How to enter in Windows Safe Mode

This guide is designed to help users easily enter Windows Safe Mode in case they are feeling uncomfortable or unsure doing it on their own. Following the steps below should cover everything you need to do. If for some reason they do not, please contact us in the comments below and we will personally review your situation and help you as best we can.

Windows Safe mode is entered for a variety of reasons. Its primary perk is that it ensures the stability of your system, since only the most basic features and options are included. If you are having problems of any kind, it is advisable that you enter it as soon as you identify the source.

For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7: 

Restart your computer. To be sure you don’t miss the time when you need to press it, just spam F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. Then choose Safe Mode With Networking.

Safe Mode1 300x226

For W8 and 8.1:

Click the Start button, then Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.


Then check the Safe Boot option and click OK.  Click  Restart in the pop-up.

For Windows 10:

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Click the power button icon in the right corner of the Start menu to show the power options menu.
  3. Press and hold down the SHIFT key on the keyboard and click the Restart option while still holding down the SHIFT key.

W10 will perform the reboot. Next do the following:

Click the Troubleshoot icon, then Advanced options —> Startup Settings. Click Restart.
After the reboot click on Enter Safe Mode With Networking (Fifth Option).

If you cannot start Windows 10 at all or you can’t access your account

If for some reason Windows 10 cannot boot (or you cannot log in into your account) the solution is to enable the legacy Advanced Boot option menu, which will allow you to press F8 on startup. This will also allow you to access the other boot options, including the Command Prompt, which is handy for working around different types of PC locks such as the ones for my quick converter.

Here are the instructions on how to do this. I

  • IMPORTANT! For this operation you’ll need a bootable DVD (your original Windows DVD) or a bootable USB flash drive (search online how to make one if you don’t have it already)!
  1. Reboot your PC.
  2. Immediately start hitting the appropriate key to enter BIOS, for most mother boards this is the DEL key.
  3. Look through the menus and find the menu which controls boot priorities. Set boot from DVD (or USB if you have that) as the highest priority.
  • IMPORTANT!  This command will make your computer load Windows from an inserted DVD/Flash drive. Once you fix your problem you probably won’t need this anymore, so feel free to come back to this menu and revert the changes.
  1. Put the Windows 10 bootable disc inside the DVD drive (or plug-in the Flash drive if you have that), then save the BIOS settings. With the DVD (USB) inserted reboot the computer again.
  2. If your computers asks you to press any key to boot from DVD/USB press any key – you want this! A windows logo will appear and it may take a minute for the OS to boot. On the first screen that appear click Next, followed by Repair.
  3. From the Choose an option menu select Troubleshoot->Advanced options->Command Prompt.
  4. A command line interface window should now open, type C:” (without “”), then hit Enter.
  5. After the first command executes successfully (you’ll get no indication, but you should go to a new line after you hit enter) type BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY, followed by enterIMPORTANT: This command enables the legacy Advanced Boot Options menu. This allows you to access the Windows boot menu by pressing F8 before Windows starts loading after PC reboot. If you want to disable this once you are done fixing your problem just follow the exact same steps as above, but use the BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY STANDARD instead.
  6. In order to leave the command interface type EXIT and press Enter.
  7. Now remove the inserted Windows 10 bootable disc or unplug the bootable Flash drive.
  8. Go back to the Choose an option window, then click Continue, then reboot your machine.
  9. As soon as the computer shuts down and begins to restart, start hitting the  F8 key repeatedly until you are greeted by the Advanced Boot Options menu.
  10. From here decide if you want to use the Safe Mode option (or a normal boot if you can’t log into your account for whatever reason) and press Enter to start Windows 10 in the desired mode

PC Optimization:

We’ve prepared a short and sweet optimization guide, specifically designed for users who just removed a virus. It is completely free, you do not need to download anything, and it’s not very time consuming. If you are interested you can check it out here.



About the author


Violet George

Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.


  • I have windows 10. For google chrome , mozilla , opera I tried every possibilities from browser setting, removing unwanted software from control panel, uninstalling then reinstalling browser , removing unwanted and adding pop up extension , system restore, resting browser , deleting all cockies & deleting browsing data in safe mode but still can’t able to disable pop up virus. Please help if you have any other permanent solution.

  • No, that is definitely not normal. Sounds like the virus is trying to block you from entering safe mode. Try using the guide in normal mode.

  • Hi JN,

    Can you tell me the exact location of the virus file – is it in System32 or in one of its subfolders? Also did you load the computer in Safe Mode first before you attempted to delete it?

    I’ll need these answered before i can help further.

  • Hi, I have the virus DNSUnlocker on my computer, and I tried the above (I have Win10) but when I enter Safe Mode with Networking, the icon of my mouse disappears together with my network. What do I do?

    • Hi Daniel,

      Are you using a mouse that needs special software to work? Also how does your networking disappear, can you elaborate? What do you see?

      • I’m using the original mousepad that were installed in the laptop, but the mouse icon disappears together with the network. I can’t really click anything because the mouse is gona and can’t click on anything, but there’s a symbol with a computer with a big fat red cross on it

        • Hi Daniel,

          This sounds like you have some sort of Trojan horse virus on your computer in addition to the DNS unlocker. Click on one of the banners on our page and if the trojan will let you download and install SpyHunter. If it does run the program (scanning is free) and tell me how many dangerous things it will find and their type.

          • I can’t install SpyHunter. First time I tried to it said I had an network error, but my connection were absolutely fine. Then i gor redirected to a page that said the page were blocked because it could be a trojan horse.

          • Hi Daniel,

            Yes, it is exactly as I suspected. You have a trojan horse that will prevent you from deleting the virus. You need to get rid of the Trojan first.

            Go to another computer and get the program from there, then load it onto a USB stick and install it on your computer this way. Tell me if that works.

          • And there’s this file named 105 that I accidentally removed, but then later it was there again

          • This is probably some sort of settings file for the virus. If it was re-created this means that it is not vital. Leave it alone for now – you won’t be able to remove it until you get rid of the trojan.

  • I am not entering windows safe mode After restarting and pressing F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. I am using windows7 . Please help.

    • Hi Ramesh,

      You need to press it before you see the Windows Logo appear. If you are using SSD this may happen very fast.

        • Ramesh, are you using a modified version of Windows for some reason? Which Windows are you currently using?

  • Hi Henry,

    It’s totally OK, I can understand your concern. Many of these threats are likely spyware cookies, so they are not very dangerous. Don’t worry – nothing really bad is going to happen to your PC, but these can be hard to remove.

    Segou and the adware DNS threats are the main culprits responsible for Ads problems, but seems like you have many infected files and there is no simple solution I can give you. If you can afford to pay for the software that’s probably your best bet. Otherwise you have to look at the infected file locations discovered by SpyHunter, go to those folders and delete the virus manually.

  • Hmmm… reboot your PC and then immediately start tapping the F8 button, don’t press it continuously, just tap it. This should work.

  • Hi Terry,

    Are you using multiple languages on your PC and switching them via 3rd party software? Any special symbols in the password?

  • Hi Srijan, if a file is blocking you from deleting it its likely because the program is running. Open your Task Manager and look for anything that shouldn’t be running and is linked to the files you want to delete. Shut it down, then try to delete again.

    • Okay, which method did you use to run Win 10 in safe mode? Shift-clicking on the power options?

  • Okay, can you try pressing Win+R, type msconfig. From the boot tab select Safe Boot at the bottom and check the Networking option.

  • We would very much like to help you, but your tone implies that we are somehow at fault you can not get in your PC. Entering Safe mode is a perfectly standard procedure that literally hundreds of people on our website perform every single day. I assure you it has nothing to do with you being locked our of your PC.
    Were you able to access it somehow?
    And which threat do you suffer from? Since you are writing in the “Enter Safe Mode” article, there’s no way I can know.

    • I have been trying to delete the Constant Fun virus and according to instructions on this website that means entering safe mode. However as soon as I do iit WILL NOT accept my 4 digit password at the log in screen, which clearly works just fine in normal mode. Your latest instructions to enter safe mode by pressing Win-R have it booting up in safe mode and still not accepting the password even when I restart it or even turn the power off and on again. It appears to be stuck in safe mode and won’t accept the oassword. This was SOLELY from following instructions on this web site so never mind implying, I am clearly stating that this was the result of your instructions, whether these results were intended or not. So how do I get it to NOT boot up in safe mode so I can at least have access to my comouter?

      • Hi Terry, I’m terribly sorry for the problem that occurred. I am still trying to warp my head around what’s the issue behind not being able to log in the first place…

        Is your password written in numbers only? Are you using the digits on the right side of the keyboard to write it? Safe Mode can turn off your NumLock, so if that is the case try inputting the password with the upper keys of the keyboard. If that is not the issue then you should definitely contact Microsoft itself, because this is a MAJOR bug.

        If you can’t log in the normal way you’ll have to enable the Legacy boot menu and for that you’ll need to get your Windows DVD (or make a bootable flash drive). Go to the BIOS settings of your computer by pressing Del right after reboot and change the priorities of your boot order so that the computer boots from the DVD Drive (or Flash drive). When that happens you can load the console from the Repair menu and type “BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY ” and hit enter. You can now restart the computer, press F8 repeatedly and open the classical menu from which you can turn on your PC is normal mode in order to avoid the deadlock. Tom’s Hardware has an excellent guide for this with pictures, so you can use that for reference – look here

        Please keep me in touch and ask if you have any questions. I really don’t want to leave you in a bad spot.

  • Hi Turtle,

    Can you give me a little more details. What is the name of the virus that is bothering you?

  • Hi there James,
    your mobile stick should be definitely working, but if it doesn’t please tell us.

  • Hi RandomGamerRGYT,
    threats like this need to be done in Safe Mode. You can try to remove them in normal mode, but some viruses prevent you from deleting some of their files, or to download an AV program. Safe mode prevents such viruses from doing this. That way we are sure that we have completely removed the malicious content. Contact us if you have further questions we will be glad to answer them.

  • Hi Dice18,
    you can never be too sure that you have completely removed it. I suggest to you to monitor your system behavior and if you see something suspicious, contact us so we can help you.

  • what does this reboot safe mode actually do? are my folders and other downloaded applications safe or are they going to be deleted somehow? it is the first time i need to run this as i am not able to uninstall MPC Cleaner and i’m tring to follow ur instructions on how to remove it. can i also ask why mpc cleaner changed my google settings as when i launch google chrome it automatically goes to “” even though i’ve changed my google settings. thanks in advance

    • Hi TStyles,
      entering Safe Mode is actually very good feature of Windows. When in Safe Mode windows is working only with basic functions preventing any other malicious programs or suspicious functions to work and harm your system. You are not going to lose anything if you follow our guide on how to remove MPC Cleaner. Yes MPC Cleaner can change your browser and settings even if you put them to default. Try to complete our guide under Safe Mode, it’s the best way to remove unwanted programs. Keep us posted if you need further instructions.

    • Hi Kameliq,
      You can activate SpyHunter by clicking the “Register Now” tab (yellow tab), under the “Scan Scheduler” Tab.

  • Hi, rock, it depends on what your problem is. Please, provide us with information concerning the said issue and we might be able to further assist you.

  • hello i tried rebooting in safe mode with windows 7 professional but when i spam F8 it gives me

    0210: Stuck Key 42
    Press to Setup

    what should i do? thanks for the help!

  • Can you rephrase what happened after you tried to get to the boot menu. What happened after you tried pressing F2? Also, when do you press the key – you must start pressing it as soon as the PC starts turning on (before the Windows logo appears).

    • You can use a bootable UFD (USB Flash Drive) – works in the same way as a bootable DVD, you just need to connect it to your USB port.

  • As long as you do the next step right (clicking Restart while holding Shift) it should work just fine. You can send us a screenshot if you aren’t certain what to do.

  • I don’t have a bootable cd or usb. Is there any other way to reach the advanced startup when booting up?

  • You shouldn’t need a bootable disk/USB device in order to access Safe Mode. You’d need such a disk/USB only if you cannot access your account on the PC at all or if you cannot start Windows 10. Just follow the instructions below Windows 10 from the guide above.

      • Yes, in that case, you do need such a disk. You can burn one yourself if you have access to another computer. If not, you must ask somebody to help you.

  • Hi Brandon, I have no administration rights anymore. Which is odd seems how, I’ve had the computer for less than a month. I’m almost 100% sure I’ve been handed a svchost trojan or something close to it. Not clear, because I do deal with an all round, and now online stalker. Soo really all I need is help with the possible solution for the admin, to get going in the right direction, like would i be able to download something without admin rights? Or a possible what is going on that I need to address some other way??
    Thanks for your time

  • My pc was infected by a virus that with extension .voom. i live in Cuba and don´t have possibility to pay for any antivirus, our credit card are useless.

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