How to boot into safe mode in Windows 10

Windows is a complicated operating system that enjoys broad compatibility. As such, you’re bound to run into an issue or two, especially if there’s been a software or hardware change. Windows has a safe mode to help you diagnose and fix such issues or let you use your PC’s bare minimum functionality until you figure a way out. Here’s how to boot into safe mode in Windows 10 and exit it.

Read more: Happy with Windows 10? Here’s how to stop the Windows 11 update

QUICK ANSWER

To boot into safe mode on Windows 10, go to Windows settings -> Update and Security -> Recovery -> Advanced startup -> Restart now. In the boot menu, select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings -> Restart. Once restarted, press 4 to enter safe mode.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to boot Windows 10 in safe mode

Open Windows settings by searching for it or pressing the Windows key + I.

Windows 10 settings app

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Click Update and Security. In the left pane, click Recovery. Under Advanced startup, click the Restart now button.

Windows 10 recovery settings

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The system will restart with advanced boot and repair options. Click Troubleshoot.

Windows 10 advanced boot menu

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Click Advanced options.

Windows 10 troubleshoot menu

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On the advanced options screen, click Startup Settings.

Windows 10 advanced options

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The Startup Settings screen will show you all the boot modes. Click Restart.

Windows 10 Startup settings

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This screen will let you select the boot mode of your choice. Below are the available options.

  • Press 4 to enter Safe Mode — Regular safe mode with bare minimum functionality, most additional windows services disabled, including access to networking and command prompt.
  • Press 5 to enter Safe Mode with Networking — Safe mode with internet connectivity and networking enabled. Pick this one if you want to use your PC on the web while in safe mode.
  • Press 6 to enter Safe Mode with Command Prompt —Safe mode with CMD enabled. Pick this one if you wish to use the command prompt, which can be helpful for troubleshooting issues.
Windows 10 Startup settings menu

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That’s it. Your Windows 10 PC will restart into safe mode.

Windows 10 in safe mode

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MoreShould you upgrade to Windows 11?

How to exit safe mode on Windows 10

To exit safe mode on Windows 10, restart your PC. However, in some cases, that may not work. In that case, you can follow the steps below to exit safe mode on Windows 10.

Open Run by pressing the Windows key + R. Type in msconfig and hit the Enter key, or click OK.

Windows 10 safe mode run msconfig

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In the System Configuration window, click the Boot tab at the top. Under Boot options, make sure that Safe boot is unchecked. Once you’ve unchecked it, click OK.

Windows 10 safe mode msconfig boot options

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Restart your PC and Windows 10 will exit the safe mode and boot into the regular mode. Follow the instructions again if you want to boot Windows 10 into safe mode again.


Read more: How to install Windows 11

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