Three ways to access the Windows 10 and 8 boot menu

Windows 10 (and 8) consolidate several boot options into a single screen called “Advanced options” menu. This menu provides access to repair tools and options for changing Windows startup behavior, such as enabling debugging, booting in safe mode, and booting into a recovery environment.

Note: In this article we show screenshots from Windows 10, but the process is largely the same in Windows 8. We point out any differences.

What you can do in the Advanced options menu

The “Advanced Options” menu offers a number of actions you can take to troubleshoot or repair problems with your PC:

Note: You may also see “Uninstall updates” instead of “Go back to the previous version”. It will roll back Windows and remove the most recent update.

After choosing most of these options, Windows will restart and then load in the mode (or launch the tool) you selected.

And now that you know what to use the “Advanced Options” menu for, let’s take a look at how to get there.

Option one: Hold down Shift while clicking Restart

If your PC can start Windows normally, you can quickly get to the “Advanced options” menu by holding down the Shift key while clicking the “Restart” option. You can do this on the login screen (shown above) or in the Start menu (shown below).

When you do this, your PC will not reboot immediately. Instead, it shows you a menu that allows you to continue with your Windows session, access troubleshooting tools, or shut down your PC. Click the “Troubleshoot” button.

In the “Troubleshooting” screen, click the “Advanced Options” button.

And finally, you get to the “Advanced options” menu.

RELATED: How to Create and Use a Recovery Drive or System Repair Drive in Windows 8 or 10

Note: If your PC can’t start Windows normally twice in a row, it should automatically show you the “Advanced options” menu. If not, you can try booting your PC with a recovery USB drive.

Option Two: Use the Settings App

If you want to jump through a few extra hoops instead of just hitting Shift+Restart, you can also launch the “Advanced Options” menu from the Settings app. Press Windows+I to open the Settings app, then

Click on the “Update & Security” option.

In the left pane, switch to the “Recovery” tab. In the right pane, scroll down a bit and then click the “Restart Now” button in the “Advanced Startup” section.

If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1, switch to the “General” tab instead and then click the “Restart” button in the “Advanced Startup” section.

Option Three: Issue a Command Using PowerShell (or Command Prompt)

RELATED: How to Write a Batch Script on Windows

You can also reach the “Advanced Options” menu by running a simple command using PowerShell or the Command Prompt. We’re going to use PowerShell here, but it’s the exact same command anyway. You can also create a batch script with this command so that you can access the “Advanced Options” menu more easily in the future.

Start PowerShell as an administrator by pressing Windows + X and then clicking the “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option in the Power User menu.

At the prompt, type (or copy and paste) the following command and press Enter:

shutdown.exe /r /o

A message will appear notifying you that you are about to be logged out.

Windows will reboot automatically about a minute later and take you to the “Advanced Options” menu.

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