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How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

The Advanced Boot Options screen lets you start Windows in advanced troubleshooting modes. You can access the menu by turning on your computer and pressing the F8 key before Windows starts.

Some options, such as safe mode, start Windows in a limited state, where only the bare essentials are started. If a problem doesn’t reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers and services as possible causes. Other options start Windows with advanced features intended for use by system administrators and IT professionals. For more information, go to the Microsoft website for IT professionals.

Repair Your Computer

Shows a list of system recovery tools you can use to repair startup problems, run diagnostics, or restore your system. This option is available only if the tools are installed on your computer’s hard disk. If you have a Windows installation disc, the system recovery tools are located on that disc.

Safe Mode

Starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services.

To start in safe mode:

Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer. Click the Start button , click the arrow next to the Shut Down button (or the arrow next to the Lock button), and then click Restart.

Do one of the following:

If your computer has a single operating system installed, press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you’ll need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer.

If your computer has more than one operating system, use the arrow keys to highlight the operating system you want to start in safe mode, and then press F8.

On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the safe mode option you want, and then press Enter.

Log on to your computer with a user account that has administrator rights.

Safe Mode with Networking. Starts Windows in safe mode and includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.

Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Starts Windows in safe mode with a command prompt window instead of the usual Windows interface. This option is intended for IT professionals and administrators.

Enable Boot Logging. Creates a file, ntbtlog.txt, that lists all the drivers that are installed during startup and that might be useful for advanced troubleshooting.

Enable low-resolution video (640×480). Starts Windows using your current video driver and using low resolution and refresh rate settings. You can use this mode to reset your display settings. For more information, see Change your screen resolution.

Last Known Good Configuration (advanced). Starts Windows with the last registry and driver configuration that worked successfully.

Directory Services Restore Mode. Starts Windows domain controller running Active Directory so that the directory service can be restored. This option is intended for IT professionals and administrators.

Debugging Mode. Starts Windows in an advanced troubleshooting mode intended for IT professionals and system administrators.

Disable automatic restart on system failure. Prevents Windows from automatically restarting if an error causes Windows to fail. Choose this option only if Windows is stuck in a loop where Windows fails, attempts to restart, and fails again repeatedly.

Disable Driver Signature Enforcement. Allows drivers containing improper signatures to be installed.

Start Windows Normally. Starts Windows in its normal mode.

Windows has completely revamped its boot options by consolidating them into a single menu. Boot options menu will provide access to repair tools and option which will help to fix the problems in Windows. Also various options like booting into safe mode, enabling debugging mode, enabling boot logging, disabling automatic restart on system failures etc.

The days have changed, you no longer need to press the ESC key or wonder which function key to press to get into BIOS. There are many ways to access the new options menu in Windows 8 or 10 PC. You can access Advanced Startup Options manually either by pressing the SHIFT key while pressing the restart option or by using the options in PC settings to enter into advanced startup options.

How to Use the Advanced Startup Options

Let’s see various tools and its uses which are under the Advanced Startup Options.

Continue

Continue option will be helpful when you want to exit the Advanced Startup boot options and boot into Windows 8 or 10. Using the Continue button is one of the quickest ways to exit the Advanced Startup menu and boot into your PC.

Turn off your PC

The function of Turn off your PC button is to exit the Advanced Startup menu and shut down your desktop or laptop.

Troubleshoot

As the name itself indicates that the Troubleshoot option contains various tools like Refresh, Reset your PC and other advanced tools. Let’s see them one by one.

  • Refresh your PC: If your PC is not working well as it once did, and you don’t know why. Then, refresh your PC without deleting any of your personal files or changing your settings using the Refresh your PC button.
  • Reset your PC: If you want to recycle your PC by giving away all the data and start over from the first then Reset your PC comes handy. All the installed applications, personal files and settings on your computer will be deleted.
  • Advanced options: Advanced options screen has the advanced troubleshooting and repair options. Here is a list of various tools available in Advanced options.
    1. System Restore: If any of the recently installed application or drivers is causing any trouble in your PC then, you can revert your PC to a point of time it was working fine called restore points. Restore points can be created either manually or you can set them to create automatically at a certain time. None of your personal files gets affected when your system is restored.
    2. System Image Recovery: You can also use System Image Recovery tool instead of system restore to revert your PC to a point of time it was working well. But to restore your PC using this tool, a recovery image has to be created in prior using the backup tools.
    3. Automatic Repair: Automatic repair option is the first option you must try if your PC isn’t working properly or booting properly. Automatic Repair will start automatically and scan various settings, configuration options, and system files for corrupted files and settings. If it finds any, then it will fix them automatically.
    4. Command Prompt: Command Prompt option will be useful for users who have some idea over the commands to troubleshoot and fix the issues on the computer. You can use commands o troubleshoot and perform various operations on your computer.
    5. Startup Settings: If you are IT admin or a pro, then you can use this options to start your Windows with advanced troubleshooting modes like safe mode, debugging, boot logging and much more.How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Of all the options discussed above in the advanced startup options, Automatic Repair and System Restore options would come handy when you need to fix problems in your computer. That’s it.

If you find this tutorial useful, do share it with your friends. Let us know your suggestions in the below comments section.

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Windows 8 and 10’s advanced startup tools function differently than the tools on previous versions of Windows. If your Windows 8 or 10 system can’t boot properly, the tools will appear automatically so you can fix the problem.

We’ve covered several ways to access the advanced startup options if your PC is working properly, including through the PC settings application. You can also create a recovery drive to ensure you’ll always be able to access these options.

Choose an option

Once you’ve accessed the advanced startup options, you’ll need to click (or tap) the Troubleshoot option to access the troubleshooting and repair options. The Continue and Turn off your PC options will continue booting to Windows (assuming there isn’t a problem) or power off your computer.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Troubleshoot

The Troubleshoot screen provides easy access to the Refresh and Reset your PC options. This is particularly useful if you want to refresh or reset your PC, but can’t get into Windows.

  • Refresh your PC: Refreshing your PC restores its system software to its factory state without deleting your files or installed Modern apps. However, any installed desktop apps will be removed.
  • Reset your PC: Resetting your PC (not to be confused with rebooting your PC) resets it to its factory state. Any personal files and settings on your computer will be deleted.

If you just want to fix your computer and you’re not sure which option to pick, try Refreshing your PC so you don’t lose all your files.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

For more advanced troubleshooting and repair tools, click (or tap) Advanced options.

Advanced options

The Advanced options screen holds the advanced troubleshooting and repair options.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

  • System Restore: Restore your computer to an earlier restore point. This is the same as using System Restore within Windows. However, if Windows 8 can’t boot, it may boot properly after you restore your PC to a working state.
  • System Image Recovery: Restore your computer using a system image file. The system image overwrites your computer’s state and files. You’ll need to use Windows 7’s backup tools in Windows 8 to create a system image.
  • Automatic Repair: Try to automatically repair issues that can prevent Windows from booting properly. If your computer can’t boot into Windows, this option is worth a try.
  • Command Prompt: Open a Recovery Environment Command Prompt. This will allow you to run a variety of commands to troubleshoot and fix your computer. This option should only be used by advanced users who know what they’re doing.
  • Startup Settings: The Startup Settings option allows you to modify a number of startup options. For example, you can enable Safe Mode from here. You can also disable automatic restart after failure – this option will allow you to see the error message if your PC is constantly blue-screening and rebooting.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

The advanced options here may allow you to fix the problem – the Automatic Repair option is particularly useful, and the System Restore or Safe Mode options may help you boot your computer. If none of these options work, you’ll need to perform a refresh (or a full reset.)

Windows has completely revamped its boot options by consolidating them into a single menu. Boot options menu will provide access to repair tools and option which will help to fix the problems in Windows. Also various options like booting into safe mode, enabling debugging mode, enabling boot logging, disabling automatic restart on system failures etc.

The days have changed, you no longer need to press the ESC key or wonder which function key to press to get into BIOS. There are many ways to access the new options menu in Windows 8 or 10 PC. You can access Advanced Startup Options manually either by pressing the SHIFT key while pressing the restart option or by using the options in PC settings to enter into advanced startup options.

How to Use the Advanced Startup Options

Let’s see various tools and its uses which are under the Advanced Startup Options.

Continue

Continue option will be helpful when you want to exit the Advanced Startup boot options and boot into Windows 8 or 10. Using the Continue button is one of the quickest ways to exit the Advanced Startup menu and boot into your PC.

Turn off your PC

The function of Turn off your PC button is to exit the Advanced Startup menu and shut down your desktop or laptop.

Troubleshoot

As the name itself indicates that the Troubleshoot option contains various tools like Refresh, Reset your PC and other advanced tools. Let’s see them one by one.

  • Refresh your PC: If your PC is not working well as it once did, and you don’t know why. Then, refresh your PC without deleting any of your personal files or changing your settings using the Refresh your PC button.
  • Reset your PC: If you want to recycle your PC by giving away all the data and start over from the first then Reset your PC comes handy. All the installed applications, personal files and settings on your computer will be deleted.
  • Advanced options: Advanced options screen has the advanced troubleshooting and repair options. Here is a list of various tools available in Advanced options.
    1. System Restore: If any of the recently installed application or drivers is causing any trouble in your PC then, you can revert your PC to a point of time it was working fine called restore points. Restore points can be created either manually or you can set them to create automatically at a certain time. None of your personal files gets affected when your system is restored.
    2. System Image Recovery: You can also use System Image Recovery tool instead of system restore to revert your PC to a point of time it was working well. But to restore your PC using this tool, a recovery image has to be created in prior using the backup tools.
    3. Automatic Repair: Automatic repair option is the first option you must try if your PC isn’t working properly or booting properly. Automatic Repair will start automatically and scan various settings, configuration options, and system files for corrupted files and settings. If it finds any, then it will fix them automatically.
    4. Command Prompt: Command Prompt option will be useful for users who have some idea over the commands to troubleshoot and fix the issues on the computer. You can use commands o troubleshoot and perform various operations on your computer.
    5. Startup Settings: If you are IT admin or a pro, then you can use this options to start your Windows with advanced troubleshooting modes like safe mode, debugging, boot logging and much more.How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Of all the options discussed above in the advanced startup options, Automatic Repair and System Restore options would come handy when you need to fix problems in your computer. That’s it.

If you find this tutorial useful, do share it with your friends. Let us know your suggestions in the below comments section.

October 27, 2018 By karan

A system wears and tears with time, not only the hardware but the software too. Windows 10 has an in-built mechanism to repair the system at Startup should it face any such issues. However, at times the automatic repair mechanism of the system could fail and users might get the following error:

Automatic/Startup Repair couldn’t repair your PC . Press “Advanced options” to try other options to repair your PC or “Shut Down” to turn off your PC. Log file: C:\Windows\System32\Logfiles\Srt\SrtTrail.txt

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Since users might not be able to boot into the system in normal mode, we might have to perform the troubleshooting using recovery mode. Try the following solutions:

1] Repair BCD and MBR

2] Run CHKDSK

3] DISM command and SFC scan in recovery mode

4] Disable Early launch anti-malware protection

5] Disable automatic Startup Repair

6] Registry level fix

Solution 1] Repair BCD and MBR

To repair Boot Configuration Data and Master Boot Record, we would have to use Command Prompt in Recovery mode.

1] The second you boot your system, start pressing F11 (the key may vary depending on the brand of the system) to boot the system in Recovery mode.

2] Select Troubleshoot >> Advanced options >> Command Prompt.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Type the following command and press Enter after each command to execute it:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

4] There command would help resolve issues with the boot sectors.

5] Restart the system and check if it helps.

Solution 2] Run CHKDSK

The CHKDSK command helps in checking bad sectors in the hard drive and repairs them if possible.

1] Open Command Prompt in Recovery mode as suggested in Solution 1.

2] Type the following command and press Enter to execute it:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Restart your system and check if it works this time.

Solution 3] DISM command and SFC scan in recovery mode

The DISM command and SFC scan checks for missing files in the system and replaces them if possible.

1] Open Command Prompt in recovery mode once again as explained in Solution 1.

2] Type the following command and press Enter to execute it:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Thereafter, type the following command and press Enter to run the SFC scan:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

4] Restart the system.

Solution 4] Disable Early launch anti-malware protection

One of the causes of the issue is that the anti-virus software might be interfering with the automatic repair process. However, we cannot log in to the system to disable or uninstall the anti-virus software, thus we would have to do it through an option in the recovery mode.

1] Reboot your system in recovery mode and explained in as Solution 1.

2] Go to Troubleshoot >> Advanced options >> Startup Settings.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Click on Restart on the Startup Settings page. It would display a list of options and we need to choose the option by entering the appropriate number.

4] Select number 8 which represents Disable early launch anti-malware protection.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

5] Restart the system and check if it helps.

Note: This procedure might not be able to disable all third-party anti-virus software.

Solution 5] Disable automatic Startup Repair

For the time being, if automatic repair is not working, we could disable it to log in to the system.

1] Open Command Prompt in the recovery mode as explained in Solution 1.

2] Type the following command and press Enter to execute it:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Restart your system and check if disabling automatic startup repair allows you to boot into the system. Thereafter, you could perform the earlier explained troubleshooting in normal mode.

Solution 6] Registry level fix

If everything else fails, we could attempt a Registry level fix to resolve the issue.

1] Open Command Prompt in recovery mode as explained in Solution 1 for the last time.

2] Type the following command and press Enter to execute it:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

3] Reboot your system and check it boots properly this time.

This exhaustive troubleshooting guide should be helpful in resolving your issue.

Advanced Startup Options (ASO) also known as Advanced Recovery Options is a Centralized menu for recovery, repair, and troubleshooting tools in Windows 11, 10, and 8. Most of the users and resourced called the ASO as a System recovery options and sometimes they referred to as the Boot options menu. This is an essential boot menu for Windows computers, the tools available from the Advanced Startup Options menu can be used to run almost all the repair, refresh, reset, Troubleshoot, and Safe mode in Windows 11 or Windows 10. Advanced options contain Startup Repair , Startup Settings, Command Prompt, Uninstall Updates , UEFI Firmware Settings, and System Restore . Also, you can find See more recovery options on the recovery options page, clicking on that option will give you other recovery tools. There are number of ways to boot into Advanced Recovery options, this article will guide you to Boot into Windows 11 advanced Recovery options.

Boot into Windows 11 advanced Recovery options:

You can use the following methods to boot into Advanced Recovery Options, depending on whether you can boot up your system or not. Here I have shown the easiest methods which can work on all the computers and laptops.

Method 1: Press F11 to boot into Windows 11 advanced Recovery options

In Most of the Computers and Laptops Pressing F11 will open the Advanced recovery options, restart your system, and Press F11 continuously while booting, now you’ll get the Advanced Startup options menu.

Method 2: Interrupt the Startup

While booting your Windows computer just press the shutdown button and then interrupt the Startup, this will boot the system in the Advanced Startup options menu.

Method 3: Press Shift Key and then Restart:

The above-mentioned two methods you can use it while you are not able to login to your Windows 10/11 PC, if you are able to login to your PC and then want to go to the Advanced Startup options then use the following steps.

Go to Start Menu and click on the Power icon. Now you’ll see the power options like restart, shutdown, hibernate, etc.,

Press the Shift key and choose the Restart option from the Power Menu.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

This will take you to the Advanced Startup options.

Method 4: Using Windows 11 Settings:

Open Windows Settings by pressing Windows + I and then from the left-hand side click on the System.

Look for the Recovery option from the right-hand side and click on it.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Under the Recovery option, you’ll see the following options

  • Fix Problems without resetting your PC
  • Reset this PC
  • Advanced Startup

Click on Advanced Startup to boot into Windows 11 advanced Recovery options.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Now the system will restart and now you’ll get the Advanced options page, click on any tool and then troubleshoot your PC.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

After the troubleshooting, your PC, just restart your PC to boot into normal mode.

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When your Windows 10 is acting strange or failing to boot, you can use these 6 methods to repair Windows 10 quickly.

By AOMEI / Last Updated December 29, 2020

Option 1: Windows 10 Startup Repair

When Windows 10 cannot boot normally, you can use Startup Repair to fix Windows loading problems.

1. Boot your PC into recovery mode. If you are within Windows 10, you can click Restart while pressing and holding Shift key. If you cannot boot into Windows 10, you can press F11 at startup or boot your computer from Windows 10 recovery drive.

2. Then choose the following options to get Startup Repair, Troubleshoot > Advanced options>Startup Repair.Windows will take a few minutes to fix startup problem and reboot your computer. If it fails to fix the problem, try the next solution.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Option 2: Restore Windows 10 to previous version

By default, Windows 10 creates system restore points on C: drive. You probably have several restore points that you may not be aware of.

1. Boot into Windows 10 recovery mode and navigate to Advanced Option menu.

2. Select the option System Restore.

3. Select your username and enter your password.

4. Select a restore point from the list, and click Next to start the System Restore.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Before you start the System Restore, you can scan for affected programs. System Restore will uninstall the programs and updates that are installed after the selected restore point was taken. On some cases, only the option Command Prompt is available, then you can type ”rstrui.exe” (without quotes to bring out System Restore.

Option 3: Run SFC scan

Corrupted files could be the cause of your system issue. In that case, you can perform a disk scan to locate and fix the corrupted files.

1. If you can boot Windows 10 or safe mode, you can type “cmd” in the search box.

2. Right click on the result Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

3. Type “sfc /scannow” (without quotes) and press Enter.

If you cannot boot Windows or even Safe Mode, you can open a command prompt under Advanced Option menu.

Option 4: Repair upgrade

If are pretty sure that the system issue was not caused by any of the programs that you installed, then you can run a Windows 10 repair upgrade to fix system issues without losing anything.

1. Download the latest Windows 10 installation ISO file and save it on your hard drive.

2. Double-click on this ISO file to mount it as a virtual drive. (Windows 7 or older version of Windows will have to use third party tool to mount an ISO file)

3. Locate the Setup.exe file and double-click to run it.

4. In a short while, it will pop out a window to ask if you want to download and install Windows updates. Select the one that suits you and click Next.

5. Click on the link Change what to keep. From there, you can choose to keep your files and apps, only personal files, or nothing. Just select the one and continue to install Windows 10.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

This only works when your Windows 10 boots fine. If your Windows fails to boot, then you can reset Windows from Windows recovery environment.

Option 5: Reset or refresh Windows 10

Windows 10 has a built-in feature Reset this PC which restore your computer back to the way it was before you had any software, special devices or data preloaded. You can go to Settings > Update&Security >Recovery > Reset this PC.

If you want to refresh Windows 10 and install Windows updates, you can run a command “systemreset -cleanpc” from an elevated command prompt.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

If your system cannot boot, just boot into recovery mode and select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC.

Option 6: reinstall Windows 10 from scratch

If Reset Windows 10 is not available, then you may consider reinstalling Windows 10. If you do not format the C: drive in Windows Setup, all your personal data will be stored in a Windows.old folder. After the installation, you can copy your files from the Windows.old folder.

Had a valid system backup, things would become much more easier

If you have created system image backups before problem happens, you do not need to go through all the way trying to fix it. You can simply restore system from the backup and everything will be back to normal.

To avoid system issues and data loss, you should create backups at a regular basis. In order to save disk space and backup running time, you can perform incremental backups and differential backups to only backup newly added or modified files.

Is there any free tool that can do backups in an easy and effective way? Free backup tool AOMEI Backupper Standard is the one.

You can refer the following to see how easily a backup can be created by AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Download and install this free software on your computer.

Step 2. Click the Backup tab and select System Backup. You can also select Disk Backup, File Backup and Partition Backup depending on what you want to backup.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Step 3. In the next screen, you can see all the related partitions has been included in the backup automatically. You need to just click Step 2 to select a location to save the image backup. You can backup to external hard drive, local disk, and NAS network location.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Step 4. If you want the backup to run at certain time point or event, just click the Schedule link down the button to configure one. Then click Start Backup to start the backup.

When the backup is done, you can create a bootable media with a USB drive or CD/DVD. If Windows 10 is unable to boot, you can boot from the bootable media and then restore system from a backup.

Repairing Windows 10 using a backup is far more efficient than trying several options to troubleshoot. Therefore, you should always keep more than system backup available in case system issues.

With Windows Startup Settings you can start Windows in different advanced troubleshooting modes to help you find and fix problems on your PC.

Get to Windows Startup Settings in PC settings

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

Under PC settings, tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.

Under Advanced startup, tap or click Restart now.

Once your PC restarts, on the Choose an option screen, tap or click Troubleshoot. If you don’t see the Startup Settings option, tap or click Advanced options.

Tap or click Startup Settings and then Restart.

On the Startup Settings screen, choose the startup setting you want.

Sign in to your PC with a user account that has administrator rights.

Get to Windows Startup Settings in the Windows Recovery Environment

If you can’t start your PC, follow these instructions to get to the Windows Recovery Environment. You’ll need to connect a keyboard to complete the steps.

Do one of the following, depending on whether you have installation media (such as a DVD or USB flash drive):

If you have installation media for Windows 8.1, start your computer from the installation media. Insert the DVD or USB flash drive and restart your computer. If you see a message asking you to “Press any key to boot from DVD,” do so. If you don’t see the message, you might need to change the boot order in your computer’s BIOS settings so that it first starts from the DVD or USB. When you see the Install Windows page, tap or click Repair your computer to start the Windows Recovery Environment.

If you don’t have installation media, use the power button to restart your computer three times. This will start the Windows Recovery Environment.

In the Windows Recovery Environment, on the Choose an option screen, tap or click Troubleshoot.

Tap or click Startup Settings. If you don’t see Startup Settings, tap or click Advanced options, and then tap or click Startup Settings.

Tap or click Restart, and then wait while your computer restarts.

On the Startup Settings screen, choose an option.

Sign in to your computer with a user account that has administrator rights.

Some options, such as safe mode, start Windows in a limited state where only essential programs are started. Other options start Windows with advanced features (typically used by system admins and IT pros). For more info, go to the Microsoft TechNet website for IT pros.

Note: If you’re using BitLocker, you’ll need to suspend it before you can get to Windows Startup Settings. If you’re using Windows RT 8.1, you may be asked to enter your Device Encryption recovery key to get to the Startup settings.

Starts Windows in an advanced troubleshooting mode intended for IT pros and system admins.

Creates a file, ntbtlog.txt, that lists all the drivers that are installed during startup and that might be useful for advanced troubleshooting.

Starts Windows using your current video driver and using low resolution and refresh rate settings. You can use this mode to reset your display settings.

Safe mode starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services to help troubleshoot issues. If a problem doesn’t reappear when you start your PC in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers and services as possible causes. There are three different safe mode options:

Enable Safe Mode. Starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and services.

Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Starts Windows in safe mode and includes the network drivers and services needed to access the Internet or other computers on your network.

Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Starts Windows in safe mode with a Command Prompt window instead of the usual Windows interface. This option is intended for IT pros and system admins.

If the problem doesn’t occur when you restart your PC in safe mode, it’s unlikely that the basic settings, files, and drivers in Windows are the cause of the problem. Try starting all of the apps on your desktop that you commonly use one by one (including the apps in your Startup folder) to see if a specific app might be causing the problem. If one of the apps is causing the problem, uninstall it or contact the software publisher. If the problem appears while in safe mode, or you still can’t find the problem, you can try refreshing or resetting your PC. For more info, see How to refresh, reset, or restore your PC.

Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He’s written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He’s authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O’Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He’s also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years. Read more.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Windows 8 and 10 consolidate various boot options into a single screen named the “Advanced Options” menu. This menu provides access to repair tools and options for changing Windows startup behavior—such as enabling debugging, booting into safe mode, and launching into a recovery environment.

Note: We’re showing screenshots from Windows 10 in this article, but the process is largely the same in Windows 8. We’ll point out any differences.

What You Can Do on the Advanced Options Menu

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

The “Advanced Options” menu provides a number of actions you can take to troubleshoot or repair your PC:

  • System Restore: Launches the System Restore utility, which lets you fix certain types of crashes and errors by restoring your settings, drivers, and apps to a restore point that was created earlier. Check out our guide to using System Restore for more information.
  • System Image Recovery: Lets you restore a backup image of your PC. Check out our guide on restoring system image backups in Windows for details.
  • Startup Repair: Launches Windows’ integrated startup repair tool, which tries to automatically fix startup problems. Check out our guides on fixing startup problems with the Windows startup repair tool and on what to do when Windows won’t boot for more information.
  • Command Prompt: Restarts your PC and loads a simple Command Prompt window for troubleshooting.
  • Startup Settings: Lets you access alternative startup modes and tools, like Safe Mode, Low-Resolution Video Mode, and boot logging.
  • Go back to the previous version: Lets you uninstall Windows and downgrade back to the previous version you were using, as long as you’ve upgraded within the last 30 days. Check out our guide to uninstalling Windows 10 and downgrading to Windows 7 or 8.1 for more details.

After choosing most of these options, Windows restarts and then loads into the mode (or starts the tool) you selected.

And now that you know what you can use the “Advanced Options” menu for, let’s take a look at how to get to it.

Option One: Hold Down Shift While Clicking Restart

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

If your PC can start Windows normally, you can get to the “Advanced Options” menu quickly by just holding down the Shift key while clicking the “Restart” option. You can do this either on the sign in screen (shown above) or on the Start menu (shown below).

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

When you do this, your PC doesn’t immediately restart. Instead, it shows you a menu that lets you continue in your Windows session, access troubleshooting tools, or turn off your PC. Click the “Troubleshoot” button.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

On the “Troubleshoot” screen, click the “Advanced Options” button.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

And, finally, you’ll arrive at the “Advanced Options” menu.

Note that if your PC can’t start Windows normally twice in a row, it should show you the “Advanced Options” menu automatically. If it doesn’t, you can try booting your PC with a USB recovery drive.

Option Two: Use the Settings App

If you’d like to jump through a few extra hoops rather than just hitting Shift+Restart, you can also launch the “Advanced Options” menu through the settings app. Press Windows+I to open the Settings app, and then

Click the “Update & Security” option.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

In the left pane, switch to the “Recovery” tab. In the right pane, scroll down a bit, and then click the “Restart Now” button in the “Advanced Startup” section.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

If you’re using Windows 8, you’ll switch to the “General” tab instead, and then click the “Restart” button in the “Advanced Startup” section.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Option Three: Issue a Command with PowerShell (or the Command Prompt)

You can also reach the “Advanced Options” menu by issuing a simple command using PowerShell or the Command Prompt. We’re going to use PowerShell here, but it’s the exact same command either way. You could also create a batch script with this command, so that you could access the “Advanced Options” menu in the future more easily.

Start PowerShell as administrator by hitting Windows+X, and then clicking the “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option on the Power User menu.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

At the prompt, type (or copy and paste) the following command, and then hit Enter:

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

A message pops up, warning you that you are about to be signed off.

How to use the advanced startup options to fix your windows 8 or 10 pc

Windows then restarts automatically about a minute later, and delivers you to the “Advanced Options” menu.