The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

How To Use Safe Mode In Windows 8.1

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I often see instructions on forums saying “Try running the computer in safe mode.” but I don’t know what that means.“ - Ryan C., USA

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: Safe Mode uses very few computer resources. A computer is started in safe mode if it won’t start normally or sometimes when it needs to be troubleshot. Here we will look at a few ways to put the computer in Safe Mode.


Running Windows 8.1 in Safe Mode.


When your computer goes into Safe Mode, it starts with the least amount of device drivers and software programs. This becomes especially useful when the computer encounters a blue screen, the hardware driver crashes, or software crashes.

The Fastest Way To Enter Safe Mode From Windows 8.1

If you are able to start your Windows 8 or 8.1 computer, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key+I
  2. Click the Power Icon > click Restart while holding the Shift key
    Safe Mode - Power - Restart -- Windows Wally
  3. Click Troubleshoot, on the Choose an option screen
    Safe Mode - Choose an option -- Windows Wally
  4. Now, click Advanced options
    Safe Mode - Troubleshoot - Advanced Options -- Windows Wally
  5. Click Startup Settings
    Safe Mode - Startup Settings -- Windows Wally
  6. On the Startup Settings screen, click the Restart button
  7. Press the suitable key on the Startup Settings screen to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Safe Mode with Networking allows you to use the internet while most other drivers are disabled.

How To Boot Into Safe Mode When Windows Is Not Loading At All

When Windows does not start at all it should automatically show you the Automatic Repair screen.

  1. In the Automatic Repair screen, click Advanced options
  2. Click the Startup Settings tile
    Safe Mode - Startup Settings -- Windows Wally
  3. Click Restart
  4. Press the suitable key to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Getting Into Safe Mode Using A USB Recovery Drive

There are times when you might not be able to get into safe mode any other way. This is when you can use a Windows 8.1 recovery drive using any computer running Windows 8 or 8.1

  1. Press the Windows Key > type Recovery Drive to search for it
  2. Click Create a recovery drive to launch it
    Safe Mode - Metro Search - Create a recovery drive -- Windows Wally
  3. Follow the instructions
  4. When the USB flash drive has been made, connect it to your computer and restart the computer to boot from the recovery drive.

How To Leave Safe Mode?

You can exit safe mode and return to the normal Windows 8.1 environment by Restarting the computer.

I Hope You Liked This Blog Article! If You Need Additional Support on This Issue Then Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me On Facebook.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.