How to install Windows updates in Safe Mode

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
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  • Safe Mode is the diagnostic mode of  Windows and it will run only have essential system programs.
  • It's recommended to update Windows 10 in Safe Mode only if you can't start the PC normally.
  • If you install updates in Safe Mode after you restart the computer normally you will only have a limited number of components installed.
  • If you manage to start the computer normally, reinstall the updates or service packs again.
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If you’ve ever had problems with your PC, then most likely you may have needed to use Safe Mode. For those of you that don’t know, Safe Mode is the diagnostic mode of any OS.

In the case of Windows, Safe Mode only allows essential system programs and services to start up at boot.

Additionally, whenever you install an update, Windows will scan what devices and which system components are enabled to determine what gets updated.

So it’s not optimal to update Windows 10 in Safe Mode unless you can’t start the PC normally.

Should you install Windows Updates in Safe Mode?

Since not all devices and components are active in Safe Mode, this will result in only partial updates. This eventually leads to intermittent file errors or registry errors when you finally boot the PC normally.

Because of this, services and features that we are used to running in the background, such as Windows updates, will not be activated by default.

Note: Microsoft recommends that you do not install service packs or updates when Windows is running in Safe mode unless you cannot start Windows normally.

The only acceptable situation is if you cannot start Windows normally. Even so, if you do install a service pack or update while Windows is running in Safe Mode, immediately reinstall it after you start Windows normally.


How do I install Windows updates in Safe Mode?

  1. Press Windows.
  2. Click on the power button.
  3. Hold Shift and select Restart.
  4. Click the Troubleshoot option.
  5. Select Advanced Settings.
  6. Choose Start-up Settings.Boot menu
  7. Click Restart.
  8. Press 5 to choose Safe Mode with Networking.
  9. Press Enter.
  10. Open the Start Menu.
  11. Type Windows Update into the search bar.
  12. Click the Windows Update icon.
  13. Go to the left side of the screen.
  14. Click Change Settings.
  15. Choose Install Updates Automatically.
  16. Click Check for Updates (The latest updates will appear as available).
  17. Click View Available Updates.
  18. Choose the updates you need and click Install.
  19. Reboot the PC when the updates are finished.
  20. Reinstall the updates once you boot the PC in normal mode.check for updates

By following these steps, you should now be able to get the latest Windows updates, even when you boot the PC in Safe Mode.

While this is not recommended, there are a few situations when this may be your only choice left.


Did you find this guide useful? Let us know what other processes you want to run while in Safe Mode in the comment section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • It’s not recommended to do that unless you can’t start the PC normally. If so, check out this excellent guide on how to install updates in Safe Mode.

  • No, you can’t update drivers in Safe Mode. However, we have an expert guide on how to update drivers in Windows 10.

  • No, you can’t install Windows on Safe Mode. However, we have an excellent guide on how to install the latest Windows 10 update.

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