How to Disable or Enable F8 Safe Mode (Legacy Advanced Boot Options) in Windows 10

If you used older versions of Windows for a significant period of time, the F8 key will be burned into your muscle memory as soon as you run into issues. Unfortunately, Microsoft has done away with the hotkey in recent times, leaving many confused. Thankfully, there’s a way to enable F8 Safe Mode in Windows 10, which is officially referred to as Legacy Advanced Boot Options.

As well as invoking nostalgia, the simple black screen displayed when you open the Windows 10 boot menu with F8 is easier to navigate. Instead of large icons that can each have sub-options, everything you need is displayed in a simple list. As a result, many feel that, though less modern, the legacy advanced boot options are actually the better choice.

We’ve covered several ways to access advanced startup options in the past. This one takes a little pre-planning but works out much faster in the long run. Afterall, spamming F8 for safe mode at boot is much easier than manually clicking through interfaces or running PowerShell commands. That said, there are instances where you may want the modern menu, so we’re going to show you how to disable F8 safe mode, too. Let’s get into the tutorial:

How to Disable or Enable F8 in Windows 10 with the displaybootmenu Command

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator


    Press the Windows key and type “Command Prompt”. Select the first option under ‘Best match’ and choose “Run as administrator”.

    Windows 10 - Search - Command Prompt as administrator

  2. Enable the Windows 10 F8 boot menu


    In command prompt, type or paste:

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

    Windows 10 - Command Prompt - bcdedit displaybootmenu yes

  3. Disable the Windows 10 F8 boot menu


    Enter the following command and press “Enter”:

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no
    


    Windows 10 - Command Prompt - bcdedit displaybootmenu no

How to Disable or Enable F8 Advanced Boot Options with bootmenupolicy

Alternatively, you can use bcdedit to change your boot options if the above doesn’t work.

  1. Open Command Prompt as Admin


    Press the Windows key and type “Command Prompt”. Select the first option under ‘Best match’ and choose “Run as administrator”.

    Windows 10 - Search - Command Prompt as administrator

  2. Type bcdedit


    Find the Windows Boot Manager heading and look for the “default” heading. Note its identifier, in this case, {current}.

    Windows 10 - Command Prompt - bcdedit

  3. Enable F8 Safe Mode in Windows 10


    In Command Prompt, enter the command:

    bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy Legacy


    Windows 10 - Command Prompt - bcdedit bootmenupolicy legacy

  4. Disable F8 Safe Mode in Windows 10


    To turn legacy advanced boot options off again, enter the command:

    bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy Standard

    Windows 10 - Command Prompt - bcdedit bootmenupolicy standard