Boot into safe mode on Windows 11

If you’re having trouble starting your PC with Windows 11, rebooting into safe mode may help, which temporarily disables drivers and features to make your PC more stable. Here’s how to do it.

How to enter safe mode on startup

With Windows 7 and earlier, you can usually start Safe Mode by pressing a function key (such as F8) just after turning on your PC. Microsoft this feature removed from Windows 8 because new technologies made boot times too fast for someone to quickly press F8 before loading Windows.

Instead, Microsoft designed a “automatic failoverWorkaround for times when your PC is not working properly and Windows is not loading properly. Your PC will automatically enter an advanced troubleshooting boot mode if it fails to boot twice in a row. You can force this by turning on the PC and then pressing the physical power button just when you see the manufacturer’s logo appear. Do this twice, and you’ll see an advanced “Choose an option” startup screen. Then follow the directions outlined in the section below to get into Safe Mode.

How to enter safe mode from Windows

There are several ways to restart your computer in an “Advanced Boot” mode on Windows 11, which allows you to select the “Safe Mode” after several choices. The easiest way? Open the Start menu and click the power icon in the lower right corner. Next, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click “Restart.”

Alternatively, you can start the long way to safe mode from the Settings app. First, launch Settings by pressing Windows+i (or you can find it by searching in Start.). When Settings opens, click “System” in the sidebar, then select “Recovery.”

In Recovery Options, locate the “Advanced Startup” option and click the “Restart Now” button next to it.

Windows confirms this with a pop-up prompting you to save your work before rebooting. When you’re done, click ‘Restart now’.

After that, Windows will shut down and reboot into a blue colored screen titled “Choose an option”, with several options listed in a short list. Select ‘Troubleshoot’.

Under Troubleshooting, select ‘Advanced options’.

In Advanced Options, select ‘Startup Settings’.

In Startup Settings, click ‘Restart’.

The PC will reboot into a “Startup Settings” menu with: nine numbered options. Press the “4” key on your keyboard for Safe Mode, “5” for Safe Mode with Networking or “6” for Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

In general, you’ll want to press 4 or 5 here, but 6 can be useful for advanced troubleshooting if you’re good with the Windows command line.

After you make your choice, Windows will finally boot in safe mode. Your screen will be at a lower resolution and Windows will replace your desktop image with a black background with “Safe Mode” text in the corners.

At this point, you can do all the troubleshooting tasks that you need to do. Once done, simply restart (or shut down) your Windows 11 PC. If all goes well and your problem is solved, the next time you will reboot in normal non-secure Windows mode. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Turn Off a Windows 11 PC

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