 11/10 DVD or bootable USB drive, or you can burn Windows 10 ISO image to USB drive using another computer.

Well, in both cases you have the following options:

1]Repair using SFC tool

Windows is stuck on the lock screen before logging in

The Windows System File Checker (SFC) tool checks for errors or corrupted system files and fixes them. Scans to verify the integrity of system files and finds missing, corrupted or damaged files and replaces them with updated files. If your system crashes, throws an error and has problems, you can use the SFC tool.

  • Open the command prompt or Windows Terminal (Admin) to start it.
  • In this window, type sfc/scan now and press Enter.
  • Please wait while Windows scans your system files for errors and tries to fix them.

It may take 10-20 minutes to perform a full scan. If the results of the SFC scan found no integrity violations or found damaged files and repairs, assume the damaged files are located but cannot be repaired. Then you need to take the help of a DISM tool to fix the problem.

Related: Windows is stuck on the welcome screen

2]Repair corrupt files using DISM tool

Deployment Image Servicing and Management or DISM is a command-line tool for combining separate Windows platforms into a collective tool for servicing Windows images. DISM can repair known component store corruption that prevents SFC scans from working properly on your system.

  1. Click the Start button and type Command Prompt
  2. Once it appears, launch it with admin permission
  3. then write DISM /Online /Cleanup Image /restorehealth and press Enter.
  4. Let the DISM tool check your system for errors and fix them.

This process takes 10 to 15 minutes or more. Once this DISM process is complete, reboot your system and run it again to replace any remaining damaged files (if any) with the updated ones.

3]System Restore

System Restore Advanced Recovery

Since you cannot access the Windows account, you can force the repair mode by recreating the lockdown mode scenario.

  • Reboot your system several times until the automatic repair message appears.
  • Then go to Troubleshoot, look for advanced options and select System Restore.
  • Choose your username and enter your password. (admin account)
  • Click Next, select the desired restore point, and follow the instructions on the screen to restore your system.
  • After the system restore, check if the problem still occurs.

4]Boot Repair

Windows 10 Startup Repair

You will need a bootable USB drive to perform this method on another computer. Prepare the USB and change the first boot drive to USB in UEFI or BIOS. Restart your computer and it will show the usual Windows installation screen, but at the bottom left you can click the Repair this PC option.

Then you should see the advanced recovery option. Click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair.

Startup Repair will scan your computer and check various settings, configurations, and system files. Startup Repair will attempt to check for the following issues.

  • Missing, corrupted or incompatible drivers
  • Missing or damaged system files
  • Missing or corrupt boot configuration parameters
  • Corrupt registry settings and disk metadata.
  • Remove problematic updates

Now restart Windows normally and log in to the user account. If you are not blocked, the problem is solved.

5]Perform a clean boot

System Settings Disable Services

Third party software on Windows can cause this problem. This can prevent Windows from starting normally, especially those that load with Windows startup. To fix this problem, you need to perform a clean boot which will only load the necessary services.

  • Use the Win key + R to open the Run prompt.
  • Paste msconfig then press enter to open System configuration
  • To go Services tab and select Hide all Microsoft services and click the Disable All button.
  • Reboot and check the status of the issue.

The best way to identify the red candidate is to repeat this step. Activate each program one by one, reboot. Check when it crashes and you will find the app that caused the problem.

6]Disc Surface Test

If there is a problem with your hard drive that has bad sectors, you will most likely encounter this problem. You can use CHKDSK or free third-party software to perform disk surface tests and protect bad sectors. After that, you can reboot your system normally. Since you can’t connect, you can connect the hard drive to another PC and perform such tests.

Hopefully at least one of the above repair methods works for you. Otherwise, if not, you need to reinstall Windows. Installing Windows from scratch will wipe your system data. Therefore, we suggest that you perform a regular backup with third-party backup and recovery software.

Backing up will also save you some hassle one day, without losing any data. Sometimes there is no solution and the only thing you can do is reinstall Windows. This is where it comes in handy.

7]Uninstall the latest update

Uninstall Windows Updates

If one of the recent updates is causing this issue, you can boot into safe mode and then uninstall those updates.

  • Use Win + X, followed by R to open the Run prompt.
  • Type msconfig to open the System Configuration Utility.
  • Switch to the Boot tab, then under Boot Options, check Secure boot with minimal option.
  • The next reboot will allow you to work in safe mode.
  • To uninstall updates, go to Settings > Windows Update > Update history > Uninstall updates
  • This will take you to the Classic Update Installed section of Control Panel.
  • Depending on when the update was installed, you may choose to uninstall
  • Reboot and check if it works for you.

more suggestions: Windows gets stuck loading a screen.

How to unlock a Windows lock screen?

Here is the list of methods you can try in safe mode:

  • Run System File Checker
  • Update all device drivers
  • Run memory check
  • Virtual memory setting
  • Disable link state power management
  • Disable fast startup
  • Reset Winsock Catalog
  • Try to diagnose the hard drive problem, if any.

If nothing works, you can try System Restore, and if that doesn’t work either, you’ll have to reinstall Windows. Also, make sure to check if there is something wrong with your hard drive.

I hope this troubleshooting guide has helped you to solve the problem.

Windows is stuck on the lock screen or welcome screen

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