Boot into Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1

If you have problem with Windows and you need to enter Safe Mode to fix the problem, you can press F8 to boot into Safe Mode on the earlier version of Windows (Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7). But you can’t enter Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1 with that method any more. So, I summarized 3 different ways to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1 which are as following:

  1. Press Shift + F8 before Windows logo appears.
  2. Hold Shift and select Restart on Windows.
  3. Edit msconfig to boot into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1

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3 different ways to boot into Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1

  1. Press Shift + F8 before Windows logo appears (after finishes BIOS)
    This is the easiest way to enter Safe Mode, but it may not work with a fast computer, or if you use UEFI, because its startup time is very fast so it’s almost impossible to press the key in time.

    1. If you manage to enter recovery mode, click See advanced repair options.
    2. Select Troubleshoot.
      Select 'Troubleshoot' on Windows 8 Recovery
    3. Select Advanced options.
    4. Select Startup Settings.
    5. Click Restart to reboot your computer.
    6. On Startup Settings, you can choose to boot into Safe Mode by press F4, F5, or F6 and you then will boot into Safe Mode.
      Startup Settings menu on Windows 8
    7. After you finishes in Safe Mode, you can restart your system as usual and Windows
      will boot into normal mode.
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  3. Hold Shift and select Restart on Windows
    This method requires that you still have access to Windows in normal mode.

    1. On Windows desktop, press Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open Settings charm.
    2. Click the power switch icon at bottom-right.
    3. Hold Shift key and click Restart button to enter recovery mode.
      Hold Shift key and select Restart to enter recovery mode on Windows 8
    4. Then, you can follow guide on step 1.2 to 1.7.
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  5. Edit msconfig to boot into Safe Mode
    This method requires that you still have access to Windows in normal mode.

    1. On Windows desktop, press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open Run window.
    2. Type msconfig and press Enter.
    3. On System Configuration window, select Boot tab.
    4. Then, check the option Safe boot under Boot options.
      Note: If your computer has multiple operating system, make sure to select the correct OS first.
      Check 'Safe Boot' option in msconfig
    5. Click OK and you will boot into Safe Mode.
    6. After you finishes in Safe Mode, you have to edit msconfig settings back by uncheck the option Safe boot. Otherwise, it will keep booting into this Safe Mode.
      Uncheck 'Safe Boot' option in msconfig

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