How to load the last known good configuration

Updated: 12/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Windows

The "Last Known Good Configuration" option was introduced in Microsoft Windows 2000 and is available in all later versions of Windows including Windows XP. This feature enables the user to load the last stable version of Microsoft Windows. Doing the last known good configuration is a great step to try when trying to fix issues with Windows; especially those that occur upon startup.


If you can open Normal Mode or Safe Mode, try restoring Windows back to an earlier copy. For help with doing this, see: How to restore Windows to an earlier copy.

To load the last known good configuration in Windows 2000 or XP, reboot the computer and upon startup, repeatedly press F8. This action should bring up the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" as shown below. Use your arrow keys to move to "Last Known Good Configuration" and press Enter.

Trouble Getting into Windows 2000 or Advanced Options menu - If, after several attempts you cannot get into Windows 2000 or XP Safe Mode, turn off your machine. When the computer is turned on the next time, Windows should notice that the computer did not successfully boot and give you the Safe Mode screen.

Windows Advanced Options Menu
Please select an option:

Safe Mode.
Safe Mode with Networking.
Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Enable Boot Logging
Enable VGA mode

Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
Directory Services Restore Mode (Windows domain controllers only)
Debugging Mode.
Start Windows Normally

Return to OS Choices Menu.
Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.

As shown in the example, you can highlight and press Enter to load the last known good configuration. Once completed the computer should restart and load into Windows.

Will running the "last known good configuration" delete anything?

No, running the last known good configuration will restore your working set of system settings without deleting anything. Although, recently installed programs may need to be reinstalled, as the configuration for those programs may have been lost in the process.