How to start Windows 8 in Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode is a troubleshooting option that limits Windows operation to basic functions. Safe Mode with Networking starts Windows 8 using the most basic drivers that are required to get Windows to run. It will not start any programs automatically, but will start the networking subsystem so that you can access the Internet. This is the most useful Safe Mode version as it allows you to download any tools that you may require as well as the ability to update anti-virus programs in case you wish to scan your computer.

With the Windows Startup Settings screen (formerly Advanced Boot Options) you can start Windows in different advanced troubleshooting modes so you can find and fix problems on your PC. In previous versions of Windows, you could get to this screen by pressing F8 before Windows started up. Windows 8 PCs start up quickly so there’s not enough time to press F8.

To start your Windows 8 computer in Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking, follow the instructions below:

  1. Press the Windows key + C, and then click Settings.
    [Image: windows 8 settings]
  2. Click Power, hold down Shift on your keyboard and click Restart.
    [Image: Windows 8 power button]
  3. Click Troubleshoot.
    [Image: Windows 8 Troubleshoot button]
  4. Click Advanced options.
    [Image: Windows 8 Advanced options]
  5. Click Startup Settings.
    [Image: Windows 8 Startup Settings]
  6. Click Restart.
    [Image: Windows 8 Restart button]
  7. Press 5 on your keyboard to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    [Image: Windows 8 Safe Mode with Networking]

You can now use the computer as normal and resolve any issues that required you to boot into Safe Mode. If you need to get back to the Windows Start Screen, you can press the Alt button on your keyboard.

If you are having any kind of malware related issues, we recommend that you perform a computer scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, HitmanPro and ESET Online Scanner.


I am the creator and owner of the MalwareTips Community. I've started this site in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems.
I live in Bucharest, where I run my own local computer repair shop. My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.

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