Get a discount or gift!

How to Boot Windows in Safe Mode

Read this article about booting Windows in Safe Mode. We will explore all standard methods involving a recovery disk or a certain combination of keys. If the operating system doesn’t boot or works incorrectly for a number of possible reasons, sometimes the only effective way to bring it back to normal and access your data is to boot the computer in Safe Mode and fix the errors in that mode.

How to Boot Windows in Safe Mode


Safe Mode in Windows 10

If you already spent some time working in Windows 10, you must have noticed that old ways of booting a computer in Safe Mode don’t work anymore. That is, pressing the keys F8 or Shift+F8 while booting you can no longer send your machine into the Safe Mode.

However, it doesn’t mean that Windows 10 no longer has Safe Mode. It’s just the sequence of steps you have to take has changed. Let’s explore each one in detail.

When you enter Safe Mode in Windows 10, the operating system boots a minimalistic interface and only the most necessary services and drivers which are required for Windows to operate.

Method 1: With the System Configuration utility (msconfig.exe)

The easiest way to boot Safe Mode in Windows 10 is with the System Configuration utility. It is well-known by its actual name, msconfig.exe.

To start this utility, launch the Run window with the key combination Windows + R and type in the command msconfig.

Run Window key Windows + R

In the System Configuration window that opens jump to the tab Boot, and in the section Boot options select Safe boot.

System Configuration window

After that, the operating system will suggest restarting the computer for the changes to take effect. You can continue working with the computer without restarting, or restart it, and it will boot in Safe Mode automatically.

Method 2: Restart the computer with pressing the Shift key (Shift + Restart)

One more way to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 is to restart the computer while holding down the Shift key.

To do it, open the Start menu, click the Power button while holding down the Shift key and select Restart.

Windows 10 Start menu - Shut down

You can also use this key combination from the lock screen.

Windows 10 Start screen - Shut down

After that, Windows 10 will restart and suggest you to choose one of the menu items. Select Troubleshoot / Advanced options.

Windows 10 Restore Mode TroubleshootWindows 10 Restore Mode Advanced options

In the Advanced options window, select Startup settings

Windows 10 Restore Mode Startup settings

Windows 10 will notify the user that the operating system can be restarted to enable advanced options, one of which being Safe Mode. Then click on Restart.

Windows 10 Restore Mode Enable Safe Mode

After the computer restarts, choose what settings you need to boot the operating system. To boot the system in Safe Mode there are three options (F4 – F6).

Windows 10 restart Safe Mode

Method 3: Booting with a recovery disk

Windows 10 features a specialized tool to create recovery disks.

Windows 10 Create Recovery Drive

Boot Windows 10 with such a recovery disk. After that, the operating system will suggest you to select the keyboard layout, and then choose Troubleshoot / Advanced options. Further actions are similar to those described in the previous part of the article.

Method 4: Advanced Boot options

Although there are a few ways to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode, this one would be the most correct – provided that the operating system which you need to boot in Safe Mode is fully operational.

Doing it is quite easy:

  • Open Settings
  • Go to Update and Security / Recovery
  • In the Advanced startup section click on Restart now.
  • After that, Windows 10 will restart and suggest you to choose one of the menu items. Select Troubleshoot / Advanced options.
  • After that, follow the sequence of actions described in Method 2.
Windows 10 Settings Recovery Reset

The ways of booting the operating system in Safe Mode as described here can be applied both for Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.

In these versions of Windows, Safe Mode is no longer the feature that only IT professionals use in their work. On the contrary, now it is only one of the OS features available to every user, which can be applied to restore the computer’s operability and regain access to personal data.

Recommended For You