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How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode – 6 Methods

windows 10 safe mode

One of the most effective ways to diagnose and correct the situation is to enter Windows 10 Safe Mode. This refers to the mode in which the system starts only with basic drivers and services. At the same time, the capabilities of the OS are limited to basic functions.

In addition, you can successfully fight malware in Safe Mode. This method is especially useful if a virus interferes with normal logon or is not caught in the normal state of the system.

Windows supports three types of Safe Mode input. You need to understand exactly which one is best suited for solving a specific task:

Safe mode is the basic option, which excludes the loading of all unnecessary programs and functions. Only a few drivers and services that are required for the system to function are loaded automatically. Thus, the PC will be completely isolated from malicious programs that may be located, for example, in the local network. This method is used for most diagnostic tasks.

With loading of network drivers

As the name implies, this option differs from the previous one by loading software that provides access to the network. It is better not to choose this startup method if there is a suspicion that there are viruses on the network or a problem with the system operation may be caused precisely by a problem with the network driver. However, if the network is okay, this option will be useful to test the connection with other devices or find the information you need on the Internet.

Command line supportCommand line support

An option that launches the text input interface. This mode allows you to use system commands required to scan OS resources or manually start specific services. For example, it is useful for manual recovery of system files if the OS does not boot or is badly damaged. This is an option for advanced users and administrators who understand how to use the command line.

Entering Safe Mode is an easy, but extremely useful skill for all users of the Windows system. Those who had to do this on earlier versions of the OS might have noticed that this procedure has changed in the “eight” and “windows 10”. The developers have removed the choice of launch options with F8. However, instead of this classic method, a number of equally simple methods are provided. We will look at some of them now.

Methods to start computer in windows 10 safe mode

Method 1: Safe Mode from Settings

Windows 10 provides an easy way to access launch options. This is the fastest and easiest method to enter Safe Mode if the system is functioning at all. Its main purpose is to perform a complete restart and select the appropriate boot type. For this you need:

  1. Call the Windows Settings application window.
  2. The fastest way to do this is with the Win + I combination.
  3. Another option is to click Start on the taskbar, in the menu that opens, select “Options” (the icon in the form of a gear).
  4. Enter Update & Security. In the new window, in the left pane, click “Recovery”.
  5. In the central part of the window, under the item “Special boot options” click “Restart now”.
  6. The session ends to access the Advanced Startup menu.
  7. First, after restarting, then Choose an option window will appear.
  8. Next, go to the item “Troubleshoot”. This action will bring up the “Diagnostics” window, where you should select “Advanced options”.
  9. The next step is to find the last item “Startup Settings”. If it is not visible on the screen, you must first select “View other recovery options.” Finally, it remains to click “Restart”.

The computer or laptop will reboot and the Boot Options menu appears with a list of available options. These are launch options similar to those that appeared by pressing F8 in earlier versions of the OS. You can select one of them by pressing the corresponding function key (F1-F9). For a simple entry into Safe Mode, you need to press F4.

Method 2: Enter Windows 10 Safe Mode from login screen

A faster alternative to the previous method is to access parameters by restarting the system with the Shift key. In more detail –

Safe Mode from login screen

  1. You need to enter the “Start”, “Shutdown” menu (icon in the form of the Power button).
  2. Hold down the Shift key and select the “Restart” option.
  3. A blue “Select Action” screen appears.
  4. After that, it remains to follow the steps described in the previous section, starting with point 7.

It also restarts directly from the lock screen without logging into your account. This can be useful at least to save time.

Method 3: windows 10 safe mode Command Line Management

To quickly launch the console interface

  1. Just press Win + R, type cmd and press Enter.
  2. You can also open the system search bar, type in it “Command line” and run the found application.
  3. If you have administrator rights, the user can use console commands to quickly restart the system and display the Select Action screen.
  4. To do this, type shutdown / r / o and press Enter. Then proceed as described above.

Method 4: How to enter windows 10 safe mode 

The most convenient way to call the System Configuration utility is from the Run application.

  1. To do this, press the Win + R combination.
  2. In the field of the window that appears, type msconfig and press Enter or OK. This command will call the application we need.
  3. On the second tab, in the “Boot Options” section, mark “Safe Mode”.
  4. It remains to confirm the selection and reboot the system.

Method 5: Sign in from a black or blank screen

black or blank screen

The methods described above are effective as long as the system boots at least. However, in case of more serious problems, the start-up may be interrupted even before the start screen. In this case, it is possible to take advantage of the boot interrupt so that the system gives access to the recovery environment.

The computer must be turned off to use this method. Therefore, even if the system “hangs” or nothing is displayed on the display, but the PC is working, you need to turn it off forcibly. That is, hold down the power button for about 10 seconds.

Further actions are as follows:

  1. Press the power button to start the computer.
  2. As soon as the first information appears on the display (the logo of the laptop or motherboard manufacturer, the Windows logo, etc).
  3. Press and hold the Power button again until it turns off (10 seconds).
  4. Repeat the previous step twice: turn it on, after rebooting the system, hold down the button until it turns off.
  5. After that, it remains to follow the steps described in the previous section, starting with point 7.

Method 6: Enter Windows 10 Safe Mode via BIOS

If there is a serious system crash, you can try a more cunning method. You will need a bootable disk or flash drive with a recovery image for it. In an emergency, you can try to do it on another PC. But it is better to take care of this in advance and prepare a bootable USB flash drive or disk using the standard Windows tool.

Enter Windows 10 Safe Mode via BIOS

  1. To start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, you need to plug in a flash card or insert a DVD into your drive.
  2. After a successful launch, you will need to select a language layout.
  3. When the installation screen appears, you need to select “System Restore” – “Diagnostics” – “Advanced Options” – “Command Prompt”.
  4. In the text interface, enter the bcdedit / set {default} safe boot minimal command and confirm the entry.
  5. After that, close the console by entering exit and restart the PC. The next login will automatically be in safe mode.

If you need to start with network driver support, you should type “network” instead of “minimal” in the above command. To load Safe Mode in console form, you need the bcdedit / set {default} saf boot alternate shell yes command. After all the system recovery steps have been completed, you will need to return the startup mode to its original state. To do this type bcdedit / delete value {default} safe boot on the command line. Remember that you need administrator rights to work with the command line.


  1. Another option is to enter the commands:
  2. bcdedit / set {boot mgr} display boot menu yes
  3. bcdedit / set {default} boot menu policy legacy

After that, on reboot, you can use the classic approach

  • Press F8 to display startup options.
  • It may happen that the system will not boot from the suggested media. In this case, you can change the startup order in the BIOS settings. Access to BIOS or UEFI is provided from the Select Action menu.
  • This is the same “blue screen” discussed in the previous sections.
  • If the system boots at least before the start screen, this menu can be accessed by rebooting while pressing Shift.
  • Any of the above methods will also work, including restarting after a few forced shutdowns if there are problems with starting the OS.
  • Starting from the Select Action screen, the path to UEFI settings looks like this: Troubleshooting → Advanced Options → Boot Options → UEFI Firmware Options.
  • Changing the boot device can be in different partitions, depending on the I / O system interface.
  • In the classic BIOS, this data is located on the Boot tab.
  • For Award BIOS – in the “Advanced BIOS Features” section. Boot priority settings can be implemented in different ways in the UEFI GUI, but they are usually fairly easy to find intuitively.

To boot from a USB flash drive once, it is not necessary to change the BIOS settings. It is enough to use the BIOS or UEFI boot menu. In earlier versions of Windows, to enter the Boot menu, you need to press a certain key during the reboot.

Which one depends on the model and manufacturer of the motherboard or laptop? Most of windows 10 the Esc, F11 or F12 buttons are used for this purpose.

For “windows 10” this method can be used if you disable the quick launch option. 

  • To do this, you need to go to “Windows Settings” – “System” – “Power and Sleep”.
  • On the right, select “Advanced power options”, and in the new window on the left, click on “Actions for the power buttons.
  • “In the “Shutdown Options” section, uncheck the “Enable Fast Startup” checkbox. If it is inactive, you first need to remove the lock by clicking just above “Change parameters that are currently unavailable.”
  • If the system does not boot, you can disable Fast Startup from the BIOS. So, in the traditional AMI interface, you need to go to the Security tab and disable the Secure Boot Control parameter by setting it to Disabled.

On the Boot tab, enable Launch CSM (set to Enabled) and disable Fast Boot. In Award, you can find the Quick Boot parameter in the same section as the options for boot devices – “Advanced BIOS Features”.

You will have to look in UEFI, but most of windows 10 the logic for finding this parameter is the same as for traditional I / O interfaces.

After that, you can reboot. Immediately after restarting, press and hold the Esc, F12 or F11 button.

In some laptop models, this may be another key, so it is better to clarify this moment by reading the instructions. If everything is done correctly, a simple menu for selecting a boot device will appear on the screen.


Thanks to the variety of methods available to Windows 10 users, you can enter Safe Mode both from a running system and in the presence of significant failures. This mode can help out even in a critical situation when simpler solutions to the problem do not help. As you can see from the examples above, it’s best to have an installation disc or a saved system image in place just in case. We hope that even in the event of a problem, one of these methods will be able to help you out.

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