How to Boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10 To Disable Drivers

By | January 7, 2022

Safe Mode. Safe Mode is an inbuilt troubleshooting feature that can disable unnecessary drivers and programs during the windows startup process. This allows us to isolate any settings or system errors and fix them in root, without interfering with non-essential apps.

Here we’ll take a quick look at booting into Safe Mode with Windows 10, and what to do if you can’t boot into Safe Mode.

Method One: System Configuration
You can reach the System Configuration screen using Cortana search. Typing msconfig or system configuration and pressing Enter will open the System Configuration pane. Head to Boot, and pay attention to Boot Options. Selecting Safe Boot from the options will force your system to boot into Safe Mode following the next restart.

You can choose from additional options. Here’s what they do:

  • Minimal: Starts Safe Mode with an absolute minimum number of drivers and services, but with a standard Windows GUI (Graphical User Interface).
  • Alternate Shell: Start Safe Mode with Command Prompt, no Windows GUI. Requires knowledge of advanced text commands, as well as navigating the operating system without a mouse.
  • Active Directory Repair: Start Safe Mode with access to machine-specific information, such as hardware model. If we fail to install new hardware, corrupt Active Directory, Safe Mode can be used to restore system stability by repairing corrupted data, or adding new data to the directory.
  • Networking: Start Safe Mode with the necessary services and drivers for the network, with the standard Windows GUI.

Select Minimal, followed by Apply, and OK. System Configuration will now ask if you want to restart your system. Selecting Restart will immediately start the restart process, so be sure to save the active document or project.

Method Two: Tapping
The most common method to reach Safe Mode is by tapping F8. It displays a Safe Mode option during startup, allowing us to select the operating mode. However, to speed up the boot process, Windows 10 has disabled F8 Safe Mode. You can sacrifice a few seconds at startup by activating the F8 menu using the Command Prompt.

Start by opening an elevated Command Prompt. Right-click the Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin). Select Yes in the User Account Control dialog, if it appears. Command Prompt should now open.

Type (or copy/paste) the following command:
bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy And press Enter. Completed work!

To cancel this legacy command at any time, reopen an elevated Command Prompt according to the instructions and type above:
bcdedit / set {default} default bootmenupolicy

This restores the startup to its original state, so to reach Safe Mode you will have to use one of the alternative options in this article.

Method Three: Advanced Startup
For the next trick: Advanced Startup. Chill, my friend. Not that advanced, but very useful to know.

Open the Settings menu and head to Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup. Clicking Restart Now will restart your system in recovery mode, where you will find three options: Continue, Troubleshoot, or Shut Down your PC. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options. You will now have a variety of new options, such as:

Click Startup Settings, followed by Restart. Your system will now restart. On reboot, you will find the Startup Settings screen. From here you can select the function you need.

You can skip the rather lengthy clicking process by holding down Shift and clicking Restart under Power, which is found in the Windows 10 Start Menu. This reboot takes you straight to the Recovery options, where you can select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.

What If Nothing Is Working?
If you installed Windows 10 via disc or USB, you can immediately boot into recovery mode by inserting the disc/USB before turning on your system. Select your keyboard layout, followed by Repair Your Computer, at the bottom left of the screen. From here you can head to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options where you will find System Restore, System Image Restore, Startup Repair, Command Prompt, and Back to Previous Build.

For System Image Restore to work, you must create an image before the system error, something we recommend you do. You can create a System Image by typing Recovery into the search bar and selecting Recovery: Control Panel. You will now be in the Advanced Recovery Tool. Select Create a Recovery Drive, and follow the steps.

System Repair Disc (System Repair Disc)
Another useful tool for you to use is the System Repair Disk. Unlike System Image

If you want to prepare for that inevitable moment, right-click the Start Menu icon and select Control Panel from the list. Head to System Security > Back-up and Restore (Windows 7). Don’t let the Windows 7 tag put you off: you’re at the right place. Select Create a System Repair Disc from the left column, and follow the prompts.

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