How to Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

How to Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode

Starting Windows 11 in Safe Mode is a useful way to troubleshoot and fix issues on your computer. In Safe Mode, only essential system programs and services are loaded, which can help you diagnose and resolve problems. You can start Safe Mode through the Settings app, the sign-in screen, or using a combination of keys during startup.

How to Start Windows 11 in Safe Mode

In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps to start Windows 11 in Safe Mode. This process will restart your computer and boot it up with only the necessary drivers and services, making it easier to identify and fix issues.

Step 1: Open Settings

First, open the Settings app by clicking the Start button and selecting the gear icon, or by pressing the Windows key + I.

The Settings app is your central hub for making changes to your system. It’s pretty intuitive and user-friendly, so you’ll find what you need in no time.

Step 2: Navigate to Recovery Options

Go to ‘System’ and then click on ‘Recovery.’ Under the ‘Recovery’ section, click on ‘Restart now’ under the ‘Advanced startup.’

By clicking ‘Restart now,’ your computer will prepare to reboot into a special menu where you can access various troubleshooting options.

Step 3: Access Startup Settings

Once your computer restarts, you will see a blue screen with a bunch of options. Click on ‘Troubleshoot,’ then ‘Advanced options,’ and finally ‘Startup Settings.’ Click ‘Restart.’

This might sound like a lot of clicks, but it’s designed to be straightforward. Each screen guides you to the next step, so you won’t get lost.

Step 4: Enable Safe Mode

After the restart, you will see a list of options. Press F4 to start Safe Mode, F5 to start Safe Mode with Networking, or F6 to start Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Each option gives you different levels of access to your system. For most users, F4 will be sufficient, but if you need internet access, go with F5.

After completing these steps, your computer will boot into Safe Mode. You’ll see a black background with ‘Safe Mode’ in the corners of the screen, indicating that you are in the correct mode.

Tips for Starting Windows 11 in Safe Mode

  • Backup Your Files: Before making any changes, always back up your files in case something goes wrong.
  • Use Networking Mode if Needed: If you need internet access while in Safe Mode, choose the ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ option.
  • Note the Differences: Safe Mode has a minimalistic look. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of features; it’s designed to run only essential services.
  • Exit Safe Mode: To exit Safe Mode, simply restart your computer as you normally would. It will boot back into the regular mode.
  • Use Safe Mode for Troubleshooting: Safe Mode is great for uninstalling problematic software, running antivirus scans, and diagnosing hardware issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is a diagnostic startup mode in Windows that loads only essential system services and drivers.

How do I know if I am in Safe Mode?

You’ll know you’re in Safe Mode if you see a black background with ‘Safe Mode’ displayed in the corners of your screen.

Can I access the internet in Safe Mode?

Yes, if you choose ‘Safe Mode with Networking,’ you can access the internet.

How do I exit Safe Mode?

Simply restart your computer normally, and it will boot back into the regular mode.

Is Safe Mode safe to use?

Yes, Safe Mode is designed to help you troubleshoot and fix issues on your computer.


  1. Open Settings: Start > Settings or Windows key + I.
  2. Navigate to Recovery Options: System > Recovery > Restart now.
  3. Access Startup Settings: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  4. Enable Safe Mode: Press F4 for Safe Mode, F5 for Safe Mode with Networking, or F6 for Safe Mode with Command Prompt.


Starting Windows 11 in Safe Mode is a handy way to troubleshoot and fix your computer. It’s like giving your system a fresh start by loading only the essentials. This way, you can identify and fix issues without interference from non-essential programs.

Remember, Safe Mode is a powerful tool but not a permanent solution. Once you’ve identified the problem, make sure to fix it and then restart your computer in normal mode. If you encounter recurring issues, it might be worth seeking help from a tech professional or doing further research on the issue.

Feel free to bookmark this guide for future reference. Safe Mode can be your best friend when your computer is acting up. So next time you have a problem, you’ll know exactly what to do!