How to boot into Windows 8.1 safe mode

By default, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 have a new graphical environment for various recovery actions including an automatic repair engine due to which Microsoft has hidden the Safe Mode feature. When the system does not boot, it tries to analyze and fix startup problems automatically on its own without user assistance. However, you might need to enter Safe Mode for several purposes, i.e. to troubleshoot some issue with drivers and apps. In this tutorial, we will review three simple ways to get the Safe Mode feature back in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.

Method one: the good old msconfig app

  1. Press Win + R shortcut keys on your keyboard. The Run dialog will appear on the screen. Type msconfig and press Enter.
    run-msconfig
  2. The 'System Configuration' application will appear on the screen.
    msconfig
    Switch to the 'Boot' tab, select your Windows 8.1 entry and tick the 'Safe mode' checkbox as shown in the picture below:
    msconfig-boot
  3. Reboot your PC to enter the Safe mode of Windows 8.1.
  4. After you finish troubleshooting in Safe Mode, run msconfig again from Safe Mode and untick the checkbox from the step 2.

Method two: modify the bootloader settings of Windows 8.1

Open an elevated command  prompt and type the following command:

Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

This will enable the regular text-based boot menu. Now restart Windows and be ready to press F8 before Windows starts booting. After the power on self test (POST) checks of the BIOS complete, start pressing F8 quickly until you get the boot menu:

Advanced Boot Options Choose Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter. After you are done working in Safe Mode, you can turn off the text-based boot loader and revert to the graphical one using the following command:

Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no

Method three: my Boot UI Tuner app

  1. Download and run Boot UI Tuner

    Boot UI Tuner

    Boot UI Tuner

  2. Tick the following options:
    Enable advanced options of boot menu
    Enable legacy boot menu

This will enable access to the boot menu of Windows 8.1 at the next boot without having to type anything and you will be able to enter the Safe mode of Windows to fix your problem.

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