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Mel K
LInux Guru and Technical Writer

How to start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10?

Safe mode facilitates troubleshooting and has many other applications. When in safe mode, the computer uses only the basic settings, a limited set of files, drivers and services. In case of a problem, this allows you to identify whether or not there’s an issue with the default/basic settings of your Personal Computer (PC).

There are two types of Safe modes:

  1. Safe Mode.
  2. Safe Mode with Networking.

The difference between these two modes is that the latter (Safe mode with Networking) allows access to Internet by enabling network services and drivers.

You can boot up your PC in a number of ways. Here are two of the most common and simple ways to do so:

  1. Using “Shift” + “Restart”.
  2. System Configuration Tool (msconfig.exe).
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  1. Using “Shift” + “Restart”

This is a pretty simple and conventional method of accessing safe mode. Here’s how you do it:

  • Tap on the “Start Menu” button, then click the power button and then hover your mouse over the “Restart” option.
  • Hold the “Shift” key and left click the “Restart” option.

Note: You can also do this process from the Power button in the Sign-in screen.

This will reboot/restart your PC. After restarting, a blue screen will appear displaying three options:

  1. Continue: Exit and continue to Windows 10.
  2. Troubleshoot: Reset your PC or see advanced options.
  3. Turn off your PC.

Click on “Troubleshoot: Reset your PC or see advanced options”. This will display the “Troubleshoot screen” with two options:

  1. Reset this PC: Lets you choose to keep or remove your personal files, and then reinstalls Windows.
  2. Advanced Options.

Click on “Advanced Options” from this menu and this will lead you to the “Advanced Options” page. This page will display a number of options. Find and left click “Startup Settings” to access the “Startup Settings” page.

This page will display a number list which will also contain: “Enable Safe mode”; “Enable Safe mode with Networking” and “Enable Safe mode with Command prompt”. You can press the respective number of the option to boot the PC in your desired mode.

2. System Configuration Tool (msconfig.exe)

This is a rather simple way to access your desired PC mode. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press “Windows + R” to open the “Run” window.
  2. In the dialog box type “msconfig.exe” and press “Enter”.
  3. This will open up the System Configuration Tool.
  4. In this window, left click the “Boot” tab.
  5. Under “Boot Options”, in the lower end of the window, check the “Safe Mode” by left clicking the checkbox.
  6. After you’ve done that, click “Ok”.

Once you click “Ok”, a window will pop up asking you to either “Restart now” or “Exit without Restart”. If you choose to restart immediately, your system will reboot into Safe mode.


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