How to boot into safe mode in Windows 11

Shaant Minhas

Updated on:

windows boot up

Has something gone wacky in your Windows? No problem, we’d understand. After all, for all its improvements over the past decade, the Windows OS is not invulnerable from abrupt bugs.

Booting your Windows into safe mode can perhaps help you get rid of the problem. In this short article, we cover the best ways to do that. So let’s dive in.

How to boot in safe mode in Windows 11?

Safe mode is a way to boot your PC with a minimal number of drivers and  programs. The basic idea behind the concept is this: If a problem doesn’t persist in Safe mode, then your drivers and default settings are probably doing fine, and the bug lies somewhere else.

In other words, booting your Windows 11 in safe mode helps you hone in on the pulse of the underlying issue, or at least chuck the suspicion off of usual suspects. Now, you can boot your PC into safe mode in two ways: You can either go with Safe Mode, or choose Safe Mode in Networking. What’s the difference between the two? Not much. In Safe Mode with Networking, you simply keep the drivers necessary to access the internet.

So with that out the way, let’s get into the exact methods to boot your PC in safe mode.

1. Start menu

Placed right at the center of your screen, the Start menu is the quickest way to boot your Windows 11 in safe mode. Here’s how:

  • Click on the Start menu button and, while holding the shift key, click on Restart.
  • Your PC will be restarted.
  • On the next screen, click on Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings.
  • You will be taken to the Startup Settings menu. From here, click on the Restart button from the bottom-right corner.

startup settings

Finally, select the type of safe mode you’d like to go with. As per the on-screen instructions, press F4, F5, or F6.

windows startup settings

As soon you do that, your Windows 11 will be booted into safe mode.

Related: How to customize your Start menu in Windows 11

2. Boot into safe mode through Windows Settings

Another popular method to boot into Windows 11 is through the Settings app. Here’s how:

  1. First, launch the Settings app by pressing the Windows key + I together. From there, go to the System tab, and select Recovery.
  2. Under the Recovery options section, click on Restart now. A dialog box will pop open to confirm the restart—click on Restart now to go ahead.

windows restart
Your PC will be restarted in a few seconds, and it will once again boot up to the options we saw in the first section. You’ve to follow the same procedure here as well.

3. Command Prompt

Can’t boot your Windows 11 with either of the above methods? Don’t panic, there’s a sleek workaround that can help you boot your Windows 11 in safe mode. Yes, it’s the familiar Command prompt. To boot your PC in safe mode through Command prompt, simply follow the steps below:

  1. First off, launch the Command prompt. Go to Start menu search bar, type in “cmd,” and select the best match.
  2. In the cmd, type in the following command and hit Enter:
    Shutdown.exe /r /o

windows command prompt

As soon as you hit Enter, you’ll get a new dialog box informing you about the reboot. On the next boot up, you’ll be at the troubleshooting screen again. Head to Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings.

From here, click on Restart and click on F4, F5 or F6, depending on the type of safe mode you’d like to boot into.

The best ways to boot Windows 11 in safe mode

So these were some of the quickest ways to boot into safe mode in your Windows 11. Considering how handy it comes when you’re looking to troubleshoot your PC, it can be beneficial to remember at least one of these methods. Hopefully, you successfully got your Windows booted into safe mode with one of these methods.