How To Boot Into Safe Mode On Windows 10?

How To Easily Boot Into Safe Mode On Windows 10

Safe Mode is a diagnostic start-up mode in Windows operating systems used to obtain limited access to Windows when the operating system does not start or function normally. It is the opposite of Normal Mode, which starts Windows in the usual manner. Safe Mode is available on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and most older versions of Windows.

One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a computer is to boot into Safe Mode. Safe Mode starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. It can help to troubleshoot problems on your computer. If, for example, the problem does not occur in Safe Mode, then this will confirm that the default settings and basic device drivers are not causing the issue.

Safe Mode is distinctive, since the Desktop background is replaced with black and the words "Safe Mode" in all corners. It also displays the current Windows version and service pack at the top of the screen. For the most part, Safe Mode can be used as Windows in Normal Mode. The main difference is that certain areas of Windows may not function or work as quickly as in Normal Mode. There are three main Safe Mode options available: 1) Safe Mode; 2) Safe Mode with Networking, and; 3) Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Choose the Safe Mode option according to the problem you are having. The first option starts Windows with the minimum set of drivers and services. The second includes additional drivers and services needed for networking services to function. The third option is the same as basic Safe Mode, except that Command Prompt is launched when starting Windows rather than Explorer.

If you have issues with your computer, or there are reasons you wish to load windows in Safe Mode, there are a number of ways to achieve this. In this article, we show several ways to access Safe Mode on your computer.

how to boot into safe mode on windows 10

Table of Contents:

Use System Configuration Tool

The easiest way to start Windows in Safe Mode is to use the System Configuration tool. The System Configuration tool, also know as "msconfig", is a Microsoft utility that first appeared in Windows 98 and is now available in all later versions of Windows. It is used to configure how a computer starts and which programs and Windows services load.

To open the System Configuration tool, open the Run dialog box by typing "run" in Search.

use system configuration tool step 1

In the Run dialog box, type "mschonfig" and click "OK". This will open the System Configuration tool.

use system configuration tool step 2

Another way to open the System Configuration tool is to type "system configuration" in Search and click the "System Configuration" result.

When the System Configuration window is open, click "Boot" tab. Under Boot options, mark the "Safe boot" checkbox and click "OK".

use system configuration tool step 3

Windows will inform you that you may need to restart your computer to apply these changes. If you are working on another task, choose "Exit without restart" option. Alternatively, click "Restart" - Windows will restart your computer and start the operating system in Safe Mode.

use system configuration tool step 4

Remember to undo these changes in System Configuration if you do not wish to boot into Safe Mode each time you start Windows. To do this, just unmark the "Safe boot" checkbox in the System Configuration Boot tab.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Use Recovery Option In Settings

You can also start Windows in Safe Mode through Recovery's Advanced start-up option. This one is simple, and only takes a few more steps. Open Settings and then click "Update & Security".

use recovery option in settings step 1

Then, click "Recovery" in the left pane. Click the "Restart now" button under Advanced startup.

use recovery option in settings step 2

Your computer will restart and you will see a menu on a blue screen. From the three options, select "Troubleshoot".

use recovery option in settings step 3

In Troubleshoot, click "Advanced options".

use recovery option in settings step 4

In Advanced options, click "Startup Settings".

use recovery option in settings step 5

In Startup Settings, click "Restart". After restart, you will be able to enable-low resolution video mode, debugging mode, boot logging, Safe Mode, disable early-launch anti-malware protection, and automatic restart on system failure.

use recovery option in settings step 6

You will be presented with a list of options. To choose an option, press the number on your keyboard or use function keys from F1 to F9. Press 4 or F4 on your keyboard to enable Safe Mode. If you need to enable Safe Mode with Networking, press 5, and 6 if you need too enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt. If you change your mind and you no longer need to start Windows in Safe Mode, press Enter to exit Startup Settings.

use recovery option in settings step 7

[Back to Table of Contents]

Use Shift + Restart Combination

Another way of starting Windows in Safe Mode in Windows 10 is to use the Shift + Restart combination. Click Start to open the Start menu, click the Power button, and then click "Restart" while holding the Shift key on your keyboard. Windows will open the blue screen menu as before.

use shift plus restart combination step 1

You can also access the blue screen menu when on the Sign In screen. Click the Power button, and then click "Restart" while holding the Shift key.

use shift plus restart combination step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Use Command Prompt

You can also start Windows in Safe Mode using Command Prompt command. Command Prompt is a command line application available in most Windows operating systems. Command Prompt is used to execute commands entered via the keyboard. Most of these commands are used to automate tasks via scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot, and solve certain types of Windows issues. To open Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result. Select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu to run Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

use command prompt step 1

In Command Prompt, type the "bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal" command and press Enter to execute it. When the operation has completed successfully, exit Command Prompt and restart your computer, which will start in Safe Mode. If you want to enable Safe Mode with Networking, type "bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network". Note: to stop booting Windows in Safe Mode, turn this option off in System Configuration (see previous guide), or type "bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot" in Command Prompt.

use command prompt step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Interrupt Windows Boot Process

If Windows fails to start normally three times over, it will enter Automatic Repair mode on the fourth attempt, and then you can boot into Safe Mode. To make your system start in Automatic Repair mode, you must interrupt the normal boot process three times in a row: use the reset or power button on your Windows 10 PC to stop it during boot, and before it finishes loading Windows 10. If you use the power button, you might have to keep it pressed for at least 4 seconds to force the power off. You will see a screen informing you that the operating system is ‚ÄúPreparing Automatic Repair" and then "Diagnosing your PC". After this, you will be directed to the Automatic Repair window. Click "Advanced options" and then choose "Troubleshoot". Then, it is the same process described earlier on how to start Windows: Safe Mode using Recovery option in Settings and using the Shift + Restart combination.

We hope this helps you to find the best way to start Windows in Safe mode.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing How To Boot Into Safe Mode On Windows 10:

[Back to Top]


1 Comment. Click to view

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

Our guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.