• RMK Consulting Staff

How To Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode


Like its predecessors, Windows 10 lets you boot into safe mode to troubleshoot and fix problems. For example, you might need to start your computer in safe mode when you cannot delete a file because an unknown process is using it. When you boot into safe mode, Windows 10 loads only the essential software required for the computer to work.


The traditional way of getting into safe mode — restarting the computer and pressing F8 at a certain point — often does not work on Windows 10 computers. Much more effective approaches are to use the System Configuration app or the Startup Settings screen.

These two approaches are designed for situations in which you can successfully boot the operating system. If you cannot get to Windows 10’s login screen or you do not feel comfortable booting into safe mode, contact your IT service provider.


Using the System Configuration App


You need to be logged in as an administrator to use the System Configuration app to boot into safe mode. Here are the steps:

  1. Press Win+R (in other words, press the Windows key and the R key at the same time).

  2. Type “msconfig” in the window that appears.

  3. Click “OK”.

  4. Select the “Boot” tab in the System Configuration window.

  5. Check the “Safe boot” box in the “Boot Options” section.

  6. Make sure the “Minimal” option is selected.

  7. Click “OK”.

  8. Select “Restart” in the window that appears.

Your computer will now restart in safe mode. Note that you might have to log in again if you normally have to do so when launching Windows 10.

To get back into normal mode, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win+R.

  2. Type “msconfig” in the window that appears.

  3. Click “OK”.

  4. Select the “Boot” tab in the System Configuration window.

  5. Clear the “Safe boot” box. (This will automatically deselect the “Minimal” option as well.)

  6. Click “OK”.

  7. Select “Restart” in the window that appears.

Using the Startup Settings Screen


To boot into safe mode using the Startup Settings screen, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Start” button on the desktop.

  2. Choose “Power”.

  3. Select “Restart” while pressing the Shift key.

  4. Choose “Troubleshoot”.

  5. Select “Advanced options”.

  6. Choose “Startup Settings”.

  7. Click “Restart”. Your computer will reboot and display the Startup Settings screen.

  8. Select either the “Enable Safe Mode” or “Enable Safe Mode with Networking” option.

When your computer is restarting in safe mode, you might have to log in again if you normally have to do so to launch Windows 10.

To get back into normal mode, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Start” button on the desktop.

  2. Choose “Power”.

  3. Select “Restart” while pressing the Shift key.

  4. Choose “Troubleshoot”.

  5. Select “Advanced options”.

  6. Choose “Startup Settings”.

  7. Click “Restart”. Your computer will reboot and display the Startup Settings screen.

  8. Press Enter.

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