Windows 8 Start Button Windows 8 Start Menu Button


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Start menu is back and it's better than ever. Get the most useful shell enhancement for Windows 10 now!

Your faithful desktop friend which helps you:

  • Launch programs you use frequently
  • Open documents you're working on
  • Find stuff you're looking for
  • Go to system places in one click
  • Easily shut down your system
  • Feel at home with new Windows
StartIsBack fully integrates with Windows and provides original Windows 7 start menu and taskbar experience, enhanced with many new features as well.

Supports all Windows languages!

StartIsBack for Windows 10 can:
  • Apply skins to taskbar
  • Replace taskbar jump lists (context menus) with better ones
  • Fine-tune taskbar color
  • Add taskbar translucency with blur
  • Restore larger taskbar icons
  • Reduce OS resource usage
It looks totally awesome with new style, round user avatar and modern glyph icons.

Also it opens 100% of a time and always finds what you want to find - sorry, Windows 10 gimmick!

Unique experience

Personalize your system as you want it:
  • Choose a skin for start menu
  • Choose a skin for taskbar
  • Choose start button appearance
  • Choose shortcuts in Start menu
  • Make Start menu work like XP one
  • Configure translucency for Start menu and Windows taskbar
  • Tinker with anvanced settings
Whether you're power user or senior citizen, StartIsBack will work for you. StartIsBack is lightweight and secure: it does not require administrator rights to install, consumes minimal amount of system resources, does not run additional processes or services.

StartIsBack is actively developed - you can get StartIsBack for Windows 8, StartIsBack for Windows 8.1 and StartIsBack for Windows 10.

Each version is tailored for specific Windows version to be able to address weaknesses of each Windows release and gain strength with targeted features and clean user experience.

Lifetime license - just $2.99! Works with any StartIsBack version.

Free Trial Just $2.99

How do I configure Start Menu

Either right-click Start button and click "Properties" or right-click opened Start Menu itself and choose "Properties" context menu item.

Can I use StartIsBack without start menu, just for skinning / jump list / awesomeness

Yes. Just pick leftmost (Windows 10) style. Then select taskbar and start button styles separately.

Can StartIsBack break my system

No. If you experience issues with old StartIsBack on too recent Windows 10 update, just hold Escape key when logging in to disable StartIsBack.

How do I uninstall StartIsBack

As expected: go to Control Panel - Programs and Features, find StartIsBack and click Uninstall.

Trial, licensing and activation

How trial version works

There are no limitations in trial version. After installing it runs for 30 days. If you don't activate it with license number you bought within 30 days, it will still work, but in limited mode: Start Menu will be blank and sad; every boot you'll be nagged about evaluation period over. Trial period runs for each user which have installed StartIsBack on one PC separately.

What is activation and why is it needed

Activation is a process of validating your license online. It ties your computer to your license via online service. It is required in order to make sure license use is not abused. One license key allows you to activate a limited number of computers.

How my computer is identified

Your computer is uniquely identified by motherboard unique number and hard disk physical serial number OS is installed to.

What if I change hardware configuration of my PC or replace it

If you change both hard disk and motherboard, you will need to activate your license again as modified PC will count as new. You can activate your license on new PC after 30 days since you used license on the old PC, so you may need to wait while trial period is over.

Does StartIsBack "phone home"

No. StartIsBack does not collect information about your PC hardware or software. It does not use Internet connection for license validation purposes except the moment you activate it. Online activation service does not collect your IP address or any other information which could identify you or your computer. Computer unique identifiers are transferred in hash form, which does not allow anyone else to view it.
Note: automatic new version checking functionality requires Internet connection.

How many times can I reinstall / reactivate StartIsBack

There is no limitation on how many times you can activate an installation on the same PC.

Does my license expire

No, your license will never expire and is valid for all future versions of StartIsBack.

StartIsBack 2.7.2 ~1.2 MB download

This download is intended for Windows 10 only.
Check Additional downloads for archived program versions for Windows 8 and 8.1.

StartIsBack is digitally signed by Stanislav Zinukhov. Do not download StartIsBack from untrusted websites.

Before downloading, installing or using this program you must read Personal License Agreement and agree to be bound by it.

English, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, French, Danish, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, German, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Slovak, Finnish, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Serbian, Slovenian, Bangla, Hungarian, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Indonesian, Arabic, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Japanese, Romanian, Hebrew.

    Version 2.7.2 6 October 2018
  • Fix `Display start screen shortcut` not working on 1809
    Version 2.7.1 20 September 2018
  • Support for Windows 10 Version 1809:
    • Dark Mode for Plain8 style
    • Dark Mode for configuration app
    • Dark Mode for Windows Run dialog
    • Dark Mode for Windows Desktop tooltips
  • Improved right-side of the start menu:
    • Thumbnails for custom folders are shown
    • Custom file folders can be renamed inplace
    • Custom folder glyphs can be selected
    • Settings pages can be pinned to the right side
    • Glyph is shown on shutdown button
  • Developer improvements for Modern apps:
    • Open Folder for modern app from extended context menu
    • Copy AppID for modern app from extended context menu
    Version 2.6.4 9 June 2018
  • Support for newer Insider builds
  • Various fixes and improvements
    Version 2.6.3 17 May 2018
  • Various fixes and improvements
    Version 2.6.2 28 March 2018
  • Support for Windows 10 Version 1803 (Spring Creators Update)
  • Various fixes and improvements
    Version 2.6.1 5 March 2018
  • Support for silent uninstall: StartIsBackCfg.exe /uninstall /silent
  • Various fixes and improvements
    Version 2.6 8 February 2018
  • Support for Windows 10 Spring 2018 update pre-release builds
  • Acrylic and Acrylic blurring styles are added
  • Microsoft Edge prelaunching can be disabled
  • Added Properties context menu item for metro apps
  • Various fixes and improvements
    Version 2.5.2 11 October 2017
  • Improved compatibility with 7 Taskbar Tweaker
  • Minor improvements and bugfixes
    Version 2.5.1 3 September 2017
  • Improved compatibility with third-party styles
  • Minor improvements and bugfixes
    Version 2.5 «JumplistIsBack» 23 August 2017
  • NEW: Jumplists replacement! StartIsBack now provides custom taskbar jumplists which are much more reliable and responsive. StartIsBack taskbar jumplists are optional (Windows 10 v1607 or higher is required) and customizable with Windows 7/8/10 styles.

    Also new custom jumplist can do some mac tricks yours can't.

  • Support for Windows 10 Fall Creators update
  • Minor improvements and bugfixes
    Version 2.0.9 8 May 2017
  • Fixed Youdao Dictionary crashing StartIsBack on some systems
    Version 2.0.8 1 May 2017
  • Regression fix - start menu does not work without glyphs
    Version 2.0.7 29 April 2017
  • Improved start menu responsiveness
  • Fixed RTL issues
    Version 2.0.6 19 April 2017
  • Fixed incorrect taskbar icons
    Version 2.0.5 14 April 2017
  • Taskbar icons margins can be optionally increased now
  • 'Pin to Start menu' context menu item is removed if SIB start menu is not used
  • Addressed reported minor regressions in user experience
  • Lots of minor fixes
    Version 2.0.1 «Creators Update» 26 March 2017
  • NEW: Full taskbar skinning! Windows 7 and Windows 8 taskbar styles included
  • NEW: Improved configuration UI for finer personalization
  • NEW: Ability to change style of taskbar and start menu context menus
  • NEW: PC Settings can be expaned into menu
  • Improved PC Settings search
  • Improved dynamic high DPI support for start menu, orb and configurator
  • Added support for opening files via drag two beautiful ones included
  • New: option to combine start button menu with Win X menu
  • New: option to hide user account picture
  • New: shortcut for configuring Start menu in Control Panel
  • Fix: hibernate shutdown option could fail to show in configurator
  • Fix: high contast themes start menu issues
  • Installing for all users no longer requires log off
  • New translations
  • StartIsBack is now digitally signed
    • Version 1.1 20 Nov 2012
    • Fix: opening start button context menu did not prevent autohide
    • Fix: uninstall could fail to remove settings / license
    • Fix: taskbar unhide didn't work in start button area
    • New: silent install (/silent for user install; /elevated /silent for machine install; if machine must be run with admin rights; does not start explorer back)
    • New: option to start with start screen
    • New: option to call start screen with Win key
    • New alternate orb (by PainteR)
    • New translations
    • Less restrictions (same as in Windows 7) on items which can be pinned to start menu
    • Start button context menu shows same items as in Windows 7
      • Version 1.0 9 Nov 2012
      • First official version

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    General support

    If you have licensing or urgent support questions, please email me to

    StartIsBack MSFN forum

    General community forum

    Read more On Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, an update to the Start menu known as the "Start screen" was introduced. It covers the entire screen and no longer features the .,Start Menu 8 brings back Start Menu to Windows 8, and allows users to skip Metro start page and boot to Windows 8 desktop directly.,Результаты поиска

    Read more On Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, an update to the Start menu known as the "Start screen" was introduced. It covers the entire screen and no longer features the .,One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. For a long time this has been achieved by pressing the F8 key, this all .,47 comments on “ Step by Step Redirecting and Managing the modern Start Menu in Windows 2012(R2) RDS ”

    Read more The best software to replace the standard Windows Start Menu ever made,One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. For a long time this has been achieved by pressing the F8 key, this all .,What is the location of pinned start menu and taskbar items Is this list a registry, or a folder somewhere

    "Start Menu 8 recaptures the navigation structure that you are familiar with from Windows 7. The Windows 8 interface, called Metro, did away with the Start button and replaced it with the flat-paneled menu used on Windows phones and tablets."


    "Even thought I’m not a green horn, I was lost the first time I used Win 8 and was more than happy to get the help of “Start Menu 8” which saves me time and allows me not to change my habits too much. In addition I had once a small issue with it and couldn’t solve it by myself, so I wrote to the IObit support team without many hopes…. Wrong assumption…. They answered quickly and gave me the solution to my problem in no time! Since, I’m even more a fan of IObit and looking forward for their next release."


    "As a technology consultant and application developer, I rely on virtualization software a lot. I like to create a new virtual machine for each of my projects. This way I can keep the machine clutter free; and only install the tools I need for that project. As I do not like the Metro screen in Windows 8, I like to use a start menu replacement solution to get my Windows 7 look and feel back. I have struggled for the last few years with several different solutions, both paid and free. Sometimes they work well, sometimes not. Since I started using Start Menu 8, I have had NO issues with the start menu. It is a clean implementation and very easy to use and configure Counter-Strike 1.6 Origina1


    Dan Jurden

    Start Killer • Removes the Windows Start Button

    I got several requests and questions about customizing and managing a redirected Start Menu when using a Full Desktop session collection. This post will cover the basics for doing that and is based on implementations we have done for real customers, on Windows Server 2012.The methods I describe below are therefore meant for Windows Server 2012 RDS environment, but work on Windows 2012 R2 RDS as well.

    I used the setup from the Step by Step Windows 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services – Part 1 post as a base for this guide, so check that post for details on how to set that up in a lab.

    I added the “Desktop Experience” feature to the ITWRDS01. This is not a requirement, but was part of another experiment. I realized I left it there when I was almost done with documenting this post.

    First things first, let’s prepare this environment for Start Menu redirection.

    Creating the Start Menu redirection locationTo redirect the Start Menu we need a folder structure that is going to hold the redirected Start Menu. Since the setup I am using only has two servers, a Domain Controller and a Remote Desktop Services server, I will use the Domain Controller to hold this folder structure.I created the following folder structure:

    I shared the “Redirection” folder. No additional settings for this share have been changed here.

    Next we’ll need to enable access-based enumeration on the shared folder. To do this open Server Manager on the Domain Controller.

    Server Manager
    Select File and Storage services, then click Shares.

    Right-click the Redirection share and click Properties.

    Redirection Properties

    Check Enable access-based enumeration. Then click OK.

    Creating the Start Menu redirection Group Policy Object
    As creating the Domain and adding the RDS Server was not covered in the Step-by-step guide, make sure you create an Organizational Unit that holds the RDS Server object.

    Now create a new Group Policy Object. For this guide I named it “RedirectedStartMenu”.Configure three settings in this GPO:Turn on Loopback processing. You can find this setting by navigating to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Group Policy -> Configure user Group Policy loopback processing mode. I set it to “Replace” but it all depends on how you configured Group Policies in your domain.

    Turn on Start Menu redirection. Navigate to User Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings -> Folder Redirection -> Start Menu.

    On the Target tab:

    Select the Basic setting, since we’re going to redirect for all users in this guide. In the Target folder location box select “Redirect to the following location” and point the Root Path to the share, but include the Start Menu folder in the folder structure.

    On the Settings tab:
    We don’t want users to have exclusive rights, so uncheck that.

    The second option we’ll leave checked now, I’ll show you why a little later.

    Remove common program groups. Navigate to User Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar -> Remove common program groups from Start Menu. Set this to “Enabled”.

    Link the Group Policy Object to the Remote Desktop Services OU:

    Exclude the Domain Administrators group from this policy (Deny Apply policy in the Delegation tab and then clicking Advanced).

    Creating a temporary user to configure Start Menu redirection settingsThe redirected folder structure needs to meet specific requirements. There are several options to configure these requirements. I find the easiest way is to create a temporary user and let this user’s Start Menu be redirected to the predefined folder structure once. That’s why I left “Move the contents of Start Menu to the new location” checked in the Settings tab for the redirection policy.

    Create a temporary user and add this user to the Domain Admins group. This is probably too much, but since it’s a temporary user I don’t care about that. I created the user “redirection”.

    Completing the Start Menu redirection pre-requisites

    Log on to the Full Desktop using the temporary user to redirect the contents of the default Start Menu to the redirected Start Menu folder structure.

    Check the redirected Start Menu folder structure:

    When this structure is completed, log off the temporary user.

    Delete the Maintenance, System Tools, Windows Accessories, and Windows Ease of Access folders, including all items they may contain.

    Cleaning up before proceeding
    Since the basic structure is now in place, let’s clean up a little bit before proceeding.Remove the temporary user from the Domain Admins group. Do not delete the user, just remove it from the group.Open the Start Menu redirection policy and remove the check we left in place when we created the policy:

    Creating the custom Start Menu
    Now let’s have a look what all these preparations have left us with. RDP to the server and log in with the temporary user.

    Start Menu
    All Programs

    Looks a little bit empty. Let’s fix that.

    Do not log off the RDS session just yet.

    Log on to the RDS Server with an admin account and install a couple of utilities. For this setup I installed Notepad (, Foxit Reader ( and WinMerge (
    You can log off the admin account from the RDS Server now.

    A user’s Start Menu for a user that does not have a profile yet will be created from the All User’s Start Menu, which is located in “\\itwrds01\c$\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”, and from the Default User’s Start Menu, which is located in “\\itwrds01\c$\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”.

    Log on to the Domain Controller.

    Create two folders:\\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\Accesories


    From the All User’s Start Menu path, copy the following items:Desktop.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programsWindows Accesories\Calculator.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\accesoriesWindows Accesories\Calculator.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\accesoriesWindows Accesories\Paint.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\accesoriesWindows Accesories\Wordpad.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\accesoriesFoxit Reader\Foxit Reader.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\extraNotepad \Notepad .lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\extra

    WinMerge\WinMerge.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\extra

    From the Default User’s Start Menu path, copy the following items:Winodws System\Control Panel.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programsWinodws System\File Explorer.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs

    Windows Accessories\Notepad.lnk to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs\accesories

    Now switch to the All Programs screen on the RDS Session for the temporary user again:

    A few things have changed. You can see the application links we added to the Programs folder in the redirected Start Menu. Those are visible in the left most column, ungrouped. The folders we created however (Accessories and Extra) including the program links we copied there, are seen grouped by their folder name. How cool is that The groups correspond to the folders in the redirected Start Menu folder structure. You can rename these on the fly and your changes will reflect in the user’s session immediately should the need arise. And it gets better..

    Switch back to the Start Menu and add programs and groups to make it look like this:

    How to add program links to the Start Menu like this or how to group them and name those groups is not part of this guide and should be common knowledge for IT pros ;)

    Again, leave the temporary user logged on to the RDS Session.

    The next step is based on Windows 2012 RDS but works on Windows 2012 R2 RDS as well. There’s a different method available that works on Windows 2012 R2 RDS only, but I’m not going into that right now.
    The Start Menu layout and icons is kept in the user profile. To force this layout to all users, we simply copy this file to the Default User’s profile on every RD Session Host in the deployment. To distribute this file or updates to this file to users that already have a profile is beyond the scope of this post. This post is just a guide that shows a method to ensure all users that don’t have a profile yet will get the default Start Menu layout. So preferably deploy this method before allowing users access to your RDS farm.

    From the Domain Controller copy the following file:\\itwrds01\c$\users\redirection\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\appsFolder.itemdata-ms to \\itwrds01\c$\users\default\appdata\local\microsoft\windowsAfter the file is copied set it to read-only (the one in the Default User’s profile, not the original file!).

    The reason we need to do this is that only read-only files will be copied from the Default User’s profile to a new user profile upon creation. This presents a new problem though. If this file in the new profile remains read-only, which it will if we don’t act on it, the user wouldn’t be able to change anything in the Start Menu.

    So open the RedirectStartMenu Group Policy again.Navigate to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> RegistryAdd a new Registry Item.Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunValue name: Metro fixValue type: REG_EXPAND_SZValue data: c:\windows\system32\attrib.exe %USERPROFILE%\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\appsfolder.itemdata-ms –RThe result looks like this:

    I know this is a rather dirty fix, but it gets the job done.

    I tested the whole thing by logging of the temporary user. Then I deleted the local profile (In the original setup I had no profile disks configured, so by default users get a local profile) and logged in again.
    Yes, still looks good. Checking the read-only attribute on the appsFolder.itemdata-ms for the temporary user (in my case located in \\itwrds01\c$\users\redirection\appdata\local\microsoft\windows):

    Looking good, so the policy to remove the read-only attribute works.

    Remember that we enabled access-based enumeration on the share Let’s put that in effect now.Create a Global Security group in Active Directory called “RDS Extra Applications” or whatever you see fit to call it.Don’t add any users yet.Browse to \\itwdc01\redirection\startmenu\programs and open the security tab for the Extra folder.

    Click Advanced.

    Click Disable inheritance, and then select to Convert inherited permissions into explicit permissions on this object.

    Then click OK.

    Click Edit, and remove the Users group from the list.Click Add, and add the Global Security group we created earlier.Do not change the default rights for this group, effectively granting it Read access.

    Log on to an RDS Session with a test user (Jan Klaassen in my setup).

    And the group “Extra” is gone. So what happened here We limited the Extra folder, and the applications in it, to the security group “RDS Extra Applications”. Since Jan is not a member of this group access-based enumeration refuses to show the contents when browsing the folder, and this works for the new Start Menu as well.

    This Extra group is also not visible in the All Programs view, and searching for Notepad only shows the default Notepad program, and not the Notepad program, which is a program in the Extra group.

    Now for the cool part of this. Log the test user out of the RDS Session, add the test user to the “RDS Extra Applications” security group.

    Log back in to the RDS Session:

    And there it is. The Extra group is back because Jan now has access to the folder. Thank you access-based enumeration!

    So.This post showed a way of managing a dynamic Start Menu and access to application links for the Start Menu and All Programs Section for Windows 2012 RDS.Things to consider:If the user has access to the drive where the applications are installed the user is still able to launch the application. Again, there are several options to prevent that, but locking down the rest of the RDS Session Host is not in the scope of this post.

    If you add program folders to the redirected Start Menu they do get added to the All Programs section, but you need to redo the Start Menu layout bit to design a new Start Menu file. You then need to distribute it in some way to all the user who already have a profile, but it would override any customizations those users may have done themselves CINEMA 4D R13

    And till next time,


    Classic Shell - Start menu and other Windows enhancements

    Vista Start Menu wurde als attraktive und leistungsstarke Alternative zum Startmenü von Windows XP und Windows Vista entwickelt.

    Für mich war das Startmenü von Windows seit je her unpraktisch. Beim neuen Windows Vista sieht es zwar besser aus, ist jedoch umständlicher als je zuvor.

    Jetzt gibt es endlich eine Alternative Веселая ферма. Печем пиццу

    Dennis Nazarenko,
    Entwickler des Vista Start Menu

    Fix: Start Menu Cortana not Opening in Windows 10

    One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. For a long time this has been achieved by pressing the F8 key, this all changes with Windows 10 and its Automatic Repair mode. But what if we want Safe Mode

    If you mash the F8 key at just the right time (or get lucky spamming the key during boot up), Windows might still take you to a screen that lets you get into the recovery environment. From there, you can boot into Safe Mode (and we’ll talk about that environment a bit later. The trouble is that some computer manufacturers disable this option. And even on PCs that still support it, Windows startup (and particularly the handoff between the regular boot process and Windows startup) happens so much faster now, you barely have time to press the key.

    The good news is that getting into Safe Mode is doable. The process is just more hidden now.

    RELATED: How to Use Safe Mode to Fix Your Windows PC (and When You Should)

    Note: This article is written using screenshots from Windows 10, but the techniques work pretty much the same way in Windows 8. We’ll note any differences where they occur.

    Step One: Get to the Advanced Troubleshooting Tools in the Recovery Environment

    Most of the ways you access Safe Mode involve getting into the Windows recovery environment first. The recovery environment includes a number of troubleshooting options, and Safe Mode is one of them. How you get there depends on whether your PC can start Windows normally or not.

    If Your PC Can Start Windows Normally

    If your PC can successfully get to the Windows login screen when you start it up (or you can actually sign into Windows), the easiest way to get to the recovery environment is to hold down the Shift key while clicking Restart (either right on the sign in screen or from the Start menu).

    You can also get to the recovery environment through your Settings app. Press Windows I to open Settings, and then click the “Update Security” option.

    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.

    Using either of these methods (Shift Restart or the Settings app) takes you to the recovery environment, which we’ll discuss just a bit later in our section on the second step of this process.

    If Your PC Cannot Start Windows Normally

    If your PC won’t start Windows normally twice in a row, it should automatically present you with a “Recovery” option that lets you see advanced repair options.

    Note: We’re talking here specifically about if your PC is able to power on and successfully run through its hardware initialization, but then cannot load Windows successfully. If your PC is having trouble even getting to the stage where Windows loads, check out our guide on what to do when Windows won’t start for more help.

    RELATED: How to Create and Use a Recovery Drive or System Repair Disc in Windows 8 or 10

    If your PC does not present you with this screen, you can try starting your PC from a USB recovery drive. It’s best if you’ve made one ahead of time, but in a pinch, you can create one from another PC running the same version of Windows.

    It’s also possible that you can mash the F8 key during boot (but before Windows starts trying to load) to access these screens. Some PC manufacturers disable this action, and on some PCs, startup is fast enough that it’s hard to hit the key at the right time. But, there’s no harm in trying.

    Whichever way you get into the recovery environment, you’ll have access to the advanced troubleshooting tools intended for helping you recover a PC that won’t start normally. Safe Mode is included in those tools.

    Step Two: Use the Advanced Troubleshooting Tools to Start Safe Mode

    When you get to the advanced troubleshooting tools (whether that’s by using the Shift Restart trick, mashing the F8 key, or using a recovery drive), you’ll arrive at a screen that lets you access the troubleshooting tools. Click the “Troubleshoot” button to proceed.

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

    On the “Advanced Options” page, click the Startup Settings” option. In Windows 8, this option is labelled “Windows Startup Settings” instead.

    And finally, now that you see what we meant by “hidden,” hit the “Restart” button.

    You’ll see a version of the familiar Advanced Boot Options menu. Press the number corresponding to the startup option you want to use (i.e., press the 4 key for regular Safe Mode).

    Note that if you’re using Windows 8, your PC will restart first, and then you’ll actually see the same “Advanced Boot Options” screen you’re used to from older versions of Windows. Use the arrow keys to select the appropriate Safe Mode option, and then hit Enter to boot into Safe mode.

    Yes, it’s a convoluted way to get to Safe Mode, and these options are much more hidden than they were in the past. But, at least they’re still available.

    Alternative Option: Force Windows to Start in Safe Mode Until You Tell It Not To

    Sometimes, you’ll be troubleshooting something that requires you to boot into Safe Mode several times. Going through the whole procedure we’ve just outlined gets to be a real pain if you have to do it each time you restart your PC. Fortunately, there’s a better way.

    The System Configuration tool built into Windows gives you the ability to enable a “safe boot” option. This essentially forces Windows to boot into Safe Mode every time you restart your PC. To start Windows normally again, you have to go back into the System Configuration tool and disable the option.

    You can even choose the type of Safe Mode into which you want Windows to start:

    • Minimal: normal Safe Mode
    • Alternate shell: Safe Mode using only the Command Prompt
    • Active Directory repair: Used only for repairing an Active Directory server
    • Network: Safe Mode with networking support

    RELATED: Force Windows 7, 8, or 10 to Boot Into Safe Mode Without Using the F8 Key

    This alternative method provides a great way to boot into Safe Mode repeatedly when you need to, but you might also find it quicker than booting into Safe Mode using one of the more conventional methods we’ve discussed—even if you only need to visit Safe Mode once. Be sure to check out our full guide on how to force Windows to boot into Safe Mode for more information GoldBall

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