Troubleshooting

How to do clean boot on Windows 11

A clean boot allows you to troubleshoot and find conflicts with apps and drivers, and here's how to do it on Windows 11.

Windows 11 clean boot

On Windows 11, a clean boot refers to the process of starting the system disabling apps, services, and drivers during startup. When you have to troubleshoot a problem, a “clean boot” will help you to eliminate software conflicts usually during updates or software installations, or when running a particular app.

Usually, system utilities, antivirus, and other types of applications may include processes that can conflict with the normal operation of Windows 11, such as Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), unexpected freezes, performance issues, and more.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to perform a clean boot on Windows 11 to help you troubleshoot and determine conflicts in your setup.

How to do clean boot on Windows 11

To perform a clean boot of Windows 11 to troubleshoot problems, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Search for msconfig and click the top result to open the System Configuration app.

  3. Click the Services tab.

  4. Check the Hide all Microsoft services option.

  5. Click the Disable all button.

    System Configuration

  6. Click the Startup tab.

  7. Click the Open Task Manager option.

  8. Click the Startup tab.

  9. Select each item and click the Disable button.

    Disable startup apps

  10. Close Task Manager.

  11. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, if the problem is no longer an issue, you will have an idea where to start looking to continue troubleshooting and find a permanent solution for the problem.

As part of the troubleshooting process, after starting the device with a clean boot, you should try to apply updates that were previously failing to install. You can also try to install or uninstall applications, and you can try to launch the application that wasn’t starting before.

How to exit clean boot on Windows 11

To exist clean boot and boot normally on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for msconfig and click the top result to open the System Configuration app.

  3. Click the General tab,

  4. Select the Normal startup option.

    Windows 11 normal startup

  5. Click the Services tab.

  6. Check the Hide all Microsoft services option.

  7. Click the Enable all button.

  8. Click the Startup tab.

  9. Click the Open Task Manager option.

  10. Click the Startup tab.

  11. Select each item and click the Enable button.

    Enable startup apps

  12. Close Task Manager.

  13. Restart the computer.

When using this process, it’s important to distinguish that “Windows Clean boot” is not the same as “Safe Mode”. On Safe Mode, the system starts with a minimal set of drivers and services, and it’ll continue to start third-party drivers and programs during boot.

On the other hand, a clean boot starts the system normally but disables third-party applications, services, and drivers as the computer starts to troubleshoot and resolve conflicts on Windows 11 with apps, services, and drivers.

If using a clean boot doesn’t help, you should try booting Windows 11 in Safe Mode to continue troubleshooting the problem.