What to do if you can't get into Microsoft Windows safe mode

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope

Make sure you are entering Safe Mode properly. The Safe Mode menu can easily be missed if not done properly.

Windows safe mode

If the Safe Mode menu loads, but gives an error, restarts, or won't load Windows, your computer has a corrupt system file or there's a hardware issue.

If you have recently added any new hardware to the computer, we first suggest you remove that new hardware to make sure it is not causing your issue.

If no new hardware was added to the computer, or removing the hardware doesn't resolve the issue, Windows is corrupt, or hardware isn't working. To resolve or locate what's causing this issue, we suggest erasing the computer hard drive and reinstall Windows.


Although you could reinstall Windows over the top of the existing installation of Windows on the computer, we highly recommend you erase the hard drive and start over. Not only will this help test your hard drive, it also removes any potential corrupt programs, viruses, or malware from the computer.

If you encounter errors during the reinstall with copying files or errors formatting the hard drive, it's likely the hard drive is failing or has already failed. If Windows was able to successfully reinstall, it was likely Windows was corrupted and reinstalling everything has corrected the issue. Other hardware that may cause problems include the memory or power supply.