How To 

How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Booting in Safe Mode and rebooting back normally resolves many of the Windows 10 problems automatically. In addition to this, Safe Mode also allows you to use several other troubleshooting methods if merely restarting the PC fails to fix the issue(s).

However, getting to Safe Mode in this latest OS is not as simple as it used to be in its precursors.

Although there are several ways to start (or restart) Windows 10 in Safe Mode, the two most straightforward methods that work as long as Windows can boot are explained here:

Method 01: From System Configuration

Step 1
Open the System Configuration box

Type MSCONFIG in the Cortana search box and press Enter. This opens the System Configuration box with the General tab selected by default. From here you can choose Windows’ startup behavior, enable or disable the services that start along with the OS, etc.


Step 2
Enable Safe boot

Get to the Boot tab, check the Safe boot box, and ensure that radio button representing your preferred boot behavior is selected (Minimal by default and also for this example). This tells Windows 10 to boot in Safe Mode the next time it starts or restarts. Depending on the issue you’re experiencing with the operating system and the method you want to use to troubleshoot the problem, you can choose a different Safe Mode behavior like Network, Active Directory repair, etc.



Step 3
Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Click OK, and click Restart from the box that appears next. This shuts down your PC, and restarts Windows in Safe Mode. Once in Safe Mode, you can perform other troubleshoot tasks to rectify the issue(s).



Note: Once you’re done troubleshooting, you must follow the above steps (while still in Safe Mode), and uncheck the Safe boot box in order to let Windows 10 boot normally upon next restart.

Method 02: Using the Shift Key

Step 1
Initiate restart

Press and hold down the SHIFT key, click Start, click the Power icon from the left section of the Start menu, click Restart, and release the SHIFT key when the computer shuts down and powers back on. This restarts Windows and takes you to the window with advanced troubleshooting options. This method eliminates the need of using any recovery disk (USB or DVD) to start Windows in Safe Mode.



Step 2
Get to the Advanced options window

Click Troubleshoot from the Choose an option window, and click Advanced options from the Troubleshoot window that opens up next. This takes you to the Advanced options window. Depending on your preferred method of resolving the problem, this window lets you choose an appropriate troubleshooting option/tool.



Step 3
Restart in Safe Mode

Click See more recovery options, click Startup settings from the next window, click Restart, and press F4, F5, or F6 on your keyboard (or 4, 5, or 6 on the numpad if your keyboard has one). This restarts Windows 10 in Safe Mode. The behavior of Safe Mode would depend on the key you will choose to press.






Note: If Windows is unable to boot properly, you can power on your computer, shut it down when Windows begins to load its files, repeat this process for two more times, and click Advanced options if/when Windows fails to repair the issue automatically and takes you to the Automatic Repair window. You can follow the on-screen instructions from there to catch up with the method explained above to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode.
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