How to Boot Windows 10 Operating System into Safe Recovery Mode

What is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic startup mode in Windows 10 that loads only the bare essential drivers and services. When Windows 10 fails to boot normally due to issues like driver conflicts, software incompatibilities, malware infections, or corrupt system files, Safe Mode can be used to troubleshoot and fix these problems.

Benefits of Safe Mode:

  • Loads only critical drivers and services necessary for Windows to function
  • Helps isolate issues caused by third-party drivers or software
  • Provides access to tools for system diagnostics and repair
  • Allows you to uninstall problematic applications or roll back drivers

There are several Safe Mode options available:

  • Safe Mode: Loads basic drivers and services
  • Safe Mode with Networking: Adds network connectivity drivers and services
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Gives access to Command Prompt for advanced troubleshooting

How to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Here are the steps to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 10:

1. Through Settings App

  • Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
  • Under Advanced startup, click Restart now
  • On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
  • After restart, press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode

2. During Windows Boot

  • Restart your PC
  • On the Windows logo screen, press and hold the Shift key which will bring up the startup settings screen
  • Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
  • After restart, press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode

3. From Sign-in Screen

  • On the sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key while clicking the Power button > Restart
  • Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
  • After restart, press 4 or F4 to enable Safe Mode

4. Through msconfig

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box
  • Type msconfig and click OK
  • Go to the Boot tab and check the box for Safe boot
  • Click OK, then restart your PC

Using Safe Mode to Troubleshoot Issues

Once you’ve successfully booted into Safe Mode, you can use it to troubleshoot several common Windows issues like:

Software issues:

  • Uninstall recently added problematic applications
  • Roll back recent driver updates
  • Run antivirus scans to check for malware

System files errors:

  • Run SFC and DISM scans to fix corrupt system files
  • Perform a startup repair to fix boot issues

Hardware problems:

  • Update faulty device drivers
  • Check Device Manager for hardware conflicts
  • Test components by uninstalling non-essential devices

Performance problems:

  • Check processes and services running in the background
  • Modify Startup apps
  • View event logs for clues

Connectivity issues:

  • Reset network adapters
  • Flush and reset DNS
  • Renew IP and winsock configurations

Tips for Using Safe Mode Effectively

  • Safe Mode is most effective for diagnosing software and driver issues. For advanced troubleshooting, use Safe Mode with Command Prompt or Safe Mode with Networking.
  • If the computer fails to start in Safe Mode as well, it likely indicates a hardware failure or critical system file corruption issue.
  • When testing in Safe Mode, make one change at a time like uninstalling an app or updating a driver. This way, you can isolate the specific cause if issues reappear when you reboot normally.
  • Always backup data before using Safe Mode tools like startup repair, system restore or reset features. These can result in data loss if something goes wrong.
  • Safe Mode loads only default drivers so some devices like printers or external drives may not work properly while in Safe Mode.


Safe Mode is an essential diagnostic feature in Windows 10 that can help identify and troubleshoot a variety of system issues when Windows fails to start normally. With multiple Safe Mode options available, it provides the access necessary to use system tools for diagnostics and repair. Using the step-by-step guides above, you can easily boot into the appropriate Safe Mode on Windows 10 to resolve startup, performance and stability issues.