Safe Mode

What Does Safe Mode Mean?

Safe mode is a boot option in which the operating system starts in diagnostic mode rather than in normal operating mode. It is used primarily for troubleshooting a system that has crashed, failed to boot correctly or is experiencing instability after installing an update, device driver or new software installation.


Safe mode is also known as safe boot.

Techopedia Explains Safe Mode

Safe mode is intended primarily for maintenance or troubleshooting. In this mode, the operating system loads only a minimal set of drivers and services to allow the isolation of problems causing system instability. Utilities and diagnostic programs are available during this state. Networking may or may not be available, depending on the settings used. Audio is often disabled, whereas the video uses a low resolution since the drivers for these devices are among those not loaded by default.

Users may explicitly select to boot in safe mode or the operating system may default to it or suggest it at boot time, especially after a prior crash.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…