Microsoft has consolidated the boot options in Windows 8 and Windows 10 into a single menu, called the boot options menu.

There, users can access several repair tools, as well as options for changing the Windows startup behavior. You can opt to enable debugging, boot into safe mode, or launch into a recovery environment when Windows starts.

Instead of pressing keys at the right moment, you can now access the Windows boot options menu with three different ways. All of them are easy and give you access to multiple tools, allowing you to monitor your PC better.

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of accessing the advanced startup menu in these three ways: SHIFT+Restart, through PC Settings, and via Command Prompt.

Access the boot options menu with SHIFT+Restart

Whether you are using Windows 10 or Windows 8, this is by far the simplest and fastest way to access the boot options menu. Navigate to the Shut Down/Restart menu, hold down the SHIFT key and click Restart at the same time.

This even works if you haven’t logged into Windows at all. You just have to be on the login screen, access the Restart menu, hold down SHIFT and restart your computer.

After you’ve done so, instead of fully rebooting, the boot options menu will show up. To access the options for refreshing or resetting your PC, or to use the advanced tools, click “Troubleshoot”. You will be given three options:

  • Refresh your PC
  • Reset your PC
  • Advanced options

The first two options do exactly what they say, while the “Advanced options” choice leads to another menu, which gives you the options shown below. To change how Windows starts up, such as booting into safe mode, select “Startup Settings”.

Once you do that, you will be presented with a list of options that will be available should you restart your PC from inside that menu. When your PC restarts, the “Startup Settings” menu will show up and you can choose from 9 different options, using the function keys F1 to F9.

You can also press the F10 function key to enter the menu that allows you to boot your PC into “Launch recovery environment”. If you press Enter, your PC will boot normally.

Enter the boot options menu via PC Settings

Accessing the boot options menu via PC Settings is the long version of “SHIFT+Restart”. In case you wish to enter the advanced startup menu via PC Settings in Windows 8, you have to follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key+I (capital i), and click “Change PC Settings
  2. Select “General” from the left sidebar
  3. Click “Restart” under “Advanced startup

In case you are using Windows 10, the process is similar:

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Select “Update and Security
  3. Choose “Recovery” from the left sidebar
  4. Click “Restart now” under “Advanced startup

Obviously, going with the SHIFT+Restart option is way easier. However, some may opt for this way in order to avoid possible keyboard “glitches” which didn’t allow SHIFT to be recognized, thus restarting their computer normally.

Access the boot options menu through Command Prompt

As always, there is a way to tell Windows what to do via Command Prompt. Whether you are using Windows 8 or 10, press the Windows key + X to access the Win+X menu.

There, choose “Command Prompt”, type the following command and press Enter:

shutdown.exe /r /o

You will get a message in the middle of the screen warning you that Windows will restart in less than a minute. Note that you cannot undo this action, and the only given option is to close the message and save any unsaved work you have before Windows restarts automatically into the boot options menu.

Keep in mind that Windows 8 now includes the “automatic restart after failure” feature. This feature detects whether the OS loaded successfully or not. If not, the system automatically reboots into the boot options menu, giving you access to troubleshooting options.