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How to Fix can’t Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10/11

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jul 17, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

In the following article, we shall discuss numerous methods to enter the safe mode. However, before discussing those methods, it is important to understand what the safe mode is in Windows 10/11 and why should we be worried when we can’t enter safe mode. Safe mode does have its numerous advantages, especially when it comes to making basic changes to one’s system, and therefore, its importance is unprecedented.

For the ones who have been using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 for a while, the primitive ways of entering into the safe mode won’t make any sense. This means that pressing the F8 key or the combination of Shift+F8 keys won’t get you to the safe mode while booting. This happened because the booting procedure became faster than it was essentially, and it also holds for Windows 10/11. However, one doesn’t need to feel alarmed when they can’t enter Safe Mode in Windows 10/11 as there are numerous other ways to get there, which have been discussed in this article.

Safe Mode in Windows 10/11:

For the users who have upgraded to Windows 10/11, they must have realized that the entire process is very similar to Windows 8. As the image below showcases, Windows 10/11 safe mode uses the essential drivers and services to function and getting the job done. So, the next question that arises is what does one do when they can’t enter the safe mode?

Can't Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10

Use The System Configuration Tool when can’t Enter Safe Mode:

Using the System Configuration, one can easily resolve the error where they can’t enter the safe mode. For most users, this tool is known by its executable name which is msconfig.exe.

1. The quickest way to launch the System Configuration in Windows 10/11 is by using the ‘Run’ window. You can achieve that by pressing Windows button + R keys, and then writing ‘msconfig’ in the text field that appears and pressing Enter or clicking on Ok.

Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 1

2. There is an alternate way of accessing the System Configuration Tool, which can be done by using Cortana. Using the Cortana’s search field, enter the following words ‘system configuration’. Follow that with tapping on the System Configuration Tool app.

Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 2

3. You then have to switch to the Boot tab using the ‘Boot Options’ section, select the ‘Safe boot’ option. You then have to tap on Ok.

Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 3

4. You will then be guided by Windows 10/11 which will ask you to reboot your device for the new settings to take place. If you have certain unsaved files, choose ‘Exit would restart’. Else, restart right away and your device will boot into the ‘Safe Mode’.

Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 4

Using the Shift+ Restart combination when you can’t enter Safe Mode:

What if you can’t enter the safe mode even after following the above steps? We now use the combination key of Shift+ Restart using the following methods:

1. Open the ‘Start’ menu and click or tap on the ‘Power’ button.

2. Keeping the Shift key pressed, click on Restart.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 1

3. One can also use the Shift+ Restart combination from the ‘Sign In’ screen.

4. Windows 10/11 would then reboot, asking you to select an option. Opt for ‘Troubleshoot’.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 2

5. After the ‘Troubleshoot’ screen, select ‘Advanced options’.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 3

6. Choose ‘startup settings’ after the ‘Advanced Option’ screen appears.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 4

7. You will get a notification from Windows 10/11 asking you to restart your device for the change in advanced boot options. These include enabling Safe, Mode, Press, and Restart.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 5

8. After the Windows 10/11 reboot is complete, you can select the boot options you want to be enabled. One can get into safe mode through the following three methods. One, by pressing the F4 key, for Safe Mode with Networking, press F5, and lastly, to enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt press F6.

get to Enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 step 6

Boot from a Recovery Drive when can’t enter safe mode:

One can also use the ‘Recovery Drive’ app to create a System Recovery USB Drive.

1. Once the USB Recovery Drive has been created, you can use it to boot your Windows 10/11 device and when the notification to load the content appears, do so.

create a system Recovery USB Drive step 1

2. On the first screen, you would have to choose the layout for your keyboard. Select the ones you wish to use, and if it isn’t listed, press on ‘See more keyboard layouts’ to get the available list of layouts for you.

choose the keyboard

3. After the keyboard layout has been chosen on the ‘Choose an option’ screen and opt for ‘Troubleshoot’.

troubleshooting on windows

Use F8 or Shift + F8 when can’t enter Safe Mode:

While the Windows 7 option had the option of pressing F8 before the Windows were loaded, and that opened the ‘Advanced Boot Options’ windows, where one could choose to start Windows 7 in the Safe Mode.

Countless portals advise you to press Shift+F8 before the Windows start loading so that you can enter the recovery mode from where one can access the Safe Mode. However, the problem lies that Shift+F8 and F8 don’t work, even though these commands are supplied by Microsoft and are supposed to work with Windows 10/11.

Please note that if you have a modern PC with a UEFI BIOS and a fast SSD drive, there is no way to interrupt the boot procedure through the use of combination keys. Some users have told that on older PCs, especially the ones with a classic BIOS and no SSD drive, the use of these keys might work.


One of the major reasons for the inaccessibility of the Safe Mode in Windows can be due to the fast booting process. However, using the above steps, you can resolve the issue where you can’t enter the safe mode. It is important to understand that the latest variant of Windows, that is Windows 10/11, is at par with its previous variants, and therefore, accessing the safe mode is not that direct, but simple.

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