Safe Mode, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Just kidding, paraphrasing the song… War (what is it good for). Safe Mode can be a very useful mechanism to help diagnose issues and rid the system of rogue software, but booting into Safe Mode has become a bit more complicated since the F8 key no longer works.
What Is Safe Mode
Safe Mode is akin to a cut-down version of your operating system. When you boot into Safe Mode only essential system drivers and software are loaded at default settings. Because of these limitations, booting into Safe Mode is optimum for removing rogue software as well as helping to diagnose issues, particularly BSODs (Blue Screens Of Death).
If you’re experiencing a persistent BSOD and you boot into Safe Mode, then if the BSOD is no longer an issue in Safe Mode, that means the culprit is likely to be a software problem. If the BSOD persists in Safe Mode, then it’s likely to be a hardware issue.
How To Boot Into Safe Mode
Firstly, provided you can access the operating system, the simplest method is to hold down the SHIFT key while clicking the Restart button.
We have published multiple articles on how to boot into Safe Mode so I’m going to refer to those earlier guides:
- Here is an earlier article from the wonderful but sadly late Dick Evans who explains in detail several methods for booting into Safe Mode, including how to resurrect the F8 key function: How To Find Safe Mode
- Next, an earlier article from our esteemed Editor Richard Pedersen with his step-by-step guide on booting into Safe Mode: Windows 10 Quick Tips – 2 Ways To Safe Mode
- Last, but hopefully not least, here is my review of portable freeware which provides a simple UI (User Interface) to easily boot into Safe Mode: How To Easily Access Safe Mode
In my experience, BSODs are nowhere near as prevalent these days as they once were but, regardless, booting into Safe Mode remains an important diagnostic mechanism, and knowing how to get there is the obvious first step.