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How to start Windows 10 in safe mode

In case your PC is experiencing performance difficulties, or crashes and errors, Windows Safe Mode can help you. This mode is used to limit the use of secondary functions of your PC. It’s very useful if you need to find the cause of crashes and errors.

Windows 10, like almost every version of Windows, has a Safe Mode feature. When you start up in this mode, your PC will only activate the basic files and drivers.

Secondary processes and apps will be disabled and performance will decrease. By default, you won’t even have access to the Internet.

How to activate Safe Mode on Windows 10

Of course, Safe Mode isn’t active by default. Using a PC with reduced performance and no secondary apps don’t make sense on a regular basis. Most apps today require high performance and lots of RAM. You won’t have that in a Safe Mode.

In general, there are three ways you can activate Safe Mode on Windows 10. In case you want to enter this mode, here is how:

How to activate Safe Mode with Windows icon explained

You can activate Safe Mode on Windows 10 using the Windows icon on the desktop. To do this, you need to:

  1. First, on the desktop, click the “Windows icon” in the bottom left corner.
  2. When the Start menu window appears, click the “Power” icon.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and click the “Restart” button.
  4. Your PC will then reboot. If you’ve done everything correctly, a blue screen will appear with the title “Select an Option”. Among available options, choose “Troubleshooting”.
  5. Then select “Advanced Options”.
  6. Next, click “Startup Options”.
  7. Click on “Restart”.
  8. After restarting, you’ll have several options. To start the PC in Safety Mode, press 4. If you want to start Safety Mode with Internet access, press 5.

If it doesn’t work, do the same thing, but click the power icon on the login page.

How to start Safe Mode through Settings

If for some reason you are unable to use the method above, you can activate Safe Mode through “Settings”. To achieve this, do the following actions:

  1. First, open “Settings” using the Windows key. Press it and when it opens, select the gear icon. You can also open “Settings” by pressing the Windows + I key.
  2. When you get to the Settings menu, select “Update and Security”.
  3. Next, go to the “Recovery” section.
  4. On this page, locate the “Advanced Startup” section. In it, click “Restart Now”.
  5. After restarting, the “Choose an option” screen will appear. Click on “Troubleshooting”.
  6. Then select “Advanced Options”.
  7. Go to “Startup Settings”.
  8. Under “Startup Settings” click “Restart”.
  9. After restarting, you’ll see a blue screen with several startup options. As with the previous method, press 4 to start the PC in Safe Mode, or press 5 to start in Safe Mode with Internet access.

How to enter Safe Mode with power button

If your PC fails to turn on due to a failure or error, the only possible method of activating Safe Mode for you is through the power button. In order to activate Safe Mode in this way, you need to:

  1. First press the power button on the PC to turn it on.
  2. Once an image appears on the screen, most likely the manufacturer’s logo, hold down the power button until the PC shuts down.
  3. Do this two more times, and then turn the PC back on. When the PC will turn on, “Preparing for Auto Repair” will appear at the bottom of the screen. Allow the PC to go through this process. After that, it should boot up to the “Select Option” screen.
  4. On this screen, select “Troubleshooting”.
  5. After that, go to “Advanced Options”.
  6. In this section, go to “Startup Options”. And when prompted, click “Restart”.
  7. When the PC comes back on, press 4 to start the PC in Safe Mode, or 5 to start Safe Mode with Internet access.

Using these three methods, you should be able to get to Safe Mode. If none of them work, make sure you have Windows 10 and not an older version of the OS. You may also send your PC in for diagnostics if it doesn’t turn on and even the last method didn’t help you.

Vladimir Sereda
Vladimir Sereda
Deputy Editor of Science Section


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