Escape from Safe mode boot loop using an installation disk

Technical Level : Basic


Getting into Safe mode by changing entries in MSConfig can sometimes get you stuck in Safe mode at every boot. 

The solution requires booting from a Windows 10 installation disk [instructions for making one are included in this article] and then issuing a particular BCDEdit command.  The computer should then be able to boot into Windows in the normal manner.



1  To make an installation disk to boot from use  Follow the instructions for Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC [even though it may not be not a different PC].  Make the installation disk on an 8GB USB. Everything else on the disk will be wiped off so don't use one with any useful files on it.

2  Boot from the installation disk [it is a repair tool as well as an installation tool].  In case you have never booted from a USB before -

2.1  Remove any other USB drives first because they can complicate things,

2.2  Connect the installation USB,

2.3  Restart the computer [restarting it rather than turning it off completely first sidesteps any complications from having Fast start enabled in Windows],

2.3  When the PC restarts & whilst the maker's logo is still onscreen before the Windows symbol comes up,

2.4  Press the Boot options key that is probably identified onscreen,

[if the screen does not tell you which key to press then you will have to check your computer manual or the computer maker's website to find out because different makers use different keys],

2.5  In Boot options, select USB storage device,

2.6  Press the Return key on your keyboard

3  You'll see a Windows icon as it starts up & it will take longer than your usual boot,

4  You will then see a dialog asking you to choose the language, time-currency & keyboard region,

5  Then click on the button in the bottom right [labelled Next],

6  Then you'll be taken to the main Install page but do not choose that - click on Repair your computer instead,

7  Then you'll see the Choose an option screen,

8  Click on Troubleshoot to go to the Troubleshoot menu,

9  Click on Advanced options,

10  Click on Command prompt,

11  Enter this     


12  You will get a response like this -

13  Look at the line that says Windows 10 then look up three lines to the "identifier" where mine says {default} [and yours probably will too].

14.1  If yours does also say {default} then enter this [including its brackets, just as shown] 

bcdedit /deletevalue {default} safeboot

14.2  If yours does not also say {default} then enter whatever it does say inside the curly brackets [including its brackets, just as shown]

bcdedit /deletevalue {WhatEverItDoesSay} safeboot

15  That's it, all done.

16  Close the Command prompt [The menu screen might then close automatically but if not you can just click on the back arrows until you reach the Choose an option screen where you can click on Turn off your PC - you can even just turn it off using the power button],

17  Turn the computer back on and it should now boot straight into Windows properly and not into Safe mode.

18  You can use the installation USB to store other files as well but make sure you do not alter any of its existing contents.

Thanks go to Virginia, the Time lady, who first publicised this fix in the forum.  And to Niki Han in the TechNet forum who is the earliest source for this fix that I have been able to find [ultimately, the source will have been TechNet's excellent Command line reference or Microsoft's BCDEdit Reference.]



Forum Article Info

Last updated March 30, 2020 Views 4,101 Applies to:

Oh my god thank you!

I was googling around for 2 days when I came to this post and it solved my problem, and easily!!

I was told over the phone by Microsoft Windows Tech Support that my only recourse was Reset this PC or Custom Installation

Thank you for proving them wrong

Glad I could help!

Thanks for the infomation ,  i have configured the windows such a way , I can able to boot  

1. Windows 10 1809 os

2. Repair your computer

3. safe mode

4..safemode with networking 

5. Last Known Good Configuration  ( this solves  unbootable windows , without reset , without refresh )

6. Windows 10 1809 Preinstallation Environment ( usefull to take  image backup offline mode)

7. Windows 10 1809 Recovery Environment ( usefull when builtin windows RE fails to start )

I am a regular CONTRIBUTOR on official website

Thank you!

I am flabbergasted why this is still an issue 2019.

Hello there,

Pretty basic knowledge here... I have a DellXPS with a Japanese OS. Stuck in a safeboot loop.  Every build after 1709 has done.  Recently updated to 1904.  Same problem but I can`t roll back to 1709 now - which was my fix up until now.

Tried the forums related to "safe boot loop"

The msconfig general screen says "normal boot" and the boot screen there has no check in the "safe boot" box.

Did Scannow, dskchk and something got repaired but no change.

Windows update troubleshooter says nothings wrong.

Made an ISO of 1904 as per this page`s instructions... it revamped windows but still locked in 0safeboot.

I don`t know if this makes a difference but the computer starts out in normal mode and then when the blue window icon comes up it`s in safe mode already.

Following the above instructions...

When I get to the bcdedit my computer says "identifier - default"  so I type "deletevalue etc." as recommended but I get ;

"An error occurred while attempting to delete the specified data element. Element not found."

And of course, still in Safe boot mode.





I do not use this forum any more.  I suggest posting a new thread of your own in - somewhere in your TenForums post include


and I will be sent a link to your thread there. 

On the face of it, I do not think my article is relevant to your case because this article was written specifically for the case of having got stuck because MSConfig was used to get into Safe mode.  I have never researched other causes of getting stuck in Safe mode.  But there are users in TenForums who have demonstrated great understanding of boot problems so one of them might well be able to solve your problem without your having to start from scratch with a clean install.

Have a look at some of these TenForums threads in case they help you

Boot into Safe Mode - TenForumsTutorials

Your comment "Made an ISO of 1904 as per this page`s instructions... it revamped windows but still locked in 0safeboot." seems to be saying that you used the ISO to run a Repair install so confirmation of that would be helpful.  [I did not know that a Repair install would run in Safe mode]

Please clarify exactly what you mean by, "I don`t know if this makes a difference but the computer starts out in normal mode and then when the blue window icon comes up it`s in safe mode already.".  

- I appreciate that it will be difficult to describe but it will be worth trying because, as far as I can tell from your post, you are not 'stuck in a Safe mode boot loop' but your computer is trying to tell you that it has a serious fault preventing Windows from starting and that every time it tries it fails then drops down into Safe mode as its fallback option. 

- If I have correctly understood your meaning then call your TenForums thread something like Windows fails to complete boot, always drops into Safe mode.


Try*3 - a user
Dell Inspirons 7779, 1545, 9300; Windows 10 Home x64 & Pro x86; Office Pro 2007; HP DJ2540; HTC UPlay [Android 6.0], MyPhoneExplorer


I have reposted this article in Tenforums so you can more conveniently reference it in your own TenForums thread if necessary.

How to - Escape from an MSConfig-induced Safe mode boot loop - TenForums


Try*3 - a user
Dell Inspirons 7779, 1545, 9300; Windows 10 Home x64 & Pro x86; Office Pro 2007; HP DJ2540; HTC UPlay [Android 6.0], MyPhoneExplorer

God bless you