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How To Access Advanced Startup Options / Safe mode in Windows 8 or 8.1


Method 1: SHIFT + Restart
Method 2: PC Settings
Method 3: Shutdown Command
Method 4: Boot From Your Windows 8
Installation Media
Method 5: Boot From a Windows 8 Recovery
Method 6: Boot Directly to Advanced Startup
What About F8 and SHIFT+F8 ?
Neither F8 nor SHIFT+F8 are reliable options for
booting to the Advanced Startup Options menu. See
How To Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode for more on
If you need to access Advanced Startup Options,
you can do so with any of the several methods
listed above.
How To Exit Advanced Startup Options
Whenever you're finished using the Advanced
Startup Options menu, you can choose Continue to
restart your computer, booting you back into
Windows 8... assuming it's working properly now.
Your other option is to choose Turn off your PC ,
which will do just that.
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1. Hold down either SHIFT key while tapping or
clicking on Restart , available from any Power icon.
Tip: Power icons are available in Windows 8 from
either the Settings charm or from the logon/lock
Note: This method does not seem to work with the
on-screen keyboard. You'll need to have a physical
keyboard connected to your computer or device to
open the Advanced Startup Options menu this way.
2. Wait while the Advanced Startup Options menu
1. Swipe from the right to open the charms bar.
Tip: If you have a keyboard, use WIN+I and then
skip to Step 3.
2. Tap or click on Settings.
3. Tap or click on Change PC settings at the bottom of
the charms bar.
4. Choose Update and recovery from the list of
options on the left of the PC settings window.
Note: Prior to Windows 8.1, choose General instead
and then skip to Step 6.
5. Choose Recovery.
6. Locate Advanced startup , at the bottom of the list of
options on your right.
7. Tap or click on Restart now .
8. Wait through the Please wait message until
Advanced Startup Options opens.
1. Open Command Prompt in Windows 8 .
Tip: Another option is to open Run if you can't get
Command Prompt started for some reason.
2. Execute the shutdown command in the following
shutdown /r /o
Note: Save any open files before executing this
command or you'll lose any changes you've made
since your last save.
3. To the You're about to be signed off message that
appears a few seconds later, tap or click on the
Close button.
4. After several seconds, during which nothing seems
to be happening, Windows 8 will then close and
you'll see a Please wait message.
5. Wait just a few seconds more until the Advanced
Startup Options menu opens.
1. Insert a Windows 8 DVD, or a flash drive with the
Windows 8 installation files on it, into your
Tip: You can borrow someone else's Windows 8
disc or other media if you need to. You're not
installing or reinstalling Windows 8, you're just
accessing Advanced Startup Options - no product
key or license breaking required.
2. Boot from the disc or boot from the USB device ,
whatever your situation calls for.
3. From the Windows Setup screen, tap or click on
Next .
4. Tap or click on the Repair your computer link at the
bottom of the window.
5. Advanced Startup Options will start, almost
1. Insert your Windows 8 Recovery Drive into a free
USB port.
Tip: Don't worry if you weren't proactive and never
got around to creating a Recovery Drive. If you
have another computer with Windows 8, or a friend
with Windows 8 on his or her computer, see How To
Create a Windows 8 Recovery Drive for
2. Boot your computer from the flash drive .
3. On the Choose your keyboard layout screen, tap or
click on US or whatever keyboard layout you'd like
to use.
4. Advanced Startup Options will begin instantly.
1. Start or restart your computer or device.
2. Choose the boot option for System Recovery,
Advanced Startup, Recovery, etc.
Note: What this boot option is called is configurable
by your hardware maker so the options I mentioned
are just some that I've seen or heard. Whatever the
name, it should be clear that what you're about to
do is boot to Windows 8's advanced recovery
Important: The ability to boot directly to Advanced
Startup Options isn't one that's available with a
traditional BIOS. Your computer will need to support
UEFI and then also be configured properly to boot
directly to the ASO menu.
3. Wait for Advanced Startup Options to begin.
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