How to Enter Safe Mode

How to boot in Safe Mode

Usually, when troubleshooting a certain software problem, users are advised to do it in Safe Mode. Most of our guides require booting into Safe Mode as their first step so do not overlook this aspect of fixing your issue. The following instruction manual will show you how to boot your PC into Safe Mode for Windows XP, 7, 8/8.1 and 10.

Basically, when in Safe Mode, only the most essential of processes are being ran on your PC. Anything that is not necessary for the normal functioning of Windows is left out. This allows you to work with a much more stable system since any harmful, unwanted or problematic process are stopped and not allowed to ran and potentially cause your PC to become unstable or even crash. 

Windows XP/7

  1. Shut down your computer and start it back again.
  2. Before Windows begins to load, start spamming the F8* key from your keyboard within one second intervals.
  3. The boot menu should appear. If you don’t make it the first time, try the same thing over and over again until you get to the boot menu.
  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the option labeled Safe Mode with Networking.
  5. Hit Enter and your PC will load into Safe Mode.

Windows 8/8.1

  1. Open your Start Menu and in the search field type Control Panel.
  2. Open the first result and go to Administrative Tools > System Configuration.
  3. Tick the Safe Boot option and then select Networking.
  4. Now click on Restart and your computer should boot into Safe Mode – you will now be able to troubleshoot the issue you’re currently dealing with in a less unstable environment.

Windows 10

  1. Open the Start Menu and go to Settings > Update and Security > Recovery.
  2. Under Advanced Startup click on Restart Now and wait for the PC to restart.
  3. Once the Choose Option screen appears, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
  4. Using the keyboard number keys, highlight the Enable Safe Mode with Networking option and then hit Enter to boot into Safe Mode.

* Note that depending on what brand and model your PC or laptop is, the boot key might vary. In most cases, the boot key is either F8 or F2 but there’s always the chance that it is some other key. The best way to find out what your computer’s boot key is would be to look it up – search for the exact model of your machine in order to be sure about which key it is. If even after that you are still unable to get to the boot menu, you can always request our help by telling us in the comments down below what the exact issue is.

About the author


Boris' main task on TinySoftware is to keep an eye out for the latest cyber threats, software news and technology trends and then turn those into articles for this site. In his articles, he seeks to present the collected information in a way that would be easy to understand by the regular user allowing everyone to learn more about the each of the topics that he covers on TinySoftware.

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