By Ivy / Last update December 24, 2021

Scenario: Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing

I decided to try to restore Windows 10 to a restore point after getting the 'critical error' message that the start menu was not working. Now, it's obvious that system restore is stuck on the 'System restore is initializing' for nearly two hours. Windows say I cannot interrupt the restore process, what can I do now? Thanks.

When performing System Restore in Windows 10, you may get stuck sometimes with the prompt of "System Restore is initializing" or "System Restore is restoring the registry".

If you happen to encounter such System Restore stuck issues, do not be panic, you can find effective solutions in the following article.

System Restore Stuck on Initializing

How to fix Windows 10 System Restore stuck efficiently?

First of all, when your computer gets stuck on Windows 10 System Restore, it is recommended to wait for some more time as sometimes it takes a longer time if there is a mass of data to be restored.

If it's stuck on initializing or restoring files for too long, you will have to force shutdown the computer to shut down, then restart and check its status. If you return to the same screen, then pick the methods provided below according to your situation.

Case 1: Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing
Case 2: System Restore stuck on restoring files in Windows 10

Case 1: Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing

In this case, there are two methods for your reference to fix Windows 10 System Restore stuck:

☛ Method 1. Boot your computer from Safe Mode with Networking

1. Insert Windows 10 installation media, and then restart your PC. If you don’t have the installation media, you can go to the Microsoft software download website and create Windows 10 installation media on a working PC first.

2. On the “Install Windows” screen, select Repair your computer.

3. On the “Choose an option” screen, select Troubleshoot Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart subsequently.

4. After your PC restarts, press 5 or F5 to restart your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe Mode with Networking

5. After the system boots in Safe Mode with Networking, try to perform System Restore again.

☛ Method 2. Run Startup Repair

This method applies to the situation that the computer runs normally after forcing shutdown, but gets stuck for another System Restore attempt. One of the possible reasons that cause System Restore stuck is that the boot manager is corrupted. You can fix this by simply running repairs through Startup Repair.

To run Startup Repair, restart your computer. When your PC restarts, you'll see a screen titled "Choose an option", click Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair to run automatic startup repair.

Startup Repair

Case 2: System Restore stuck on restoring files in Windows 10

If this is your case, you can fix Windows 10 System Restore stuck on restoring files with following methods:

☛ Method 1. Run SFC scans

1. Boot your computer from installation media as mentioned above.

2. On the “Install Windows” screen, select Repair your computer.

3. On the “Choose an option” screen, select Troubleshoot Advanced options > Command Prompt subsequently.

4. In Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and then press Enter. If there is a corrupted file, you can view the details of the System File Checker process and replace the corrupted file with a good copy of the file.

SFC /Scannow

☛ Method 2. Run System Restore from Safe Mode with Command Prompt

1. Boot your computer from installation media as mentioned above.

2. On the “Install Windows” screen, select Repair your computer.

3. On the “Choose an option” screen, select Troubleshoot Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart subsequently.

4. After your PC restarts, press 6 or F6 to restart your PC in Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

5. When your computer boots again, tap the search button in the task bar and type “cmd”. Right click on the “cmd” and select “Run as administrator”.

6. In Command Prompt, type rstrui.exe and press Enter. Then, follow the System Restore wizard to restore your computer by choosing an available restore point from the list.

System Restore Command

Additional: System Restore vs. System Image Backup

System Restore relies on restore point, which is a snapshot of system configurations and settings in the Windows Registry. It does not include your user data such as photos, music, documents, and therefore can only be used to restore the state of the OS.

Meanwhile, System Image Backup is a full backup of all the data in the system required drives. You can also include additional drives in the backup image. Therefore, it could be used to perform a complete disaster recovery or even bare mental recovery.

They are both recovery tools that come with Windows, but just as System Restore can get stuck in the initialization or restoring process, System Image Backup can also have various problems. If you want a more secure and simple recovery strategy, you can use 3rd party backup freeware as alternative.

Secure way to perform system backup and restore - AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free software designed for backup and restore. Compared with Windows built-in backup tools, it provides you with a more flexible and secure way for backup and restore.

  • There are 4 backup types available: System/Disk/Partition/File Backup.
  • You can set up a schedule to auto backup the system on basis of daily/weekly/monthly.
  • You can perform incremental or differential backup after the first full backup to save only changed files.
  • In case the system failure prevents you from accessing Windows, you can also create a bootable media that can perform system restore in WinPE.
  • Even if a computer breaks down without any preparation, you can create bootable media and system image on another working PC, and use them to recover the faulty PC (required Professional edition). 

Let’s see how to protect your computer with AOMEI Backupper. Before we start, free download AOMEI Backupper Stantard, install and open it.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. At the main interface, click Backup, then System Backup.

System Backup

Step 2. It will automatically choose the system related partitions (including system reserved partition) for you. You just need to choose another location as destination path. It is suggested to backup computer to external hard drive or NAS to protect image files from system errors or hard disk failure.

Select Destination

Step 3. (Optional) You can click Options to set compression, email notification, etc. Click Schedule to set automatic backup. There are five schedule modes offered: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger, and USB plug in. Upgrade to enjoy the last two modes.

Schedule Settings

Step 4. At last, click Start Backup.

Start Backup


  • To restore the system, just go to Restore tab, locate the system image trough a task or an image file, then follow the wizard to complete the process.
  • If the computer fails to access Windows, you can perform system restore via bootable drive.
  • If the image you want to restore is created on another PC, please tick Universal Restore to ensure the computer can boot after restoration.

 Learn more from video tutorial:

 Advanced way to create system image backup

Apart from AOMEI Backupper, you can use onekey recovery software - AOMEI OneKey Recovery to backup your computer system. It allows you to save system image on a custom recovery partition which is accessible from Windows PE.

OneKey System Backup


There are four methods offered in this article to help you resolve the Windows 10 System Restore stuck issue. But as far as I concern, System Restore cannot be used as a long-term policy to protect your computer because it does not restore your personal files and it will disappear if the primary hard drive goes bad.

To have a better protection for your computer, you may create an image backup with AOMEI Backupper. It enables you to backup and restore the operating system, disks, partitions, or specific files. If you want to use these practical features on Windows Servers, you can also use the specialized Server edition. Do not hesitate to give it a try!