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Windows 8 Finalizing Settings Stuck Hang – How to fix

Windows 8 is fast and well designed. Its only natural that you might want to upgrade to the latest version. Its is highly recommended that you run the Windows 8 upgrade assistant before starting the installation to ensure the computer has the basic requirements.

Recently I installed windows 8 on an  7 year old Acer laptop and faced the issue of the installation hanging at the Finalizing Settings screen. The BIOS was outdated and there was no update available on the Acer support site. This was a clean install, so when I rebooted from the Finalizing Screen it would do the same thing again. For users who are upgrading restarting resulted in Windows restoring the old OS.


How to fix Windows 8 Finalizing Settings Screen Hang

The fix to get past the finalizing screen is quite easy but involves some trial and error. We need to kill some tasks running in the background so that the Windows 8 installation will continue. Lets get started

Press Shift + F10 to get the command prompt

Type tasklist, you should see a screen similar to the one below (image is just an example)


You should see two or three entries with cmd.exe (one of them will be a microsoft  kb update that is causing the problem, use tasklist /v to see detailed view)

We need to end the right task so skip this screen. Next to the cmd.exe there will be a four digit number. This is the process ID. Note down the process ID’s for cmd.exe

Type taskkill /PID 1234 .  Replace “1234” with the process ID you noted earlier.

Once the right process is killed, Windows 8 will finally move to the preparing start screen.


Sometimes the finalizing screen is stuck due to connected USB devices you can try unplugging them if that is the case.

Enjoy Windows 8. Note that some graphic drivers from Windows update is known to cause problems. Download and install them yourself instead of the auto update (especially Nvidia drivers) or you will end up with a blank black screen on Windows 8 boot.

Update – Please check the comments section below, there is a lot of information and other solutions given by our readers.

Windows 8 Finalizing Settings Stuck Hang – How to fix
Rating - 4.7/5 - 25 votes

  • Roulette Strategy

    Great.I also have windows 8 in my system .if this prob comes it will now be easy to solve.

  • admirer

    you are a true hero. thank you very much!

  • your secret admirer

    thanks broo. i love you so much mmuach :-*

  • Josephq

    It says to me that the process /2392 is not found! Help please

  • Muad

    On my system the appropriate syntax did not include a / before the process id:
    taskkill /pid 2540

    However, it then said that the process could only be killed forcefully using the /F command. This then worked:

    taskill /f /pid 2540

  • erik

    just write taskkill / pid 9999

  • john silvers

    mine says process not found even after i have tried every single cmd.exe

  • funky

    Shift-F10, taskmgr, Enter, Processes, first cmd.exe, Delete, OK.

  • Αντωνης Καββαδιας

    saved me not precise but helpfull !!!

  • Sasha

    Thanks a lot. Just type taskmgr then kill cmd.exe Note: did it a couple of times before it helped. Thanks internet people!

  • Ichellemay

    >taskkill /pid /2292
    ERROR: the process “2292” not found
    Ummmmm what did I do wrong? I have two “cmd.exe” and only one of the has 4 digits. This solution works for Mac also, right?,

  • Josh Mattos

    You can also run “taskmgr” to see all the running processes. This allowed me to see that the svhost.cmd was using 50% of the CPU resources. I right clicked and killed this process and the configuration finally moved on.

  • Stephen Schrimpshire

    i learned this when i would do security tests on my computer when hacking into it using linux basically the above task will not kill it or atleast not 100% if you instead use the command line “taskkill -f -im ***” replace *** with what task your wanting to kill for example cmd.exe or chrome.exe or nvidia.exe so for cmd we will put
    “taskkill -f -im cmd.exe” and hit enter after this it will kill the task :) hope i help guys.

  • Deep Josan

    i did my windows twice and left my laptop on for whole night…nothing worked….you saved me :D :p

  • Haider

    I have window 8.1,i tried all above instructions but after kill cmd.exe again appear finalizing your settings,plz save my life :(

  • EK Sumon

    Thanks a lot!!!! Worked perfectly for me… (y)

  • bean mr

    in my case i need to kill wininit service with /f switch. it shows error screen and restart and window start normally.

  • midnyt

    thanks it works for me.. Shift f10, taskmgr, enter the details, end task cmd.exe

  • Alison

    I am pressing shift f10 but nothing is happening :( I have been trying to reformat this beast for days. Help :(

  • Phoenix2312

    Having the same issue, BUT I can only see the cmd for teh open window and cannot scroll up!!!!

  • Phoenix2312

    Finally got there with thanks to funky … BUT not the way he suggested…

    I did the Shift F10 and typed taskmgr into the command console…

    But the only CMD.EXE running was the very window I had just opened…

    Just on an off chance, I went to processes, nothing there, so went to the next tab along to the left, and just randomly selected WINLOGON and cancelled it….

    And BOOM! It worked!!!! It seems to be the Winlogon that gets stuck… but I do not know why… Now we have to delete the 30 or so extra accounts that have been created iun trying to get past this lock up.

  • MJ

    I’m trying to use this advice for the Windows 10 update. I’m stuck on the Finalizing Your Settings page forever!!! 14h in total. I tried restarting but I always get stuck there. At first it wouldn’t even open command prompt. Now it does, but when I use “tasklist” or “tasklist/v” I can only see the last 20 lines or so. I can’t scroll up farther than that and I know there is more because when it starts listing there is a huuuuge list before it stops.
    Also, there are 7 cmd.exe … 6 at the “top” of this partial list all “Administartor: C:WINDOWSsystem32cmd.exe
    And towards the end of the list is the cmd.exe for the tasklist command.

    What do I do now? I’ve been struggling with this stupid update for the 4th day already. I want to be done with it and be able to use my computer. :(

  • Shawn Mathias

    this solution really helped me!! Thanx

  • Anhad Anhad

    Thanks a lot buddy! You saved me from all the trouble. Windows 10 sucks

  • Jade Pearson

    Dude you are seriously THE MAN!!! i had been stuck for days and your solution finally helped me. . . If you lived in New Zealand i would buy you a beer.

  • Gagan Bhagat

    thanku shooooo much

  • The Don

    You’re a lifesaver!!

  • ravikumar

    i have waited for almost one hr but not coming out from finalizing our settings screen. with your help in the next second it was moved out of the screen. Thanks alot.

  • Ned Holmquist

    At first it just sent me to a BSoD (First one I’ve ever seen) but then it logged me on after the BSoD restart! (The BSoD shall kill the computer, then it will rise again 3 minutes later)

  • Igi

    Thank You very much Alfred for posting this trouble shooting guide and also for the people who contributed a lot on the comment section. This save me a lot of time waiting and trouble shooting Windows Server 2012 r2. Thanks Cheeers :D