Stuck in Windows 11? How to Enter Safe Mode and Fix Your PC

Starting your computer in Safe Mode is akin to giving it a fresh start. However, in Windows 11, Safe Mode is a unique startup method that can assist you in resolving issues. It functions like a detective mode for your computer, utilizing only the essential components required for operation.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to starting your PC in Windows 11 Safe Mode:

  • Press and hold Shift on your keyboard.
  • While keeping Shift pressed, click or tap the Power button and select Restart.
  • When prompted, choose Troubleshoot, then Advanced options.
  • Select Startup Settings, and if not visible, click “See more recovery options” to access it.
  • Click Startup Settings again.
  • On the next screen, you’ll see various options. To initiate Safe Mode, simply tap the F4 key.

In this blog, we’ll show you how to activate the safe boot option and switch on Safe Mode in Windows 11, which loads only the basic drivers and non-essential drivers. This is a crucial technique to learn, particularly if you encounter problems with your computer..

Moreover, we’ll keep it simple and guide you step-by-step, so you can get back to using your PC without any headaches.

How to start Windows 11 in safe mode ?

Safe mode can be a lifesaver when your Windows 11 PC is experiencing glitches.

Firstly, this streamlined environment an essential feature in Windows 11, enables you to diagnose and rectify problems that may arise from conflicting software or network drivers. Consequently, this makes it easier to figure out what’s wrong if your PC isn’t working right.

How to start Windows 11 in safe mode ?

Here’s a breakdown of the methods to enter Safe Mode in Windows 11, presented as numbered options, with detailed steps:

Using Settings (For When Your PC Boots Normally)

  • Access the Start Menu: Initially, click on the Windows icon in the taskbar.
access start menu to start Windows 11 safe mode
  • Power Up the Options: Next, click the power icon located in the bottom left corner of the Start Menu.
click on the power icon on the left corner
  • Shift and Restart: Then, while holding down the Shift key on your keyboard, click on the Restart option. Don’t let go of the Shift key until the restart begins.
choose restsert from the option to start Windows 11 safe mode

Using the Sign-in Screen (For When Your PC Won’t Boot Up Normally)

  • Get to the Sign-in Screen: First, if your PC isn’t starting up properly, you’ll likely be at the sign-in screen.
  • Hold Shift and Restart: Subsequently, here’s the key combo – press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard, then select the option to click on Power followed by Restart. Remember to keep holding Shift until the restart process starts.

After Restarting

After following either method and your PC restarts, you’ll see a blue screen titled “Choose an option”.

  • Initially, navigate Through the Options: From here, select Troubleshoot.
  • Furthermore, advanced Options Await: Click on Advanced options to proceed.
  • Startup Settings: The Key: Lastly, select Startup Settings and then click on Restart.
  • Safe Mode Selection Screen: Your PC will restart again, and this time you’ll be presented with a list of boot options.

Choosing Safe Mode:

Here’s where you choose the specific Safe Mode that suits your needs:

  • Option 4 or F4: This is the standard Safe Mode, ideal for basic troubleshooting.
  • Option 5 or F5: Alternatively, if you need internet access to diagnose or fix online-related issues, choose Safe Mode with Networking.

Stop Normal Boot

If Windows 11 fails to boot normally:

  • Initially, interrupt the boot process by pressing the power button during startup.
  • Subsequently, repeat this action until the computer turns off.
  • Then, start your computer again, and it will automatically enter Safe Mode.

Also Check: How to move taskbar to left in Windows 11 ?

DVD or USB Installation Drive with Command Prompt

Use a Windows 11 installation DVD or USB drive:

  • First, boot from the installation media.
  • Next, choose your language and keyboard layout.
  • Then, proceed by selecting Troubleshoot, followed by Advanced options and then choosing the Command Prompt option.
  • After that, in the Command Prompt, type bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
  • Finally, restart your PC, and it will boot into Safe Mode.

System Configuration (msconfig.exe):

  • Initially, open Run (Win + R) and type msconfig.
  • Next, go to the Boot tab.
  • Then, ensure the Safe boot checkbox is selected within the Boot options section.
  • Finally, click OK and restart your PC.

Shift + Restart from the Start Menu

If you can log into Windows 11:

  • First, click the Start button.
  • Next, hold Shift and click Restart.
  • Then, follow the steps similar to method 3.

Settings App

  • Firstly, open Settings.
  • Secondly, go to Recovery > Advanced startup.
  • Then, click Restart now.
  • Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to access Safe Mode.

Shutdown Command in CMD

  • Initially, open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Next, type shutdown /r /o /f /t 00 and press Enter.
  • Finally, your PC will restart into the Advanced Startup Options menu. Choose Safe Mode.

Remember that Safe Mode loads Windows 11 with essential drivers and services, making it easier to troubleshoot issues. If you can sign in, methods 7 to 10 are more convenient.

Also Check: How do you skip the Microsoft account setup in Windows 11 ?

How to boot windows 11 in safe mode from power off ?

There are several ways to boot Windows 11 into Safe Mode from a powered-off state. Here are a few methods you can try:

Shift + Restart Method (Sign-in Screen)

  • Firstly, when you reach the sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard.
  • Secondly, while keeping Shift pressed, click or tap on the Power button and select Restart from the menu.
  • After the restart, choose Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and finally Startup Settings.
  • Finally, click or tap on Startup Settings again, and then enable Safe Mode by pressing the corresponding key (usually F4 or 4).

Force Shutdown Method (Power On/Off)

  • First, turn on your PC.
  • Subsequently, when it starts loading, press and hold the Power button to force a shutdown.
  • Then, repeat the steps to abruptly shut down your computer twice more.
  • On the third attempt, let Windows load, and it will boot into the Windows Recovery Environment.
  • Finally, under Choose an option, click Troubleshoot.

Using a Recovery Drive

  • To begin with, create a Windows 11 recovery drive on a USB or DVD.
  • Next, boot your PC from the recovery drive.
  • After that, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and finally Startup Settings.
  • Lastly, enable Safe Mode by pressing the corresponding key.

Note: Remember that Windows 11 no longer supports the traditional F8 or Shift + F8 methods for Safe Mode. Choose the method that works best for your situation.

Also Check: How to fix install error -0x80070002 ?


In conclusion, booting into Safe Mode on Windows 11 is a powerful troubleshooting tool that can help you resolve various system issues.

First of all, whether your computer is booting in normal mode or encountering hardware issues, this guide offers multiple methods to access Safe Mode, including using the Settings app, Command Prompt, or even a recovery drive.

Moreover, safe Mode loads only essential drivers and services, making it easier to diagnose and fix problems caused by conflicting software or drivers.

In last, follow the step-by-step instructions in this blog to safely boot into Safe Mode and get your Windows 11 PC back in working order.


Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s)

Is F8 Safe Mode for Windows 11 ?

No, pressing F8 will not enter Safe Mode in Windows 11. This method was used in older versions of Windows like Windows 7 to access Safe Mode before the operating system fully loaded.  

How do I force my computer to start in Safe Mode ?

To force start your Windows 11 computer in Safe Mode, interrupt the boot process three times in a row: use the power button to turn off your PC as soon as the Windows logo appears during startup. After the third interruption, Windows will enter into the Automatic Repair environment, and from there, you can access the Troubleshoot options to select Safe Mode.

How do I start Windows 11 in Safe Mode ?

To start Windows 11 in Safe Mode, restart your PC while holding the Shift key, then navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings and select Restart; upon reboot, choose Safe Mode options.

Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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