Personalization Add Safe Mode to Desktop Context Menu in Windows 11


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Startup_Settings_banner.png

This tutorial will show you how to add a Safe Mode cascading desktop context menu with options to restart in normal mode, safe mode, safe mode with networking, and safe mode with command prompt in Windows 11.

Safe mode starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. If a problem doesn't happen in safe mode, this means that default settings and basic device drivers aren't causing the issue. Observing Windows in safe mode enables you to narrow down the source of a problem, and can help you troubleshoot problems on your PC.

There are three different versions of safe mode:
  • Safe Mode: Starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services without an Internet connection.
  • Safe Mode with Networking: Starts Windows in safe mode and includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Starts Windows in safe mode without an Internet connection with a Command Prompt window instead of the usual Windows interface. This option is intended for IT pros and system admins.
If you often need to boot into Safe mode, this context menu will make it much easier and faster to do so and go back to normal mode when ready.


You must be signed in as an administrator to add, remove, and use the Safe Mode context menu.

If you Restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt, you can do this below to return to normal mode:

1) In the command prompt, type explorer, and press Enter.
2) When explorer starts and you see the taskbar, close the Help and Support window.
3) Right click or press and hold on the solid black desktop, click/tap on Safe Mode, and click/tap on Restart in Normal Mode.


You will not be able to use multiple displays while in Safe Mode.



EXAMPLE: Safe Mode desktop context menu

You will need to click/tap on Show more options first by default.


Show_more_options.png
Safe_Mode_context_menu.png



Here's How:

1 Do step 2 (add) or step 3 (remove) below for what you would like to do.


2 Add "Safe Mode" to Desktop Context Menu

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Add_Safe_Mode_to_Desktop_context_menu.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode]
"icon"="bootux.dll,-1032"
"MUIVerb"="Safe Mode"
"Position"=-
"SubCommands"=""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\001-NormalMode]
@="Restart in Normal Mode"
"HasLUAShield"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\001-NormalMode\command]
@="powershell -windowstyle hidden -command \"Start-Process cmd -ArgumentList '/s,/c,bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot & bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safebootalternateshell & shutdown -r -t 00 -f' -Verb runAs\""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\002-SafeMode]
@="Restart in Safe Mode"
"HasLUAShield"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\002-SafeMode\command]
@="powershell -windowstyle hidden -command \"Start-Process cmd -ArgumentList '/s,/c,bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal & bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safebootalternateshell & shutdown -r -t 00 -f' -Verb runAs\""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\003-SafeModeNetworking]
@="Restart in Safe Mode with Networking"
"HasLUAShield"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\003-SafeModeNetworking\command]
@="powershell -windowstyle hidden -command \"Start-Process cmd -ArgumentList '/s,/c,bcdedit /set {current} safeboot network & bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safebootalternateshell & shutdown -r -t 00 -f' -Verb runAs\""


[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\004-SafeModeCommandPrompt]
@="Restart in Safe Mode with Command Prompt"
"HasLUAShield"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode\shell\004-SafeModeCommandPrompt\command]
@="powershell -windowstyle hidden -command \"Start-Process cmd -ArgumentList '/s,/c,bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal & bcdedit /set {current} safebootalternateshell yes & shutdown -r -t 00 -f' -Verb runAs\""

3 HidRemove "Safe Mode" from Desktop Context Menu

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Remove_Safe_Mode_from_Desktop_context_menu.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\SafeMode]

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Last edited:
This is very useful for me. Thanks Admin.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 PRO v.21H2 (OS BUILD 22000.282)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUSTeK Computer INC.
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 @ 2.40GHZ Conroe
    Motherboard
    ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5GC-MX/GBL (LGA 775)
    Memory
    4GB DDR2 (667mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS EAH4670 series 512MB
    Sound Card
    ATI High Definition Audio Device
    Monitor(s) Displays
    DELL E170S
    Screen Resolution
    1028x1024 75hz
    Hard Drives
    465GB Hitachi HGST HTS545050A7E680 ATA Device (SATA )
    465GB Seagate ST3500312CS ATA Device (SATA )
    PSU
    450Watt
    Case
    Custom
    Cooling
    DeepCool Mini
    Keyboard
    Crown USB
    Mouse
    Crown UB
    Internet Speed
    150mbps
    Browser
    Edge, FireFox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
    CPU
    Snapdragon X Elite (12 core) 3.42 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" HDR
    Screen Resolution
    2496 x 1664
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Internet Speed
    Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
That is brilliant thank you so much! My Windows 11 install was absolutely refusing to start in safe mode no matter what I tried, installed this and worked a treat! :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-13900KF
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Strix B660-F Gaming WiFi
    Memory
    32gb DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 3070ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32” Odyssey G5
    Screen Resolution
    1440p
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVME SSD 960 Evo 1tb
    Internet Speed
    Gigabit Up/Down
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky
Just found this. Thanks Shawn.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11 Home build 22631.2191 ver 23H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700 3.20GHz
    Motherboard
    GigaByte Z370 HD3
    Memory
    64 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia 2070 8GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x 32 AOC and 1 x 32 LG
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD and 2TB HD
    Keyboard
    Langtu
    Mouse
    Logitech
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Chrome usually

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
    CPU
    Snapdragon X Elite (12 core) 3.42 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" HDR
    Screen Resolution
    2496 x 1664
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Internet Speed
    Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Has this stopped working for anyone else? I'm completely unable to boot into safe mode on my PC now, not even:

1708784875597.png


will get my into safe mode :(

1708784902389.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-13900KF
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Strix B660-F Gaming WiFi
    Memory
    32gb DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 3070ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32” Odyssey G5
    Screen Resolution
    1440p
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVME SSD 960 Evo 1tb
    Internet Speed
    Gigabit Up/Down
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky
Has this stopped working for anyone else? I'm completely unable to boot into safe mode on my PC now, not even:

View attachment 88165

will get my into safe mode :(

View attachment 88166

Hello mate, :alien:

It is still working.

What happens when you try to boot into Safe Mode? Any error messages?

Are you able to use another option below to boot into Safe Mode?

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    64 GB (4x16GB) G.SKILL TridentZ RGB DDR4 3600 MHz (F4-3600C18D-32GTZR)
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING (11GB GDDR5X)
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    4TB Samsung 990 PRO M.2,
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S23 Plus phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Surface Laptop Copilot+ PC
    CPU
    Snapdragon X Elite (12 core) 3.42 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR5x-7467 MHz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" HDR
    Screen Resolution
    2496 x 1664
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Internet Speed
    Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
Hello mate, :alien:

It is still working.

What happens when you try to boot into Safe Mode? Any error messages?

Are you able to use another option below to boot into Safe Mode?


Every safe mode option I choose simply reboots into normal mode, no errors or anything, so in that sense it's good :wink:

I've tried a couple of the options on that list but not all, I wanted to use DDU for a clean driver install, in the end did it in normal windows and it seems to have worked ok but I'll bookmark that page for next time :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    Intel Core i9-13900KF
    Motherboard
    Asus ROG Strix B660-F Gaming WiFi
    Memory
    32gb DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 3070ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung 32” Odyssey G5
    Screen Resolution
    1440p
    Hard Drives
    Samsung NVME SSD 960 Evo 1tb
    Internet Speed
    Gigabit Up/Down
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky

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