Safe Mode - A definition

Safe Mode is a trouble-shooting mode in all versions Windows operating system except Windows 3.1 and Windows NT. When the computer is started in safe mode, only the most necessary components of the system are loaded. This means that some functions will not be available, such as connecting to the Internet and using a high resolution on your monitor. When you reboot into normal mode again, all your normal settings will come back.


The purpose of the Safe-Mode is to be able to start the operating system only with a minimal set of components loaded. The good thing about this is that the spyware, adware, virus or malfunctioning component you are trying to remove will in 99% of the cases not be loaded in Safe Mode and therefore much easier to delete of fix.

To start in Safe Mode using F8

To start your computer in safe mode, follow these steps.

  1. Close all programs.
  2. Shut down Windows from the Start Button.
  3. Turn off the Power
  4. Turn on the power.
  5. Now comes the tricky thing, during the start-up of your computer you should tap F8, Usually quite early in the start-up process. It is often a successful technique to tap it many times duing the startup. After a while your will be presented with a menu that allow you to start in safe mode, or it will be loaded without any extra interaction.
  6. When Windows has started in safe mode, you will notice this by a low resolution, few colours on the screen and no network capabilities.

Safe Mode resources

How to start the computer in Safe mode
In Windows, what is 'Safe Mode' used for and why?
Troubleshooting Windows 95 Using Safe Mode
Windows 2000 Safe-Mode Boot and Recovery Console
How Windows 95 Performs a Safe-Mode Start

Related links

Bazooka - Free scan for spyware, adware, trojan horses, keyloggers, etc. Detects more than 500 potentially unwanted applications. Freeware!

The File Database - Search the file database for more information. Free!

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Kephyr Labs - Find out what is going on at Kephyr. Try products in an early stage of development.

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