Using Safe Mode in Your Windows Start-Up Options
Using Safe Mode
If you're running into pop-ups, slow start-ups, or any suspected PC infestation that impedes your normal Windows start-up, you can sometimes make the necessary fixes more easily and quickly by starting your computer in "Safe Mode."
Do this by tapping the "F8" function key on your keyboard repeatedly immediately after you've pressed the button to power up your computer.
Usually this will bring up a screen letting you choose how to start up your system.
Instead of choosing the "Normal" Windows start-up, in cases like these I usually recommend choosing "Safe Mode with Networking."
This will cause the computer to start up in a way the looks a bit different from normal.
Don't be startled by streams of white text streaming down a dark background screen.
Don't be startled either by the different size and appearance of icons, text and layout on your computer screen.
Safe Mode starts up only the essential parts of your operating system, without the extra software, drivers, etc. which usually get loaded automatically in Windows.
This means that if pre-loaded items are causing problems in normal Windows sessions, you may be able to eliminate them in Safe Mode since you've started up only the bare bones of your operating system.
Safe Mode does not allow users to perform each and every Windows task, but it offers enough functionality to be useful in fixing many computer problems.
Using the "Add/Remove" or "Programs and Features" areas of Control Panel (depending on your OS), you often can remove problematic applications from your computer which speed things up, and sometimes you can get an upper hand on removing various sorts of malware which you can't do in a normal Windows session.
Details on how to start Safe Mode above pertain to computers up through Windows 7 and 8.1. Using Safe Mode with Windows 10 works a bit differently and will be addressed in a separate posting.