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Windows 8 boot menu

How to Enable F8 Boot Menu for Windows 10 (and Windows 8)

In previous versions of Windows, it was really handy to be able to press F8 during startup to enable a boot-time menu allowing you to choose Safe Mode and other special boot options. Since Windows 8, that functionality is gone and is replaced with Fast Boot which doesn’t give you the chance to press F8 to pull up this menu.

That doesn’t mean you have to go without this option though. With a quick command, we can tell Windows to re-enable this option. This may add a few seconds to the boot time, but in our opinion, this is a very worthwhile tradeoff, particularly when you get stuck with a Windows computer that will not boot past the spinning circle of dots and you have no way to access safe mode. So obviously, this is something you want to do right now and not wait until you can’t boot Windows.

First you will want to open an elevated command prompt. To do this, type “cmd” in the search box (without the quotes). You will want to right-click on the entry for Command Prompt and choose “Run as Administrator”.

Once your cmd window opens, type the following command and press enter:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

It should say that the command was successful and you can then close the cmd window. When you reboot, you will be able to press F8 and reach the boot menu options like you were able to with Windows 7 and earlier versions.

For simplicity, we created a batch file that you can use instead of the instructions above. Just download and run the .bat file and you are all set!

Download Batch File (.zip)

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