Safe Mode is a special Windows environment where only basic Windows services are started. Essentially, Safe Mode allows users to revert changes made in normal mode where Windows can no longer operate properly. For example, installing wrong video or audio driver may result in a well-known blue screen of death (BSOD), where the operating system freezes with a bunch of technical words on screen. Since Safe Mode won’t load these drivers, you can easily remove them and restart back into normal mode. Also, many malicious applications do not operate in Safe Mode, therefore it is significantly easier to remove them.
Windows have had an ability to restart in Safe Mode for ages. The most common way to do that is repeatedly pressing F8 key on keyboard until a special boot menu appears. From that menu, you can then choose from various Safe Mode options to start your system into.
However, starting from Windows 8, Microsoft decided to go a different route for starting into Safe Mode. We will explain a few ways to do that.
Step 1: Getting into Advanced Boot Options
First, you need to open Advanced Boot Options screen.
SHIFT + Restart option
If your Windows 8 (8.1) can still be run in normal mode, the easiest way to get into Safe Mode is by holding SHIFT key on your keyboard while clicking on a Restart menu item:
- Move mouse cursor to the bottom-right corner until the Charms bar appears and click on “Settings” icon.
- Click on “Power” icon.
- Press and hold SHIFT key on your keyboard and click “Restart“:
- Wait a couple seconds until Windows shows you the special options menu.
Reset PC option
Note: this method is only for those who don’t have access to Windows’ normal mode.
- Start your computer normally
- When you see Windows logo and the spinning animation, hit reset button on your PC. If you use a laptop, it may lack a reset button. In this case, press and hold power button until the computer shuts down. Then, press the power button again to start it.
You might have to repeat this step a few times until Windows realizes that it has problems starting up.
- Windows will show “Preparing Automatic Repair” message and you will be presented with the screen like the following. Press “Advanced options” button to show Advanced Boot Options screen.
Step 2: Advanced Boot OptionsAdvanced Boot Options allows you to fix your PC in case of problems: reinstall or repair Windows installation, use System Restore function, Command Prompt app or restart Windows in Safe Mode. The latter is what we need.
- Select “Troubleshoot“:
- Select “Advanced options“:
- Select “Startup Settings“:
- Click “Restart“:
- Windows will restart. Once you see Startup Settings screen, press either F5 or 5 key on your keyboard to enable Safe Mode with Networking:
That’s it! If all goes well, you should see your Windows desktop similar to the following:
From within Safe Mode, you will now be able to fix your computer, remove viruses, bad drivers etc.
If you have any problems starting your PC into Safe Mode, do not hesitate to drop a comment below.