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How To Access Advanced Startup Options in Windows 8 or 8.1

Summary: This article provides information about how to access the advanced startup options in Windows 8 or 8.1.

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Article Content


The Advanced Startup Options menu in Windows 8 or 8.1 is the central fix-it location for the entire operating system. From the advanced startup options you can access Windows 8 or 8.1 diagnostic and repair tools such as Refresh Your PC, Reset Your PC, System Restore, Command Prompt, and much more.

Advanced Startup Options is also where you access Startup Settings, this menu includes options such as Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, among other startup methods that helps you access Windows 8 or 8.1 when you encounter problems starting or booting the computer.

The Advanced Startup Options menu appears automatically after two consecutive startup errors. However, if you need to open it manually, there are six different ways to do so.

Method 1: SHIFT + Restart

  1. Hold down either SHIFT key while tapping or clicking on Restart, available from any Power icon. Tip: Power icons are available in Windows 8 from either the Settings charm or from the logon/lock screen. This method does not seem to work with the on-screen keyboard. You'll need to have a physical keyboard connected to your computer or device to open the Advanced Startup Options menu this way.
  2. Wait while the Advanced Startup Options menu opens.

Method 2: PC Settings

  1. Swipe from the right to open the charms bar. Tip: If you have a keyboard, use WIN+I and then skip to Step 3.
  2. Tap or click on Settings.
  3. Tap or click on Change PC settings at the bottom of the charms bar.
  4. Choose Update and recovery from the list of options on the left of the PC settings window. Prior to Windows 8.1, choose General instead and then skip to Step 6.
  5. Choose Recovery.
  6. Locate Advanced startup, at the bottom of the list of options on your right.
  7. Tap or click on Restart now.
  8. Wait through the "Please wait message" until Advanced Startup Options opens.

Method 3: Shutdown Command

  1. Open Command Prompt in Windows 8. Tip: Another option is to open Run if you can't get Command Prompt started for some reason.
  2. Execute the shutdown command in the following way: shutdown /r /o. Save any open files before executing this command or you'll lose any changes you've made since your last save.
  3. To the "You're about to be signed off message" that appears a few seconds later, tap or click on the Close button.
  4. After several seconds, during which nothing seems to be happening, Windows 8 will then close and you'll see a Please wait message.
  5. Wait just a few seconds more until the Advanced Startup Options menu opens.

Method 4: Boot From Your Windows 8 Installation Media

  1. Insert a Windows 8 DVD, or a flash drive with the Windows 8 installation files on it, into your computer.
  2. Boot from the disc or boot from the USB device, whatever your situation calls for.
  3. From the Windows Setup screen, tap or click on Next.
  4. Tap or click on the Repair your computer link at the bottom of the window.
  5. Advanced Startup Options will start, almost immediately.

Method 5: Boot From a Windows 8 Recovery Drive

  1. Insert your Windows 8 Recovery Drive into a free USB port.
  2. Boot your computer from the flash drive.
  3. On the Choose your keyboard layout screen, tap or click on US or whatever keyboard layout you'd like to use.
  4. Advanced Startup Options will begin instantly.

Method 6: Boot Directly to Advanced Startup Options

  1. Start or restart your computer or device.
  2. Choose the boot option for System Recovery, Advanced Startup, Recovery, etc. Important: The ability to boot directly to Advanced Startup Options isn't one that's available with a traditional BIOS. Your computer will need to support UEFI and then also be configured properly to boot directly to the ASO menu.
  3. Wait for Advanced Startup Options to begin.

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Article Properties

Last Published Date

01 Apr 2021



Article Type

How To