Windows 10 offers fantastic boot times compared to some earlier operating systems, but part of the reason for this faster boot is due to removing the window of opportunity to access the F8 boot menu. This boot options menu allows you to enter safe mode or access other recovery tools that would otherwise only be available after booting in to Windows or using recovery media (i.e the install disc).

If you think that you may need to enter safe mode when Windows is no longer able to boot, you can sacrifice a couple of seconds at boot and enable the F8 safe mode menu.

To begin, open an elevated command prompt (see this article), then run the following command:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy


Once you have done this, restart your PC as normal and then keep pressing F8 during the boot process. Once it has been detected, you'll see the boot options menu where you can boot directly in to safe mode:


If you'd like to reverse this process in future, run the following command to return to the default faster boot:

bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy standard