Would you like a really convenient way to get to Windows 7 or 8.x Safe Mode? Normally, it takes a number of steps as described for Windows 7 here and for Windows 8 at this link. If you find yourself having to make frequent use of Safe Mode, here is a way to get there quickly and easily.
This tip is for experienced PC users. Please make a Restore Point or other system backup before using it.
Add Safe Mode to the desktop context menu
You can add a safe mode menu to the right-click context menu for the desktop using a method described at Windows Eight Forums. You will need to be in an administrator account.
There are two parts to the procedure for setting up this method for quick access to Safe Mode.
One part is modifying the Registry to place four entries in the desktop right-click context menu. The new entries are shown in the graphic below. The modification is done with a REG file. The entries give the option of booting into safe mode three ways or booting the normal way.
The second part is placing scripts in the Windows folder to implement the new commands that are added to the context menu. The scripts use the command-line tool BCDEdit to modify the boot configuration. There are four VBS scripts, three to modify the boot configuration to boot into different versions of safe mode and one to return the boot process to the normal configuration.
The REG file and VBS scripts come in a ZIP file. The download link and instructions for using them are at this link. Because of their nature, using them will trigger UAC warnings. They are from a reputable source and get a clean bill of health from VirusTotal and my copy of MalwareBytes. I tried them on Windows 8.1 Update 64-bit with no problems.
- Download the ZIP file to a convenient location like the desktop and extract the contents
- There will be a REG file and a folder called Safe_Mode with the VBS scripts. The author talks about unblocking the scripts but I did not find this necessary
- Move the Safe_Mode folder with its scripts into the Windows folder. You may get a UAC challenge since the Windows folder is protected. The scripts have to be here because that is the location referenced in the REG file. If you know what you are doing, you could in principle modify the REG file to change the location.
- Add the REG file by double-clicking it or by right-clicking and choosing “Merge”. Approve its running and answer any UAC challenge. The REG file can then be discarded.
The author also provides a BAT file to remove the safe mode options from the context menu.
How to use the Safe Mode context menu entries
Once the context menu entries are in place, reaching Safe Mode is just a matter of selecting an entry from the desktop right-click context menu and answering the UAC challenge. The system will then reboot into Safe Mode. Since BCDEdit has been used to change the boot process, you will want to use the context menu again and select "Restart in Normal Mode" when you have finished with Safe Mode. This will restore the boot configuration to its normal state.
Of course, if you want Safe Mode because your system won’t boot, you need a different procedure. And that is why I will once more urge everyone to create an emergency repair disk. The method for Windows 8 is given here and for Windows 8.1 in this article.
Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your tip.
This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
Please rate this article: