How to Start my Computer in Safe Mode?
Published: April 6, 2020
Starting up your computer in safe mode is a great way to troubleshoot if you're having problems upgrading, installing software or even turning your computer on. But first, what is safe mode? Safe mode is an alternative way for your computer to start up where it runs only basic applications and processes.
In short, it doesn't load any drivers for outside equipment (such as printers) and runs only a basic graphic interface that any graphic card can use. If your computer boots properly in safe mode then you know that the issue is not with the OS or hardware and you can then narrow down the problem. Sometimes Windows will automatically reboot into safe mode if a problem comes up that it can't get around. Follow these steps to manually boot your Windows computer into safe mode (keep reading for Mac instructions):
- First press the Windows button, then click on Settings
- From there select Update & Security, then Recovery
- Then under Advanced Setup, click Restart Now
Let the computer restart, and then you'll be presented with a list of options. Press 4 or F4 to start Safe Mode, or 5/F5 to start Safe Mode with networking. This is the same as Safe Mode but with network connectivity enabled.
Alternatively, if the computer is off, hold CTRL+F8 while it boots. To exit safe mode, restart.
On Mac, follow these instructions:
- Restart or turn on your computer, and then hold Shift until you see the Apple logo and the boot meter. To exit, restart the computer
A great Mac alternative to Safe Mode that is great for troubleshooting is the Apple Diagnostics test. This tests the hardware of the computer. To do this hold the D key while the Mac is booting up. Select which language you want to use and then the computer will run the test and tell you if it finds anything wrong. To exit, restart the computer. This is especially helpful to do before taking the computer to the Apple Store as it will save you from having to run it there with an employee.