How to Use Safe Mode to Diagnose Problems on Your Windows PC

Are you having difficulty surfing the Internet? It could be just a problem with your web browser. Tap or click here for five ways to speed up.

The problem, however, could be deeper. There may be a problem with your Windows PC. If you experience poor performance or crashing apps, pay attention. There is a real problem behind every surface level symptom.

Fortunately, Microsoft has a tool you can use to quickly find the problem. Here’s how to use safe mode to troubleshoot your PC.

What is Safe Mode for PC?

Safe Mode is a Windows feature that uses only the bare necessities.

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Safe Mode starts Windows in a raw state, using a restricted set of files and drivers. If a problem does not occur in Safe Mode, default settings and basic device drivers are not the cause of the problem.

Observing Windows in Safe Mode helps you narrow down the source of a problem and can help you troubleshoot issues on your PC.

There are two versions of Safe Mode: Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking. Safe Mode with Networking adds the network drivers and services you’ll need to get online and connect to other computers on your network.

How to enable safe mode

There are several ways you can launch Safe Mode with Windows 10 and 11. The easiest way is from Settings, so let’s focus on that.

To access Safe Mode in Windows 10:

  1. press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn’t work, select the To start up button, then Settings.
  2. To select Update and security > Recovery.
  3. Below Advanced startto select Restart now.
  4. After restarting your PC on the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Parameters > To restart. You may be prompted to enter your BitLocker recovery key.
  5. After your PC restarts, you will see a list of options. To select 4 or press F4 to start your PC in safe mode. Or, if you need to use the Internet, select 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

To access Safe Mode in Windows 11:

  1. press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn’t work, select the To start up button, then select Settings.
  2. To select System > Recovery.
  3. Below Recovery Optionsbeside Advanced startto select Restart now.
  4. After restarting your PC on the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Parameters > To restart. You may be prompted to enter your BitLocker recovery key.
  5. After your PC restarts, you will see a list of options. To select 4 or press F4 to start your PC in safe mode. Or, if you need to use the Internet, select 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

What if my system has already crashed?

You can enter safe mode after you have already encountered a problem. Here’s how:

  1. Perform a hard reset by long pressing the key Able on your PC for 10 seconds.
  2. Switch the device back on after switching it off by pressing the button. Able button once.
  3. While it boots, press and hold the Able button for another 10 seconds.
  4. Again, turn the computer back on by pressing the Able button.
  5. Repeat this process one more time, inviting Auto Repair to throw.
  6. To select winREshort for Windows Recovery Environment.
  7. From there, you’ll be taken back to the same troubleshooting options as before. Click in Troubleshoot to start.
  8. Choose Advanced optionsfollowed by Startup Parameters.
  9. Utilize F5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking.

After the whole process is completed, your PC will stay in safe mode until the next power off.

How to Disable Safe Mode

To turn off safe mode, tap To win + R to call the Course the window.

  1. Type “MSConfig” and hit OKAY.
  2. Under the Startup tab, make sure the box next to Safe boot is not checked.

Now try restarting your computer again. He should be fully back in action.

How to Use Safe Mode to Diagnose Your PC

Safe Mode is great when you have a mystery to solve and you don’t know where to start. What’s the best way to use Safe Mode as a diagnostic tool once it’s in place?

  • With a cleared task manager, you’ll be able to quickly identify problematic processes.
  • You may find that your computer is working just fine when only the essentials are working, which may be hinting at the actual underlying problem outside of those necessities.
  • If your PC has been rendered unusable, safe mode might return you to a place of relative functionality.

Safe mode clears the playing field for you. With the riff-raff off the table, you’ll be able to sleuth it distraction-free without wiping your system right off the bat.

Other Things to Keep in Mind While Using Safe Mode

One of the most common concerns will be the possibility of locking you out of the device.

Adding a PIN, fingerprint, or passkey are all viable workarounds, giving you a vital backdoor in the event of a disaster. You can also disable the “only allow Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts” in your Accounts settings, found in your Connection options.

We like Safe Mode because it makes diagnostics easier, even if you’re not necessarily a PC enthusiast. Anyone can use safe mode, and it could end up saving you a lot of time and trouble.


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Steven L. Nielsen