• Steven Burstyn

What is Safe Mode?






If you have worked with Windows for any length of time you are probably familiar with the term “safe mode.” You might have heard of it, but do you know what it is?


Safe Mode is not unique to Windows. It is a diagnostic mode that is used by most operating systems. The idea of Safe Mode is to load the operating system in a very basic state with a limited set of files and drivers. Booting an operating system into Safe Mode is a troubleshooting tool. If you are seeing a problem like a Blue Screen of Death when you logged in, but the problem is not there when you log into Safe Mode, then it means that the default settings and basic device drivers are not the cause of your problem.


On the other hand, if you do continue to see the problem when you are logged in with Safe Mode, then you have narrowed down the issue to one of the basic elements of the operating system. You cannot run your system in Safe Mode indefinitely since most of the drivers you need will not be running and you probably do not have access to the internet. There is a Safe Mode with Networking option, but even with internet access, Safe Mode is not meant for long-term use.


Safe Mode can be started manually by hitting F8 while your computer is booting up. Safe Mode will also start automatically if an attempt to start your operating system fails.


When you are in Safe Mode, you can do several things to help resolve whatever issues you are seeing. These tasks include:

· Scan for Malware

· Run a System Restore

· Uninstall Software

· Update Hardware Drivers

· Check if a certain behavior, such as a crash continues to happen


While Safe Mode is an extremely powerful tool spending a lot of time troubleshooting a problem can be a waste of time. Windows 10 allows you to reinstall Windows without deleting your files. It is always recommended that you back up your computer and your data on a regular basis, but with Windows 10 you can reset the computer without having to copy all your files.


In the event we will need to reinstall Windows as a part of troubleshooting, all your applications will have to be reinstalled. It is important that you keep documentation on any software you use, and if you have a license or product key for the software, you should also keep that information documented and safe. You may not want to keep that information on the computer just in case you can’t get to it. Copies of software and license keys should be kept safe in a physical location or on a cloud device like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive that you can get to from anywhere.


Safe Mode is a great way to troubleshoot, but problem-solving also requires experience. If you are having computer issues. Let Steven and Unfrustrating Computers monitor and protect your computer and your information. That way, if you do, we do need to reinstall the operating system, we know your information is safe, and you are back to work faster than if you tried to fix your computer yourself.

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