6 Ways to Fix the ‘Your PC Did Not Start Correctly’ Error
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When your computer fails to boot into Windows, you may see the “your PC did not start correctly” error. This error indicates that something interrupted the boot process, which may or may not require your attention. You can sometimes fix the problem by restarting the computer, but there are several other fixes if that doesn’t work.
What Is the ‘Your PC Did Not Start Correctly’ Error?
This error indicates that something interrupted the Windows 11 boot process. The causes can include:
- When the computer loses power during the boot process or if the computer is shut down before Windows can boot
- Incorrect configurations
- Bad drivers
- Recent Windows update
How to Fix the ‘Your PC Did Not Start Correctly’ Error
Since there are so many causes of this error, fixing it involves checking each possibility in order. If your PC boots into Windows anytime, you can skip the rest of the steps and continue using your computer as usual.
Here’s how to fix the “your PC did not start correctly” error:
Restart your computer. When this error occurs, the first step is always to try restarting your computer. If your computer encounters a temporary problem, it will reboot, and Windows will start normally.
To restart your computer from the error screen, select Restart.
Use the Startup Repair Tool. Windows includes a repair tool that’s capable of automatically fixing a lot of problems that can prevent a computer from booting. If your computer failed to boot into Windows after restarting, try the Startup Repair Tool.
To use this tool from the error screen, select Advanced options > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair. You’ll need to log into your user account and then allow the tool to do its job. When it’s done, try restarting and see if you’re able to boot into Windows.
Boot into Safe Mode to force Windows to load only the bare minimum of the necessary components to get the operating system up and running.
To do this from the error screen, go to Advanced options > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
If Safe Mode opens successfully, take this time to remove recently installed Windows updates that could be to blame for this startup error. Here’s how:
- Windows 11: Settings > Windows Update > Update history > Uninstall updates. Press Uninstall next to the most recent update.
- Windows 10: Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history > Uninstall updates. Look for the latest update you installed, right-click it, and choose Uninstall.
Before you restart, you may want to back up your important data just in case there is a serious problem with your computer that could result in a loss of data.
Perform a System Restore. If the problem was caused by changes you, someone else, or an app made to your computer, System Restore can fix things by rolling back the recent changes.
This utility is available via Advanced options > System Restore from the error screen.
This option isn’t available if your computer has no restore points. Windows does create restore points during specific events like system updates, though, so you may have one even if you didn’t make it yourself.
Repair your Windows boot configuration data. If your boot configuration data is corrupt, that will prevent Windows from loading properly.
To do this from the error screen, go to Advanced options > Command Prompt, and then follow the steps in that link.
Reset your PC if you still can’t boot into Windows.
This might remove all of your data, depending on the method you choose. If you are able to boot into Safe Mode, consider doing that first so that you can back up your data.
If you still can’t boot after reinstalling Windows, or you aren’t able to install Windows, you may have a hardware failure that will require you to replace the faulty components. If your computer is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer for additional support.
What is the blue screen of death?
When your Windows-based PC freezes, it often displays a screen referred to as the Blue Screen of Death (sometimes referred to as BSoD). Microsoft officially calls it a Stop error; it displays the message your computer has encountered an error. It’s called the Blue Screen of Death because the background color of the message was blue. Windows 11 has changed this color to black. When this error pops up, you typically restart your PC and then go back to what you were doing.
Why does restarting a PC help fixing so many computer problems?
Restarting clears out the current working memory of a computer (RAM) and allows the computer to start over from when you last turned it on. Sometimes software leaves behind some information in memory that it shouldn’t have, which then causes a conflict with other software. Also, sometimes files are temporarily corrupted or malformed, and when other software reads the file it gets an error it can’t handle (it doesn’t know what to do) and stops responding. We go into more detail in our Why Does Restarting Fix Many Computer Problems? article