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. Proceed to step 2.
    Windows 10: Hold shift then restart your computer. Proceed to step 4.

  2. Click Change defaults or other options

    change defaults or other options selection image

  3. Click Choose other options

    Choose other options selection image

  4. Click Troubleshoot

    troubleshoot selection image

  5. Click Advanced options

    Advanced options selection image

  6. Click Startup Settings

    startup settings selection image

  7. Click Restart

    restart selection image

  8. Once the computer restarts, press F10 for more options to chose from

    startup setting menu image

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.

    start up screenshot

  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
    safe mode selection image windows 7 safe mode selection image
  4. If you see a screen asking you to select your operating system, just press Enter on your keyboard.

    operating system selection image

  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
    scrolling text image scrolling text windows vista image
  6. If asked if you want to continue running in Safe Mode, click Yes.

    select yes image

See Also:

If you have any questions, come by the Help Desk at Hardman & Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center Room 105, call 646-1840, or email us at

Keywords:windows safe mode boot F8 setup startup blue screen restart safemode 7 8 8.1 10 win7 win8 win8.1 win10   Doc ID:70170
Owner:John B.Group:New Mexico State University
Created:2017-01-24 13:07 MSTUpdated:2020-05-26 14:04 MST
Sites:New Mexico State University
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