Fix Windows 10 Stuck on Preparing Security Options (Solved)

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
SOURCES CONSULTED:

support.microsoft.com

Author and references

Microsoft has improved its operating systems with every release version and every update it releases. However, it is known that the current version is far from perfect. Hanging and freezing are less common, but still a problem. Sometimes we can wait for the system to come back to life and in other situations we are forced to shut it down and restart it. Once in that case is when the system freezes in the following screen:

"Preparing the security options"



The circular dots indicating progress may stop moving and this means that the system has stalled. We cannot use the mouse or keyboard on this screen. So we have no choice but to force shutdown and restart the system at a later time.

Since the problem usually appears on the lock or login screen, users may not be able to log into the system to fix the problem. To solve the problem, we should enter the system via safe mode.

Enter the advanced boot options in Windows 10, using the Assist button, the installation media, or by quickly pressing F11 as soon as the system is powered on.

In the Advanced Startup Options menu, go to Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options >> Startup Settings. Press key number 4 to boot the system in safe mode. Once in safe mode, you can try the following troubleshooting steps:

Solution 1: Disable Fast Startup

It is known that from Windows 8 onwards, Windows operating systems boot quickly. Unlike Windows 7, it starts up in seconds. This is due to a feature called Quick Launch. Fast boot does not allow the system kernel to shut down when we shut down the computer. While very useful, it could be the reason for the problem mentioned in this text.



1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command control panel. Press Enter to open the Control Panel.

2] Choose Hardware and sound from the list and then click Power options.

3] In the left pane, click Choose what the power buttons do.

4] Now click Change settings that are currently unavailable.

5] Deselect the option that says Enable quick start (recommended).

6] Click Save Changes and reboot the system.

Solution 2: Rename the software distribution folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder is the folder where the files required for Windows updates are stored. Under normal circumstances, it is generally considered safe to delete the folder if there is a problem with Windows updates. The folder will be downloaded automatically from the Internet when needed. However, as we are facing problems, we could just rename it. The procedure for doing this is as follows:

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command cmd. Press Enter to open the Command Prompt window.

2] Type the following command one by one and press Enter after each command:

net stop wuauserv net stop bits rename c:windowsSoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old net start wuauserv net start bits

Solution 3: rebuild BCD

1] Boot the system into recovery mode and open the advanced boot options menu as we did earlier to enter the system in safe mode. To go Solve problems >> Advanced options >> Symbol of the system.


2] Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter after each command:


  • bootrec.exe / FixMbr
  • bootrec.exe / FixBoot
  • bootrec.exe / RebuildBcd

Type Exit and press Enter to exit the Command Prompt window.

Solution 4: Disable the Credential Manager service

Follow the steps below to disable the Credential Manager service:

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the services.msc command. Press Enter to open the Services window.

2] In the alphabetical list of services, find Credential Manager.

3] Right-click on Credential management service and then in Property.

4] Change the file Start type to Disabled in the drop-down menu, then click Apply and OK.

Solution 5: Check some services that should be running

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the services.msc command. Press Enter to open the Services window.

2] Verify that the status of the following services is up and running:

  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
  • Cryptographic service
  • Windows update
  • MSI Installer

3] In case these services are stopped, right click on them and then click properties.

4] Change the startup type to Automatic, then click Apply and OK.

Solution 1: update Windows

Windows can sometimes stop responding if an uninstalled update interferes. Also, the drivers may be out of date, which may cause conflicts.


1] Click the Start button and then the gear symbol to open the Settings menu.

2] From the Settings menu, choose Updates and Security.

3] Click Update Now to install pending Windows updates.


Solution 6: update the drivers

A probable reason behind the problem is if the hardware drivers are not updated for a long time. The procedure for updating the drivers is as follows:

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command devmgmt.msc. Press Enter to open Device Manager.

2] Expand the list of all device drivers, right click and update the drivers one by one.

3] Check if it is useful to uninstall the drivers and restart the system while keeping it connected to the Internet.

4] You may also consider downloading the drivers from the manufacturer's website and installing them.

Solution 7: Roll back recently installed Windows updates

Sometimes a recent Windows update can be the cause of the problem. While this may be fixed with the next update, it may be necessary to roll back the current update until it is released. The procedure for doing this is as follows:

1] Click the Start button and then the gear symbol to open the Settings page.

2] Select Updates & Security from the options and on the Windows update page click View update history.

3] Click Uninstall updates and the list of recently installed updates will be displayed.

4] Right click, uninstall the latest update and reboot the system.

Reboot your system and see if it helps fix the problem.

Solution 8: restart your system

If all else fails, you may need to consider rebooting your system. To do this, follow the procedure as follows:

1] Click the Start button, then the gear button to open the Settings page.

2] Go to Updates and Security and then click on the Recovery tab from the options in the list on the right.

3] Click Get started under Reset this PC. The restore procedure will start.

Solution 9: increase the RAM

This must be done by a hardware technician. The problem may be that the current RAM cannot handle the current load of applications. In case we are unable to remove excess applications to reduce the RAM load, it may be necessary to increase the memory.

I hope this helps!

Solution 10: Run the SFC scan

And SFC scanning helps to scan bad sectors on hard drive and fix them if possible. Rather, we should run this utility from time to time to monitor and maintain system integrity. To scan System File Checker, the procedure is as follows:

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command cmd. Press Enter to open the Command Prompt window.

2] Type the following command and press Enter:

sfc / scannow

3] Restart the system and check if this solves the problem.

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