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How to Boot in Safe Mode in Windows 10

One of the ways to troubleshoot a Windows computer is to boot it in safe mode. According to Microsoft, you can pinpoint what is wrong with your computer by observing how it performs in safe mode. Specifically, if the problem doesn’t persist in safe mode, it means the computer’s default settings and basic drivers aren’t causing the problem. If you’re having trouble with your PC, and you want to fix it, here’s a guide on how to boot in safe mode in Windows 10. 

What is Safe Mode? 

Safe Mode is your operating system’s diagnostic mode. When your computer is in safe mode, only essential programs and services will run. That means you can’t access third-party software or drivers. This can help you find and fix any problems with your operating system. 

How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode from the Sign-in Screen

  1. Open the start menu. You can do this by clicking the button in the lower-left corner of your screen that is shaped like the Windows logo.
  2. Press and hold the Shift key while clicking Restart. This will cause your PC to restart in Windows Recovery Environment (winRE). You will see a blue screen with Choose an Option at the top. 
    windows 10 shift restart 1
  3. Select Troubleshoot.
    Choose an option
  4. Then click Advanced options.
    advanced options
  5. Click Startup Settings. If you do not see this option, click see more recovery options at the bottom of your screen.
    startup options
  6. Then click Restart. 
    Startup settings screen
  7. When you see the Startup Settings screen, press the F4 or 4 key. If you need to go online while in safe mode, press F5. 
How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode from the Sign-in Screen

Once you do this, your computer will start in safe mode. You can tell you’re in safe mode if you see a message at the top of your screen and your resolution is diminished. ‘

Once you are in safe mode, you can uninstall software, scan for malware, update your drivers, or run a system restore to fix any issues.


How to Boot in Safe Mode in Windows 10 from Settings

  1. Open the start menu and click Settings. This is the gear-shaped icon just above the power button.
    Settings 1
  2. Click on Update & Security.
    Update and Security
  3. Then click Recovery. You will find this in the left sidebar.
  4. Under Advanced Startup, press Restart Now. Your PC will restart, and you will see a Choose an Option screen. 
    advenced startup
  5. In the boot recovery menu, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  6. Finally, press the F4 or 4 key when you see the Startup Settings screen.

How to Boot in Safe Mode from a Black Screen 

If you are having problems signing in to your computer, you can boot in safe mode by interrupting the startup process three times. Here are the steps how: 

  1. Press your computer’s power button to turn your PC on.
  2. While Windows is starting, hold down the power button again for at least 4 seconds. It is important to wait until you see your computer trying to start up. In many cases, you should wait until you see a spinning wheel or progress bar.
  3. Repeat this process of turning your computer on and off with the power button 3 times.
  4. The 4th time your computer starts, it will boot into Automatic Repair. You might be asked to select an account and enter your password.
  5. If your computer has a problem, click Advanced options.
    sutomatic repair
  6. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  7. Finally, press the F4 or 4 key when you see the Startup Settings screen.
10 off techSupport

How to Turn Off Safe Mode 

  1. Press the Windows key + R. 
  2. In the Open box, type msconfig.
  3. Press OK.
  4. Select the Boot tab.
  5. Uncheck the Safe boot box under Boot options. 
How to Turn Off Safe Mode

If you are still experiencing issues, you might have to learn how to factory reset your Windows 10 computer. Check out our previous article by clicking the link to find out more.

Updated on December 24, 2021

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