How to start PC in Safe Mode on Windows 11

You can start your PC in Safe Mode to troubleshoot and fix Windows 11 problems — here are four ways you can access this mode.

Windows 11 boot in Safe Mode

On Windows 11, Safe Mode is a feature that only loads a basic set of features and genetic drivers to use the system to troubleshoot and fix common software and hardware-related problems. You can start a computer in Safe Mode using Settings, Command Prompt, System Configuration (MSConfig), and Power options menu.

While in Safe Mode, you can troubleshoot the startup process when Windows 11 is not booting correctly, network connection problems, Windows Update stuck downloading updates, applications, and more. In addition, you can use Safe Mode to resolve video driver issues and perform a virus scan to detect and remove malware that wouldn’t be possible to remove while the OS was running in normal mode.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to start Windows 11 in Safe Mode using Command Prompt, Settings, Power options menu, and System Configuration.

Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode via Power options

To start in Safe Mode with the Power menu, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 11.

  2. Click the Power menu.

  3. Press and hold the Shift key and then click the Restart button.

    Shift key and Restart combo
    Shift key and Restart combo
  4. Click the Troubleshoot option.

  5. Click on Advanced options.

  6. Click the Startup Settings option.

    Windows 11 Startup Settings
    Windows 11 Startup Settings
  7. Click the Restart button.

  8. Choose one of the Safe Mode environments you want to start Windows 11, including: 

    • Enable Safe Mode.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

    Windows 11 Safe Mode types
    Windows 11 Safe Mode types

Once you complete the steps, the device will start in the mode you specified allowing you to troubleshoot and fix virtually any problem on Windows 11.

Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode via Settings

To get into Safe Mode from Settings on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Recovery.

    Recovery settings
    Recovery settings
  4. Under the “Advanced startup” section, click the Restart now button.

    Windows 11 Advanced Startup option
    Windows 11 Advanced Startup option
  5. Click the Restart now button again on Windows 11.

  6. Click the Troubleshoot option.

  7. Click the Advanced options button.

  8. Click the Startup Settings option.

    Windows 11 Startup Settings
    Windows 11 Startup Settings
  9. Click the Restart button.

  10. Choose one of the Safe Mode environments to start Windows 11, including: 

    • Enable Safe Mode.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

    Windows 11 Safe Mode types
    Windows 11 Safe Mode types

After you complete the steps, the device will enter into the Safe Mode environment where you can troubleshoot and resolve system problems more easily.

Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode via Command Prompt

To boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode through command-line, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

    Windows 11 bcdedit Safe Mode
    Windows 11 bcdedit Safe Mode
  4. Restart the computer.

  5. In the “Windows Boot Manager” menu, press the F8 key to access the Startup Settings menu options.

    Windows Boot Manager
    Windows Boot Manager
  6. Choose one of the Safe Mode types to start Windows 11, including: 

    Windows 11 Safe Mode types
    Windows 11 Safe Mode types
    • Enable Safe Mode.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will start in Safe Mode with the option that you specified.

You can always exit the basic boot level using the same instructions, but on step No. 3, make sure to use this command  Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no.

Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode via MSConfig

To start Windows 11 in Safe Mode using MSConfig, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

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

  3. Click the Boot tab.

  4. Under the “Boot options” section, check the Safe boot option.

  5. Choose the Minimal option to start Windows 11 in Safe Mode. Or you can select the Network option to boot Windows 11 with networking support.

    msconfig boot in Safe Mode
    msconfig boot in Safe Mode
  6. Click the Apply button.

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Restart the computer.

The only caveat with this option is that Windows 11 will continue to boot into Safe Mode until you revert the changes.

After resolving the problem with the device, you can revert the changes using the same instructions, but on step No. 4, make sure to clear the Safe boot option. Also, there are a number of techniques to access the “Advanced Startup Options” recovery environment. You can refer to this guide to learn the different techniques.