The Safe Mode launches Windows 10 with a minimal user interface where only the necessary drivers and programs are loaded. It makes it easier to troubleshoot issues that might be causing your computer to become slow, freeze or even crash.
Some of the causes of a sluggish system include a malware infection, a faulty application or a driver in your operating system. In either of these cases, starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode may be the only way to boot your PC.
One of the questions users frequently ask is, “Can I repair Windows 10 using Safe Mode?” This tutorial shows you how to boot into Safe Mode with Windows 10 and how to use it.
How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode
By default, Windows is set to boot automatically in Safe Mode after it fails to start normally more than three times. However, you can manually start your computer in Safe Mode.
Method 1. Use the System Configuration tool (msconfig.exe)
- Press the Windows Key and type msconfig.
- Hit Enter to launch the System Configuration window.
- Click the “Boot” tab.
- Check the “Safe boot” box under “Boot options.”
- You can try out the different options listed below “Safe boot.”
- Click Apply, and then “OK.”
- Click “Restart” for your device to boot into Safe Mode.
Method 2. Use Shift + Restart
You can also use this method if you can’t log into Windows, but you can get into the sign-in screen.
- On your keyboard, press and hold the Shift Key.
- Click Start > Power > Restart. (From the sign-in screen, hold the Shift Key and click “Restart” at the bottom right corner of your screen).
- Choose “Troubleshoot” from the window that opens next.
- Go to Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- Here, you can either choose:
- 4 or press F4 on your keyboard to trigger Safe Mode.
- 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
- 6 or press F6 to boot into Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Method 3. Use the Settings app
- Click Start > Settings, or press the Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
- Click Update & Security > Recovery.
- Select “Restart now” under Advanced Startup.
- Your PC restarts showing the “Choose an option” window.
- Follow Steps 3 to 5 above.
How to fix your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode
After Windows starts in Safe Mode, you can troubleshoot issues and perform most of the regular maintenance tasks on your system.
Update Device Drivers
To eliminate the possibility that your hardware drivers are causing problems, you’ll want to update them. To make it easier, use Auslogics Driver Updater to install the latest drivers from the manufacturers.
Incompatible drivers may cause system instabilities, and since you need the correct version for the drivers to work, Auslogics Driver Updater will scan your computer and identify missing or outdated drivers. The software then allows you to quickly update the drivers and ensure your hardware and devices operate seamlessly.
If you recently installed software that you suspect might be causing the problems in your system, you can uninstall it using the Control Panel. This should hopefully make your PC start normally.
Perform System Restore
If your computer worked properly a couple of days ago, then you can use System Restore to revert the configurations to their earlier state. If your system crashes or is unstable, running System Restore in Safe Mode ensures the process proceeds smoothly.
Scan for malware infections
In Safe Mode, you can use Windows Defender to remove a malware infection that was impossible to remove in the normal mode because it’s no longer running in the background. Windows 10 has a tool called Windows Defender Offline scan which scans your system when Windows isn’t running. This way, even the most undetectable malware will be removed because it can’t interfere with Windows.
To access the tool:
- Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.
- Choose “Run a new advanced scan,” and then select “Windows Defender Offline scan.”
- Click “Scan now” to start the process.
How to restore Windows 10 from Safe Mode
After you finish troubleshooting the problems, you’ll want to restore Windows 10 from the Safe Mode. Here’s how:
- Press the Windows Key + R.
- Type msconfig in the dialogue box, and select OK.
- Click the “Boot” tab.
- Uncheck the “Safe boot” box under “Boot options.”
- Click “Apply,” and then “OK.”