Solved|“Cleaning up. Do Not Turn off Your Computer.”

Find Windows stuck on “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” after Windows update? Learn how to solve the issue easily from this page.


By Lily / Updated on May 30, 2023

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The case: “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer.”

In Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, a new plugin was added to the Disk Cleanup wizard. After you install Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 SP1, you can use the Windows Update Cleanup option to delete Windows updates that you no longer need.

However, users find Windows stuck on “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” during Configuring Windows Updates or after SP1 is installed. One user posted his experience in the forum:

“I turned off my computer when it seemed like it was frozen during the Configuring Windows Updates (it was at 100% for a while) and then tried to restart on Safe Mode. My computer then displayed a ‘Failure to Configure Windows Updates. Reverting Changes’ screen.

After that, my computer restarted itself and is now displaying a ‘Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer’ screen for the last 3 hours. Is it supposed to take this long? What should I do?”

Prompt Information

How to fix “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” on Server 2008 (R2) or Windows 7? Please read on.

3 effective solutions to “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer.”

When you encounter “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” on Windows 7 or Server 2008 (R2), you can try following methods to solve the issue:

Method 1: Wait until the cleaning process is finished

When the screen displays the message of doing cleanup, it means the Disk Cleanup utility is trying to remove unnecessary files for you, including temporary files, offline files, old Windows files, Windows upgrade logs, etc. The whole process will take a long time like several hours. You may leave it alone overnight to finish the cleaning process.

After the cleanup is complete, you may get several gigabytes of free space on your hard drive and your computer will be speeded up. So it’s worth waiting!

Method 2: Run Windows Update from Safe Mode

Safe Mode only allows essential system programs and services to start up at boot, thus bypassing the Disk Cleanup utility. Follow instructions below to run Windows Update from Safe Mode in Windows 7 or Server 2008 (R2):

1. Restart your computer and press F8 while your computer is booting to display the Advanced Boot Options menu.

2. Use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode and press Enter.

Safe Mode

3. Run Windows Update again. After the updates are installed successfully, you can repeat steps 1-2 and select Start Windows Normally to return to your normal Windows configuration.

Method 3: Run Startup Repair to fix boot issues

▶ If you encounter “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” on a Windows 7 computer, you can run Startup Repair in following steps:

1. Restart your computer and press F8 while your computer is booting to display the Advanced Boot Options menu.

2. Repair Your Computer is already highlighted. Press Enter to continue.

Repair Your Computer Windows 7

3. In the next screen, select a keyboard input method and click Next. Then, log on as a local user.

4. In the System Recovery Options window, select Startup Repair.

Startup Repair

5. Wait for the repair process to be done. Click Finish once you see the “Restart your computer to complete the repairs” window to restart your PC.

▶ If you meet the problem on a Server 2008 (R2) computer, you can follow the steps thereinafter to perform Startup Repair:

1. Insert Windows Server 2008 (R2) installation media and restart your computer.

2. Press any key when the message indicating “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD …” appears.

3. Select a language, time, currency, and a keyboard or another input method, and then click Next.

4. Click Repair your computer.

Repair Your Computer Server 2008 R2

5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.

6. In the System Recovery Options window, select Command Prompt.

Command Prompt

7. In Command Prompt, input startrep.exe and press Enter. This will take a while but will address any registry related issues.

Note: Not all boot errors can be fixed by Startup Repair. Sometimes you even need to do system restore from boot to get rid of the “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” error.

Precaution: backup Windows before running Windows Update

Although Windows Update helps to keep your device secure and up to date, it may cause problems sometimes. The problems range from serious ones like error messages preventing Windows from starting to less serious ones like video or audio problems. And other issues like:

  • Windows 10 November 2021 Update. Known issue includes the "Connections to printers shared via print server might encounter errors" and "Microsoft Installer might have issues updating or repairing apps".
  • November 2022 Tuesday Patches Update. It reportedly fix 69 vulnerability.11 are rated “Critical” and 3 of them are already being exploited by attackers, such as, CVE-2022-41091, CVE-2022-41040, CVE-2022-41082, etc.
  • December 2022 KB5021233 Update. It was reported an error (0xc000021a) with a blue screen received. After installing the update, there might be a mismatch between the file versions of hidparse.sys in c:/windows/system32 and c:/windows/system32/drivers (assuming Windows is installed to your C: drive), which might cause signature validation to fail when cleanup occurs.

Therefore, it’s important to backup Windows before running Windows Update. With a backup at hand, you can restore your computer to previous working condition easily. The best free backup software—AOMEI Backupper Standard can do you a favor.

💜 It enables you to make different types of backup including System/Disk/Partition/File Backup.
💜 You are able to save backup images on various locations, such as backup Windows 10 to NAS or external hard drive.
💜 You are allowed to schedule backups to run automatically.
💜 All Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP are supported.

Just download this freeware and follow the intuitive wizard to perform system backup. All you need to do are a few clicks!

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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System Backup

Note: You can also create bootable media to boot your computer with AOMEI Backupper in case of boot failure.


There are three methods offered in this article to help you solve the “Cleaning up. Do not turn off your computer” error. It is suggested that you backup Windows before running Windows Update just in case errors occur. To backup OS in Windows Servers, please turn to AOMEI Backupper Server. To make backups on any computer, use AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus to create portable AOMEI Backupper. Try it now to discover more!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.