If after starting up Windows 10 you encounter a window saying “Personalized Settings (Not Responding)” and get stuck on a black screen, following this guide will help you fix it. You end up getting stuck on a black screen because Windows Explorer did not start properly and so the desktop doesn’t load right. This issue most often happens due to problems with updates.

The first thing to try is simply restarting your computer:

Sometimes just restarting Windows can get it to sort out whatever is wrong on its own. Here’s how to restart Windows properly while stuck on this screen:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open what’s known as the Windows Security screen.
  2. Click on the power icon in the bottom right corner and then on Restart.

If after restarting you still encounter the “Personalized Settings (Not Responding)” error, read on for more solutions.

As this error has to do with Windows Explorer, restarting it can fix it:

In order to do this, you’ll once again need to access the Windows Security screen:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Security screen and then click on Task Manager.
  2. Once Task Manager has opened, scroll down and search for Windows Explorer then right-click on it and then click on Restart. You can also click on Windows Explorer to highlight it and then click the Restart button on the bottom right.
    • Click on More details in the bottom left corner to see all processes if your Task Manager does not show everything.

Restarting Windows Explorer this way isn’t always enough, however. Sometimes you need to completely stop Windows Explorer and then start it again with administrator privileges. This can also be done from Task Manager:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Security screen and then click on Task Manager.
  2. Once Task Manager has opened, scroll down and search for Windows Explorer, right-click on it and then click on End Task.
  3. Now click on the File menu in the top left and then on Run new task.
  4. In the window that comes up type in “explorer” in the Open:  box, make sure to tick the Create this task with administrative privileges box and then click OK.
  5. If all goes well you should have your desktop back. It’s a good idea to restart your computer to see if the problem comes back.

If following these steps doesn’t work or the problem comes back after restarting, there’s still more you can try.

Corrupted system files can cause this issue and running the SFC command can repair them:

You’ll need to open Command Prompt in order to do this. Normally you’d do this through the Windows start menu or Windows search, but as they will likely not be available for you, you’ll need to open Command Prompt from Task Manager. Here’s how:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Security screen and then click on Task Manager.
  2. Now click on the File menu in the top left and then on Run new task.
  3. In this new window type “cmd” into the box, tick the Create this task with administrative privileges box and then click OK.
  4. In the Command Prompt window, type or copy and paste the following command:
    sfc /scannow

    and then press Enter.

  5. The scan will then begin and attempt to fix any corrupted files it finds. This can take a while. Wait for it to finish.
  6. Once the scan and repairs have completed, restart your computer to see if the problem still occurs. Use the Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut to reach the Windows Security screen again in order to do so.

Still no luck? There’s one more solution to try.

This issue can also be resolved by removing certain registry entries:

Sometimes registry entries can become corrupted after an update and deleting them allows Windows to regenerate properly working ones. As editing the registry can be risky, it’s recommended to back up the registry before making any changes.

The first entry involves updates to Windows Explorer and is usually the one that ends up causing the “Personalized Settings (Not Responding)” issue.

Here’s how to access and delete it:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Security screen and then click on Task Manager.
  2. Click on the File menu in the top left and then on Run new task.
  3. Now type “regedit” in the box of the window that comes up, then tick the Create this task with administrative privileges box and click OK.
  4. Once Registry Editor is up, you’ll use the arrows next to the folders on the left to expand them and navigate. Click on the arrow next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then the one next to SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, then Active Setup and finally on Installed Components.
  5. Below Installed Components there will be a number of folders with strings of numbers and letters. Look for and click on the one named {89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4340}. When you do, an entry named (Default) with the value of Windows Desktop Update should be the first one on the right. Your folder should have the same name, but if not look at all of them until you find one with the (Default) Windows Desktop Update entry.
  6. Once located and selected, right-click on the folder and then click Delete.
  7. On the confirmation window click Yes.
  8. Once done, restart your computer from the Windows Security screen which can be accessed with the Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut.

You should now be able to access your desktop normally without an error message or black screen.

If not, there’s another entry you can try deleting:

This entry is under the same Installed Components folder. Here’s how to access it from the beginning:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open the Windows Security screen and then click on Task Manager.
  2. Click on the File menu in the top left and then on Run new task.
  3. Now type “regedit” in the box of the window that comes up, then tick the Create this task with administrative privileges box and click OK.
  4. Once Registry Editor is up, you’ll use the folders on the left to navigate. Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then find and click on SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, then Active Setup and finally on Installed Components.
  5. Below Installed Components click on the very last folder. It should be named >{22d6f312-b0f6-11d0-94ab-0080c74c7e95}, but it’s possible yours could be different.
  6. Now Right-click on this folder and then click Delete.
  7. Click on Yes when the confirmation window comes up.
  8. Now use the Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut to reach the Windows Security screen again and restart your computer.

Hopefully you should now be able to log in to Windows with a working desktop. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

Still stuck? Ask your question in our forum!

About Author

Ryder Lund

Since he was young Ryder has been drawn to technology and had a knack for working with and learning about it. He often ends up being tech support for friends and family because of this, so it feels natural to him to help out others by writing guides on using Windows. He enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest of Washington state where he is close to both nature and the bustling tech hub of the Seattle area.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.