Windows - Booting into Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a special way for Windows to load when there is a system-critical problem that interferes with the normal operation of Windows. The purpose of Safe Mode is to allow you to troubleshoot Windows and try to determine what is causing it not to function properly. Once you have corrected the problem, then you can reboot and Windows will load normally.

Windows 8/10

  1. Windows 8: Restart your computer and tap F8 every half second or so. Proceed to step 2.
    Windows 10: Hold shift then restart your computer. Proceed to step 4.

  2. Click Change defaults or other options

  3. Click Choose other options

  4. Click Troubleshoot

  5. Click Advanced options

  6. Click Startup Settings

  7. Click Restart

  8. Once the computer restarts, press

Windows XP, Vista, 7

  1. Turn on or restart your computer

  2. As soon as your computer turns on and you see the splash screen (example pictured below), begin tapping the F8 key. If you see the Windows loading screen, you need to restart and begin pressing F8 earlier.

  3. If you need to access the internet, select Safe Mode with Networking by using the arrow keys and press Enter. Otherwise, select Safe Mode.

    Note: Dial-Up Networking may not work, even in Safe Mode with Networking.
    Windows XP Windows 7 & Vista
  4. If you see a screen asking you to select your operating system, just press Enter on your keyboard.

  5. After you press enter, you should see a lot of scrolling white text, this is normal. Wait until Windows loads to the desktop.

    Windows XP Windows 7 & Vista
  6. If asked if you want to continue running in Safe Mode, click Yes.

Keywordswindows safe mode boot F8 setup startup blue screen restart safemode 7 8 8.1 10 win7 win8 win8.1 win10   Doc ID1565
OwnerHelp Desk KB TeamGroupDoIT Help Desk
Created2002-07-14 19:00:00Updated2021-11-16 11:30:30
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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