How to Perform a Clean Boot in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users steps to perform a clean boot in Windows 11. A clean boot starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs so you can rule out other third party programs and services that are conflicting and making your computer unstable.

A clean boot is similar to starting Windows in Safe Mode, but gives you more control over which services and programs run at startup to help you isolate the cause of a problem.

The best way to troubleshoot issues in Windows is to isolate and contain the program or service that is making your computer behave this way, and one way to do that is to boot Windows with only its critical services. If a Windows critical service is causing the problem, then you may have to reset your Windows computer.

The process and steps may look complicated, but when you follow it below, you may be able to get your computer back to a working condition.

How to perform a clean boot in Windows 11

As mentioned above, a clean boot will start up Windows 11 with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs so you can rule out other third party programs and services that are conflicting and making your computer unstable.

You can then identify which programs or services are causing your computer to be unstable. Boot Windows 11 in a clean state can help you identify these programs and/or services.

You must be signed in as an administrator in order to perform a clean boot in Windows 11.

When you’re ready, click on the Start Menu, then search for Task Manager and select the Task Manager app under Best match.

Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Task Manager.

search task manager on windows 11

Then select More details if it is displayed. Under Startup tab, for each startup item, select the item and then select Disable.

disable all startup programs

When you’re done, your Startup tab should look similar to the one below.

windows 11 disable startup apps

Close out Task Manager.

Next, click the Start button again and type msconfig and select System Configuration from the results.

windows 11 system configuration

Once the System Configuration app opens, on the Services tab of System Configuration, select Hide all Microsoft services, and then select Disable all.

windows 11 disable services msconfig

When you’re done select OK. When you restart the computer, it’s in a clean boot environment. 

restart windows 11 clean boot

That is how one performs a clean boot in Windows 11.

If your problem does not occur while the computer is in a clean boot environment, then you can determine which startup application or service is causing the problem by systematically turning them on or off and restarting the computer. 

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to perform a clean boot in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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