Safe Mode for Windows is the way your computer boots to find system-critical errors that are preventing your computer from running correctly. In Safe Mode for Windows, you can troubleshoot and try to find what is causing this problem while your computer runs on the essential system files and the least required software and hardware drivers. You should always try to solve the problem in normal mode first, but if you are unsuccessful, then you can try Safe Mode.
Keep in mind that there are four types of Safe Mode for Windows and below you will find an explanation for each one of them.
- Alternate Shell – This safe mode allows users to make use of the command prompt to use different commands. If the problem you are having requires that you use a command prompt, then this is the method that you want to use. If you´re not sure what a command prompt looks like, it looks like this:
- Minimal – This is the most restricted safe mode there is, hence the name minimal.
- Safe Mode with Networking – In this safe mode, your computer will start with only core drivers, plus networking support. To access this safe mode and the Alternative Shell you will need to press F8 immediately after your computer starts.
Once you have done that you should be in the Advanced Boot Options.
Use the arrow keys to either move up or down and when the option you need is highlighted, press Enter.
- Active Directory Repair – If you are having trouble with the Active Directory, then this is the safe mode you want to use. What is Active Directory? This is in charge of authenticating the passwords, applications, usernames, updating system and other information before you can start using the computer. If you need Active Directory on, then you should use another safe mode.
How to Access Safe Mode in Windows 10
Thought you might want to know right off the bat that this method might not work because you need to press F8 multiple times and since the boot time is fast, your computer might not pick up on the commands. Like I said before, It might not, but it´s worth a try.
A second method you can try would be to press and hold the Shift key and select the Restart key in the power menu. Following these commands will restart your computer, and you will have access to the boot options. Once you´re there you can go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
If you notice that when you are in safe mode, you´re not experiencing the problems anymore, then you are looking at a driver or software problem. If things haven´t changed at all, then there is something wrong with your computer´s hardware.
What Can I Do in Windows Safe Mode?
Earlier I explained what safe mode was, but now I will explain the things you can do while in safe mode. You can do things such as:
- Uninstall software through the Control Panel
- If you have been unsuccessful in uninstalling malware in normal mode, you can try to do this in safe mode. There is a good chance that your antivirus software is not going to work in safe mode if that is the case you can try creating an Avast Rescue Disk and use that to scan your computer.
- If the problem you are seeking to fix involves the Windows registry, you will be happy yo know that you can use this in safe mode.
- If you think that you´re having hardware problems, press Windows icon + R or type open run with Cortana and type devmgmt.msc and hit OK.
If you typed correctly you should see the Device Manager options.
Here you will see all your devices and their drivers and if the problem is with one of those drivers you will see a yellow triangle next to it. To fit that broken driver, right-click on it and select Update Software. If that didn´t work, then I´m afraid you are going to have to uninstall those drivers and download them again from your manufacturer´s website.
Alternative Method for Booting into Windows Safe Mode
If your computer has either Windows 8 or 10, the following alternative method for booting into safe mode will work just fine. First, you will need to open Run by pressing Win + R and type in msconfig and hit OK.
This will take you to System Configuration, but head on over to the Boot tab. Select Safe boot that is right under the advanced options, and once you do that, you can also decide what type of safe mode you want to boot into.
As you can see that safe mode for Windows is not that much different than the safe mode for Android. It´s used to fix annoying problems, and it´s very easy to use. If you have any questions or need help with anything, please feel free to let me know in the comments.