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

Booting into Safe Mode on Windows 11 is a troubleshooting step that can help you diagnose and fix problems with your computer. Safe Mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services, which can often help you figure out what’s causing a problem. To boot into Safe Mode, you’ll need to use the Windows Recovery Environment, which can be accessed by restarting your computer and pressing a key combination.

Step by Step Tutorial to Boot into Safe Mode Windows 11

Before diving into the step by step process, it’s important to understand that booting into Safe Mode Windows 11 is meant to help you troubleshoot and fix issues with your PC. It’s a diagnostic mode that loads the operating system with a minimal set of drivers and services.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu

Press the Start button on your taskbar or press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start Menu.

The Start Menu is your gateway to all the apps and settings on your computer. From here, you can access the power options which are essential for booting into Safe Mode.

Step 2: Access the Power Options

Click on the power icon located at the bottom right of the Start Menu to reveal the power options.

The power icon is usually represented by a circle with a vertical line at the top. Clicking on it will show you options to restart or shut down your computer, among other things.

Step 3: Restart Your PC While Holding the Shift Key

While clicking on "Restart," hold down the Shift key on your keyboard until the PC starts to reboot.

Holding down the Shift key is crucial as it will direct your PC to go into the Windows Recovery Environment instead of restarting normally.

Step 4: Navigate to Troubleshoot Options

Once your PC restarts, you’ll be greeted with a blue screen with several options. Choose "Troubleshoot" from the list.

The Troubleshoot option is where you can find advanced tools to help fix problems with your PC.

Step 5: Go to Advanced Options

In the Troubleshoot menu, select "Advanced options."

In Advanced options, you’ll find a variety of tools and settings that can help you diagnose and repair issues with your PC.

Step 6: Select Startup Settings

After you’re in Advanced options, click on "Startup Settings."

Startup Settings is where you can change Windows startup behavior, including enabling Safe Mode.

Step 7: Restart Again

You’ll need to restart your PC one more time. Click the "Restart" button in the Startup Settings screen.

This restart is necessary to apply the changes you’ve made and give you the option to boot into Safe Mode.

Step 8: Choose Your Safe Mode Option

After your PC restarts again, you’ll see a list of options. Press the number key that corresponds to the Safe Mode you want to enter. For example, press 4 for standard Safe Mode or 5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe Mode with Networking includes the network drivers and services needed to access the internet, which can be helpful if you need to download drivers or software.

After you complete these steps, your computer will boot into Safe Mode. You’ll notice that the desktop looks different, with a "Safe Mode" watermark at the corners of the screen. This is normal and indicates that you’re in a diagnostic mode.

Tips for Booting into Safe Mode Windows 11

  • If your PC is not starting correctly, you can access the Windows Recovery Environment by turning your PC off and on three times. This will force Windows to enter the recovery environment.
  • Before booting into Safe Mode, disconnect any unnecessary peripherals like USB drives or external hard drives as they can sometimes cause issues with booting.
  • If you’re having trouble finding the power icon, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt+F4 on the desktop to bring up the shut down window.
  • In Safe Mode, only the essential programs and services will run. Don’t be alarmed if some of your usual applications and features are not available.
  • When finished troubleshooting, you can exit Safe Mode by restarting your PC normally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I need to boot into Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services. It’s useful for troubleshooting issues that may be caused by third-party software or drivers.

Can I access the internet in Safe Mode?

Yes, if you select "Safe Mode with Networking" at the startup, you will be able to access the internet.

Will my files be safe in Safe Mode?

Yes, your personal files are not affected by booting into Safe Mode. It’s purely a diagnostic state for the operating system.

Can I use Safe Mode to remove viruses?

Safe Mode can be used to run virus scans and remove malicious software because it prevents the malware from loading, making it easier to be removed.

How do I exit Safe Mode?

To exit Safe Mode, simply restart your PC and allow it to boot normally.


  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Access the Power Options.
  3. Restart your PC while holding the Shift key.
  4. Navigate to Troubleshoot Options.
  5. Go to Advanced Options.
  6. Select Startup Settings.
  7. Restart again.
  8. Choose your Safe Mode option.


Booting into Safe Mode on Windows 11 can seem like a daunting task, but it’s an essential tool for any PC user. Whether you’re dealing with a pesky virus, a driver error, or software that’s causing havoc on your system, Safe Mode is the go-to strategy for troubleshooting. It’s like the emergency room for your computer – a place where you can diagnose and treat problems without the interference of non-essential applications. Remember, Safe Mode is your friend, and mastering it can save you a lot of headaches. So next time your computer acts up, don’t panic. Just boot into Safe Mode and tackle the problem head-on.

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