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The Complete Guide To Windows 8 Startup Menu

The Windows Advanced Boot Options menu, also known as Windows Startup Menu, includes various system repair and troubleshooting modes which help users fix system startup problems, access command line interpreter, and run Windows in safe mode, along with Windows boot debugging option to initiate step-by-step identification of Windows boot process issues. Like previous Windows versions, Windows 8 Startup Menu can be accessed by pressing F8 key before Windows starts loading. Along with the changes in Windows Desktop, Start Menu, Start Search, Control Panel, and Task Manager, the Windows 8 Startup Menu has also been revamped with new metro look.


This guide is a part of our series on detailed coverage of Windows 8 New Features and Improvements.

  1. How To Install Windows 8 On VirtualBox
  2. What’s New In Windows 8 Desktop, Start Search, And Start Menu
  3. The Complete Guide To Windows 8 Explorer, New Ribbon Tools And Options
  4. The Complete Guide To Windows 8 Task Manager, New Features And Options
  5. Windows 8 PC Settings [Complete Guide]
  6. How To Refresh Or Reset Your Windows 8 PC [Complete Guide]
  7. All About Windows 8 FileName Collisions And Copy/Move Dialog Box
  8. The Complete Guide To Windows 8 Startup Menu (Currently Viewing)
  9. Sync Windows 8 User Settings Between PCs & Tablets via Windows Live ID
  10. Quick Overview Of Windows Lock Screen 
  11. The Complete Guide To Windows 8 File History Backup 

The Windows 8 Startup Menu user interface includes two useful Windows repair options, namely, Windows Reset and Windows Refresh, while all the other essential advance system repair options are also available, such as, Automatic repair, System Image Recovery, System Restore, and Command Prompt. In this post, we will discuss latest additions to Windows 8 Startup Menu and how to access the classic troubleshooting utilities.

To open the menu, reboot or turn on your PC and press F8 function key repeatedly to enter into Windows 8 Startup Menu. In case you’ve dual-booted Windows 8 with Windows 7, you will find option to select the OS to boot, and a link to open advance system startup options, namely Change defaults or choose other options.

This link will open the Options menu, which allows you to choose how long to wait before the default OS starts booting, choose the default operating system, and choose other advanced options. Clicking  Choose a default operating system will open a window where you can select the operating system that you want to load each time the system starts.  Clicking the Change the timer lets you specify the amount of time before default operating system runs automatically; you can select 5 minutes, 30 seconds, or 5 seconds boot delay options.

When you click Choose other options, it provides you with options to exit the Startup Menu and continue loading Windows 8, choose another OS to boot, Turn off the PC, or choose advance system Troubleshoot option to perform numerous system related operations for resolving issues.

Under Troubleshoot window, you will find two new repair tools; Refresh your PC and Reset your PC. We have already covered these options in our guide here.

Clicking Advance option will reveal all Windows 8 repair tools, including, System Restore, System Image Recovery, Automatic repair, Windows Startup Settings, and Command prompt.

The System Restore option shows all previously saved System Restore Points.You can choose restore point with last stable configuration to revert all the changes made to system back to selected restore point. The System Image Recovery option allows recovering Windows using system image file. When you attempt to restore your system through this option, it will ask you to attach an external storage device or optical disk having recovery image to begin the process. The Re-image your Computer wizard will guide you through the process.

restore image

The next utility in Advanced Options is Automatic Repair. In comparison with other provided options, this options is relatively less useful, as it is capable of identifying only basic Windows startup problem. When you select Automatic Repair, it will start finding problems with your PC. On finding issues with your PC, it will ask you to select fixes amongst the list to repair your system.

The Command Line Interpreter utility is accessible through Command Prompt option. You can use the CMD console to find, copy, move, remove files, replace files with newer versions, run other command line utilities to fix the problems with your PC and so on.

cmd 1

The Windows Startup Settings option lets you change Windows startup behavior, including driver signature enforcement. It allows you to restart the system in order to change various Windows boot options, including Disable early-launch anti-malware protection, Disable auto-restart on system failure, Enable boot logging, safe mode, debugging mode and low resolution mode.

Although Windows 8 Startup Menu looks like a simplified version of the good-old Startup Menu that we’ve grown used to, we did face some issues while recovering our system from Startup Menu. The Windows Startup Settings and Automatic Repair options do not provide detailed information for resolving the hardware and Windows boot-related issues. However,  Windows 8 Startup Menu includes a wide range of system tools, like Reset your PC, Refresh your PC, System Image Recovery etc., to help users apply quick fixes for routine PC problems.

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