5 Ways To Boot Into Safe Mode In Windows 8.1 - Page 2

3. Boot from a System Recovery CD/DVD - works only in Windows 8

In Windows 8, but not in Windows 8.1, you can create a system recovery CD or DVD. Here's the tutorial that shows how it is done: How to Create a System Repair Disc for Windows 7 & Windows 8.

Once you have that disc created, boot from it. When asked to press any key to load its content, do so.

First, you are asked to choose your keyboard layout. Press the layout you want to use. If you want to browse through the available options, press "See more keyboard layouts" until you find the one you want to use.

Then, the Choose an option screen is shown.

From here on, the steps are identical to those shown for method 2.

4. Boot from a System Recovery Memory Stick - works in Windows 8 & 8.1

In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you can use the Recovery Media Creator to create a system recovery drive on a USB flash Drive. Details instructions can be found in this tutorial: How to Create a Recovery Drive on a USB Memory Stick in Windows 8 & 8.1".

Boot from the USB memory stick and follow the same instructions as in method 3.

5. Use F8 or Shift + F8 (doesn't work when using UEFI BIOS & SSDs)

In Windows 7, you were able to press F8 just before Windows got loaded, to open the Advanced Boot Options window, where you could choose to start Windows 7 in Safe Mode.

Some websites advise you to press Shift+F8, just before Windows 8 or 8.1 starts loading so that you make it start the recovery mode, from where you can boot into Safe Mode. The problem is that, most times, Shift+F8 and F8 don't work, even though they are correct commands, supported by Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

This official blog post from Microsoft (Designing for PCs that boot faster than ever before) explains that this behavior is caused by their work in designing a very fast boot procedure. Both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have the fastest boot times ever. To quote Steve Sinofsky:

"Windows 8 has a problem – it really can boot up too quickly. So quickly, in fact, that there is no longer time for anything to interrupt boot. When you turn on a Windows 8 PC, there's no longer long enough to detect keystrokes like F2 or F8, much less time to read a message such as "Press F2 for Setup." For the first time in decades, you will no longer be able to interrupt boot and tell your PC to do anything different than what it was already expecting to do."

If you have modern PC with a UEFI BIOS and a fast SSD drive, there's no way you can interrupt the boot procedure with your keypresses. On older PCs, with a classic BIOS and no SSD drive, pressing these keys might still work though.


I hope you found this guide useful. If you know other ways you can make Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 boot into Safe Mode, don't hesitate to share them via the comments form below. Many readers will find them useful.