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How to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10

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Getting to safe mode in Windows 10 is easy, but slightly different than previous versions of Windows. This is mostly due to how fast Windows 10 boots, so it’s too fast for the normal f8 or shift+f8 method of getting into safe mode. This is especially true with the new UEFI, and the incredible speed of solid state hard drives.

There are a few easy ways to do this, depending on if your operating system can boot or not. If you can get to the Windows desktop, you can set it to boot from safe mode easily there, otherwise you will have to use the advanced startup options in the boot repair, and if it is not booting to even this point (although then it likely won’t even be able to get to safe mode) you may have to use external boot media to force it to boot to safe mode.

So if your system does boot, the easiest way to set your pc to boot to safe mode is to go into the system configuration options. To get there, either search for System Configuration, or go to the start menu, choose All apps, scroll all the way to the bottom, open the Windows Administration Tools folder, and choose the System Configuration option.

Windows 10 boot configuration options

In the window that pops up, choose the boot tab at the top. As long as you aren’t doing any fancy dual booting or anything, it will look like the image below. If you do have more options, make sure you select your operating system before changing the boot options. In the window, just choose the Safe Boot option, and then if you need internet in safe mode, choose the network radio button at the bottom. The alternate shell and Active Directory repair options would be for more advanced users in specific situations.

Using internet in safe mode in Windows 10

Once you have done this and hit ok, it will ask you if you want to reboot immediately into safe mode, or just safe and reboot later, but at this point, after you restart the computer it will boot into safe mode instead of normal Windows 10.

Once, you are in safe mode and have completed what you needed safe mode for, simply go back into the system configuration with the same steps as before, and deselect the safe boot check box. Then the next time you boot, it will be into normal mode.

If your computer won’t boot, you can still set it to boot into safe mode, as long as you are getting startup repair on boot (this should happen if Windows 10 fails to boot more than once in a row). At the window shown below, just select See advanced repair options.

Startup Recovery Options Windows 10 repair

This will bring you to the next screen, asking you to choose an option. Here choose Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 booting troubleshoot options

Then at the next screen choose Advanced Options

WIndows 10 Advanced boot options

Finally, you have the option here for startup options (I have no idea why they make this so many steps)

Windows 10 choose how to boot

Here hit restart, and then on the next boot it will give you the option to boot into safe mode.

Finally, you can choose the option you want for safe mode. Just hit the function key for the start option you want (F1 for Enable Debugging, F2 for Boot Logging, F3 for Low Resolution Video, F4 for normal safe mode, F5 for safe mode with internet, F6 for Safe Mode command prompt, F7 to disable Driver Signature enforcement which can temporarily fix some Windows 10 driver problems, F8 to disable early malware detection, and F9 to disable automatic restart for Windows 10)

Press F5 for Windows 10 Safe Boot with Internet

If Windows 10 will not even boot to the startup repair, you will need to create boot media (A CD or USB flash drive with Windows 10 installed on it) that you can boot off of. I have a tutorial on how to do that here:

THen you can follow the same steps here for a non-bootable Windows 10 (after you boot off the external media, you will get the same options as the startup repair)

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