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How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

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We all love how technology makes our lives easier, but let’s be honest—sometimes, our computers can throw a curveball our way. But don’t fret, because there’s a superhero in our midst, ready to save the day—Safe Mode in Windows 10. Think of Safe Mode as the computer’s cozy safe haven where only the essentials are invited, leaving the troublemakers out. It’s the perfect playground to sort out a variety of pesky problems, from those tricky software disputes to stubborn malware. So, buckle up as we dive deep into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of Safe Mode. Together, we’ll learn how to harness its powers to keep our Windows 10 systems running smoothly. In this guide, we will explore in detail how to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

What is Safe Mode?

Before we proceed, let’s take a moment to understand what Safe Mode is. Essentially, Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode in the Windows operating system designed to help troubleshoot various computer problems. When you start your computer in Safe Mode, it only loads the most basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows, making it easier to identify and resolve issues.

Why Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode?

Booting Windows 10 in Safe Mode is a useful diagnostic method when troubleshooting certain types of problems. Safe Mode is a minimalist way of starting Windows, where the operating system loads only essential system services and drivers. This can help isolate software or driver issues, as it’s much easier to troubleshoot when there are fewer variables and running processes to consider.

Here are some key reasons why you might want to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode:

Troubleshooting Software Conflicts

If your PC is experiencing problems or crashing, it could be due to software conflicts. Booting in Safe Mode ensures that only essential services and drivers are running, which can help identify if a recently installed program or update is causing issues.

Removing Malware

If your computer is infected with malware, booting in Safe Mode can be an effective way to isolate and remove the malicious software. Some types of malware are designed to start up with your computer and may hide themselves or protect against removal while your system is running normally. Safe Mode can prevent these malware processes from starting, making it easier to remove the infection.

Diagnosing Hardware Problems

Safe Mode can also be helpful if you suspect a hardware problem. If you’re experiencing crashes or other problems, but these disappear when booting in Safe Mode, this can indicate a hardware issue. Safe Mode loads only basic, essential drivers, so if everything works fine in this mode, it’s likely that a hardware driver is causing the problem.

Resolving Driver Issues

Drivers are software that allows your computer’s hardware and operating system to communicate. If a driver is corrupted, outdated, or incompatible with your system, it can cause various issues. Safe Mode can help identify such problems, as it only loads essential drivers, allowing you to troubleshoot and update or uninstall the problematic drivers.

In summary, booting Windows 10 in Safe Mode is a powerful and versatile troubleshooting tool that can help diagnose and resolve a range of computer problems. It’s a skill that’s useful for any Windows user to know.

How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

Via System Configuration Tool

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the ‘Run’ dialog box.
  2. Type msconfig and hit Enter to open the System Configuration tool.
  3. Navigate to the ‘Boot’ tab and under ‘Boot options’, check the ‘Safe boot’ box.
  4. Choose the type of Safe Mode you want—Minimal, Alternate shell, Network, or Active Directory repair—and click ‘OK’.
  5. Restart your PC, and it will boot in Safe Mode.

windows safe mode msconfig

Here’s a guide that offers more information on using the System Configuration tool.

Via Settings

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open ‘Settings’.
  2. Go to ‘Update & Security’, then ‘Recovery’.
  3. Under ‘Advanced startup’, click ‘Restart now’.
  4. After the PC restarts, choose ‘Troubleshoot’, then ‘Advanced options’, then ‘Startup Settings’, and finally ‘Restart’.
  5. Once your system restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Choose 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode.

windows safe mode troubleshoot

This article from Microsoft provides a detailed walkthrough of this process.

Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode using Command Prompt

How to Open Command Prompt in Windows 11 – 7 Ways Explained

  1. Press the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu.
  2. Click on ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ to open the Command Prompt with administrative rights. If you see ‘Windows PowerShell’ instead of ‘Command Prompt’, you can opt for PowerShell as well. The commands work the same way in both.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:
    bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal
  4. Once the command is successfully executed, close the Command Prompt.
  1. Restart your PC. Windows 10 will now boot directly into Safe Mode.

To boot into Safe Mode with Networking, replace minimal with network in the command above.

Read also: Windows Command Line Cheat Sheet

Reverting Back to Normal Mode

To return to Normal Mode after you’ve finished troubleshooting, you need to turn off the Safe Mode booting command through the Command Prompt:

  1. Press the Windows key + X and select ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ or ‘Windows PowerShell’, depending on what appears on your menu.
  2. In the Command Prompt or PowerShell window, type the following command:
    bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot
  3. Once the command is successfully executed, close the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
  4. Restart your PC. Windows 10 will now boot into Normal Mode.

By using Command Prompt or PowerShell commands, you can easily manage how your computer boots, including the ability to boot into Safe Mode.

Additional Resources

For more information on using Safe Mode in Windows 10, check out these useful resources:


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The Genius Geek
The Genius Geek

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