How to install Windows updates in Safe Mode

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
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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.

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?

By following these steps, you should be able to perform Windows Updates even while the PC is 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 SettingsBoot 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 modecheck 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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