General Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11

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Startup_Settings_banner.png

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.
This tutorial will show you how to boot Windows 11 into normal mode, Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, and Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

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



Contents

  • Option One: Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Advanced Startup (WinRE)
  • Option Two: Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from System Configuration (msconfig)
  • Option Three: Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Command Prompt
  • Option Four: Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Command Prompt at Boot


EXAMPLE: Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Safe_Mode.png
Safe_Mode_with_Networking.png
Safe_Mode_with_Command_Prompt.png






OPTION ONE

Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Advanced Startup (WinRE)


You can restart the computer to return to normal mode if you use this option to boot into Safe Mode.


1 Boot to Advanced Startup.

2 Click/tap on Troubleshoot. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_advanced_startup-1.png

3 Click/tap on Advanced options. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_advanced_startup-2.png

4 Click/tap on Start Settings. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_advanced_startup-3.png

5 Click/tap on Restart. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_advanced_startup-4.png

6 When your computer restarts press the key below for which Safe Mode version you would like to start Windows 11 in. (see screenshot below)

Key to PressMode
EnterNormal Mode (default)
4 or F4Safe Mode
5 or F5Safe Mode with Networking
6 or F6Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Safe_mode_advanced_startup-5.png





OPTION TWO

Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from System Configuration (msconfig)


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


1 Open System Configuration (msconfig.exe).

2 Click/tap on the Boot tab in System Configuration, and do the step below you want:

 3. To Start Windows 11 in Normal Mode

This is the default setting.


A) Uncheck Safe boot under Boot options, check Make all boot settings permanent, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-4.png

B) Click/tap on Yes to confirm, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-5.png


 4. To Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode

A) Under Boot options, check Safe boot and select (dot) Minimal, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-1.png


 5. To Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode with Networking

A) Under Boot options, check Safe boot and select (dot) Network, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-2.png


 6. To Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode with Command Prompt

A) Under Boot options, check Safe boot and select (dot) Alternate shell, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-3.png

7 Click/tap on Restart to apply. (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_msconfig-6.png





OPTION THREE

Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Command Prompt


You must be signed in as an administrator to use this option.


1 Open an elevated Windows Terminal, and select Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt.

2 Copy and paste the command(s) below you want to use into the elevated Windows Terminal, and press Enter.

(Normal mode - default)
bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot
AND​
bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safebootalternateshell

(Safe mode)
bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal

(Safe mode with Networking)
bcdedit /set {current} safeboot network

(Safe mode with Command Prompt)
bcdedit /set {current} safeboot minimal
AND​
bcdedit /set {current} safebootalternateshell yes

3 Restart the computer to apply.





OPTION FOUR

Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 11 from Command Prompt at Boot


1 Open a command prompt at boot.

2 Type bcdedit into the command prompt, and press Enter.

3 Under the Windows Boot Loader section for the OS (ex: "Windows 11") you want, make note of its identifier (ex: "{default}"). (see screenshot below)

Safe_mode_command_prompt_at_boot.png

4 Copy and paste the command(s) below you want to use into the command prompt, and press Enter.

Substitute {default} in the commands below with the actual identifier for the OS (ex: "Windows 11") you want from step 3.


(Normal mode - default)
bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot
AND​
bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safebootalternateshell

(Safe mode)
bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal

(Safe mode with Networking)
bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network

(Safe mode with Command Prompt)
bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal
AND​
bcdedit /set {default} safebootalternateshell yes

5 Restart the computer to the OS (ex: "Windows 11") you want to apply.


That's it,
Shawn Brink
 

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