Windows 11 is good, and I like the new features, visual changes, animations, and a lot more about Microsoft’s latest desktop OS. That said, the plethora of issues, including the recent problem of the Start menu not working in Windows 11, is stopping many users from upgrading to Windows 11. But if you have already made the switch, worry not, as we are here to the rescue with a detailed guide on Safe mode. Safe mode lets you debug your PC from all issues in an isolated environment without any third-party software or driver. So if you want to learn how to start Windows 11 in Safe mode, follow our tutorial below.
Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode (2022)
Here, we have added two easy ways to start Windows 11 in Safe mode. Along with that, we have also added steps on how to exit from Safe mode on Windows 11. You can expand the table below and move to your desired section.
What is Safe Mode in Windows 11?
Windows 11, or for that matter, all versions of Windows have something called Safe mode. It is an isolated environment where only system files and drivers are loaded. Even network drivers, Bluetooth, display drivers, and other radio devices are turned off. In essence, you can say that Windows 11 in Safe mode is a basic state, where no third-party interference is allowed. If a problem does not occur in safe mode, it means the system files and drivers on Windows 11 are fine. Then, you should look at other third-party programs or drivers to solve the issue. Since it’s completely isolated, you can also use Windows 11 Safe mode to fix your PC, uninstall adware, and more, as no program will prevent you from performing any action.
Difference Between the Three Safe Modes
There are three Safe modes available in Windows: Minimal, Safe mode with networking, and Safe mode with Command Prompt.
The Minimal Safe Mode, as the name suggests, is the most basic version of this mode. You don’t have access to the Internet (either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi), Command Prompt, alternative shells like PowerShell, etc., in this mode. Also, even the firewall doesn’t allow any inbound or outbound connections to the PC. Hence, it’s a minimal safe mode where only minimal system files, drivers, and services are started to start the GUI interface of the OS.
Next is Safe mode with networking, where all the conditions of minimal safe mode are applied, but you also get access to an Ethernet connection. Note that even Wi-Fi won’t work in this mode. You will have to use a wired Ethernet connection.
And the last one is Safe mode with Command Prompt, where the stripped-down version of Windows 11 is loaded but without the GUI interface. A Command Prompt window will open up from where you can inspect and diagnose your PC.
Method 1: Boot into Safe Mode from Windows 11 Settings
The easiest way to boot into Safe mode is through Windows Settings. Just follow the instructions below, and you can quickly boot into Safe mode through a GUI interface.
1. Use the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” to open Settings. Then, move to System -> Recovery. Here, under “Advanced startup”, click on “Restart now”.
2. Next, your PC will restart, and you will be taken to the “Advanced startup” screen. Here, you need to navigate to Troubleshoot -> Advanced options.
3. Then, on the “Startup Settings” page, you need to click the “Restart” button.
4. Now, press “4” or “F4” on the keyboard, and you will be taken to the minimal Safe mode straight away. In case you want to boot Safe mode with the Ethernet option (no WiFi), press “5” or “F5”. And for Safe mode with Command Prompt, press “6” or “F6”.
5. Within a few seconds, you will boot to Windows 11 Safe mode.
6. To boot back to normal mode, restart your PC, and you will be back to your usual Windows 11 desktop.
Method 2: Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode with MSConfig
Windows 11 also has a GUI tool that lets you easily boot into Safe mode on your computer. With the MSConfig tool, you can start Windows 11 in Safe mode and exit from it without any issues. Here is how to proceed.
1. Use the “Windows + R” shortcut to open the Run prompt. Here, type
msconfig and hit Enter.
2. In the System Configuration window, move to the “Boot” tab and enable “Safe boot” along with the “Minimal” option. Now, click on Apply -> OK.
3. You will be prompted to “Exit without restart”. Instead, click on “Restart“, and you will be immediately boot up into the Windows 11 Safe Mode.
4. This is what the Safe mode looks like in Windows 11. Here, you can uninstall pesky apps, malware, incompatible drivers, and more. If you want to exit from the Safe mode in Windows 11, follow the below section.
Method 3: Boot Into Safe Mode From Recovery on Windows 11
There is another method that lets you access Safe mode on Windows 11. It can help you when you are stuck on the lock screen or want to recover your PC from an installation that went awry. Here are the steps to follow.
1. Press the Windows key once to the Start menu. Here, click on the “Power” button to open the menu. Now, press and hold the “Shift” key and click on “Restart”. After clicking Restart, you can release the key. Users stuck on the lock screen can also do the same thing from the power menu located on the bottom-right corner.
2. Next, Windows 11 will restart and boot to an Advanced Options screen. Here, click on Troubleshoot and navigate to Advanced options -> Startup Settings.
3. Now, click on “Restart“. This will allow you to boot into the Safe mode on Windows 11.
4. On the next page, press “4” or “F4” on the keyboard, and you will be taken to the minimal Safe mode straight away. In case you want to boot Safe mode with the Ethernet option (no WiFi), press “5” or “F5”. And for Safe mode with Command Prompt, press “6” or “F6”.
5. Within a few seconds, you will boot into Safe mode on Windows 11.
6. To exit from Safe mode, you need to restart your Windows 11 PC, and you will be back to the normal mode.
How to Exit Safe Mode on Windows 11
1. To exit Windows 11 from Safe mode, you need to follow similar steps as above. Press “Windows + R” to open the Run prompt and type
MSConfig. Now, hit Enter.
2. Move to the “Boot” tab and unselect “Safe boot”. This will also disable “Minimal”. Now, press Apply -> OK.
3. Now, restart your PC, and you will exit from Safe mode on Windows 11.
Easily Boot Into Safe Mode on Windows 11
So these are the methods you can use to start Windows 11 in Safe mode. Whenever I hit a snag after installing a program that later turns out to be malware, I usually open the Safe mode to disinfect my PC. The Safe mode allows me to uninstall programs, disables all the third-party services at login, and offers an isolated environment for debugging my computer. If you don’t want to boot into the Safe mode directly, you could first try using a malware removal tool for Windows 11. Anyway, that is all from us. In case your mouse is not working in Windows 11 after the update, go through our linked guide for an easy fix. And if you have any questions, do let us know in the comments section below.