Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Restore This Vital Function In Windows 8 – Now

Enable Safe Boot Before You Need It (Or It’ll Be Too Late) (And You’ll Be Sorry)

If you have a computer running Microsoft’s ‘new’ Windows 8, I strongly recommend you take the following (quick and easy) action – promptly. Don’t dilly, or dally, do it now! Take it from a computer technician, you want to undo (one of) the incredibly stupid thing(s) Microsoft did to Windows 8 and, restore this advanced recovery and troubleshooting feature.

1) Press the Windows key + the X key to open the Start menu.

2) Click on Command Prompt (Admin), and answer “OK”/”Allow”/”Proceed”.

3) Type into the black command box the following string of text (below, in bold) mindful of the spaces. (Or, Copy>Paste)

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

4) Press Enter. After a moment, you should see the message “The operation completed successfully”.

Now you will be able to – in an emergency – press the F8 key to (try to) boot into Safe Mode and attempt repairs, should your computer fail to start up. (A feature of Windows since the beginning of Windows operating systems.)

5) Email this article to everyone you know who has a Windows 8 computer.

When something goes wrong with your computer, pressing F8 and booting into “Safe Mode” is sometimes the only way to fix the trouble — without resorting to wiping your operating system, and starting from scratch, and having to reinstall all your games and programs. You absolutely want the ability to do so, and the fact that Microsoft disabled it was just one more reason I do not like Windows 8, and refuse to have it on my machines.

I am very glad Greg Shultz posted the How To (to see his whole article, click here.) Now I wonder what else can be /set {default} legacy’d? Find enough of them, and Windows 8 might not be so bad…

Note: You might not ever use “Safe Mode”, or even know what it is, but the technician you hire will.

Bonus: A complete guide to Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

Today’s quote:Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 7, 2013 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, performance, software, tech, troubleshooting, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    Super important that this be done and super job for making us aware…



    Comment by Ramblinrick | May 7, 2013 | Reply

    • Rick,
      I can count the number of times I’ve wanted to reboot into Safe Mode from Windows (already successfully booted). I cannot count the number of times F8 let me in to a non-booting machine. Totally asinine move on MS’s part, and I’m very glad I noticed Greg’s article.

      Unfortunately.. how many people calling me for help are going to have done this? My guess is zero. I can hope Microsoft pushes it through an Update, or something..


      Comment by techpaul | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on What's On My PC and commented:
    Tech Paul at Tech – for Everyone (a computer tech by trade) is telling us to make this adjustment to help preserve our sanity with Windows 8. I can tell you Windows 8 is a great operating system; however, I am still trying to figure Microsoft’s thinking on some of the features added and removed in this version of Windows… Thanks Tech Paul for this heads-up! I know my readers (and visitors) will appreciate this.


    Comment by Ramblinrick | May 8, 2013 | Reply

  3. My educated guess is that MS did this to increase (perceived) boot speed by a second or two. It is definitely worthwhile to sacrifice that extra second for the opportunity to boot into safe mode.


    Comment by SE | May 8, 2013 | Reply

    • SE,
      You won’t get any argument from me.


      Comment by techpaul | May 8, 2013 | Reply

  4. […] Reblogged from Tech – for Everyone: […]


    Pingback by Restore This Vital Function In Windows 8 – Now | What's On My PC | May 8, 2013 | Reply

  5. Paul,

    Glad I decided against Win8 for the moment…

    Not for free but almost..Less than 2 Dollars if you just pay the average..

    IndieGameStand – Today’s Deal: StarDrone

    StarDrone is an innovative sci-fi arcade game that blends high-speed physics, pinball action and break-out elements.

    Cause your attackers to crash with rapid speed while collecting gems and power-up enhancements. Overcome perilous hazards and elude zillions of enemies in an effort to complete each stage with a record score.

    With simple, one-button controls and unique gameplay mechanics, StarDrone is easy to learn but challenging to master.

    – Unique, one-button gameplay.
    – Over 50 challenging levels.
    – Power-ups including Rage, Invisibility and more.
    – Gorgeous sci-fi visuals.
    – Stunning sound FX and music (OST available for download if you pay more than the average).


    Comment by delenn13 | May 9, 2013 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      As always, I appreciate your taking the time to let us know about the Indie game deal.


      Comment by techpaul | May 9, 2013 | Reply

  6. Hi Paul,

    It’s never too late to enable Safe Mode via F8. If Windows won’t start, simply boot from a Windows 8 disc, click “Repair your computer” > “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced options” > “Command Prompt” > then enter the command you mentioned:

    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

    Restart and hit F8 to access the legacy options.


    Comment by Miles Wolbe | May 9, 2013 | Reply

    • Miles Wolbe,
      Yes.. I omitted that fact for a couple of reasons – mainly, to urge people to think about proactive steps, and to put some fire in the article.. But experience tells me that OEM’s no longer include an OS disc (preferring a recovery partition) and “the average computer user” won’t make a disc.. and if by some small miracle they do, they’ll lose it.

      But you’re quite right, and your comment reminds me I need to update and repost my Windows 7 Owners, You Want To Do This… article. Thank you.


      Comment by techpaul | May 9, 2013 | Reply

  7. Reblogged this on TTC Shelbyville – Technical Blog and commented:
    Note: Credit goes to Rick at What’s On My PC and of course Tech Paul for this excellent post.


    Comment by TTC Shelbyville IT Department | May 11, 2013 | Reply

  8. Reblogged this on Nerd Stash.


    Comment by Sayak Sarkar | May 14, 2013 | Reply

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