How to Boot in Safe Mode Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Booting your Windows 11 computer in safe mode can be a lifesaver when troubleshooting issues or removing malware. In a nutshell, you’ll need to access the advanced startup options, choose troubleshooting, advanced options, and then startup settings to restart in safe mode.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Boot in Safe Mode Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what booting in safe mode actually does. It starts your computer with a minimal set of drivers and services, which can be useful for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems.

Step 1: Access the Start Menu

Click on the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard.

The Start menu is your gateway to accessing the settings and features you need to boot in safe mode.

Step 2: Select Settings

From the Start menu, choose the Settings option (the gear icon).

Settings is where you’ll find the advanced startup options required to boot in safe mode.

Step 3: Go to System

In the Settings window, click on System.

System settings is where your advanced startup options are nested.

Step 4: Navigate to Recovery

Scroll down and select the Recovery option on the right side.

The Recovery section houses the advanced startup that will allow you to restart your computer in safe mode.

Step 5: Advanced Startup

Under Recovery, find and click on ‘Restart now’ under the Advanced startup heading.

Clicking on ‘Restart now’ will reboot your computer into the advanced startup environment.

Step 6: Troubleshoot

After your computer restarts, on the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.

Troubleshoot is where you’ll find the options to boot your computer in different modes.

Step 7: Advanced Options

Under the Troubleshoot menu, choose Advanced options.

In Advanced options, you’ll see the Startup Settings option that you need to proceed.

Step 8: Startup Settings

Select Startup Settings, then click on the Restart button.

The Startup Settings screen is where you’ll be able to enable safe mode.

Step 9: Enable Safe Mode

After your computer restarts again, you’ll see a list of options. Press 4 or F4 on your keyboard to start your computer in safe mode.

Pressing 4 or F4 will boot your computer into safe mode with minimal drivers and services.

After you complete the action of booting in safe mode, your Windows 11 computer will start with a minimal set of drivers and services. This environment is ideal for troubleshooting and diagnosing issues that might not be possible in the normal operating mode.

Tips: How to Boot in Safe Mode Windows 11

  • Before booting in safe mode, save and close all open files and programs as your computer will restart during the process.
  • If your computer is not starting normally, you can access the advanced startup options by turning your computer on and off three times, using the power button.
  • While in safe mode, some features and programs may not work as they rely on drivers that are not loaded.
  • To exit safe mode, simply restart your computer, and it will boot in the normal mode.
  • If you’re unable to access the Settings menu, you can also boot in safe mode from the sign-in screen by holding down the Shift key while selecting the power icon and then Restart.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is safe mode?

Safe mode is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system (OS) that starts the computer with a minimal set of drivers and services.

Can I access the internet in safe mode?

Yes, you can access the internet in safe mode with networking. Instead of pressing 4 or F4, press 5 or F5 at the Startup Settings screen.

Will booting in safe mode delete my files?

No, booting in safe mode does not delete any of your personal files. It’s a way to troubleshoot issues without affecting your data.

Can I make system changes while in safe mode?

Yes, you can uninstall programs, update drivers, and make other system changes while in safe mode.

How do I know if I’m in safe mode?

When in safe mode, you’ll see the words "Safe Mode" in the corners of your screen, and your desktop background will likely be black or a solid color.


  1. Access the Start Menu
  2. Select Settings
  3. Go to System
  4. Navigate to Recovery
  5. Advanced Startup
  6. Troubleshoot
  7. Advanced Options
  8. Startup Settings
  9. Enable Safe Mode


Booting in safe mode on Windows 11 is an invaluable tool for diagnosing and resolving issues that would otherwise be difficult to fix in a normal boot environment. Whether you’re combating a stubborn virus, troubleshooting a problematic driver, or simply want a clean slate to work from, safe mode offers a secure and minimalistic platform for you to work on. It’s a straightforward process that every Windows 11 user should know how to perform. Remember, the key to successfully booting in safe mode is following the steps carefully and understanding what each step accomplishes. With this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to tackle any problems your Windows 11 system may throw at you. So, next time your PC is acting up, don’t panic—just boot in safe mode and take control of the situation.

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