[FIX] Windows 11 Stuck at “Restoring your previous version of Windows”

After a Windows 11 cumulative update, a lot of users are finding their PC stuck in a “Restoring your previous version of Windows” loop. Some Windows 11 users are experiencing this issue during the first startup after installing the latest update while others are experiencing this issue problem while attempting to roll back to Windows 10. 

Windows 11 Stock at “Restoring your previous version of Windows” loop

After investigating this particular issue thoroughly, we realized that there are actually several different underlying causes why this issue can be experienced. We’ve made a list of potential culprits below:

  • Cached boot-related data – If you’re lucky, the easiest fix to resolve this problem is by forcing a power cycle procedure and restarting repeatedly until you finally manage to exit the loop. This method will be effective in those situations where the problem is caused by a series of badly cached boot-related data. 
  • Corrupted boot-related data – If you’re stuck in this loop and all your attempts at booting in Safe Mode lead you to the same error code, chances are you’re dealing with some type of corruption affecting the bootrec data. In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by deploying a Bootrec repair operation from recovery mode. 
  • 3rd party interference – If you are experiencing this error while attempting to perform a rollback operation, chances are a 3rd party service or process is interfering with the installation. To avoid this problem, simply boot your PC in safe mode before attempting to roll back operation.
  • Recent system change – If you suddenly started to experience this problem after a major system change (like a driver update, a Windows cumulative update, etc.) chances are you will be able to exit the error loop by utilizing the System Restore utility (from the Recovery menu). 
  • Corrupted system files – In certain scenarios, this type of error can also be indirectly caused by some type of file corruption affecting your system files. The first you need to do in this scenario is perform a startup repair and see if the problem is resolved. In case the issue persists, move towards deploying SFC and DISM scans. 
  • Unrepairable system corruption – Under certain circumstances, you might experience this type of problem due to an issue that cannot be repaired conventionally with the tools included by Microsoft. In this case, the only way forward is to deploy a reset operation from Safe Mode or clean install the previous version (if you get the error while attempting to roll back to a previous version of Windows).

Now that we went over every potential reason why you might be dealing with the “Restoring your previous version of Windows” loop, let’s get to the fixing part. 

Below you’ll find a series of verified fixes that other affected users have successfully used to get to the bottom of this problem. 

1. Boot after Power Cycling

If you’re lucky, the best way to remedy this problem is to force a power cycle and restart the computer until you finally get out of the loop. This strategy will work in cases where the issue is caused by a sequence of incorrectly cached boot-related data.

A lot of affected users that we’re also experiencing the “Restoring your previous version of Windows” loop have confirmed that they finally manage to overcome the issue by power-cycling their desktop or laptop and waiting 30 seconds (or more) before attempting to power it on again.

Note: This operation will force the power capacitors to discharge. This will ensure that the next system startup is handled without any remnant cached data that was used previously. 

Keep in mind that most affected users have reported that this method was only effective after 2 or 3 tries. 

All you need to do is turn shut down your PC (laptop or desktop) and make sure it’s not asleep or in hibernation mode. Next, disconnect it from a power source and wait for at least 30 seconds before attempting to start it again.

After the second or third try, you should see your Windows booting directly into the login screen. If this is effective in your case, you’ve successfully exited the “Restoring your previous version of Windows” loop.

If this method didn’t work in your case, move down to the next method below. 

2. Rollback from Safe Mode

If you’re seeing this problem when trying to roll back, it’s possible that a third-party service or process is interfering with the installation. To avoid this issue, start your computer in safe mode before attempting to undo any changes.

Note: There are a lot of potential culprits that might interfere with the rollback operation, but the most commonly reported culprits are system optimization suites and backup software. 

If you’re only experiencing the “Restoring your previous version of Windows” when attempting to roll back from Windows 11 to Windows 10 but you can boot normally, you can prevent 3rd party services and services from interrupting the rollback operation by booting in Safe Mode.

In case this scenario looks like it could be applicable, follow the instructions below for specific instructions on how to do this:

  1. Boot your computer normally. 
  2. From the home screen, click on the power symbol on the registration screen that is causing the problem, then holding down the Shift key while clicking Restart.

    Boot in the Recovery menu

    Note: Your Windows 11 PC will restart from the Recovery menu if you do this.

  3. When your PC boots into the Recovery Menu, select Troubleshoot on the first screen to enter the Advanced Options option.
    Accessing the Troubleshoot menu
  4. In the Advanced Options menu, select Startup Settings from the list of options.
    Accessing the Startup Settings menu
  5. If you pick this option and confirm your decision, your PC will restart immediately on the Startup Settings page.
  6. When in the Startup Settings box, press the F4 or Num 4 keys to force your PC to boot in Safe Mode.

    Boot in Safe Mode
  7. After saying Yes to the confirmation box, wait until your Windows 11 PC boots into Safe Mode.
  8. Once your PC booted successfully in safe mode, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. 
  9. Inside the newly appeared run box, type ‘ms-settings:’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Settings menu with admin access. 
    access the Settings menu of Windows 11
  10. Once you’re in the Settings menu, select System from the left-hand vertical menu.
  11. After that, go to the System Menu and select Recovery from the list of available choices.
    Accessing the Recovery menu
  12. To begin the roll-back procedure, go to the Recovery menu and select the Go back option under Recovery Options.
  13. Follow through with the operation normally and see if the problem is now resolved.

In case the same kind of issue is still occurring, move down to the next method below. 

3. Use System Restore

If this problem appeared after a large system change (such as a driver update or a Windows cumulative update), you may be able to break free from the error loop by using the System Restore software (from the Recovery menu).

If this scenario looks like it could be applicable, using the System Restore (built-in Microsoft tool) will allow you to revert your PC state back to a point where this problem was not occurring.

By default, every Windows installation is programmed to save regular system snapshots are important system events (such as important system updates, new driver iterations, app installations, etc.). Unless you modified the default behavior of System Restore or you’re using a system optimizer suite, you should have plenty of restore points to choose from.

Important: But, before you begin, keep in mind that once you’ve completed this procedure, you’ll lose any changes you’ve made to your system since the restoration snapshot was produced. This includes any installed software, games, and other system upgrades that occurred within that time period.

If this scenario looks like it could be applicable, follow the instructions below to utilize the System Restore from Safe Mode:

  1. From the home screen, click on the power symbol on the registration screen that is causing the problem, then holding down the Shift key while clicking Restart.

    Boot in the Recovery menu

    Note: Your Windows 11 PC will restart from the Recovery menu if you do this.

  2. When your PC boots into the Recovery Menu, select Troubleshoot on the first screen to enter the Advanced Options option.
    Accessing the Troubleshoot menu
  3. In the Advanced Options menu, select Startup Settings from the list of options.
    Accessing the Startup Settings menu
  4. If you pick this option and confirm your decision, your PC will restart immediately on the Startup Settings page.
  5. When in the Startup Settings box, press the F4 or Num 4 keys to force your PC to boot in Safe Mode.

    Boot in Safe Mode
  6. After saying Yes to the confirmation box, wait until your Windows 11 PC boots into Safe Mode.
  7. To launch the Run dialog box, press the Windows key + R key.
  8. To access the System Restore menu, type ‘rstrui’ and hit Enter.

    Open the System Restore utility
  9. After you’ve gotten beyond the System Restore page, click Next to move on to the next menu.
    Using the System Restore utility
  10. Start by ticking the box labeled Show more restore points when you come to the next screen.
  11. Start by checking the dates of each stored restore point and choosing one that is older than the occurrence of this problem.
    Show more restore points

    Note: If you want to avoid a lot of data loss, choose to restore points that are more than a month old.

  12. To proceed to the final menu, pick the suitable system restore point and then click Next.
  13. The utility will be ready to use after you reach this phase. To start the procedure, simply click Finish and wait for it to begin.
  14. Next, you will be required to restart after a few seconds. Follow through on this instruction and wait for the next startup to finish.
    Starting the System Restore process
  15. Once you have successfully used the System Restore to revert your PC state back to a date in which the “Restoring your previous version of Windows” was not occurring, restart your PC and see if the problem is now fixed.

If this method was not applicable in your case or it didn’t fix the issue, move down to the next method below. 

4. Perform a Startup Repair

This sort of problem can also be produced indirectly in rare cases by file corruption impacting your system files. In this case, the first thing you should do is run a startup repair to determine if the problem has been repaired.

If this is the case, you should be able to resolve the problem by running a startup repair operation.

Note: Startup Repair is a Windows recovery solution that will resolve the majority of typical system issues that prevent your Windows installation from booting up. This application (like every other Windows automated troubleshooter) comes with a set of automatic repair options that may be used if a feasible situation is discovered.

However, because you’re unlikely to be able to start up normally, you’ll need to use the Recovery Menu to initiate a Startup Repair operation.

If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to deploy a Startup Repair operation:

  1. Start your computer and wait until you reach the login page where the problem appears. Then, while pressing and holding the Shift key while clicking on Restart, click on the power symbol.
    Boot inside the Recovery menu

    Note: This will require your computer to restart in recovery mode.

  2. When your Windows 11 PC restarts, go to the Recovery Menu and select Troubleshoot from the context menu that appears.
    Access the Troubleshoot menu
  3. Select Startup Repair from the list of available choices after you’ve entered the Troubleshoot tab.
    Deploy a Startup Repair operation
  4. Follow the on-screen directions to start and finish a Startup Repair operation after you’ve entered the Startup Repair page.
  5. After the procedure is finished, restart your computer one last time to determine if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still experiencing the same “Restoring your previous version of Windows” error even after following the instructions above, move down to the next method below. 

5. Deploy SFC and DISM scans from Recovery Mode

If the procedure above didn’t work for you, the next viable step you should do is perform DISM and SFC scans in quick succession.

SFC (System File Checker) is a completely local utility that fixes faulty files by replacing them with healthy copies from a locally stored archive.

DISM (Deployment and Image Services and Deployment) makes use of a WU subcomponent to obtain healthy replacements for damaged files that need to be replaced. Although it outperforms SFC, its efficacy may be harmed if the corruption affects the subcomponent that DISM relies on.

Because the two programs work in different ways, we recommend running both SFC and DISM scans in fast succession to increase your chances of resolving the corrupted instance that’s generating the issue.

Begin by running an SFC scan and then wait patiently for the procedure to finish.

Deploy an SFC scan

Note: Interrupting the process before it finishes might result in logical errors on your HDD/SSD, which could lead to further issues.

After the process is finished, restart your computer and wait for the next startup to finish before running a DISM scan.

Deploy a DISM scan

Note: In order for DISM to complete effectively, you must be connected to a stable network. Make sure you are connected to a stable network before beginning this operation.

Restart your computer once the second scan is completed to determine if the process was completed at the next computer starting.

If the problem is still occurring, move down to the next method below. 

6. Deploy Bootrec from Recovery Mode

If you’re caught in this loop and all of your efforts to boot in Safe Mode result in the same error number, you’re probably dealing with a corruption in the bootrec data. In this situation, deploying a Bootrec repair operation from recovery mode should resolve the issue.

Note: Bootrec.exe is a Windows application that may repair the master boot record, boot sequence, and boot configuration data. Any of these items might be to blame for the issue you’re presently experiencing.

Once you’re ready to begin, follow the instructions below to deploy a Bootrec repair operation from Recovery Mode:

  1. Before the booting cycle begins, start by inserting the installation disc.
  2. Then, when requested, press any key to boot from it.
  3. When you get to the first Windows installation box, go to the bottom right or left corner, depending on your Windows version, and select Repair your computer.
    Repair your computer
  4. You’ll be brought to the Advanced Options menu right away.
  5. Once there, pick Troubleshoot from the drop-down menu, then Command Prompt from the list of options.
    Open Command Prompt
  6. To reconstruct the complete Boot Configuration data, open a Command Prompt window and type the following commands within, pressing Enter after each command:
    bootrec.exe 
    bootrec.exe /fixmbr 
    bootrec.exe /fixboot 
    bootrec.exe /scanos 
    bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
  7. All of your boot configuration data should be repaired once all commands have been properly finished.
  8. Restart your computer and check if the booting procedure is complete to determine whether the problem has been resolved.

If you’re still dealing with the same “Restoring your previous version of Windows”, move down to the next method below. 

7. Reset PC with Keep my files

If none of the techniques above have worked for you, a Windows 11 Reset with the option to keep your personal files is a last resort approach that has helped a number of customers eventually cure this mistake.

Keep in mind that this is not the same as a repair or installation operation. This operation will restore Windows to its default settings, wiping out any corrupted files that might be causing this behavior.

Note: Everything else (including games and apps) will be wiped, with the exception of personal data (documents, personal media, and so on).

Follow the procedures below to reset your Windows 11 PC with the option to keep your personal files if you have no other alternatives and understand the repercussions of doing so.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. If you’re experiencing the boot loop during startup, simply force three consecutive system interruptions (by turning up your PC in the middle of the boot loop).
    Note: This will force your PC to enter the Recovery menu without a compatible installation media. 
  2. Wait until your computer enters the Recovery menu and then select Troubleshoot from the list of choices.
    Accessing the Troubleshoot tab
  3. Select Reset this PC from the list of possible choices in the Troubleshoot menu.
  4. Next, from the Reset this PC screen, click on Keep My Files.
    Reset with the Keep my files option
  5. Follow the remaining steps to start the reset procedure, then wait until it’s finished.
  6. See if the next startup is completed successfully.

If you’re still dealing with the same “Restoring your previous version of Windows”, move down to the next method below. 

8. Clean install the previous Windows version

In some situations, you may encounter this difficulty as a result of a problem that cannot be resolved using the tools provided by Microsoft. In this instance, the only option is to do a Safe Mode reset or a clean install of the prior version (if you get the error while attempting to roll back to a previous version of Windows).

In this case, the only viable action is to simply clean and install the previous version of Windows manually.

Here’s a guide that will help you clean and install Windows 11

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

[FIX] Windows 11 Stuck at “Restoring your previous version of Windows”

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