How to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Safe Mode in Windows 10

You have three options to access Safe mode in Windows 10; via Settings, the Welcome sign-in screen, or from a black or blank screen using your PC’s power button.
Safe Mode from Settings
In order to access Safe Mode from Settings, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to be taken directly to Settings. If your computer does not have the Windows logo key, you can go to the Start button and select the gear cog icon to go to Settings.
  2. Choose Update & Security > Recovery
  3. Under Advanced startups, select Restart now.
  4. After you Windows 10 PC restarts, you will be taken to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  5. Once your Windows 10 PC restarts, you will be given a list of options. From here, press F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode, press F5 to start your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

Applies to All Windows 10 Versions

Microsoft Support uses Safe Mode in Windows 10 for troubleshooting issues you might be having with Windows 10. By starting your PC in Safe Mode, you start Windows 10 in a bare-bones state, often limiting the number of files and drivers available to you. If you experience an issue in Windows 10 and put your PC in Safe Mode, you’ll be able to rule out the issue being caused by default settings and basic device drivers.

Windows 10 has its own Troubleshooting tool, but it is not always accurate and you might have to do more research if the issue you are experiencing is due to an edit in the Windows Registry or by using a third-party program. There are two versions of Safe mode in Windows 10; Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking. The only difference between the two being that Safe Mode with Networking includes the required network drivers and services you need to access the Internet or access other computers on your WiFi.

You have three options to access Safe mode in Windows 10; via Settings, the Welcome sign-in screen, or from a black or blank screen using your PC’s power button.

Safe Mode from Settings

Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows,
In order to access Safe Mode from Settings, here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to be taken directly to Settings. If your computer does not have the Windows logo key, you can go to the Start button and select the gear cog icon to go to Settings.
2. Choose Update & Security > Recovery.
3. Under Advanced startup, select Restart now.
Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows
4. After you Windows 10 PC restarts, you will be taken to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

5. Once your Windows 10 PC restarts, you will be given a list of options. From here, press F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode, press F5 to start your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe mode from the sign-in screen

Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows, Startup

From the sign-in screen, you can access the same menu that you accessed by starting Safe Mode from Settings:
1. Restart your Windows 10 PC from the sign-in screen by holding down either Shift key (left or right) while simultaneously selecting the Power button and choosing Restart in the lower right-hand corner of the sign-in screen.
2. After your PC restarts, you will be taken to the same Choose an option screen as shown before.
Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
3. Once your Windows 10 PC restarts, you will be given a list of options. From here, press F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode, press F5 to start your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe Mode from a black or blank screen

Please note: If Bitlocker is on, you will need to have your Bitlocker ID key to start your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode.
In order to start your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode from a blank or black screen, you will need to first enter the Windows Recovery Environment (winRE). You will need to be able to turn your device off 3 times and on 3 times. When you power up your PC the third time, your PC should enter winRE automatically.
Now that you are in winRE, follow the same steps that you followed to enter Safe Mode with Networking:
1. On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
2. After your Windows 10 PC restarts, press F5 to start your PC in Safe Mode with Networking.

When encountering a black or blank screen, you need Safe Mode with Networking because you need to access the Internet to troubleshoot and get to the root of the issue. If you are unable to get to the root of the issue, you may need to download and install Windows 10 again. That is the reason you need Safe Mode with Networking instead of just Safe Mode.

Get out of Safe Mode

If you want to get out of Safe Mode in Windows 10, here’s what you need to do:

1. Press the Windows logo key + R, or enter “Run” in the Start Menu.

Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows, Startup
2. Type “msconfig” in the Run open box and press Enter (or click OK).

Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows, Startup
3. Select the Boot tab.

Microsoft Windows 10, Settings, Windows, Startup
4. Under Boot options, clear the Safe boot checkbox.

5. Click OK to apply the changes.

For more advanced Windows 10 users, the way to get out of Safe Mode in Windows 10 is also an easy way to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10. However, you will need to know your BitLocker key in order to use this option to enter Safe Mode. So it might not be the most practical way to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10.

Share This
Further reading: , , , , , ,