No F8 option to load Safe Mode with Windows 8, how to load safe mode in Windows 8?

Booting Windows in Safe Mode is a common way to resolve PC issues. But what do you do if hitting F8 doesn't work? Our Bristol IT support team guide you through what to do.

When trying to load a Windows 8 machine into safe mode you find that taping the old F8 button does not bring up any advanced boot options to allow such a task. There are two ways around this problem, one being the "modern way" of entering boot options via the instructions directly below or by configuring the machine to use the F8 option again by following the second set of instructions below:

The New Modern Way: 

1). Press the Windows key on your keyboard and C - [Windows)+C to access the charms bar on the right hand side

2). Click Settings

3). Click Change PC Settings

4). On the PC settings screen, choose "General" and scroll down to "Advanced Startup"

5). Restart the machine

6). You will now see a recovery environment screen and prompted to choose an option, select the "troubleshoot" option

7). Next select the "Advanced Options"

8). Next select the "Startup Settings"

9). You will now see a startup settings window showing the what options you will have to select next. To continue select restart and the system will restart into the Safe Mode Environment,

10). Press the number relating to the option you wish to select. In this case Safe Mode with networking will be option 5. This will now boot into safe mode with networking


Bring Back F8:

1). Press the [Windows]+X to bring up the WinX menu within windows.

2). Select the command prompt (admin). Respond to UAC as required if it is on.

3). Type the following command and hit enter: "bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy"

4). A message will say this has completed successfully 

5). The command line now launches the Boot Configuration Data Editor and sets the default boot menu policy to legacy as like previous Windows.

6). Close the command prompt

7). Restart Windows 8

8). When you see the blue windows flag appear on the screen for the first time, press and hold down the F8 key. In a moment you should then see the old black and white advanced boot options menu. Here you can select your safe boot option.

9). If you wish to change back and disable the F8 option again, repeat steps 1-2 and this time enter the command: "bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard"


There is one more alternative way to boot into safe mode:

1). Press [Windows]+R to bring up the run dialog box

2). Type "msconfig" and click ok

3). In the System Configuration window, select the boot tab

4). Under the boot options section tick the box "safe boot" along with one of the options via the radio buttons directly below

5). Click ok and reboot the machine. The machine will now boot into your chosen safe mode option