The Safe Mode allows users to troubleshoot everything from driver issues to software problems and more. Once you upgrade to Windows 10, you can use one of the many ways you can enter the safe mode in Windows 10.

Safe Mode is a powerful tool for consumers who want to troubleshoot Windows issues on their own before turning to professional help. It’s also a great way to resolve Windows 10 issues as and when you run into them. You can check out how to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode using different ways mentioned below.

How to Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode?

There are several different ways to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. Depending on how comfortable you are with Windows, one of these methods may be better suited for you than others.

1. Use ‘Shift + Restart’ to Boot  in Safe Mode in Windows 10

If you are starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode for the first time, then this method is best for you. You can use the ‘Shift + Restart’ option from the start menu or the login screen.

Step 1: Open the ‘Start Menu’ and click on ‘Power.’ If you are using the login screen, then click on the ‘Power logo’ in the left bottom.

The further process in both scenarios is the same.

Step 2: Hold down the ‘Shift’ key and click on ‘Restart.’


Your PC will restart and ask you to choose an option for starting Windows 10.

Step 3: Click on ‘Troubleshoot’ once rebooted.

Click on Troubleshoot

Step 4: Then, click ‘Advanced Options.’

Click on Advanced options

Step 5: Click on ‘Startup Settings.’

Click on Startup Settings

Step 6. Click on ‘Restart’ on the Startup Settings.

Click on Restart

Step 7: Click ‘F4’ to enable Safe Mode in Windows 10. Some computers might have different instructions for this screen, so make sure to read them before clicking anything to choose ‘Enable Safe Mode.’

Press F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode

This will restart Windows 10 in Safe Mode. However, before that, you need to enter a password for your account to enter into the Safe Mode.

2. Use the System Configuration Tool to Automatically Boot into Safe Mode

You can use the System Configuration tool, also known as msconfig.exe, to start in Safe Mode of Windows 10. Well, your error or issue should not restrict you from entering the PC. If it does, then opt for another way from the list to enter the Windows 10 Safe Mode.

Step 1: Either Press ‘Windows key + R’ to open the Run app. Then type in ‘msconfig.exe’ in Run before clicking ‘OK’ to open it.

Open System Configuration Tool using Run

Or, the easier way is to just search for the ‘System Configuration Tool’ in Cortana and open it.

Step 2: In the System Configuration tool, click on the ‘Boot’ tab.

Boot tab in System Configuration Tool

Step 3: In the lower left-hand corner, you’ll see the sub-menu for Boot Options. Click on ‘Safe boot’ and ‘Minimal.

Select Safe boot with minimal options

You’ll be prompted to confirm your settings, then simply restart your PC to boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode automatically.

When finished with your diagnostics, you’ll want to head back to the tool to turn off Safe Boot to boot into Windows 10 normally. Well, when you open System Configuration Tool in Safe Mode to boot normally, just uncheck the Safe boot checkbox.

3. Use Windows Settings to Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Windows Settings app can help your Windows 10 start in Safe Mode only if you can log in to the system.

Step 1: Open ‘Settings’ by pressing ‘Windows key + I.’

Step 2: Go to ‘Recovery’ from the left panel. Under ‘Advanced startup’, click on ‘Restart now.’

Restart the PC in Advanced startup

Step 3: Once the PC boots and you see ‘Choose an option’ screen, navigate to ‘Troubleshoot’ ➜ ‘Advanced options’ ➜ ‘Startup Settings.’

Step 4: On the Startup Settings, click on ‘Restart.’

Step 5: Press ‘F4’ to ‘Enable Safe Mode.’

You can restart the system normally to exit Safe Mode after diagnosis.

4. Use Command Prompt to Make Windows 10 Boot in Safe Mode

If you are comfortable with command prompt, then you can use it to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. You can escape the advanced startup screen and also avoid making any specific changes in the msconfig with a single command.

Step 1: Type ‘cmd’ in the start menu. Right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu.

Step 2: Execute the command mentioned below in the Command Prompt

bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal

When you see the operation is completed, restart your system. The PC will boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

Well, this command makes your computer start in Safe Mode every time you start the PC. To boot in normal mode again, you can use command prompt or msconfig. You can disable Safe Mode by using System Configuration, as mentioned above.

To use the command prompt, execute bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot using the admin rights.

5. Use Windows Recovery Environment to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Using Windows Recovery Environment can be your savior when you cannot log in to the system and wish to diagnose the issue. You can enter Safe Mode with Windows Recovery Environment to rectify the faults.

Step 1: Firstly, turn off your system by pressing the hardware Power button.

Step 2: Once the system is off, press the Power button again to turn it on. When you see the startup logo, hit the Power Button again to shut the system down.

Repeat this step for 2 more times or until you see the ‘Preparing Automatic Repair’ screen.

Preparing Automatic Repair

The next screen will be ‘Diagnosing your PC.’

Diagnosing your PC

Step 3: On the ‘Automatic Repair Screen’, click on ‘Advanced options.

Click on Advanced options

Step 4: From the next screen, go to ‘Troubleshoot’ ➜ ‘Advanced options’ ➜ ‘Startup Settings.’

Step 5: Click ‘Restart’ on the Startup Settings screen and then press ‘F4’ to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode.

Once the diagnosis is done, you can restart your PC. It will boot in normal mode.

6. Use F8 to Boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10

The Shift + F8 worked amazingly till Windows 7. However, since Windows 8, Microsoft has had a fast boot process. The booting is so fast that any command given during the booting is not taken by Windows 10.

However, if you still wish to start in Safe Mode of Windows 10 using F8, then you can try this command prompt trick.

Step 1: Open ‘Command Prompt’ as an administrator.

Step 2: Type the below-mentioned command and press ‘Enter’ to execute it.

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

Step 3: Restart your PC and press ‘F8’ before the system starts.

Step 4: Select ‘Safe Mode’ using the up-down arrow and hit ‘Enter.’

Select Safe Mode

Your PC will boot in Safe Mode. Once done you can restart Windows 10 to boot in normal mode. If you wish to change the settings and don’t wish to enter Safe Mode using F8, then execute the command mentioned below.

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

Now pressing F8 when the system restarts, and you will not enter the Safe Mode.

7. Use a Recovery Media or Drive to Boot Into Safe Mode

If you created a bootable drive to use as recovery media, you can often boot into Safe Mode from it if you can’t get into it any other way after a computer crash.

Depending on your system’s boot structure, you may need to dive into your BIOS to change the boot order. Those instructions will vary from computer to computer, so refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for booting into the BIOS and for changing the boot order.

Once your boot order is changed, pop in your recovery drive or media, and follow the instructions for the Shift + Restart way to boot into Safe Mode starting from the Troubleshoot menu.

Related: Check out guide to disable secure boot in the BIOS if you need to.


Safe Mode is a crucial way to troubleshoot issues in Windows. If you’re not familiar with Safe Mode, we recommend getting to know how it works and what it can do.

After all, you invested in a Windows 10 PC, why not learn how to do basic troubleshooting? Save yourself the frustration of having to pay for help for straightforward problems.

(Article updated on 6th August 2020)