How to boot in Safe Mode: Windows 10

Safe Mode is a basic diagnostic mode in Windows that enables PC users to troubleshoot problems like hardware trouble or software conflicts.

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode 

Our computers are complex machines that use sophisticated components to run equally sophisticated software. For instance, a cutting-edge video game can require several pieces of hardware and software to work together in harmony. Even a simple application like a web browser can push your computer’s processor and memory in certain situations.

Modern operating systems like Windows 10 are usually very good at managing everything like a well-oiled machine. However, a nasty piece of malware, a software conflict, or a hardware problem can force glitches, sometimes resulting in the dreaded blue screen. For this reason, many PC users learn how to start Windows into the basic diagnostic mode called Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, only some essential files and drivers load, allowing you to isolate problems more efficiently.  

While the traditional way to enter Safe Mode is to hit F8, Shift+F8 or Ctrl+F8 after restarting your computer, it can be impossible to get the timing right on computers with solid-state drives and a UEFI BIOS. Perhaps that’s one of the few disadvantages of booting Windows from a faster drive if you’re caught in the SSD vs. HDD debate. But don’t worry. We can share a few other ways how to boot into Safe Mode for your Windows 10 operating system:

Sign-In Screen Method

  1. Click the Power button on the bottom-right of the screen.
  2. Click Restart while holding the Shift key.
  3. Click Troubleshoot.
  4. Click Advanced options.
  5. Click See more recovery options.
  6. Now, click Startup Settings
  7. You'll see a screen that tells you that you can enable several modes, including Safe Mode, by restarting. Click Restart.
  8. On the Startup Settings screen, you have several options. Press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode, 5 or F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking, or 6 or F6 to enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Windows 10 Settings Method

  1. Type Settings in the search bar to find the Settings app. Alternatively, use the Win+I shortcut for Settings.
  2. Click Updates and Security.
  3. Click Recovery on the left-hand menu.
  4. Click Restart.
  5. Click Troubleshoot.
  6. Click Advanced Options.
  7. Click Startup Settings.
  8. Click Restart.
  9. Press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode, 5 or F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking, or 6 or F6 to enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Shift Restart Method

  1. Hold the Shift key and click Start > Power> Restart on your Windows desktop.
  2. Click Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Click Startup Settings.
  5. Click Restart.
  6. Press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode, 5 or F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking, or 6 or F6 to enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Three Boot Interruptions Method

Windows will automatically enter Automatic Repair mode when the normal boot process fails three times in a row. This interruption can happen due to malware, corrupt software, or a hardware malfunction. You can also initiate this yourself by restarting your computer while it’s booting your operating system three times in a row. We recommend this as the last option because cutting off power to your PC isn’t great for your software, files, or hard disk drive (HDD).

After you enter Automatic Repair, use the following sequence for Safe Mode:

  • Advanced Options > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  • Now, press 4, 5, or 6 for the Safe Mode option you prefer.

USB Recovery Drive Method

If your Windows isn’t starting, consider creating a USB recovery disk. You can create one on another computer with the same Windows version as yours. You may also need to set your bios to load Windows from your recovery disk instead of your hard drive until you repair your computer.

  • Start the recovery disk.
  • Now, select your keyboard layout from your USB recovery drive, and click Troubleshoot.
  • Now, click Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  • Select the right Safe Mode option for your needs.  

For Windows 10 Safe Mode Command Prompt access:

  • Click select Command Prompt in Advanced Options after you choose to Troubleshoot.
  • Type bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
  • Close the Command Prompt Window and pick Continue.
  • Now, your computer will restart in Safe Mode.

How to turn off Safe Mode Windows 10

You can easily leave Safe Mode by restarting your PC. Hit the Start button, power button, and click Restart. To deactivate Safe Mode through the Command Prompt, type “bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot” and press Enter. “shutdown /r” will restart your system.

Windows 10 Antivirus software regularly scans for malware which helps to prevent situations that may require Safe Mode. Figuring out how to easily check for and install Windows updates can help you maintain your PC’s health too. Finally, clean dust from your hardware and shield your system from voltage fluctuations with a surge protector to minimize the risk of hardware failure.

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