Windows 10 (and 8) consolidates various boot options into a single screen called Advanced Options. This menu provides access to repair tools and options for changing Windows startup behavior – such as B. Enable debugging, boot into safe mode, and boot into a recovery environment.
Note: We show screenshots from Windows 10 in this article, but the process is largely the same in Windows 8. We point out all differences.
What you can do in the Advanced Options menu
The Advanced Options menu offers a number of actions you can take to troubleshoot or repair your PC:
- System recovery: Launches the System Restore utility, which you can use to fix certain types of crashes and errors by restoring your settings, drivers, and apps to a previously created restore point. Check out our guide to using System Restore for more information.
- System Image Recovery: Allows you to restore a backup image of your PC. Check out our guide to restoring system image backups in Windows for more information.
- Startup Repair: Starts the built-in Windows Startup Repair Tool, which attempts to automatically fix startup problems. For more information, see our guides on how to fix startup problems with Windows Startup Repair Repair Tool and what to do if Windows won’t start.
- Command prompt: Restarts your PC and loads a simple troubleshooting command prompt window.
- Startup Settings: Allows access to alternate boot modes and tools such as safe mode, low-resolution video mode, and boot logging.
- Revert to Previous Version: Allows you to uninstall Windows and downgrade to the previous version you were using, if you have upgraded within the last 30 days. Check out our guide on uninstalling Windows 10 and downgrading to Windows 7 or 8.1 for more information.
Note: You may also see “Uninstall updates” instead of “Revert to previous version”. It will reset Windows and uninstall the latest update.
After selecting most of these options, Windows will restart and then load (or launch the tool) into the mode you selected.
And now that you know what you can use the Advanced Options menu for, let’s see how to get there.
Option 1: Hold down Shift while clicking Restart
If your PC is able to start Windows normally, you can quickly get to the “Advanced options” menu simply by holding down the Shift key while clicking on the “Restart” option. You can do this either on the login screen (see above) or in the start menu (see below).
If you do this, your PC will not restart immediately. Instead, it shows you a menu that lets you continue your Windows session, access troubleshooting tools, or turn off your PC. Click the Troubleshoot button.
On the Troubleshoot screen, click the Advanced Options button.
And finally, you will get to the Advanced Options menu.
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Note: If your PC cannot start Windows normally two times in a row, it should automatically present you with the Advanced options menu. If it doesn’t, you can try booting your PC using a USB recovery drive.
Option 2: Use the Settings app
If you want to jump through a few extra hoops instead of just hitting Shift + Restart, you can also launch the Advanced Options menu from the Settings app. Press Windows + I to open the Settings app, then
Click on the “Update & Security” option.
Go to the “Recovery” tab in the left pane. In the right pane, scroll down a bit and then click the Restart Now button in the Advanced Startup section.
If you’re using Windows 8 or 8.1, go to the General tab instead, and then click the Restart button in the Advanced startup section.
Option 3: Issue a command using PowerShell (or Command Prompt).
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You can also reach the Advanced Options menu by typing a simple command using PowerShell or Command Prompt. We’ll use PowerShell here, but it’s exactly the same command in both cases. You could also create a batch script with this command for easier access to the Advanced Options menu in the future.
Start PowerShell as an administrator by pressing Windows+X and then clicking on the “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option in the power user menu.
At the command prompt, type (or copy and paste) the following command, and then press Enter:
shutdown.exe /r /o
A message will appear warning you that you are about to be logged out.
Windows will automatically restart about a minute later and take you to the Advanced Options menu.
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