How to Boot a Windows 10 Device in Safe Mode

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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Safe Mode in Windows 10 lets you troubleshoot and fix issues when Windows isn't working as expected. In this article, we will walk through the steps to boot your Windows 10 device into Safe Mode from different states.

We'll also cover Command Prompts for Safe Mode and discuss scenarios when booting into Safe Mode is useful.


How to Boot a Windows 10 Device in Safe Mode

Depending on the state of your device, there are several ways to boot your Windows 10 device in Safe Mode:


  • If your device does not boot properly, to enter safe mode, you can connect a bootable USB drive or insert a recovery DVD.
  • If your device shows a blank screen on startup, you can enter safe mode by entering the Windows Recovery Environment command “winRE”.

If your device started successfully:

  • You can access safe mode from the login screen or from "Settings".
  • You can enter “bcdedit /set” through the command prompt.

How to Boot Windows 10 Safe Mode Using a USB Drive or Bootable Disc

If your Windows 10 PC won't boot, you can start it in Safe Mode using a bootable USB drive or recovery DVD. Do this:

  1. Make sure your computer is on and running the Windows 10 desktop.
  2. Connect your USB drive or insert your DVD into your computer.
  3. Select the "Start" button and click the power icon to see shutdown options.
  4. Long press the “Shift” key and select “Restart”.
  5. After your computer restarts, the "Advanced Boot Options" screen will appear.
  6. Select “Use device”.
  7. Click on the USB or Recovery DVD you want to boot from, then your PC will restart using your selection.

How to Boot Windows 10 Safe Mode Using a Command Prompt Command

Next, we will show the commands to enter in the command prompt to enter safe mode, enter safe mode with networking, and enter safe mode with command prompt.



  1. On your keyboard press the “Win” + “R” keys together to launch the “Run command” window.
  2. In the command window, type “cmd” and press “Ctrl”, “Shift” and “Enter” keys simultaneously to launch the command prompt in elevated mode.
  3. In the command prompt window, to start your computer in safe mode, type the following command: “bcdedit /set {default] safeboot minimal” then “Enter”.
  4. To start your computer in safe mode with networking, type the following command: “bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network” then “Enter”.
  5. To start your computer in safe mode with command prompt, type the following command: “bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal bcdedit /set {default} safebootalternateshell yes,” then “Enter”.
  6. To restart your PC, enter the command “shutdown /r”.4

Notes: To get out of safe mode, before restarting your computer, run the following command: “bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot.” 

How to Boot Windows 10 Safe Mode From Boot Failure

If your Windows 10 device won't boot, you can boot from a USB device or recovery DVD. To do this:

  1. Make sure your computer is on and running Windows.
  2. Connect your USB drive or insert your DVD into your computer.
  3. Select the "Start" button and click the power icon to see shutdown options.
  4. Press and hold the “Shift” key and select “Restart”.
  5. After your computer restarts, the "Advanced Boot Options" screen will appear.
  6. Select “Use device”.
  7. Click on the recovery USB drive or DVD that you want to boot from. Your computer should restart using your selection.

How to Boot into Windows 10 Safe Mode from a Blank Screen

For those times when your computer is absolutely not playing ball and showing an unresponsive blank or black screen, you can start it in safe mode by doing the following:



  1. Turn off your computer by long pressing the power button for 10 seconds, then turn it back on.
  2. As soon as Windows indicates that it has started, press and hold the power button again for 10 seconds to turn off your computer.
  3. Press the power button again to turn it on and repeat step 2.
  4. Turn your computer back on, but this time let it restart completely. Enter “winRE.” 

From "winRE", follow these steps to enter safe mode:

  1. In the "Choose an option" screen, click "Troubleshoot".
  2. Choose "Advanced Options", "Startup Settings" and then "Restart".
  3. Once your computer restarts, a list of options will appear.
  4. Click option 5 or "F5" button for Safe Mode with Networking.

How to Boot Windows 10 Safe Mode from Login Screen

If you can't access "Settings" to access safe mode, you can access it from the login screen. Proceed as follows:

  1. On the login screen, long press the "Shift" key while selecting "Power" and then "Start".
  2. Once your computer restarts, the "Choose an option" screen will appear.
  3. Click "Troubleshoot", "Advanced Options", "Startup", "Settings", then "Restart". You may need to enter your BitLocker recovery key – an encrypted code that lets you access your computer – so make sure you have it handy before starting the process.
  4. Once your computer restarts, a list of options will appear. Select option 4 or the "F4" button to boot into safe mode.
  5. Otherwise, choose 5 or the "F5" button for Safe Mode with Networking if you need to use the Internet.

How to Boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode from Settings

Follow these steps to start your Windows 10 computer in Safe Mode via Settings:



  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key and “I” simultaneously to launch “Settings”. Or failing that, select the “Start” button, then “Settings”.
  2. Choose “Update & Security” then “Recovery”.
  3. Under "Advanced startup", select "Restart now". Once your computer starts, the "Choose an option" screen appears.
  4. Click "Troubleshoot", "Advanced Options", "Startup", "Settings", then "Restart". You may need to enter your BitLocker recovery key.
  5. Once your computer restarts, a list of options will appear. Select option 4 or the "F4" button to boot into safe mode.
  6. Otherwise, choose 5 or the "F5" button for Safe Mode with Networking if you want to connect to the Internet.

Additional FAQs

When should I start Windows 10 in safe mode?

Safe mode is the troubleshooting mode of a computer's operating system. Consider booting your device in Safe Mode in the following scenarios:

A suspected malware infection

Malware protection isn't perfect, and unfortunately brand new malware can slip through the net. You should consider starting your Windows 10 computer in Safe Mode if your experience matches the following:

· Her responses become extremely slow.

You are bombarded with advertisements that may contain links to malicious websites to further infect your PC.

· Your browser may redirect you to unknown sites.

Unstable hardware and/or software drivers

Buggy drivers and software can sometimes cause blue screens. When Windows 10 starts in Safe Mode, it starts your PC with only necessary programs. No third-party driver or software is loaded. This can help determine the cause of the problem and prevent it from bothering you.

Safe Mode also makes it easy to roll back problematic drivers to previous versions if you need to.

Boot failure

Whenever Windows doesn't start properly, starting it in Safe Mode is a good place to start troubleshooting the cause.

What is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic environment intended to aid in troubleshooting and fixing problems within an operating system. Safe mode boots a device with a minimal set of services and drivers. No third party software is loaded, only what is needed. Therefore, the software causing the problem can simply be removed or rolled back without interference.

How to Exit Windows 10 Safe Mode?

You can exit safe mode in Windows 10 in two ways:

1. On your keyboard, click the "Windows" key and "R" together.

2. In the "Open" box, type "msconfig", then select "OK".

3. Click on the “Start” tab.

4. Under "Boot Options", uncheck the "Safe Boot" box.

Or alternatively, simply restart your device.

Keep your device safe with safe mode

Safe Mode is a safe place to troubleshoot problems with your PC. It charges your computer without the interference of third-party software and drivers.

In safe mode, if your PC is infected with malware, you will be able to minimize its interference. In this environment, you can do whatever is necessary to fix your computer when it stops working as expected.

Have you successfully started your computer in safe mode? Did you run into any problems and did safe mode help you fix them? Tell us about the issue you encountered and how you resolved it in the comments section below.

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