How to Boot Into Safe Mode in Windows 10

If you’re a Windows 10 user, you probably know that old methods of booting the system into Safe Mode won’t work. Unfortunately, simply pressing F8 while the OS is booting won’t help you at all. This method stopped working due to the fact that the latest version of Windows boots much, much faster than the previous ones.

Now, this doesn’t mean Windows 10 has no Safe Mode – of course it does – you just need to use different methods to boot it. There are, in fact, a few different methods of booting your system into Safe Mode. If you have problems booting the Safe Mode – worry not, we’re here to help. Without further ado, here are seven different ways you can do it.

1. Booting with System Configuration

Possibly the easiest method to boot your system into Safe Mode is to use the tool called System Configuration. Most users know this tool by the name: msconfig.exe


Furthermore, the fastest way to launch the tool is by pressing the Windows and R keys simultaneously on your keyboard. That command will open the Run window. When the window opens, you just need to type in msconfig.exe in the text field and press OK.

Alternatively, you can also use Cortana to open the System Configuration tool for you. You can do this by entering the words “system configuration” into the search field in your taskbar. Click on the System Configuration shortcut, and when a new window opens, just click on the Boot tab.

There, you’ll see an option that says “Safe Boot,” click on it, and then tap OK. The system will tell you that you need to reboot your computer, however, if you still have some work do to, you can exit without restarting, and go back to your business.

The next time you restart your PC, the system will boot itself into Safe Mode. When your PC is in Safe Mode, Microsoft Edge doesn’t work. Luckily, you can still use the Internet Explorer if you need to browse around the web.

2. The Restart and Shift Combination

Another widely-used way of getting into Safe mode is through the use of the Restart and Shift combination. First, you need to open your Start Menu, click the Power button and then press and hold Shift+Restart for a couple of seconds.

What’s more, you can also use this combination from your Sign In screen. When Windows boots, press and hold the Shift button, click Power, and then tap the Restart button. Once the system reboots, it will give you three options:

  • Continue
  • Troubleshoot
  • Turn Off your PC

Select the Troubleshoot option. When you go to the next screen, pick the advanced options. Click on Startup Settings first, and then Restart your computer. After the system reboots, you just need to press F4 to enable the Safe Mode.

3. Boot it Through the Recovery Options

In order to use Recovery, you’ll need to open your Settings application. Just press and hold the Windows and I buttons at the same time. After a few seconds, the Settings app will open automatically. From there, you need to head over to the Update and Security tab.

On the left side, you’ll see the Recovery tab. Press it, and go to the Advanced Startup section. On the bottom, you’ll see the Restart Now button. The PC will take a minute or so to restart, and afterward, you’ll need to follow the same methods we showed you earlier in the second part of our guide.

4. Booting from a Recovery Drive

By using the Recovery drive application, you can actually create a recovery drive that can boot your operating system. When you insert the Recovery Drive, the application will ask you to select a keyboard layout. Pick the one you want to use, and proceed.

Next, you’ll see a screen that says “Choose an option.” There, you’ll see the following options:

  • Continue (that will lead you to Windows 10)
  • Use another operating system (that allows you to use another installed version of Windows)
  • Troubleshoot (that allows you to see advanced options).

Naturally, you should click Troubleshoot, and as we mentioned in the section above, you need to follow the 2nd method from our list to boot into Safe Mode.

5. Using the W10 Installation Drive

If you have the Windows 10 Installation DVD, you can use it to boot the Safe Mode. Moreover, in case you don’t actually have it, you can always download the latest version of Windows, create your own installation DVD, and use it to boot your broken computer.

Once the installation environment loads, pick your desired language and keyboard layout. Then, just press Next to continue. A link that says “Repair your computer” will appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. You need to click on it in order to continue.

Then, click on the Troubleshoot option, which will take you to the Advanced Options screen. There, you’ll find the Command Prompt option. Click on it, wait for a few seconds to load, type “bcdedit /set safeboot minimal” in and then press Enter.

bcdedit /set safeboot minimal

After the Command Prompt informs you that the process was completed successfully, close it and click on Continue. After the computer reboots, your Operating System will boot into Safe mode on its own.

6. Interrupting the Standard Boot Process

If your Operating System fails to boot three times over, it enters the Automatic Repair mode automatically. Luckily, you can also boot into Safe Mode through Automatic Repair. So, if you want to trigger this mode, you just need to interrupt the boot process three times in a row.

You’ll be able to accomplish this by resetting your computer manually – you just need to press the physical Reset button on your PC – three times during the boot before the PC finishes loading Windows. If you’re trying to do this on a laptop, you’ll need to press and hold the Power button for at least five seconds.

After you trigger the process, a message telling you “Preparing Automatic Repair” will appear on your screen. Windows will make a diagnosis of your device and lead you to the Automatic Repair screen. There, click on the Advanced Options button; and on the next screen, select Troubleshoot. Then, just repeat the steps from the second method.

7. The F8 and Shift Combination

While some sites advise you to hold Shift and F8 before Windows loads to launch the Recovery mode, this process probably won’t work. Now, we say probably because Shift+F8 are actually legit commands, supported by every version of Windows.

However, as Microsoft representatives explained, these commands don’t work because both Windows 8 and 10 have the fastest boot times. And if you have a new computer with a fast SSD and UEFI BIOS, there’s no possible way you can interrupt the boot procedure with these commands.

On the other hand, this might work on old computers with an old BIOS and no SSD.

Final Thoughts

While the Safe Mode in Windows 10 doesn’t work exactly like it did in previous versions of the most popular OS in the world, the boot methods available are still pretty similar to the old ones. Of course, if you know any other ways to boot Windows 10 in safe mode, don’t hesitate to tell us all about it in the comment section below.


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