How To Perform A Clean Boot In Windows

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.
Why software conflicts occur?

When you start Windows by using a normal startup operation, several applications and services start automatically, and then run in the background. These programs include basic system processes, antivirus software, system utility applications, and other software that has been previously installed. These applications and services can cause software conflicts.
How to perform a clean boot

Notes

  • You must log on to the computer as an administrator to be able to perform a clean boot.
  • Your computer may temporarily lose some functionality when you perform a clean boot. When you start the computer normally, the functionality returns. However, you may receive the original error message, or experience the original behavior if the problem still exists.
  • If the computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from following these steps. We strongly recommend that you do not use the System Configuration utility to change the advanced boot options on the computer unless a Microsoft support engineer directs you to do this. Doing this may make the computer unusable.

Use the following steps to perform a clean boot:

Windows 10
  1. From Start, search for msconfig.
  2. Select System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.
  2. Type msconfig in the search box, and then tap or click msconfig. A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the Services tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then tap or click Disable all.
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click Open Task Manager. A screenshot for this step.
  5. On the Startup tab in Task Manager, for each startup item, select the item and then click Disable. A screenshot for this step.
  6. Close Task Manager.
  7. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box, tap or click OK, and then restart the computer. A screenshot for this step.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Log on to the computer by using an account that has administrator rights.
  2. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter to start the System Configuration utility.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or provide confirmation.
    A screenshot for this step.
  3. On the General tab, click the Selective startup option, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box. (The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.)
    A screenshot for this step.
  4. On the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.A screenshot for this step.
    Note This step lets Microsoft services continue to run. These services include Networking, Plug and Play, Event Logging, Error Reporting, and other services. If you disable these services, you may permanently delete all restore points. Do not do this if you want to use the System Restore utility together with existing restore points.
  5. Click OK, and then click Restart.
What is next when I have a clean boot environment?

After the computer is restarted, you will have a clean boot environment. Then, do one of the following, as appropriate for your situation:

  • If you could not install or uninstall a program or an update before you performed the clean boot, try to install or uninstall the program or update again.Note If you receive the “The Windows Installer service could not be accessed” error during the installation or uninstallation, follow How to start the Windows Installer service when system services are not loaded, and then install or uninstall the program or update again.
    • If the installation or uninstallation is successful, you have resolved your issue. Follow How to reset the computer to start as usual to reset your computer to the normal startup.
    • If the installation or uninstallation still fails, that means this issue is not caused by application or service interference. You may have to go to Microsoft Support for more specific support.
  • If you could not run a program before you performed the clean boot, try to run the program again.
How to reset the computer to start normally after clean boot troubleshooting

After you have finished troubleshooting, follow these steps to reset the computer to start normally.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8
  1. From Start, search for msconfig. (In Windows 10, use the Search box from the Start menu. In Windows 8 or 8.1, wipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. Or, if you are using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, and then click Search.)
  2. Select msconfig or System Configuration from the search results.
  3. On the General tab, tap or click the Normal Startup option.
  4. Tap or click the Services tab, clear the check box beside Hide all Microsoft services, and then tap or click Enable all.
  5. ap or click the Startup tab, and then tap or click Open Task Manager.
  6. In task manager, enable all of your startup programs, and then tap or click OK.
  7. When you are prompted to restart the computer, tap or click Restart.
Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the Start Search box, and then press Enter.
    Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, you should type the password or click Continue.
  2. On the General tab, click the Normal Startup option, and then click OK.
  3. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Restart.

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