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3 ways to start your Windows 10 computer in Safe mode

Sep 7, 2021

Outline

Start Windows 10 in Safe mode
windows 10 safe mode

F8 by default doesn’t work in Windows 10 for Safe mode. In Windows 10 you have to edit the Boot configuration data file to get the legacy way back to start in safe mode, F8. Apart from that, there are two more ways to start Windows 10 in safe mode.

Here are 3 ways to start Windows 10 PC in safe mode

MSConfig and BCD edit will work only when your computer is booting to the desktop screen, where you see all the desktop icons. Advanced options is the way to boot into safe mode if your Windows 10 computer is stuck on automatic repair or Windows 10 black screen after windows logo, and etc., where PC doesn’t boot into desktop.

What is Safe mode?

In Windows OS, safe mode is another copy of your current Windows OS, that loads only those system files and drivers that are required for a successful boot.

Safe mode is typically used by computer technicians to fix many OS related issues and Virus issues. Your antivirus won’t work here, and a few other services such as sound, Internet(only in safe mode with Networking), and etc.

There are 3 options for safe mode in Windows OS

  • Safe mode
  • Safe mode with Networking (for internet)
  • Safe mode with Command prompt

How do I know if my PC is in Safe mode?

You will see black desktop background than your normal wallpaper, with extra large icons and safe mode written on every corner, like in the featured image.

MSConfig way for Windows 10 Safe mode

Microsoft System Configuration is an inbuilt Windows system configuration utility found in every available Windows OS

MSConfig is used to diagnose system issues, to disable or enable non-Windows services and applications, to disable or enable startup items, to edit boot order, to edit CPU and memory power for boot, and to start PC in safe mode.

To start your Windows 10 computer in safe mode using MSconfig, follow these steps:-

  • Click on the Windows start icon , and start typing msconfig
  • System Configuration will appear in search, click on it to open
  • A new window “System Configuration” will appear, go to Boot from the parent tabs
  • Check Safe boot in Boot options section, click Apply and Ok, and restart the computer

msconfig safe mode
Your PC will boot in Safe mode.
You will need to uncheck the safe boot options from MSConfig to get back to the normal mode.

Tip
You could also open MSConfig through Run or CMD, using the “msconfig” command without quotes.

BCD edit to enable F8

Boot Configuration Data is a firmware for Windows boot options. It can be altered through cmd using bcdedit command line, where you can also alter it to enable the legacy way of booting Windows OS into Safe mode i.e. F8.

To enable F8 in Windows 10, follow these steps:-

  • Open CMD
  • Copy and paste the following command in CMD and press enter

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

Now restart your computer and keep on tapping F8 to see the “Advanced Boot Options” screen, choose Safe Mode using the up and down arrow key and press enter, it will take you to the Windows safe mode.

F8 safe mode windows 10

To disable F8 in Windows 10 simply replace Yes with No at the end of the bcdedit command.

Advanced Options to enter Safe mode

Windows 10 has inbuilt a bunch of system utilities, to recover and troubleshoot Windows related issues. These utilities can be found in Advanced Options, which is accessed outside the Windows desktop screen.

If your computer is stuck on Automatic repair you can access Advanced Options easily, as Windows automatically shows these options whenever there is no successful boot.

To enter safe mode through advanced options, follow these steps:-

  • Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > See more recovery options
  • Click on Restart
  • Press number 4 or 5 depending on which safe mode option you need

windows 10 advanced options safe mode
Your PC will boot into Safe mode.

Tip
Advanced options can be accessed in many ways, one of them is by holding down the Shift key when Windows 10 restarts.

More support articles on   Windows Tips

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