In this Windows 8 tutorial you will learn about the improved advanced boot options menu, which is essential to trouble shoot Windows computer or boot a computer using different media. 

At the end of this tutorial you will learn

  • Three different ways to open Windows 8 advanced boot options menu.
  • Why old school method of pressing F8 key will not open the boot menu.

In Windows 95 to 7 you can simply press F8 when booting up the machine to access advanced boot options menu. This is useful for power Windows users to trouble shoot critical problems in Windows operating system. Safe mode, Last known goof configurations and Disable driver signing are few favorite and frequently use options. Due to hardware and software improvements in Windows 8, you have less than 200 milliseconds to press F8 to go to Windows 8 advanced boot option menu. This is next to impossible task. Therefore, Windows 8 engineers came up with better solution to access advanced boot menu. Generally you will require this option to boot your PC from an alternative device such as USB drive or Live CD, BIOS Setup options, trouble shoot critical problems, restore your computer to last known good configurations or any development specific scenarios.

Windows 8 has came up with a perfect solution by adding all the boot options, developing options and trouble shooting options to one menu. Also, you can access it while you are logged in to Windows 8 or automatically come to advanced boot option menu if there is a problem booting up the device.  In another words, Single place to access all the boot options.

How to open Windows 8 Boot Options

Step 1: Go to PC Settings.

Step 2: Go to General settings.

PC Settings General Settings

Step 3: Scroll down to Advance startup for Start up from a device or disc( Such as a USB or DVD) ,change Windows startup settings, or restore Windows from a system.

Step 4:Pressing Restart now will restart the device and reach to the boot options. Remember this menu is dynamic and options are base on the hardware and firmware.

Boot option for virtual machine

This is a screenshot of Boot Options from Virtual Machine.

Full Advanced Boot options in desktop mode.

Shortcut to go to Advanced boot menu is to press Shift key while restarting the Windows 8 computer.

Automatically Go to Boot menu when there is a critical problem

Windows 8 is getting smarter and it will automatically take you to boot menu, if there is a problem booting up a Windows8 computer. You do not have to figure out the keystroke to interrupt the boot process and access boot options. This video shows how Windows 8 recover itself.

I have corrupted Windows 8  couple of times, trying to change its system files. Each time it replaced the damage files and bring it back to life. I am sure you will love this features as well as it will save your time and data too.

Learn more about Windows 8 Advanced boot options menu with Windows 8 build team.