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How to Start Your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode

While Microsoft has changed the way to access the Windows 10 safe mode, you can still use this feature to troubleshoot common PC issues. The Windows safe mode starts the operating system in the most basic state. It uses nothing but a limited set of files and drivers.

By launching Windows in this primary state, you can determine whether the issue you’ve encountered stems from any of these essential sources. If the problem doesn’t occur again, you can narrow down the potential causes of the issue.

Here are a few simple ways you can start your Windows 10 PC in safe mode.

How to Start Your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode

Different Ways You Can Start the Safe Mode

There are two versions of safe mode:

  • the regular safe mode
  • the safe mode with networking

The latter adds network drivers and services to access the internet.

The Windows 10 safe mode was a lot easier to access back in the day when you only needed to press F8 or F8+SHIFT to get there. But Microsoft has introduced some changes to their system, including a different access path to safe mode.

Luckily, they didn’t make it too difficult to enter safe mode again. If you want to troubleshoot PC issues using this method, here are three ways you can enter the manual user interface:

Method 1: Access Safe Mode Through Settings

  1. Click on the Start button and select Settings or, if you prefer the shortcut, press the Windows logo key + I on the keyboard.
  2. From there, select Update & Security > Recovery to open the recovery settings.
  3. You will find the Advanced Startup option where you can select Restart Now.
  4. After the PC restarts, it will let you choose an option on the blue screen. From here, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, choose Startup Settings and Restart again to enter the safe mode.

Method 2: Access Safe Mode From Sign-In Screen

In case you cannot access the Start button or the settings, you can restart the device from the sign-in screen.

  1. Once you’re on the Windows sign-in screen, press and hold the shift key to select Power and Restart.
  2. It will take you to the same blue screen as in the first method. There you should choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings, and then Restart.
  3. After the PC restarts, select 4 or F4 on the keyboard to enter safe mode. In case you need to use the internet while in safe mode, select 5 or F5.

Method 3: Enter Safe Mode From Black Screen

Lastly, if you’re looking at nothing but a black screen, you obviously won’t be able to access the Start or the Sign-in page. In this situation, you need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment before jumping into the safe mode.

  1. To initiate this process, hold the power button until the device shuts off. Then turn it back on, and, as soon as it starts running, press the power button again to shut it off. Then turn it back on and repeat this process until the device fully restarts. You will then enter the winRE mode.
  2. From here, you can select the Troubleshoot option again, go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. Like in the previous method, you can use F5 or 5 after the device restarts to enter the safe mode with networking.
  3. When it comes to exiting the safe mode, all you have to do is restart the device again or press the Windows logo key + R.
  4. From here, type “misconfig” in the open box and select OK.
  5. Then select Boot Tab and clear Safe Boot under Boot Options to exit the safe mode.

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Detect and Prevent PC Issues

Safe mode is a useful tool for troubleshooting PC issues and trying to pin down the source of the problem. You cannot always predict hard drive damage or issues caused by hardware components.

But some problems may be a lot more down to earth. Malware or potentially unwanted programs may be causing all your issues. If that’s the case, you may want to use antimalware software and uninstall suspicious apps.

Moreover, introduce some safety measures to protect your device and data. A free password manager can be all you need to protect your credentials. Windows already comes with in-built antivirus, and there’s encryption included as well. For extra features, you can always invest in paid cybers