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How to enable test mode in Windows 10

Windows is the most popular and widely used operating system in the world. Indeed, millions of users rely on Microsoft’s operating system. This fact is largely due to its wide compatibility with software, drivers, peripherals, etc. Despite being questioned for its security, we must recognize its efforts to improve this aspect. Therefore, together with the Secure Boot of UEFI systems, the installation of unsigned drivers is prevented. This prevents the installation of drivers that have not been verified by the company. It may be that, for special reasons, we need to install such drivers on our computer. With this intention, the Windows test mode works. Through it, it will be possible to bypass the ban and install unsigned drivers. Read on to find out how to enable test mode in Windows 10.

What is the test mode in Windows 10

Windows does not allow the installation of unsigned drivers or software. This is to prevent them from accessing the operating system kernel. With this in mind, it uses security measures such as UEFI and Secure Boot. Consequently, it aims to maximize the security and integrity of the operating system. Therefore, this mode may be useful to application and software developers. However, the home user may end up putting the security of their private data at risk.

Consequently, it is best to activate this temporary mode. To be able to run apps that are not signed or have not been verified by Microsoft. This mode is especially useful for users who need to perform certain tests on software and drivers not approved by Microsoft. Once enabled, a watermark appears on the right side of the screen. This mark indicates that the test mode is enabled. Therefore, if you have consciously enabled it, then there is no problem. On the contrary, if you have not enabled it, then it is best not to use it. Our recommendation would be to disable it. In this way, we avoid installing drivers or software that are not signed.

Ways to enable test mode in Windows 10

One of the ways to enable the test mode is through the command prompt. With this in mind, press the Win+Q combination and in the search bar enter CMD. Please run the command prompt as administrator.

Opening a command prompt as administrator.
Opening a command prompt as administrator.
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Now, inside the command prompt, please run the following command:

bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING ON
Enabling test mode in Windows 10
Enabling test mode in Windows 10

Once executed, a message will be displayed informing that it has been successfully activated. From here, we only have to restart the system. If all goes well, then we will see the watermark in the lower-right corner of the screen. Please note that if Secure Boot is enabled, then this mode will not be available. In any case, using this command will not work. On the other hand, if it is disabled, we will have no problem enabling Test Mode and being able to install unsigned software and drivers on the computer.

From the advanced startup menu

We can also enable this mode from the Test Mode. For this, it is necessary to start from the Advanced Mode. With this in mind, press the Win+I combination to go to Windows Settings. Once there, click on Update & Security. Once there, in the menu on the left, scroll down to Recovery. Now, in the left column, click on Restart Now.

Starting the advanced startup mode
Starting the advanced startup mode

Next, the computer will restart, then click on Troubleshoot. Then select Startup Settings. From the available options, select Disable driver signature enforcement. Then click on Restart.

Enabling test mode from Windows 10
Enabling test mode from Windows 10

From now on, if we install unsigned drivers, a warning will appear informing us of the consequences of installing this type of drivers.

How to disable test mode in Windows 10

As long as we have the Test Mode activated, every time we restart Windows, we will continue being in it. Therefore, when it is no longer necessary, then we must deactivate it. This way, we will return to the original Windows mode. Once again, we will open a command prompt with administrator privileges. Now, run the following command:

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF
Disabling test mode in Windows 10
Disabling test mode in Windows 10

Please wait for the confirmation message on the console. Subsequently, just reboot the system. As you can see, it now starts in normal mode. However, the system incorporates those unsecured drivers that you have installed.

Error message appears

Some users have reported an error message stating that Windows requires special permissions to disable Test Mode. In such a case, from a CMD with administrator privileges, run the following:

Bcdedit.exe -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS

Afterwards, type this other command and press Enter:

Bcdedit.exe -set TESTSIGNING OFF

Once this is done, the message indicating that the operation was successful should appear. Consequently, when the PC is restarted, the test mode should be removed. Okay, at the end of the day, we have seen how to enable test mode in Windows 10. From now on, you can test or run those apps that Windows does not allow. See you later!


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