How to Enter Safe Mode In Windows 11

Alex Nguyen

Windows 11 Safe Mode

Windows 11 offers a special startup mode called safe mode for troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with your computer. Safe mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services which is helpful when you need to rectify problems that normal mode can’t resolve. To enter safe mode, you may need to access the advanced startup options which you can do through system settings or by using certain key combinations during the startup process.

One common method to initiate safe mode is by using the Shift key. You can hold down the Shift key while selecting the restart option from the power icon. This leads you to the advanced startup options. From there, you can navigate to the startup settings where you can choose to reboot your computer in safe mode. Another way is through the system configuration utility where you deselect the safe boot option to avoid booting into safe mode on subsequent restarts.

Accessing Safe Mode in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode in Windows that starts your computer with limited drivers and services, making it easier to troubleshoot issues. It can be a lifesaver when your computer is acting up or won’t start normally. Here’s how you can enter Safe Mode in Windows 11, even if you can’t boot into your system.

From the Sign-in Screen

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. On the sign-in screen, hold down the Shift key.
  3. Click the Power button, then select Restart.
  4. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  5. Once your PC restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. If you need internet access, select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

From Settings (If You Can Access It)

  1. Open Settings by pressing Windows key + I.
  2. Click System > Recovery.
  3. Under “Advanced startup,” click “Restart now.”
  4. Your PC will restart to the Choose an option screen. Follow steps 4 and 5 from the previous method.

From the Automatic Repair Screen

If your computer fails to start normally, it might automatically boot into the Automatic Repair screen.

  1. Click “Advanced options.”
  2. Follow steps 4 and 5 from the “From the Sign-in Screen” method.

Additional Tips

  • If you’re asked for a BitLocker recovery key, enter it when prompted.
  • Once you’re in Safe Mode, you’ll see “Safe Mode” in the corners of your screen.
  • To exit Safe Mode, simply restart your computer.

By following these simple steps, you can easily enter Safe Mode in Windows 11 and start troubleshooting any issues you’re experiencing.

Key Takeaways

  • Safe mode is used for troubleshooting and runs Windows with minimal services.
  • Use the Shift key and the restart option to enter the advanced startup menu.
  • You can stop safe mode from starting on each boot through system configuration.

Entering Safe Mode

Sometimes you need Safe Mode to fix issues on Windows 11. It starts your computer with a minimal set of drivers and services.

From the Sign-In Screen

If you can’t get to the desktop, start Safe Mode right from the Windows sign-in screen. Restart your computer and as soon as you see the sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key while you select the Power icon and then Restart. After your PC restarts, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart, and then press 4 or F4 to start in Safe Mode.

Through System Configuration

The System Configuration tool, or msconfig, is another way to boot into Safe Mode. Open it by typing msconfig in the Start menu and navigate to the Boot tab. Here, select Safe boot and pick the Safe Mode type you need. You can choose to boot with or without network drivers by selecting Safe Mode with Networking.

Using Advanced Startup

In Windows 11, use the Settings app to get to Advanced Startup. Go to Settings > System > Recovery and under Advanced startup, select Restart now. When the device restarts, pick Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Then press 4, 5, or 6 to boot into the desired Safe Mode.

Utilizing Command Prompt

For those who prefer command line tools, the Command Prompt can be used to start Safe Mode. From the desktop, right-click the Start button and select Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows Terminal (Admin). Type bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal for Safe Mode or safeboot network for Safe Mode with Networking, then restart your computer.

Legacy Boot Menu Method

This method is less common but still an option. The legacy boot menu includes the familiar F8 key to access Safe Mode. To enable this feature, open Command Prompt with admin rights and type bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu true. Then restart the PC and press F8 before Windows starts to load. Choose Safe Mode from the menu that appears.