How to go to Safe Mode in Windows 8

by Remy Pereira on 15th May 2013

In Windows 8 the traditional method of holding down F8 to go to safe mode on startup does not work. Reportedly shift+F8 may work but if your system is fast this is very tricky because you have to be superfast, I personally couldn't do it fast enough or maybe it's not supported in my version.

It appears windows 8 automatically detects any startup problems and take you to recover options directly and you don't have to worry. Sounds very clever indeed, but most of you may already have had a malware similar to metropolitan police ransom ware or FBI moneypak that instantly locks you away your screen so that you can't access the operating system anymore. Windows 8 doesn't automatically detect this as a startup issue and hence you have to force in to safe mode somehow. Of course there would be numerous other scenarios where you need to go to safe mode.

If you are already logged into windows 8 normally, you can simply go to msconfig. (Search msconfig from start screen or right click on start run → msconfig). Go to boot tab and enable safe boot. But few people would require safe boot if their system is already working fine. So how to go to safe mode if you are not able to access the normal screen. The answer is:

At your login screen click the power icon which gives you options: Sleep, Shut down, Restart.
Hold down shift key and click restart.

Yes shift + restart, and then on restart you will be presented with a screen to continue to windows, Use a Device, Troubleshoot or Turn off.
Windows 8 Safe Mode
Click on Troubleshoot and select Advanced Options.
Windows 8 Troubleshoot
The Advance Options screen gives you options to do System Restore, System Image Recovery, Automatic Repair, access Command Prompt and to change Start-up Settings.
Windows 8 Safe Mode
Start-up settings have options to restart windows in different safe mode settings.

As for the malware the easiest way to get rid of it is to perform a system restore to a last known good restore point.

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pappyxyz | April 6, 2015 10:31 PM |

worked perfectly, thank you

Burt | December 2, 2014 10:26 PM |

Thank you!! You are the only place I've found with this info. Not even Microsoft has it. I had a computer with a totally blank screen except for the mouse. No way to see anything! This is the only info that has helped! Thank you, again!

Lessel Malbon | October 25, 2014 1:10 PM |

I understand why booting to safe mode is protected because for many people it is a easy way to hack the system and bypass the user login password. Which is just what I want to do. I bought my friend a used laptop from a pawn shop. I have had no problems with other purchases until now. apparently there is a user account with an unknown password. Usually I would just boot to safe mode to fix it.