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HP PCs - Configuring Safe Mode (Windows 10, 8)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that allows you to use Windows with basic drivers. If you encounter errors or software problems in Windows, restarting in Safe Mode allows you to continue working and troubleshoot the problem. The Safe Mode feature does not install any software.
In Safe Mode, Windows might look different because Safe Mode uses a low graphics mode for the display. Also, the words Safe Mode display in the four corners of the screen.
 note:
Depending on your version of Windows, some graphics and information in this document might vary slightly.
Entering Safe Mode from Windows
You can enter Safe Mode from Windows using the PC settings menu.
Entering Safe Mode from the PC Settings menu using the following steps:
  1. Press the Windows + I key.
    The PC Settings menu opens.
  2. Skip this step (Windows 10). Click Change PC Settings (Windows 8).
  3. Click Update and recovery (Windows 8). Click Update & security (Windows 10).
  4. Click Recovery, and then under Advanced startup, click Restart now.
    Figure : Restart now for Advanced startup in Recovery options
    Restart now selected under the Advanced startup screen
  5. The Choose an option screen opens. From the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Choose an Option screen with Troubleshoot selected
    Troubleshoot selected on the Choose an Option screen
  6. Click Advanced options.
    Figure : Troubleshoot screen with Advanced options selected
    Advanced options on the Troubleshoot screen
  7. Click Startup Settings.
    Figure : Advanced options with Startup Settings selected
    Advanced options with Startup Settings being selected
  8. Click Restart.
    Figure : Startup Settings screen
     Startup Settings screen with Restart button selected
    The computer restarts and another Startup Settings screen opens showing a list of different startup options.
  9. Choose the safe mode option you want from the Startup Settings menu:
    • Press the F4 key for Enable Safe Mode.
    • Press the F5 key for Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    • Press the F6 key for Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
    Figure : Startup Settings screen
     Startup Settings screen showing menu of available startup options
  10. Sign in to the computer with your account name and password.
    The computer opens the desktop in Safe Mode.
  11. When finished troubleshooting, exit Safe Mode by pressing Windows + I.
  12. Click Power, and select Restart.
    The computer starts normally.
For information on entering Safe Mode, see
.
Entering Safe Mode from outside Windows
When Windows fails to start properly, you might be prompted to start in recovery mode. When this happens, the Choose an option screen displays. If the Choose an option screen does not display, shut down your computer. Turn on your computer and repeatedly press the esc key until the Startup Menu opens. Begin a System Recovery by pressing F11, then use the following steps to open Windows in Safe Mode:
  1. If prompted, select your keyboard layout, then from the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Choose an Option screen with Troubleshoot selected
     Troubleshoot selected on the Choose an Option screen
  2. Click Advanced options.
    Figure : Troubleshoot screen with Advanced options selected
    Advanced options selected in Troubleshoot screen
  3. Click Startup Settings. If the Startup Settings option does not display, follow the steps for starting Safe Mode in the Entering Safe Mode without access to Startup Settings section.
    Figure : Advanced options with Startup Settings selected
    Startup Settings selected in Advanced options window
  4. Click Restart.
    Figure : Startup Settings screen
     Startup Settings screen with Restart button selected
    The computer restarts and another Startup Settings screen opens showing a list of different startup options.
  5. Choose the safe mode option you want from the Startup Settings menu:
    • Press the F4 key for Enable Safe Mode.
    • Press the F5 key for Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    • Press the F6 key for Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
    Figure : Startup Settings screen
     Startup Settings screen showing menu of available startup options
  6. If prompted, select your keyboard language type and sign in with an account name that has administrator rights.
    The computer opens the desktop in Safe Mode.
  7. When finished troubleshooting, exit Safe Mode by pressing Windows + I.
  8. Click Power, and select Restart.
    The computer starts normally.
Entering Safe Mode without access to Startup Settings
In some cases, the Startup Settings option on the Advanced options screen does not display. Open Windows in safe mode using Command Prompt.
  1. Turn on your computer and repeatedly press the esc key until the Startup Menu opens.
  2. Begin a System Recovery by pressing F11. If prompted, select your keyboard layout.
  3. The Choose an option screen displays. Click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Choose an Option screen with Troubleshoot selected
    Troubleshoot selected in the Choose an Option screen
  4. Click Advanced options.
    Figure : Troubleshoot screen with Advanced options selected
    Advanced options selected in Troubleshoot screen
  5. Select Command Prompt to open the Command Prompt window. You might need to select your account and enter your password to continue.
    Figure : Advanced options with Command Prompt selected
    Command Prompt selected in Advanced options
  6. After the command system prompt, enter the command for the safe mode option you want. Enter the information exactly. The computer responds with The operation completed successfully when you have entered the command correctly.
    • Enable Safe Mode - Type:
      bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal and press Enter.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Networking - Type:
      bcdedit /set {default} safeboot network and press Enter.
    • Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt - Type:
      bcdedit /set {default} safeboot minimal, press Enter:
      bcdedit /set {default} safebootalternateshell yes and press Enter.
    Figure : Enable Safe Mode from Command Prompt
     Safe Mode enabled from the Command Prompt
  7. Close the Command Prompt window by checking the exit box in the upper right corner of the Command Prompt window.
  8. The Choose an option screen displays. Select Continue and sign in to Windows with your account name and password.
    The computer opens the desktop in Safe Mode.
Exiting Safe Mode
In most cases, you can exit Safe Mode by restarting your computer. When you have entered Safe Mode using Command Prompt, restarting your computer does not exit Safe Mode. If your computer is stuck in Safe Mode, use the following steps to return to normal operation.
  1. Shut down your computer, then turn on your computer and repeatedly press the esc key until the Startup Menu opens.
  2. Begin a System Recovery by pressing F11. If prompted, select your keyboard language type.
  3. The Choose an option screen displays. Click Troubleshoot.
    Figure : Choose an Option screen with Troubleshoot selected
    Troubleshoot selected on the Choose an Option screen
  4. Click Advanced options.
    Figure : Troubleshoot screen with Advanced options selected
    Advanced options selected on the Troubleshoot screen
  5. Click Command Prompt to open the Command Prompt window. You might need to select your account and enter your password to continue.
    Figure : Advanced options with Command Prompt selected
    Startup Settings selected in Advanced options window
  6. Type the following command to exit Safe Mode:
    bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot and press Enter.
    Figure : Exit Safe Mode command in Command Prompt
     Command Prompt with Exit Safe Mode command
  7. Close the Command Prompt window by checking the exit box in the upper right corner of the Command Prompt window.
  8. The Choose an options screen displays. Select Continue and sign in to Windows with your account name and password.
    The computer starts normally.

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