How to start computer in safe mode in Windows 10/8.1/7

Safe mode is the diagnostic mode in Windows. When you start the computer in safe mode, only the specific components needed to run the operating system are loaded. Safe mode does not allow some features, such as an Internet connection. It also loads a basic video driver with low resolution, which explains the different aspect of Windows programs and desktop. Desktop icons may also have changed positions due to this low resolution.

There are several reasons that can make us restart in safe mode; here only those that concern us are mentioned. For many files and especially malware, it is impossible to delete them because they are running. If we try, we receive an error message telling us that the file is currently being used by someone or an application. With the safe mode, only the necessary files are loaded, giving us the possibility to delete even malicious files.

Method with the System Configuration utility

Do not use this method if your PC is infected! And whatever the type of infection. In fact, you can get stuck in a hellish loop. Use with extreme caution!

  • Close all open programs.
  • Press the Windows + R keys at the same time. The “Run” dialog box appears.
  • Type msconfig, and then click on [OK].
  • The system configuration utility appears. Select the Secure Boot option. Make sure the “Minimum” box is selected, and then click on [OK].
  • The prompt will then be displayed to restart the computer. Click [Restart]. The computer restarts in safe mode. (This may take a few minutes).
  • Perform troubleshooting for which you are in safe mode.
  • After troubleshooting in safe mode, repeat steps 1-5, but in step 4 deselect the “Secure Boot” checkbox.
  • Close all programs and restart the computer as you normally would.

Restart the PC in safe mode

Use this method (with the F8 key) only if only one operating system (Windows) is installed on your computer.

  • Restart the computer. The computer starts processing the instructions known as the Basic Input/Output System. Some computers display a progress bar relative to the BIOS, others may not indicate the process in progress. You can also view the brand (and the related logo) of the motherboard on the computer.
  • At the end of the BIOS loading, start touching the F8 key on the keyboard (or F5 if F8 does not work). Do this until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If you start touching the F8key too early, some computers may see the “Keyboard Error” message. To resolve this problem, restart your computer and try again.
  • Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, select “Safe Mode” from the menu and press the Enter button.

Safe mode with USB keyboard

Access to the start mode is performed with a key (usually F8) before the operating system starts booting (immediately after displaying the BIOS screen). However, with a USB keyboard, it may happen that you do not react. This requires enabling support for this device in the BIOS. Look for an option such as USB Device Legacy Support or All USB devices and set the option to ENABLED. This option is usually found in the Integrated Devices menu.

Safe mode with network support

Enabling network support in safe mode can solve network problems (difficulty in setting up a share, for example).
You can use the first method described in this article, with F8, but also the second, through the System Configuration Utility. In the second case, just check in addition to “SAFEBOOT”, the “Network” box just below.

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