Windows 8.1 - How to boot into Safe Mode?

  wiganken2 12:49 13 Jun 2018
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Answered

Windows 8.1 gives access to the “Recovery” menu after booting up which allows one to select restarting in “Safe mode” but how does one get the PC to boot into Safe Mode from the OFF state? If, for example, the PC will not boot into Windows and hangs? In this case the “Recovery” option is not available and pressing F8 or Shift+F8 after switching ON doesn’t work (I’ve tried). I know how to use bootable USBs and images (I have all this set up already) so I am not talking about that method of recovery. I only want to know how to boot into Safe Mode from the OFF state. Thanks in advance for any help.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:46 13 Jun 2018

If 8 8.1 or 10 fails to boot into windows then power off

power on and then off again after 5 seconds - repeat 3 times - then let it boot and should boot to the screen where you can boot to safemode / repair your computer. - do start up repair reset etc.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:48 13 Jun 2018

P.S. the F8 only works if you Have xp vista or win 7.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:56 13 Jun 2018

P.S. the F8 only works if you Have xp vista or win 7.

You can set win 8 8.1 or 10 to display the F8 boot manager

You must be logged in as an administrator to set this up.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt or powershell prompt at boot.

  2. Type the command below in the command prompt, press Enter

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

  3. type exit and press enter to close the command prompt window

to disable follow the same procedure and type

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no

press enter and close the coomand prompt window

  wiganken2 15:00 13 Jun 2018

Thanks Fruit Bat but neither of the two suggestions worked. The first suggestion booted to Windows as normal on the fourth attempt after doing the three “ON then OFF after 5 seconds” cycles. Your second suggestion did show the boot menu but the only boot option available for selection was “Windows 8.1”. There was no “Safe Mode” available to select. The only other option available for selection was the “Windows Memory Diagnostic” tool. Internet searches reveal nothing either. Is this one of those things impossible to do in Windows 8.1?

  wiganken2 15:05 13 Jun 2018

Incidentally why can't I remove the "is answer" ticks? In my last post I changed "is answer" to "is not answer" but the posts previous to that show "is answer" and I can't remove them.

  wiganken2 15:08 13 Jun 2018

PS. In case it is relevant I am using Firefox Quantum v60.0.2 (64 bit), the latest web browser.

  wiganken2 22:15 13 Jun 2018

Thanks mrcalif but I do not want to boot up and only then be able to configure the PC to safe-boot mode and then have to restart it again to boot into safe-mode. I want the option to boot into Safe Mode from the OFF state as-and-when I need to just like one could do in Windows 7 by pressing F8 except that this doesn't work in Windows 8.1.

  rdave13 23:41 13 Jun 2018

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

Try that command in CMD admin.

  wiganken2 08:24 14 Jun 2018

Re mrcalif question "May I ask why you would want to boot a machine straight to safe-mode if there is nothing wrong with it?": - The reason is a "just in case" scenario where the PC refuses to boot into Windows normally. If the boot process hangs then safe mode may be the only way to troubleshoot the issue apart from booting from a bootable USB stick. This is how it used to be in Windows 7 but Microsoft (Grrrr) removed the F8 facility in Windows 8.1. I agree that it is not used often but when needed it is a very useful feature.

  rdave13 08:24 14 Jun 2018

The OP states that tapping F8 doesn't work. Using that command, above, in CMD does work though not in Windows PowerShell. It's been a godsend to me when preview versions have gone belly up a few times.

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