MsConfig in Windows 8, Windows 10: How to Access it

By: John Nedelcu
3 minute read
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Using the good ol’ msconfig in Windows 10, Windows 8 is very, very simple; read our basic advice to learn how easy it is to access this useful function

MsConfig is one of the most used commands for Windows. It allows users to modify settings regarding Windows boot and what programs launch at startup. By controlling these startup programs, users will be able to improve the startup time of their devices.

For those who want to use MsConfig in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to customize the different options of their devices, MsConfig is very easily accessible. But do keep in mind that starting with Windows 10, Windows 8, MsConfig will not manage startup programs, as these will be modified via Task Manager.

Even so, the MsConfig utility still retains many of the features that it had, such as selecting OS boot order and many others. Users will still find it very useful even though it doesn’t manage startup programs any more.

Opening MsConfig in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Method 1 – Use the Run command

Just like you did in previous versions on Windows, opening MsConfig can be done with the “Run” command. Use the keyboard shortcut “Windows Key + R” and the “Run” window will open. In the text box, write “msconfig” and press Enter or OK and the MsConfig window will open.

Also, in Windows 10, Windows 8, you can open the Run window from the shortcuts menu in the bottom left corner. In Windows 10, Windows 8.1, by right clicking on the Start button, you will see the same options menu, along with some additions. Additionally, you can use the Search charm to search for “msconfig” and it will find the command.


Method 2 – Open MsConfig with Command Prompt

Another equally easy way to open MsConfig is with the Command Prompt. All you need to do is open the Command Prompt, enter a simple command, and you’re good to go.

Here’s exactly what you should do:

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and go to Run as Administrator
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter: Start msconfig

You should also keep in mind that using just the ‘msconfig’ command gets you nowhere. If you just enter this, Windows won’t find anything, and you’ll get the “‘msconfig‘ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file” error message. So, stick to the right command, and you should have no problems.

Method 3 – Go to Safe Mode with MsConfig

If you already know what you’ll be using MsConfig for, there’s no need to keep reading. However, I feel I should mention the most popular feature of MsConfing, and that’s Safe Start.

A lot of people think using MsConfig is the most straightforward way of entering the Safe Mode in Windows. So, let’s see how it’s done:

  1. Open MsConfig by using one of the methods from above
  2. Go to the Boot tab
  3. Check Safe Boot, and choose one of the following options:
  4. Minimal. On startup, opens the File Explorer in the Safe Mode, with critical system services only. Networking is disabled.
  5. Alternate shell. On startup, opens the Command Prompt in the Safe Mode, with critical system services only. Networking and File Explorer are disabled.
  6. Active Directory repair. On startup, opens File Explorer in the Safe Mode, critical system services and Active Directory.
  7. Network. On startup, opens File Explorer in the Safe Mode, with critical system services only. Networking is enabled.
  8. Restart your computer

Once you’re done with your business in the Safe Mode, simply go back to MsConfig, and uncheck Safe Boot. Restart your computer, and you’re back to normal.

As you can see, accessing MsConfig in both Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is very simple. You have more than one way to open it, so you can choose which works best for you.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2013 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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