Enable F8 key & Safe Mode in Windows 10

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

16 Comments

  1. DZ

    Access denied! What am i missing?

  2. make sure you run the command prompt as an administrator

  3. aran

    This explains jack S***

  4. Tim Clark

    Also, this held me up for a minute. The parentheses looking symbol on each end of default is {default} Parentheses with points – Holding Shift and the two keys next to the P key = { and }

  5. jkld

    how do you open the window? this wasn’t explained?

  6. ann

    If the bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy gives you the following output
    “The boot configuration data store could not be opened. The system cannot find the file specified”,follow the instructions from [1](the answer marked as the right one).

    If you do not want to document yourself reading the answer from [1], just type the following command:

    bcdedit /store c:BootBCD /set bootmenupolicy legacy

    Restart your computer, choose your Windows from Grub, imediately press F8 and it should work as it did for me. Good luck!

    [1]http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/bcdedit-the-system-cannot-find-the-file-specified/7135b90a-c6a4-4a31-b752-822029671075

    Explanations:

    -Boot Configuration Data (BCD) files provide a store
    that is used to describe boot applications and boot application
    settings. The objects and elements in the store effectively replace
    Boot.ini.

    -BCDEdit is a command-line tool for managing BCD
    stores. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including creating new
    stores, modifying existing stores, adding boot menu options, and so on.
    BCDEdit serves essentially the same purpose as Bootcfg.exe on earlier
    versions of Windows, but with two major improvements.
    Administrative privileges are required to use BCDEdit to modify BCD.

    -/set Sets an entry option value.

    -/store
    This option can be used with most BCDedit commands to specify the store
    to be used. If this option is not specified, then BCDEdit operates on
    the system store.
    So when you open cmd with the option “Run as adminstrator” you are in
    C:Windowssystem32
    and that is why system cannot find the file specified, so you must
    specigy it c:BootBCD.

    -bootmenupolicy [ Legacy | Standard ]
    Defines the type of boot menu the system will use. For Windows 8.1,
    Windows 8 and Windows RT the default is Standard. For Windows Server
    2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, the default is Legacy. When Legacy is
    selected, the Advanced options menu (F8) is available. When Standard is
    selected, the boot menu will appear only under certain conditions: for
    example, if there is a startup failure, if you are booting up from a
    repair disk or installation media, if you have configured multiple boot
    entries, or if you manually configured the computer to use Advanced
    startup. When Standard is selected, the F8 key is ignored during boot.
    Windows 8 PCs start up quickly so there isn’t enough time to press F8.
    For more information, see Windows Startup Settings (including safe
    mode).

  7. jax

    Super! It works! Thanx!

  8. Jeff Colico

    it is pointless anyway, as usual in microsoft world, because if you have my problem, error code 0x00000074 (windows 8) doesn´t matter if you use Safe mode. Still, you will be stuck anyway in automtic repair, and you know that windows has never in his life repair anything. Thank God I have a Mac at home.

  9. Cal

    My computer screen is not turning on.

  10. Cal

    My computer screen won’t turn on after entering the command (I have an all in one)

  11. Modesto

    Ok. Did the command and f8 now works. Although I got to safe mode… upon selecting safe mode, I am right back to the blue screen. It will NOT enter safe mode. Period. HP and Microsoft needs to be reported to the Federal Trade Commissioner (FTC). Selling crap computers with crap software . They got their money and we have to jump through hoops to fix what they knew was bunk? I don’t think so. I smell a joint action lawsuit!!! They either replace my shit or fix it at no charge. Done with this crap!

  12. Elaine Traquair

    Hi my hubby’s windows 10 laptop has crashed and he can’t get the start up page to come on to get to safe mode, hope you’s guys can understand that because I’ve not got a clue about all this

  13. disqus_lrHfrmmBdP

    Lenovo Windows 8.1 laptop :
    Clicked on enable safe mode laptop just restarted and came back to we couldn’t complete the updates undoing changes tried to enable safe mode with networking and command prompt but all end up back at the couldn’t complete update page help this happened to me on my old laptop and had to do a hard reset and lost everything off my laptop

  14. CompTech

    If there is already something wrong with your laptop this will not help you. This only enables the option to press F8 to enter safe mode. It does not mean if something is wrong with your computer safe mode will help you, maybe it will, maybe it wont. It depends what is wrong with your machine. However if you use this command if anything happens to you in the future you can easily get into safe mode and attempt to make repairs. It is a useful tweak because Microsoft has removed this feature in newer versions of windows and it used to be an easily accessible feature.

  15. Gail

    My problem is that windows will not open at all and just keeps telling me it is Diagnosing Your PC, then says the Repair cannot be made. I cannot get into the system to enter any commands at all. Is there a way to get to that F8 key? I am not even sure it would open if I did, though……..I think I am scuppered.

  16. Wabisabi Ro

    PS C:Windowssystem32> bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
    The set command specified is not valid.
    Run “bcdedit /?” for command line assistance.
    The parameter is incorrect.
    PS C:Windowssystem32>
    BCD was probably edited by Aomei OneKey Recovery. Any idea how to enable perma-F8 in this case?

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