How to get out of Windows Safe Mode

If Windows is stuck in Safe Mode, you’ll have to figure out what’s causing the problem.

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You boot into Safe Mode to fix things. So it’s not right when Safe Mode ends up being the thing that needs fixing. If your Windows computer insists on booting into Safe Mode, you’ll have to figure out what’s causing the problem.

What made you go into Safe Mode in the first place? I assume you did it intentionally, but how? If you did it through the System Configuration tool, that’s your problem.

Press Win + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.

This opens System Configuration. Select the Boot tab. If the Safe boot option is checked, uncheck it. Then reboot.

0714 system configuration

For future reference, don’t use System Configuration to enter Safe Mode, unless you have reason to reboot multiple times into that environment. (See our instructions for how to properly enter Safe Mode.)

If the Safe boot option isn’t checked to begin with, try getting to the boot menu. How you do this depends on your Windows version and the age of your PC.

If you’re running Windows 7, boot the machine and press F8 repeatedly. Once the Advanced Boot Options menu comes up, select Start Windows Normally.

This might also work on some Windows 8 PCs, or on PCs upgraded to Windows 10.

Luckily, there’s another way to do it in Windows 8 and 10. Go to the Shutdown menu, and hold down Shift as you select Restart.

Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

The computer will reboot. But instead of loading Windows, it will bring up a Startup Settings screen with all sorts of options. Press Enter “to return to your operating system.”

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