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How to Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 7

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

Theresa from Canada writes:

I have windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. When I try to get to safe mode (F8) it will not come up. How do I fix this? My computer is Intel i7. I never had this problem with an AMD MOBO. Thanks for your help


Fear not Theresa, there is indeed another way to boot to Safe Mode in Windows 7. It is prefect for situations like yours when pressing F8 does not do what you want it to do. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Click the Start button and type “msconfig” (without the quotes) in the search bar, then press enter. This should launch the System Configuration utility.

launch msconfig

2. Once the System Configuration utility opens, click the Boot tab.

Boot tab

3. Check the box next to Safe Boot, and leave “Minimal” selected. Once you are done, click Ok.

select safe boot

4. The box that appears next warns you that you may need to restart your computer to apply the changes. So, if you are ready to enter Safe Mode, click Restart. If you want to finish some things you are working on first, go ahead. The next time you restart your computer, it will boot to Safe Mode.

Restart now or later

When you are in Safe Mode, fix whatever you need to fix, but be sure to follow the instructions above one more time to go back into the System Configuration utility and uncheck the Safe Mode box that you selected above. Otherwise your PC may continually boot into Safe Mode instead of the standard Windows mode.

So, if F8 doesn’t work the next time you try to boot into Safe Mode, remember that the System Configuration utility is just a few clicks away!

~ Jonathan

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3 Responses to “How to Boot to Safe Mode in Windows 7”

  1. Patricia says:

    Just a comment:

    I’ve seen this happen:

    Some people who cannot access safe mode are using a wireless keyboard. The wireless keyboard driver doesn’t load till after Win, so pushing F8 is meaningless. People might want to keep an old PS2 or USB keyboard around to plug in for safe mode, so the keyboard can be found before Win loads.

  2. Jim B says:

    The person should watch the boot-up screen: Sometimes the computer offers a specific keystroke which may not be : I’ve seen and in the past…
    Sometimes simply holding ANY key causes an error and gives you menus.

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