How to boot into safe mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that allows you to use Windows with basic drivers. No extra software is loaded, so troubleshooting software and driver problems are much easier. A very common way to troubleshoot a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. There have been various ways to troubleshoot a PC in the past, but they can be challenging. The good news is that getting into Safe Mode is achievable. The process is just more hidden now.

How to boot into safe mode?

  1. Most of the ways you access Safe Mode involve getting into the Windows recovery environment first. The recovery environment includes a number of troubleshooting options, and Safe Mode is one of them. How you get there depends on whether your PC can start Windows normally or not. When you get to the advanced troubleshooting tools (whether that’s by using the Shift+Restart trick, mashing the F8 key, or using a recovery drive), you’ll arrive at a screen that lets you access the troubleshooting tools.

2. Click the “Troubleshoot” button to proceed.

3. On the “Troubleshoot” screen, click the “Advanced Options” button.

4. On the “Advanced Options” page, click the Startup Settings” option. In Windows 8, this option is labeled “Windows Startup Settings” instead.

5. And finally, now that you see what we meant by “hidden,” hit the “Restart” button. You’ll see a version of the familiar Advanced Boot Options menu.

6. Press the number corresponding to the startup option you want to use (i.e., press the 4 key for regular Safe Mode).

This is a complex way to get to Safe Mode, and these options are much more hidden than they were in the past. But, at least they’re still available.

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