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4 Different ways to start windows 11 in safe mode (explained)

Booting Windows 11 in Safe mode start your computer with most of its nonessential features disabled. It starts your compute with just the basic files and drivers it needs to run. If Windows 11 won’t start normally or your computer isn’t running smoothly It could be instability issue with the operating system or a problem with the driver or something else. Whatever the reason, starting windows 11 in safe mode help you narrow down what’s causing the problem. Here is how to boot in safe mode and exit it when you are done.


What is the safe mode?

Safe mode is a Windows feature, designed to help you troubleshoot computer problems. When you boot in safe mode, this will start windows in its most basic form. It uses only absolutely essential files and drivers that need to boot or start your computer. And many other non-necessary drivers or services such as video drivers, sound, third-party startup programs are disabled from loading.

With help of safe mode boot, you can identify if it’s the Windows default settings and driver causing the misbehaving of your computer. Also, help diagnose if it’s the installation of poorly configured software/programs that prevent your PC from booting in a normal state. Safe mode also allows you to safely remove buggy problems, diagnose hardware conflicts or driver issues and more.

Safe mode is categorized into three types

  1. Safe mode: This will start windows with minimum drivers and no third-party apps are loaded.

  2. safe mode with networking: windows start with basic drivers, but the Network driver will be loaded, which allow you to connect to the Internet while in the safe mode.

  3. Safe mode with command prompt: No windows GUI, only command prompt will be launched, its especially used for advanced troubleshooting by users.

How to boot into safe mode in windows 11?

If you are having issues with your Windows 11 PC one of the best ways to help troubleshoot the issue is to boot into Safe Mode. There are many ways to enter Safe Mode in Windows 11, but here are the three easiest.

Using the Settings app

  1. First, search for ‘Settings’ in the Start Menu and click on the relevant search Or Press Windows key + I to open the Settings app,

  2. Click on the system then scroll down on the right and select the ‘Recovery’ option.

  3. Here Under the “Advanced startup” section, click the Restart now button.

windows 11 advanced options
  1. Again click on the restart now button followed by troubleshoot option then advaned options.

  2. Next click the startup settings option then the restart button.

Advanced options

Choose one of the Safe Mode environments to start Windows 11, including:

  1. Enable Safe Mode.

  2. Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

  3. Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

safe mode Windows 11
  1. For example press F4 to start windows in safe mode or F5 to start windows in safe mode with networking.

Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode via Power options

  1. Click the Start button and then click the Power button on the lower-right corner.

  2. Now hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click Restart at the same time.

Important Note: You must be holding down the Shift key on your keyboard and clicking Restart simultaneously.

windows 11 start shift restart
  1. When your computer comes back, you will see the following menu. Select Troubleshoot from the first menu.

  2. Then go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings and from the following screen, select the Restart button

  3. Now select which Safe Mode environment you want to start Windows 11 in. You can use the Numbers or Function keys to make your selection. Choose between

F4 to Enable Safe Mode F5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking F6 to Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Note: Use “Networking” or “Command Prompt” if you want additional options while troubleshooting your PC.

Start Safe Mode by pressing F8 at startup

Older Windows 7 allows access to the advanced boot options menu by pressing the F8 key and from where you can access the safe mode. But on Windows 8 and later, the F8 key method doesn’t work by default. You have to manually enable it.

  1. Open command prompt as administrator,

  2. Type bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy and press enter key

  3. Close everything and reboot your PC

  4. Now when your PC starts booting, press the F8 key repeatedly until the advaned boot options menu display.

  5. And from here use the down arrow key to locate safe mode or safe mode with networking then press enter key.

windows 7 safe mode boot option

Boot Into Safe Mode from MSCONFIG

Also, you can use the msconfig utility to boot into safe mode in windows 11.

  1. Press Windows key + R, type msconfig and press enter key,

  2. The system configuration window opens, click the Boot tab at the top.

  3. Then, under the “Boot options” section, check Safe boot and click OK. Or you can select the Network option to boot Windows 11 with networking support.

Safe mode boot
  1. Click apply then ok and reboot your computer to start windows 11 in safe mode.

  2. To exit safe mode again open system configuration using msconfig the uncheck safe boot under boot options.

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