Fix: Windows Defaults to Safe Mode, Can’t Boot into Normal Mode

The Safe mode is used to troubleshoot problems on your PC. It is a mode wherein Windows starts in a basic state, using a limited set of drivers. For example, if the problem doesn’t happen in safe mode, you’ll know default settings and basic device drivers aren’t causing the issue. Here is how to start Windows in Safe mode.

Sometimes you may find that Windows gets stuck in Safe Mode, and every restart leads you to Safe mode by default. Here is how to fix the issue and boot into normal mode.

Fix: Windows Defaults to Safe mode

Method 1: Using MSCONFIG

  1. Right-click Start, and click Run.
  2. Type msconfig and click OK.
  3. This starts the System Configuration Utility. In the System Configuration Utility, select the Boot tab.
  4. If you have a multi-boot setup, select your Windows installation from the list. Under Boot options, uncheck “Safe boot”.
    windows 10 defaults to safe mode
  5. Enable the “Make all boot settings permanent” checkbox.
  6. Click Apply, and click OK. Click Yes when you see the following prompt:
    windows 10 defaults to safe mode

    You have chosen to commit the changes you’ve made in the “BOOT” tab, which includes all current and previous changes. This will make those changes permanent, and you will not be able to undo the changes at a later time. Are you sure you want continue?

Method 2: Using Command Prompt

Alternately, open an elevated Command Prompt window and then type:

bcdedit /deletevalue {current} safeboot

This removes Safeboot: Minimal boot loader configuration. After running the command, restart Windows. Windows should boot into normal mode again.

Method 3: Using Windows Recovery Options

If you cannot sign in to your account via Safe mode, boot into Windows RE.

  1. From the login screen, click Shutdown, then hold down the Shift key while selecting Restart.
  2. Click Troubleshoot → Advanced → Command Prompt.
    windows recovery options

    What if Command Prompt is missing in Windows RE?

    If the “Command Prompt” option is missing in Windows RE, Windows RE may have been disabled on your computer. In that case, you’ll need to create a Windows 10/11 USB setup disk.

    Create a USB setup disk from another computer. Download Windows 11 MCT

    Connect the USB setup disk to the subject computer and boot from it.

    Enter Windows Recovery Environment by clicking “Repair your computer” on the initial screen.

  3. In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:
    bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

That should resolve the issue.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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