Tutorial Learn to Clean Boot into Windows (Troubleshooting)

Source: support.microsoft.com

"What is a Clean Boot?
A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.

Why software conflicts occur?
When you start Windows by using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts.

Before proceeding:
  • You must log on to the computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
  • Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start the computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behavior if the problem still exists.
  • If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a Microsoft support engineer directs you to do this. Doing this may make the computer unusable."
A common method using System Configuration and Task Manager.

Open Run > Type "msconfig" (without quotes) > OK.


Open the Services tab > Check-mark "Hide all Microsoft Services" > Click "Disable All".


Go to Startup tab > Click on Open Task Manager > OK.


Go to Startup tab > Manually disable all items (including any Antivirus or Security software) > Close [X].


Restart the OS - This will reboot Windows as a clean boot, for troubleshooting and / or software conflicts.

For more details and guides for other operating systems:

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

Applies to Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition

Applies to Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional
Last edited:


Staff member
Jan 8, 2011
Difference between Safe Mode and a Clean Boot in Windows.

"The safe boot mode, uses a minimal pre-defined set of device drivers and services to start the Windows operating system.

On the other hand there is also the Clean Boot State which is used to diagnose and troubleshoot advanced Windows problems. If your computer is not starting normally, or if you receive errors when you start your computer that you cannot identify, you could consider performing a “clean boot.”

When you start the computer in clean boot, the computer starts by using a pre-selected minimal set of drivers and startup programs, and because the computer start with a minimal set of drivers, some programs may not work as you expected.

Clean-boot troubleshooting is designed to isolate a performance problem. To perform clean-boot troubleshooting, you must take a number of actions, and then restart the computer after each action."