How to Boot Windows 10 or Windows 8.1/8 into Safe Mode

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Safe mode in Windows OS is generally used to troubleshoot any problem regarding the drivers and components of the operating system. In this mode, only the very necessary drivers and installed components load with the OS. Unnecessary files, applications and drivers are not allowed to load while you run the OS in the safe mode. So far, we have been using the very well known method (i.e. press F8/Shift+F8 while Windows boot) to boot into safe mode. The rule is not applicable to Windows 8 and later editions (Windows 8.1, Windows 10 etc.) as they use the UEFI fast boot method. We all know well that due to UEFI integration, Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 loads faster compared to Windows 7 and other earlier Windows OS. UEFI is the fast boot technique which prevent OS from getting any keystrokes while booting. So, one can’t get into safe mode very easily (by pressing F8 key).

Then, how to start the Windows in safe mode when someone needs it badly? Is there any way to start Windows 10 in that mode? The answer is “YES”. Microsoft has moved the safe boot option to another location and to access this is little bit tricky. In this tutorial, I’ll show you different ways to start Windows 10 and 8.1 into safe mode.

1. Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode from Sign-in Screen via Troubleshoot Option

If your PC boots to the login screen of the Windows 8.1/10 OS, follow these steps:

  1. Hold down the Shift key and press the Restart option. Hold the shift key until Windows boot.
  2. It will boot into recovery window (Choose an option screen). Click on the Troubleshoot >> Advanced options >> Startup Settings >> Restart and wait until the Windows reboots.
    startup settings windows 10
  3. To get into safe mode, just press F4 button of your keyboard.
  4. You are done. Now the OS reboot itself to safe mode.

If you have a recovery disk of your OS, then you can easily get the above options using “Repair your computer“.

2. Use ‘Settings’ to Load Windows into Safe Mode

You can start the PC to safe mode using settings option of the OS. Let’s see the method.

  1. Press Windows+I together to open settings window. Otherwise navigate to settings from start menu of Windows 10.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security >> Recovery
  3. You will find Advanced startup option there. Select Restart Now button.
  4. Then the PC reboots to the Choose an option screen. Now, follow the step 2 and 3 of the method 1.

3. Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode Using Bootloader Option

You can use command prompt to change Windows bootloader option. Thus, you can boot to safe mode from your Windows OS.

  1. Right click on the Windows start button and choose the Command Prompt (admin) option.
  2. Type the below command in the command window:
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes
  3. This enables normal boot menu. Now, press the F8 key while Windows 10 boots up.
  4. It shows the “safe mode” option under windows boot manager screen.

enable safe menu at bootloader

To disable text based boot-loader and revert back to the original, you need to put the following command:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no

4. Always Launch the Windows in Safe Mode

From Windows 10 system configuration setting, you can force Windows 10 to load always in safe mode. As I already mentioned that Windows loads only very necessary drivers, files and applications while boot into safe mode.

windows 10 system configuration option

To force Windows 10 always boot in safe mode make the following changes:

  1. Press Windows+R to open Run dialogue box. Type msconfig and hit Enter. System configuration tray opens up.
  2. Navigate to Boot tab, under Boot options, check the “Safe boot” box with minimal option.
  3. Press ‘Apply’ and ‘Ok’ button.
  4. Restart the computer. Now, your Windows 10 OS boot into safe mode until you revert the changes.

You can create a separate start point of Windows and make the above changes to that entry so that when you choose that option during windows start up, on selecting that particular option, Windows 10/8.1 loads into safe mode.

Here is how to add the safe boot option to Windows startup window.

Just open the command prompt with admin privilege and put the following command:

bcdedit /copy {current} /d “Safe Mode of Windows 10”

That’s it. You can delete this option using any ‘bcdeditor’ windows application.

Final Words:

In this tutorial, I show you different methods to boot any windows 10 OS into safe mode. And yes it is very much possible with the Windows 8.1 too. In my opinion, without depending upon anything, just create and configure a safe mode option at windows start up section so that you can access it whenever necessary. Otherwise, you need the system repair disk to getting into the safe mode. Force shutdown might be another solution.

If you know any better alternative to restart Windows 10/8.1/8 computer into safe mode, inform us.

Useful also: Restart and shutdown Windows 10 in different way