You must love Microsoft Windows. For decades, it has been the operating system to power billions of computers.
If you don’t think about Windows, you’re not alone. It is so common that we are all guilty of taking it lightly.
You wake up in the morning, walk to your home office or go to work. You turn on the computer and take care of literally every aspect of your life on it.
You use it to log in to a web browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge. You use your computer to create spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, legal documents, and more.
It’s gotten to the point where you might find yourself wondering, “How did I do my job before computers?” Or you could be the victim of a computer accident at home and break out in sweats.
“How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to chat with my kids? How am I going to schedule my day?!?
Of course, if you’re at work, you just call the IT guy. In a minute, he does something to make the screen black. Tap, tap, tap, and suddenly your computer is up and running. But, what did it do and how can you do it at home?
It has to do with something IT professionals call Safe Mode. We’ll tell you more about it and most importantly, we’ll give you some quick tips on using Safe Mode to find out what’s wrong with your computer.
windows safe mode
Unless you’re an IT tech or a computer geek, and most people aren’t, you’ve probably seen your computer in Safe Mode but have no idea what it is. Simply put, Safe Mode is one way to find out what’s wrong by opening the bare-bones version of your computer.
This is especially helpful if you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus. If so, you may not be able to move your cursor or restart your computer.
If something’s wrong with your computer, you might not be able to click on apps that you use every day. You may not be able to open files that have already been created. It’s depressing and a little scary.
As IT professionals know, Windows Safe Mode is a way to fix what’s wrong with it, without viruses or other problems. (Keep reading for tips on starting your computer in Safe Mode.)
In safe mode, for example, your computer does not turn on some hardware, such as your scanner or printer. Your computer does not run autoexec.bat. It doesn’t even run configure.sys.
Your computer’s graphics are also bare bones, without the images or colors you usually see. You’ll just have a black screen with words like “Safe Mode” on it.
If something is wrong with your computer, it may open in Safe Mode automatically. Then you can start searching for problems, so you can fix it and get back to work. But, if it does not start in safe mode automatically, then you will want to apply it in safe mode.
Safe Mode on Windows 10
If you’re using one of the nearly half a billion computers running the latest version of Windows, called Windows 10, there are several ways to start your computer in Safe Mode or Safe Boot. Here’s an easy way that we love.
You can access your Cortana task bar at the bottom left of your computer screen. If you use a voice-activated version of it, say “System Configuration”. Or just type in those words.
Click on System Configuration >> System Configuration Desktop App >> Select Boot >> Safe Boot >> Select Minimal unless you know you need another option >> OK >> Restart or without Select Exit after restart.
Safe Mode in Previous Versions of Windows
Try this to get into Safe Mode: Start >> Restart >> Hold down the F8 key as your computer is restarting. But, do it before you see the Windows logo. Otherwise, you will need to try again.
You’ll see several options for Safe Mode (see Microsoft Support’s description below). If you’re not sure which mode you need, start with Safe Mode with Networking.