Windows 7 stuck on personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update

After doing a number of updates, I wasn’t able to log back in as the domain administrator on a Windows 7 (64bit) machine. A dialog with the text “personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update” was displaying but not progressing, suggesting a problem with the user profile.

A number of articles point to the KB980408 update as the source of the problem. Solutions from and didn’t solve the problem.

What solved it for me was restarting the machine and logging in as a different login with administrative privileges, deleting the problematic user folder from c:/users/, logging out, and then logging back in as the problematic user. On first log in, Windows had a flag that the login/account was only temporary. This was easily fixed by following the advice in this article.

On a side not, if you’re looking for help on a stuck Windows 7 Update – I’ve found that the antivirus program can be the cause of the problem. My PC’s mostly run Avast antivirus, going into the settings, there is an option to load Avast after all other windows services. This seems to fix the problem.

39 thoughts on “Windows 7 stuck on personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update”

  1. I know this is an old thread but just in case someone comes across this, here is how I resolved it:
    1. SHIFT-CTRL-ESC to start task manager
    2. Kill explorer process
    3. File – New Task, enter “explorer” and tick “Create this task with administrative privileges”; you may need to tick “Show [processes from all users” first to get this option.
    4. Wait until desktop is re-built
    5. repeat step 2
    6. Repeat step 3, but remove the tick from the admin privileges box.
    7. Everything should now start as normal.

    Hope this helps

  2. Stefan – I woke up this morning to this problem! Can you help explain the following in greater detail?

    3. File – New Task, enter “explorer” and tick “Create this task with administrative privileges”; you may need to tick “Show [processes from all users” first to get this option.

    * What do you mean by “File – New Task”? Pending your response,
    where is explorer? Tick…”Create this task with administrative privileges”
    Tick…”Show [Processes from all users”?

  3. Same issue here and no resolution as per Stefan’s instruction. My Dell computer does not have the option 3.

  4. At Step 3, I clicked “File”, then “New Task” from within Windows Task Manager. Typed explorer, with no admin privileges, but it will not run. Other processes that I ended (Carbonite, for example) have restarted.

    As an aside – I also had a corrupted recycle bin file (renamed and deleted)

    So my search for a solution continues.

  5. There is only 1 user of my computer,and that is me.I do not have the checkbox for armijski nas that,becouse this 1 user is administrator.Everything works fine when I do only 1. 2. and 3. step.
    Thanks for helping. 🙂

  6. My laptop froze after updating with the personalizing desktop settings box. I tried windows Startup Repair, could not be repaired so tried advanced options but my restore points were no longer their. I restarted then tried to run task manager Ctrl-Alt-Del but no luck. I was able to get into safe mode. Once in safe mode I typed msconfig in the search box opened msconfig and changed startup to Diagnostic startup clicked apply then restarted. Success at last, once everything is ok run msconfig an change setting back & restart. Good luck. Mick.

  7. Thanks nick exactly same thing happened to my daughter’s dell.Your fix worked for me . Many thanks Mike.

  8. After doing a number of updates (Windows7 Pro) I also had the text “personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update” displaying but no progress. Windows was stuck! I started in protected mode, tried a system restore but that didn’t work. I was getting the message that the system restore did not work.
    Finally, as always, Google showed me the way to this thread and Stefan’s solution saved me! Tnx.

  9. Thank you so much! I’ve had the same problem today and spent a very frustrating couple of hours trying to sort it different ways, before managing to log on elsewhere and searching for some solutions.

  10. Thanks so much. Just tried it on 64 bit Windows 8.1 after an update and your solution fixed it for me.

  11. This worked for me – thanks stefan – twice now after windows updates. How do the less savvy computer users and non googles cope with this !!! A note: my pc doesn’t give the option to tick or not tick the admin privileges. I just mentally pretended i did and otherwise followed the instructions in full. After that, use task mgr to shut down computer. Then reboot – it starts normally then.

  12. Installed updates on Windows 7 SP1, computer hung up on “Setting up personalized experience for Windows Desktop Update” dialog box after login.

    Mick’s fix of clicks and tricks worked for me! Many thanks to both Stephan and Mick for their proposed solutions.

  13. just another thing to add.. this did not work for me.. but i went to the PROCESSES tab, and ended the PROCESS TREE instead of the normal PROCESS. this worked for me. cheers

  14. What I did was I booted up in safe mode and created another user account, then I rebooted and logged into the new user account and It worked fine!

  15. Love you Stefan. I have been trying to fix this settings problem for the last hours and your steps fixed it. So thank you

  16. Mick, u da man. Followed your instructions after the March 2015 update resulted in a black screen with “not genuine copy” logo. It worked just as you said. Justin, props to you for keeping all this here.

  17. Hi I had to stop Avast services from the Task Manager and follow Stefan’s instruction and it WORKED !!! Thank you!

  18. Thanks mick. 6/10/15 update failed. Googled this thread and fixed less then 10 minutes after failure. Safe mode msconfig fix worked great.

  19. A much easier way is to:

    1. Ctrl+Shift+Esc & end the personalised settings setting up thingee
    2. File -> new task -> explorer.exe
    3. Personal settings re-opens and continues fine


    Create this task with administrative privileges


  21. Hello All,

    At work,as a workaround, I just unplug the network cable from the desktop and I asked the user to logoff and login again. It worked! After the login the user account loaded, without personalized settings window, and the user was able to work.


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