Enabling Safe Mode in Windows 8 Developer Preview

Just a quick post to describe how to enable Safe Mode in Windows 8 Developer Preview.
If you are reading this post, probably you have already tried to boot in Safe Mode for whatever reason using classic F8 key during WIndows boot, to discover that Windows Recovery Environment (with Metro style Smile) is what you get. This is how you can get to boot into Safe Mode and leave it there in case you would need to.

1.- At home screen, type “cmd” in home screen to access it. To run it elevated, press Ctrl+Shift and then click on cmd icon. Accept User Account Control prompt.


2.- At command prompt, use bcdedit /enum /v to list the boot entries. The first entry will have “Windows Boot Loader” as description. The second will have “Windows Developer Preview”. Copy the identifier GUID, {23fc82d2-….} in the picture below.


3.- Duplicate the entry by using the following command (use your entry’s GUID Smile with tongue out). You can use whatever description you want:

bcdedit /copy {23fc82d2-….} /d “Windows Developer Preview (Safe Mode)”

4.- From command prompt, invoke msconfig.exe. In there, select the newly created boot item and enable Safe Mode for it by selecting the checkbox shown in the picture below. Also mark the checkbox “Make all boot settings permanent”. Then hit OK, and Yes again in warning message. You will be prompted then to exit msconfig with or without restart. Up to you Smile. You may also change timeout so it takes just a few seconds before normal start.


5.,- When you reboot you will get the following:


6.- If you click in “choose other options” text (not much intuitive in Developer Preview Smile) you will access other special boot options:


7.- If you select the boot option you created before, you will access Safe Mode, after warm boot.



Hope you find this useful.


Comments (25)
  1. Juan Antonio Diaz - MSFT says:


    Make sure you run bcdedit from an elevated command prompt, so the new entry gets properly registered in boot manager configuration.

  2. Juan Antonio Diaz - MSFT says:

    Safe mode is useful for troubleshooting problems with programs and drivers that might not start correctly or that might prevent Windows from starting correctly.

    If you install something on a working system that causes not to boot properly anymore, the problem may not appear when you start in Safe Mode.If so, you can you can eliminate the default settings and basic device drivers as possible causes.

    If a recently installed program, device, or driver prevents Windows from running correctly, you can start your computer in Safe Mode and then remove the program that's causing the problem.

  3. Juan Antonio Diaz - MSFT says:


    You do not really need to. And as NedPyle mentioned, you could also use Shift+F8.

    I just find useful to have it available at boot time just in case I need to use it without having to remember what to press during the "boot crisis" 🙂

  4. Gandalf50 says:

    Great info. Thanks

  5. Or just press SHIFT+F8.


    Good article, Juan.

  6. youdhienk says:

    Thanks for the information,,, 🙂 always update guys,,, special for windows 8 DP..

  7. Dan2552 says:

    this is no good if you can't boot in the first place (why else would you need safe mode?). Anybody know how to get to safe mode via EFI?

  8. Skrip says:

    Why must the boot settings be made permanent? Is that required for this to work?

  9. phanny says:

    In boot tab on msconfig still have only one Os why?

  10. UpickyRizek says:

    Is there way of changing screen resolution from command prompt? I changed resolution and by mistake confirmed it and now I can't see anything as the monitor refuses to display this resolution.

    I can see just "the F8" menu which is just in low resolution, then is jups to higher resolution I can't see.

  11. mikko says:

    The boot configuration data store could not be opened.

    Access is denied.

  12. Mali says:

    access is denied why in command prompt wtf

  13. Michael Guzman says:

    Hey Bro. can u help me i got stuck in safe mode in win 8 i dont know how to make it normally again, all the time when i turn on my pc it start in Safe Mode cna u help me pls thanks <3.

    i have windows 8 developer preview

  14. windows 8 Installation says:

    The Windows safe mode can be used with or without networking and it is commonly known as the place where you need to go if the PC is acting weird..<a href="windows8installation.com/">windows 8 Installation</a>

  15. mikko says:

    how to start in secure mode (Consumer Preview)

    Shift F8

    see advanced repair options


    advanced options

    windows startup settings

    press restart button

    after restart choose secure mode

  16. SAina says:

    I get the same result as phanny. I run bcdedit form an elevated command prompt. I see the result "The entry was successfully copied to {[GUID}]." Unfortunately it never appears in msconfig.exe.

  17. Jack says:

    does not work in my case. I am admin.

    C:Usersjack>bcdedit /enum /v

    The boot configuration data store could not be opened.

    Access is denied.

  18. milosav, serbia says:

    is there a way to install the program in Windows 8 in Safe Mode

    a big thank you

  19. Malacor says:

    great help,  even a not so experieced  user can follow it and it (in generel I avoit to chance the  boot files.. any mistake can be nasty :o) solved my Problem that otherwise had required a full new Installation of WIN 8 (I had to get rid of avira, and there was no other way to do this)

  20. scoffin says:

    Here is one additional note:  the bcdedit command works on the file BootBCD

    on the ACTIVE partition.  If the active partition is not the Win8 partition, then

    bcdedit will give the error "….could not be opened" even if you are in an

    Administrative cmd prompt.  Reset the active partition to the win8 partition,

    then boot win8 and bcdedit works as expected.  For example, if you use

    grub or other bootloader, you might not have the active partition be the win8

    partition.  Windows8 "repair" option on the win8 DVD also requires that

    the partition to repair is the active partition.  Good luck!

  21. IT says:

    Great! but in Windows 8 Enterprise it is the same?

  22. Megan says:


    Here's a better way:

    Admin Command prompt:

    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

    f8 works normally now during boot.

  23. James Clarke says:

    so if you corrupted the graphics driver you are screwed then?  This is broken

  24. Microsoft Sux! says:

    SHIFT + F8 doesn't work

  25. pravin says:

    make a command instructions to follow for safe setting to have a safe mode in windows 8. for more details go here:

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