I have already written an earlier article on how to automatically run command prompt with administrator rights in Windows 8. This article comes in line with the same concept. The only change is that you are going to open your computer in safe mode by typing few commands in an elevated command prompt. This will let you the legacy method of pressing the F8 key to work, for running Windows 8 in safe mode.

How to Boot Into Windows 8 Safe Mode using the Win+F8 key (legacy method)?

Earlier in Windows 7 and Vista, the old method of pressing the F8 key to boot into safe mode will no longer work with Windows 8. The new OS has a new boot process called UEFI for the BIOS replacement. But most of the old desktops are using the old BIOS. So if you want to see the old black-and-white screen that shows safe mode options, you need to change a system setting.

The procedure is done using the command prompt and typing a few commands.

  • Type the keyboard short-cut Win+X to open the Quick Access menu. You can also use the Charms bar.
  • In the Quick Access menu, select “Command Prompt (Admin)“.  Say “Yes” to the UAC dialog.  Basically you are opening the command prompt with elevated privileges.
  • The command prompt window will open.
  • Enter the following command in the window that opens.

b–edit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

  • Note that, there are curly braces in the command above. Those are required.
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A message that says that the “The operation completed successfully” is displayed below the command.  The same thing can be seen in this screenshot.

run windows 8 safe mode command prompt 1

[Image Credit : techsupportalert.com]

Once this is done, your method of pressing the F8 key will work again.

Note : The older way of just pressing the F8 key may not work. After entering the above command, restart your system. If possible shut-down and restart. Now press the Win+F8 key together. This is what is different from the old methods of booting to SAFE mode. 

Just keep both the keys pressed till the safe-mode screen pops-up.

If you don’t want this method to work, you can undo this change by typing this command.

   b–edit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard

Now if you want the BLUE Advanced Boot Options Screen in Windows 8, instead of the old Windows 7 black and white screen, you can type the following commands.

b–edit /set {globalsettings} advancedoptions true

To disable this/restore defaults, run one of the following commands:

b–edit /set {globalsettings} advancedoptions false
b–edit /deletevalue {globalsettings} advancedoptions

This should help you in your boot options challenges.


Though there is an alternate method of booting to safe mode in Windows 8, this method will work the old way. Let me know in the comments section, on how it worked for you or do you have any problems? Share this article, if you enjoyed reading it.

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  1. luton shopping centre car park says:

    Safe Mode solves many problems. I was unable to boot to my Windows 8.1 and this solved the problem. Thanks for the fix.

    1. Palla Sridhar says:

      Thanks for your comment.