How to clean boot Windows 10

You’ve probably heard of Safe Mode on Windows 10. It’s a low state that Windows 10 runs in with just the bare minimum features and it’s ideal for troubleshooting a PC. There’s another state that you can run Windows 10 in which is the clean boot state. Not many users have heard of this and those that have are unable to differentiate it from the Safe mode, often thinking they’re the same thing. They aren’t. Here’s how you can clean boot Windows 10.

Clean boot Windows 10

Open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. In the run box, enter the following, and tap Enter.


This will open the System Configuration window. Go to the General tab and change the Startup Selection to ‘Selective Startup’. Once selected, disable the ‘Load startup items’ option under it.

how to clean boot windows 10 How to clean boot Windows 10

Next, go to the Services tab. Select the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option. Once the services have been hidden, use the Disable All option to disable all the remaining, non-Microsoft services.

how to clean boot windows 10 1 How to clean boot Windows 10

Finally, open the Task Manager and go to the Startup tab. Select each item, one-by-one, and disable them all. Once you’re done, reboot your system and it will be a clean boot.

how to clean boot windows 10 2 How to clean boot Windows 10

Exit clean boot

Exiting clean boot is not as simple as exiting safe mode on Windows 10. You will have to undo all the changes you’ve made to the system configuration app. Open it again and change Startup selection to ‘Normal Startup’, go to the Services tab, select all non-Microsoft services, and enable them again. Open Task Manager and enable the Startup items again. Restart your system.

Safe mode vs clean boot

We mentioned that there’s a difference between safe mode and clean boot. Safe mode is a super minimal state that Windows runs in; only the bare basic services and features work e.g., you can’t even set a wallpaper because the graphics settings are low. Additionally, you will have to manually enable networking in Safe mode if you want internet connectivity.

In stark contrast, clean boot is a lot like booting to a Windows 10 PC that has no other third-party app installed on it. All non-Microsoft services and apps that run at start up are disabled. You can choose to run a third-party app but its services will be blocked. Windows 10 still works with all its features which means you will be able to connect to the internet, use Bluetooth, and do a bunch of other things.

Clean boot itself isn’t an official mode for Windows 10. It’s a popular name given to a desktop that’s booted to under the above conditions.

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