By Ivy / Last update October 20, 2022

Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing

System Restore is very useful when you want to restore system files, registry, drivers, Windows Update, recently installed software to a previous date. But sometimes the restore process is not smooth, you will get error message like "System Restore is initializing". Just like the following case:

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.

System Restore Stuck on Initializing

Except for Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing, some users may encounter another similar issue - "System Restore is restoring the registry", which makes users feel annoying. But you don't need to worry too much. This is not a rare case, and you can easily fix the Windows 10 System Restore stuck issue with the given solutions in the following.

Before trying the following, it's suggested to wait for some more time if there is a mass of data to be restored. It will take a longer time. But if it's stuck on initializing or restoring files for too long, you will have to force shutdown the computer, then restart and check its status. If you return to the same screen, then pick the methods provided below according to your situation.

How to fix Windows 10 System Restore stuck on initializing

If you encounter the "System Restore is initializing" issue, try the following 2 methods. It's said to be effective. 

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

How to Fix System Restore stuck on restoring files in Windows 10

If you are in this situation "Windows 10 System Restore stuck on restoring files", try the following 2 methods.  

Method 1. Run SFC command line

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

System Restore vs. System Image Backup: Which Is Better for System Protection

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 it 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 metal recovery.

Thus, if you want a safer way to protect your system, it's suggested to create a system image in Windows 10 including everything on it. You have two ways in the following:

Way 1: Create a system image with Backup and Restore (Windows 7). It supports backing up system to external hard drive, USB flash drive, network drive, NAS, requiring you to perform this operation manually. And the backup image cannot be restored to a smaller drive due to partition layouts. 

Way 2: Create a system image with third-party backup software. It's more flexible. With it, you can backup system to any storage device automatically and restore Windows 10 system image to smaller drive successfully.

In the following, I'll introduce Way 2 in detail. Please download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install your computer on it first. 

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 Backup to set daily, weekly, or monthly automatic backup. 

Schedule Settings


  • Except for Daily, Weekly, Monthly backup, you can enjoy Event trigger and USB plug in features after upgrading to advanced version.
  • You can also set (Full, Incremental, Differential) backup method and cleanup ways (By quantity, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly) in the Backup Scheme. The differential backup and all the cleanup ways are in the professional version.

Step 4. At last, click Start Backup to create a system image in Windows 10.

Start Backup

After creating system image, you can easily restore system image to new hard drive or computer with this software. In case the system failure prevents you from accessing Windows, you can also create a bootable media to boot from it.

Select Image File Winpe

 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 and set fast recovery key (F11 or A) or boot menu. Daily/Weekly/Monthly Scheduler is also supported. 

OKR 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 better protection for your computer, you can create an image backup with AOMEI Backupper. It enables you to backup and restore the operating system, disks, partitions, or specific files, even with different hardware. 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!