Boot Windows 8 in Safe Mode and Advanced startup options

Last updated on February 22nd, 2015

Until today all Windows operating systems (Windows 7, Vista, XP) had an easy way to get into Advanced options menu and Safe mode* by pressing F8 key at Windows boot . With Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft changes the way to get into that menu with more complicated steps, because the new operating system, has a new boot loader with a graphic interface, but also because tablets don't have keys to press during boot.

*Safe mode is the mode, that the system loads the minimum set of drivers that are important to start Windows. In this mode, the user can diagnose driver problems or clean his computer from virus, trojans, etc.

How to start Windows 8, 8.1 in Safe Mode:

In this article I will show you how to enter Safe Mode in three ways:

Method 1: Using 'MSCONFIG' command.

  1. Press "Windows" image_thumb[5]_thumb  + "R" keys to load the Run dialog box.
  2. Type "msconfig" and press Enter.
  3. Click the Boot tab and then check the "Safe Boot" option.
  4. Click "OK" and restart your computer.

Note: In order to boot Windows in "Normal Mode" again, you have to uncheck the "Safe Boot" setting by using the same procedure.



Method 2. Using Charms > Settings.

Note: Use this method if you are not familiar with running commands and you want to enter in "Advanced Options" menu to troubleshoot your computer (Step 5).

Step 1. Put your mouse on the right down corner of your screen to open up Charms.


Step 2. Choose the "Gear" icon from the right, to open settings.image


Step 3: Hold down the "SHIFT" key and click "Power".


Step 4. While holding down the "SHIFT" key, click "Restart".


When your computer restarts, it brings you into the troubleshooting screen:


Continue to Enter Safe Mode in Step 5.

Method 3: Using "shutdown.exe /r /o" command.

Note: Use this method if you are familiar with running commands and you want to enter in "Advanced Options" menu to troubleshoot your computer (Step 5).

Step 1. To open the run command on Windows 8, Right-click at the screen's bottom-left corner and from the pop-up menu choose "Run".


Step 2. From the pop-up menu choose "Run".


Step 3. At the run command box, type: "shutdown.exe /r /o" and press "OK".


Step 4. Windows informs you that you are about to be signed off. Press "Close".


How to enter in Advanced Startup options to troubleshoot your computer in Windows 8.

Step 5. Choose "Troubleshoot" when the follow screen appears:


Step 6. In the "Troubleshoot options" screen, choose "Advanced options".


Step 7. In the "Advanced Options" window, choose "Startup Settings".


Step 8. In "Startup Settings" screen, choose "Restart".


When Windows are restarted, you can see the Advanced Boot Options (Startup Settings)  menu:

From here you can enter into the mode you want, by pressing the corresponding  number from your keyboard function  keys.
(e.g. Press "4"  key on your keyboard to enter Safe Mode).



Continue to troubleshoot your computer.

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