The error message “Windows could not complete the installation” pops up when you boot your PC after an update or during Windows installation process. If the update or installation process is interrupted, Windows will alert you with the error message.
In such a case, your Windows may even be stuck in a restart loop, locking you out of the system completely. It usually occurs when an installation process is interrupted. But you may also encounter this issue if the installation file is corrupt, or the system files are corrupted.
How to Fix “Windows Could Not Complete the Installation”?
There aren’t a lot of options you can try if you can’t boot into your Windows system. But here are a few fixes you can try:
Sometimes Windows updates may show this error because of a bug as well. This error may pop up even if the Windows installation is completed normally. This is not a definitive repair, but a lot of users have claimed it has worked for them, so it’s worth a shot. Here are the steps to it.
- Boot your PC.
- Force shut down your PC when the windows logo appears by pressing the power button until it shuts off.
- Repeat this step 3 times, and your PC will boot into recovery mode.
- Click on Advanced options after booting into Windows recovery environment.
- Go to Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.
- Press on Keep my files.
- Click on Cancel until you’re back at the main Choose an option menu again.
- Click on Continue to boot into Windows.
Create a User Account
This issue can also surface when you are installing a Windows Operating system. If the installation is interrupted before a default user account is created, this error may pop up. You can fix this by creating a user account from the recovery environment.
- Press Shift + F10 to open the command prompt.
- Type and execute the following command.
msoobeand press enter.
This will launch the Windows Out of Box Experience (OOBE).
- Follow through all the steps on the OOBE wizard until it asks you to connect to a network. If you choose, I don’t have internet, you will only be able to create a local account. You need to connect to an internet connection to connect to your Microsoft account.
- If you chose to continue without internet, click on Continue with limited setup.
- If you do not have an internet connection, create a local account with your preferred name and password.
If you have an internet connection, You can either create a new Microsoft account by pressing Create account. Or use an existing account by typing your Microsoft email and pressing Next. It is strongly recommended to use a Microsoft account for more flexibility. It may also ask you to authenticate your Microsoft account login.
- Input a PIN code to log in to your PC in the future and click Next.
- Choose your preferred privacy settings and press Accept.
- You can skip the rest of the wizard by clicking the Skip button when available.
- The account creation process will start once you see a “Hi” message on the screen.
Run Windows Startup Repair
Windows startup repair is an in-built function that can repair failed startups. You can run this program from the recovery environment. Just click on the Startup Repair option on the Windows recovery environment.
The startup repair function tries to fix your problem with the help of your recovery partition. Repairing from the recovery partition works fine. But it is more reliable to run it from an external media to help as the recovery partition may be corrupt.
The Windows installation media is an external device with a copy of Windows Operating system files. It can help you recover your PC in case of corrupt system files. You will need an external flash drive to copy the installation media files on. Here’s how you create a Windows installation media. Download the Windows installation media creation tool.
- Launch the downloaded Media creation tool.
- Press Accept to accept the License terms and continue the installation process.
- Choose Create installation media and click Next.
- Select the Windows version similar to your PC and click Next.
- Choose USB flash drive and click Next.
- Select the USB drive you want to install it on and click Next.
- Finish the media installation media wizard by following through with all the steps.
Now follow these steps to repair your PC through the Windows installation media.
- Insert the USB Installation media on your PC.
- Restart your computer and boot into the BIOS.
- Change the system boot order to boot from a USB disk/Removable disk first.
- Restart your PC.
- When Your PC boots into Windows setup, choose your preferred language and keyboard input method and click Next.
- Click Repair your computer. This will redirect you to Advanced recovery.
- Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair.
This will try to repair your Windows system using the Windows installation media.
Use System Restore
You can also use the system restore to restore your PC to a previous state. However, you will need a restore point for this method to work. Windows usually creates a restore point before any big update. You can restore your PC to that point using the system restore utility.
- Boot into the Recovery environment.
- Click on System Restore and choose your operating system.
- Click Next and choose a restore point.
- Press Finish to start the restoration process.
In case none of these solutions work, you can try a clean installation. Sometimes the installation file itself may be corrupt, which causes the update to fail. In this situation, you may have to reset your PC’s operating system.