Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode of the Windows operating system including on Windows 10. It is a troubleshooting tool intended to fix many problems that you encounter when you run the operating system and may help you perform operations that you cannot perform under the default system.
Has your Windows 10 PC ever acted on you when in the middle of a major project? It can be so frustrating that one might consider buying a new machine! Some users have even ended up paying heftily for a repair.
What if the issue on the computer is something you can fix? Yes, with a little know-how, you can easily fix some of the common Windows 10 Operating System problems.
In safe mode, only the necessary programs and drivers are started. It helps troubleshoot problems that could be preventing some of the installed drivers to run properly, or preventing Windows from starting.
If for example, your computer crashes at startup because of a program you installed knowingly or was installed or updated unknowingly; then Safe Mode could just be your savior! But how do you boot into Safe Mode?
In earlier versions of the Windows Operating Systems before Windows 10, to get into Safe Mode, you only had to press F8 in the startup phase of the PC - just before the 0perating System starts loading.
In Windows 10, the F8 key does not work that well anymore because Windows boots too fast. While you can still be lucky and enter the Safe Mode on a Windows 10 machine by hammering on the key, chances are not too good as you have a fraction of a second to get it right.
Here are different ways to boot into Safe Mode on your Windows 10 PC.
If your computer can boot and you can sign in correctly, then follow these steps:
If your PC can boot up correctly, up to the sign-in screen, then follow these steps to boot into safe mode.
If your PC fails to start correctly, then there could be a problem with the Operating System or some drivers preventing the boot process. Good thing though, booting into recovery mode is automatic.
If your PC fails to load the necessary configuration more than two times, the system automatically loads the Windows RE (Recovery Environment).
Using the System Configuration tool could probably be the easiest method because it restarts Windows 10 into Safe Mode automatically without going through the Recovery screens.
But remember you will have to change the configurations to prevent your system from always booting into Safe Mode.
Also, this is only possible if your computer can start up normally. Otherwise, you will need to use one of the procedures discussed earlier. Follow these steps.
After you are done troubleshooting in Safe Mode, you have to change the configurations to Normal Startup. Start the system configuration tool as you did in step 1 above. From the General tab, choose "Normal Startup" and then press OK.
The system will prompt you to Restart. After clicking Restart, your PC will restart normally and boot into Windows.
There are three Safe Mode options:
1. Windows 10 Safe Mode
The standard safe mode that starts windows with only the drivers and programs necessary to load the operating system. If you are only having a problem with Windows and you do not need to access the Internet or your local network, then choose this option.
2. Windows 10 Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Networking includes all the drivers and programs as the standard Safe Mode, and adds those necessary for the networking services to work. If you are having a problem with drivers and you expect to download driver software, or you think you might need to follow up some guides on the internet, then choose this option.
3. Windows 10 Safe Mode with Command Prompt
This is more like the standard safe mode, only that Command Prompt is loaded as the default user interface instead of Explorer. If you've tried safe mode and features like desktop, start screen or taskbar haven't loaded properly, then choose this option.
Is your computer stuck in safe mode? It could probably be as a result of not changing System Configurations back to Normal as explained in Method 4 above. While in Safe Mode, follow these steps to edit configurations so that your computer can boot normally.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.