Windows Safe Mode is a very convenient and useful tool. On computers infected with viruses or with problems with hardware drivers, safe mode may be the only way to solve the problem with the computer.
When Windows boots in safe mode, it does not load any third-party software or drivers, thus increasing the likelihood that the download will succeed, and you can fix the problem in safe mode.
Additional Information: Adding Safe Mode Launch to the Windows 8 Boot Menu
When safe mode can help
Usually, when Windows starts, a whole set of programs is launched at startup, drivers for various computer devices and other components. In the event that the computer has malicious software or unstable drivers that cause the blue screen of death (BSOD) to appear, safe mode can help correct the situation.
In safe mode, the operating system uses a low resolution screen, initializes only the necessary hardware and (almost) does not load third-party programs. This allows you to boot Windows when just these things interfere with its loading.
Thus, if for some reason you cannot load Windows normally or the blue screen of death constantly appears on your computer, you should try using safe mode.
How to start safe mode
In theory, your computer should start Windows safe mode itself if a failure occurs during startup, however, sometimes it may be necessary to manually start safe mode, which is done as follows:
- In Windows 7 and earlier versions: you must press F8 after turning on the computer, as a result a menu appears in which you can choose to boot in safe mode. For more on this, see Windows 7 Safe Mode article .
- In Windows 8 : you need to press Shift and F8 when you turn on the computer, however, this may not work. In more detail: how to start the safe mode of Windows 8 .
What exactly can be fixed in safe mode
After you have started safe mode, you can perform the following actions with the system to fix computer errors:
- Check your computer for viruses , perform virus treatment - very often those viruses that the antivirus cannot remove in normal mode are easily removed in safe mode. If you do not have an antivirus, you can install it while in safe mode.
- Start System Restore - if the computer has been working stably recently, and now crashes have begun, use System Restore to return the computer to the state it was in before.
- Uninstall installed software - if problems with Windows starting or running started after a program or game was installed (especially for programs installing its own drivers), the blue screen of death began to appear, then you can remove the installed software in safe mode mode. It is very likely that after this the computer will boot normally.
- Update hardware drivers - provided that system instability is caused by system device drivers, you can download and install the latest drivers from the official websites of the hardware manufacturers.
- Remove banner from the desktop - safe mode with command line support - one of the main ways to get rid of SMS ransomware, how to do it is described in detail in the instructions How to remove a banner from the desktop .
- See if failures occur in safe mode - if there are problems during normal Windows startup with a computer - blue screen of death, automatic reboot, or similar, but in safe mode they are absent, then most likely the problem is software. If, on the contrary, the computer does not work in safe mode, causing the same failures, then there is a possibility that they are caused by hardware problems. It is worth noting that normal operation in safe mode does not guarantee that there are no hardware problems - it happens that they occur only with high load of equipment, for example, a video card, which does not happen in safe mode.
Here are some of the things you can do in safe mode. This is not a complete list. In some cases, when solving and diagnosing the causes of the problem takes an unacceptably long time and takes a lot of effort, reinstalling Windows may be the best option.