How To Boot Windows XP Into Safe Mode

Posted on November 26th, 2007

We recommend that you use the System Configuration Utility to get into Safe mode, however, the F8 key can also be used. Keep in mind that in order to use the System Configuration Utility, you must log on to Windows XP with an Administrator account.

To use the System Configuration Utility to start Windows XP in Safe mode

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Click Start > Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type msconfig and then click OK.
  4. In the System Configuration Utility, on the BOOT.INI tab, check /SAFEBOOT.
  5. Click OK.
  6. When you are asked to restart the computer, click Restart.

    The computer restarts in Safe mode. (This can take several minutes.) When you are finished working in Safe mode, use the System Configuration Utility to start Windows XP in normal mode.

To use the System Configuration Utility to start Windows XP in normal mode

  1. Finish what you need to do in Safe mode.
  2. In the section “To use the System Configuration Utility to start Windows XP” above, repeat steps 1-6, but in step 4, uncheck /SAFEBOOT.
  3. Close all programs, and restart the computer.

To use the F8 key to start Windows XP in Safe mode

  1. Restart the computer. Some computers have a progress bar that refers to the word BIOS. Others may not let you know what is happening.
  2. As soon as the BIOS loads, begin tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a “keyboard error” message. If this happens, restart the computer and try again.
  3. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, select Safe mode and then press Enter.