Windows 10, like its predecessors, has a safe mode that you can boot into. Safe mode is great for troubleshooting problems that seem to have no source or for figuring out if your problems are being caused by a malicious app. Safe mode runs with very few services and almost everything that might create problems on a normal session is disabled. This may include but isn’t limited to network access. You can configure safe mode settings on Windows 10 so that network access is enabled or disabled, among other things. Here’s how.
Safe Mode Settings
You can configure safe mode settings via the system configuration window. There are two quick way to open it.
In Windows search, type System Configuration and select the desktop app of the same name from the search results. Alternatively, open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut and type msconfig, and tap Enter. You will need administrator rights to access the system configuration app.
On the system configuration window, go to the Boot tab. Under the Boot options enable Safe Boot. This will activate the four options under it; Minimal, Alternate shell, Active directory repair, and Network. There are four additional options that you can also enable; No GUI Boot, Boot log, Base video, and OS boot information.
The default safe mode option that’s selected is Minimal. Under Minimal, networking is disabled and only critical system services are running.
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Under Alternate Shell, networking is disabled, critical system services are running, and you boot to the command prompt.
Active directory repair is the same as the Minimal mode but you’re connected to the active directory.
The Network option will boot you into safe mode with networking enabled.
If you’re having display and/or display driver problems, you should enable the Base video option which will enable very basic VGA video settings. If you need to monitor which drivers are running, select the OS boot information option and it will display which drivers are loading as they load during boot.
Safe mode is for troubleshooting and the options for configuring safe mode settings allow you to enable or disable features that can help you fix a problem. You can also use this same menu to boot to safe mode though the easiest way to boot to it is to hold down the Shift key and click the Restart option in the power button menu in the Start menu.
Safe mode is good tool but if your Windows installation has been corrupted to the point where you cannot get to your desktop or interact with the boot menu, it may not be able to help you resolve whatever problem you’re having.