How To Restart Windows 11/10 in Safe Mode

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To restart Windows 10 in Safe Mode, there are several methods you can use. Each method is suited to different scenarios, depending on whether you can access Windows normally, only reach the sign-in screen, or if you’re dealing with a black or blank screen.

1. From the Sign-In Screen

If you cannot open Settings but can reach the sign-in screen:

  1. Press and Hold Shift: While holding down the Shift key, select Power > Restart.
  2. Navigate the Options:
    1. After the PC restarts, go to Troubleshoot.
    2. Select Advanced options.
    3. Choose Startup Settings.
    4. Click Restart.
  3. Choose Safe Mode:
    • Select option 4 or F4 to start in Safe Mode.
    • Or select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking if you need internet access.

2. From a Black or Blank Screen

If your screen is black or blank:

  1. Power Cycle:
    1. Turn off your device by holding the power button for 10 seconds.
    2. Turn it on and off again twice more, allowing it to start and then turning it off as soon as the Windows logo appears.
    3. On the third restart, let the device boot into the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).
  2. Access Safe Mode:
    1. In WinRE, choose Troubleshoot.
    2. Select Advanced options.
    3. Choose Startup Settings.
    4. Click Restart.
    5. Select option 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

3. From Settings

If you can access Windows:

  1. Open Settings:
    • Press Windows logo key + I.
    • Alternatively, go to Start > Settings.
  2. Navigate to Recovery:
    1. Select Update & Security.
    2. Click on Recovery.
  3. Advanced Startup:
    • Click on Restart now under Advanced startup.
  4. Choose Safe Mode:
    1. After the restart, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
    2. Select option 4 or F4 for Safe Mode.
    3. For internet access, choose 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

4. Using Windows Setup

If you have a Windows 10 setup DVD or USB:

  1. Boot from Setup Media:
    • Insert the DVD or USB and boot your PC from it.
    • Select your language and keyboard layout.
    • Click “Repair your computer” at the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Command Prompt Method:
    1. On the “Advanced options” screen, choose Command Prompt.
    2. Type bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
    3. Restart your PC, and it will boot into Safe Mode.

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5. Using a Recovery Drive

If you can create a system recovery USB drive:

  1. Boot from the Recovery Drive:
    • Insert the USB drive and boot from it.
    • Choose your keyboard layout when prompted.
  2. Access Safe Mode:
    1. On the “Choose an option” screen, select Troubleshoot.
    2. Go to Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
    3. Press 4 or F4 for Safe Mode, or 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

6. System Configuration (msconfig.exe)

If you can log into Windows:

  1. Open System Configuration:
    • Search for “system configuration” in the taskbar search.
    • Click or tap the System Configuration shortcut.
  2. Safe Boot Option:
    • In the Boot tab, check the “Safe boot” option.
    • Click OK.
  3. Restart:
    • Select “Restart” to boot your PC into Safe Mode.

7. Shift + Restart on Start Menu

Another simple method:

  1. Use the Start Menu:
    • Hold the Shift key.
    • While holding Shift, click the Start button, then Power, followed by Restart.
  2. Access Troubleshoot:
    • After the PC restarts, select Troubleshoot.
  3. Select Safe Mode:
    • Choose Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
    • Press 4 or F4 for Safe Mode, or 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

Exiting Safe Mode

To exit Safe Mode, just restart your PC normally. If your PC keeps booting into Safe Mode:

  1. Use System Configuration:
    • Open System Configuration by searching for “system configuration” in the taskbar search.
    • Uncheck the “Safe boot” option under the Boot tab.
    • Click OK and restart your PC.

Important Notes

  • Safe Mode Variants:
    • Safe Mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services.
    • Safe Mode with Networking includes network drivers and services needed to access the internet and other computers on your network.
    • Safe Mode with Command Prompt starts Windows in Safe Mode with a Command Prompt window instead of the regular Windows interface.
  • Troubleshooting: Safe Mode is used for troubleshooting. If a problem doesn’t occur in Safe Mode, it’s likely not caused by default settings or basic device drivers.
  • Data Safety: Generally, using Safe Mode does not lead to data loss. However, it’s always good practice to back up important data regularly.

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