Enable F8 key to Boot into Safe Mode easily in Windows 8 Startup

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Windows Safe mode is a mode where only limited numbers of drivers and resources are active. This mode is otherwise known as troubleshooting mode as many errors and issues can be fixed here because of the limited number of drivers functioning in here. But the question here is How do you boot into Safe mode in Windows 8? Entering the safe mode is in Windows predecessors was however easy but with Windows 8 the case is not the same. Earlier, we use to press F8 key at windows startup to bring out Advanced Boot Options screen from where you can enter into the safe mode, but Microsoft has removed the Advanced Boot Options screen from Windows 8, so you cannot use F8 key to enter safe mode. Here is the tutorial how you can enable the F8 key again to start Safe Mode in Windows 8.

Enable F8 key Boot Safe Mode Windows 8 StartupMicrosoft has made many changes in the new OS to make it much better than its earlier versions functionally. To boost the startup it has introduced boot loader, but addition of boot loader remarked in removal of Advanced Boot Options screen, which appears when you press F8 key on Windows startup. It is here you can enter into the safe mode.

advanced boot options

Removal of Advanced Boot Options screen means you can no longer access safe mode directly by pressing the F8 key when Windows starts. However, there are several other methods to boot into safe mode in Windows 8 but it involves 2-3 steps to reach the destination or access the Windows 8 Safe Mode prior to the ones using F8 key that allowed direct boot into safe mode.

It is much comfortable and important to access any diagnostic tools quickly in spite of saving some seconds off of time in Windows startup.

Here is how you can enable the F8 key in Windows 8 to quickly and easily access the Safe Mode boot options and other diagnostic tools like in the earlier version of Windows OS. Moreover, enabling this option adds an option to easily boot into system with multiple operating systems.

Follow the steps below to enable F8 key in Windows 8 to boot into Safe mode easily.

Steps to Enable F8 key in Windows 8

  • Firstly, you need to open elevated command prompt and to do so, Press Windows + R and in Run Box type cmd and hit enter. You will be at the C:\Windows\System32> prompt
  • Now in the command prompt, type bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy and hit Enter

enable f8 command prompt windows 8

  • Again hit the Enter key. If the command is correct, you can view a report prompting “The operation completed successfully.”
  • Once you see the message, restart your computer so that changes can be applied or take effect.
  • Now, restart your system and press F8 while Windows 8 starts. You will find that you are able to access Safe Mode and other Advanced Boot options just as the earlier Windows version.
  • To undo or disable the F8 key, again open elevated command prompt and enter command bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard and hit enter.

With the appearance of prompt “The operation completed successfully.” restart your computer and thus you will find that F8 key is disabled in Windows 8.

The tweak described here will allow you to enable or disable F8 key to enter into safe mode directly when the Windows starts.


Priyanka contributes to the Computer and Gadgets section on Techcular.

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