How to perform Clean Boot in Windows 10

What is Clean Boot State in Windows 10/8/7? How to perform Clean Boot? What is the difference between Safe Mode and Clean Boot State in Windows. Well, most of us are familiar with the Safe Mode in Windows. When you restart your Windows computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard, you will enter the Safe Mode. The safe boot mode, uses a minimal pre-defined set of device drivers and services to start the Windows operating system.

Clean Boot State

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. You may need to manually disable one item after another to try and pin point the one that is causing the problem. Once you have identified the offender, you can consider removing or disabling it.

How to perform Clean Boot

To enter a clean boot state, type msconfig in start search and hit Enter to open the System Configuration Utility. Click the General tab, and then click Selective Startup. Clear the Load Startup Items check box, and ensure that Load System Services and Use Original boot configuration are checked.

Clean Boot State

Next, click the Services tab. Select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box. Now click Disable all.

Click Apply/OK and restart the computer. This will put Windows into a Clean Boot State.

If the clean boot helped you fix the error, fine! Else in the General tab, also click to clear the Load System Services check box, click Apply/OK and restart.

To configure Windows to use the normal startup state, simply undo the changes.

Best to always create a system restore point first!

See this post if the Use original boot configuration is greyed out in Windows 10. You might want to also read about Hardware Clean Boot.

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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.

22 Comments

  1. Vignesh

    great post till now i dont know about clean boot, this post clearly identifies what is clean boot and what its use

  2. Sanju Shrestha

    THANK YOU FOR SUCH NICE POST SIR. I BELIEVE THAT IT’S VERY USEFUL TOO TO EVERY PC USER.

  3. Rutilicus

    I have the sam problem and tried to do what you said. But nothing has changed so I decided to click to clear the Load System Services check box. But whenever I clean the option “Load System Services” box then say “Apply” the option comes back again as I didn’t unchecked the option. I cannot uncheck the “Load System Services” box, it is impossible,

  4. George

    Although this is a very descriptive solution, it did not solve my problem. Windows explorer still crashes on startup, and I don’t get my desktop. Please advise, if there is another solution.

    Thank you!

  5. Taster'sChoice

    Press ctrl-alt-del and the choose task manager. Then, choose File –> New Task. In the box enter explorer.exe and your desktop will appear like magic. 🙂

  6. syed rahman

    it’s very use full solution… Thanks for the given solution

  7. Michael T Black

    I had an issue with my pc powering off randomly as I loaded windows. It was a bad PSU. Sometimes it’s the hardware.

  8. tchr22

    Two issues. When I try this, it won’t allow me to re-set to Normal start-up. (As soon as I click Apply, it reverts to Selective Startup.) Second, the “Load system services” box does NOT have a check mark in it– it has a small black box. And when I try to uncheck all 3 boxes (Load System Services, Load Startup Items, Use original boot configuration) and click apply, the Load System Services box is filled in with a box. (not a check, but a box.) So it won’t allow me to blank out all 3 boxes. Thank you for your help. P.S. The Dual Boot Repair that I downloaded did not fix this issue as per another post.

  9. Wilson Tam

    It cannot help at all……

  10. nwnl

    This helped my fps problem with a GTX 980 Ti but how do I make windows automatically boot too this mode? If possible that it.

  11. chamunorwa damiso

    i tried to use the clean boot. but i made a mistake along the way. now i cannot even access anything on my pc. since monday its asking me for a password. i have tried all passwords. its still not accepting. i am grounded totally. please help

  12. Try blank spaces or your Microsoft Account password or your PIN.

  13. chamunorwa damiso

    i have tried the blank spaces, my microsoft password, and the pin. its not accepting any of them.

  14. Can your enter Safe Mode or access Recovery Options/Advanced Startup? If so go and use System Restore. Also see: https://www.thewindowsclub.com/free-password-recovery-tools

  15. trying this to install a monitoring software but it still didn’t work. disabling UAC can do it but you can’t run most microsoft native apps.

  16. Daniel K.

    whenever I clean the option “Load System Services” box then say “Apply”,
    the option comes back again as I didn’t unchecked the option. I cannot
    uncheck the “Load System Services” box, it is impossible and restart ……. Now I cannot do anything. i cannot start windows …HELP

  17. Frezznezz

    still work in 2017, thanks man, very descriptive, another guide will not include general check box.
    helped me solved my bsod

  18. EXILE157

    I just did a Nvidia update and now all I get this message every time I try to run the NZXT Software – “Cam has stopped working”

  19. Alan Jones

    “Download this tool to quickly find & fix Windows errors automatically”
    I have a catch 22 situation, I cannot download anything on the problem laptop, I am using another one to make this comment and read the posts.

  20. dc

    thank you for a clear definition

  21. Richard Paul

    This was 5 months ago. Did you get it fixed?

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