Consider the following scenario:

  • You start a program in Windows. For example, you start Internet Explorer. After you take this action, the program that you start is the active program window.

  • You try to start Microsoft Word in safe mode. To do this, you press and then hold Ctrl when you start Word.

In this scenario, Word may not be the active program window. However, the Word task is displayed on the Windows task bar. Additionally, the following message is not displayed:

Word has detected that you are holding the CTRL key. Do you want to start Word in safe mode?


To work around this problem, take one of the following actions:

  • Click the Word task in the Windows taskbar to make Word the active program window.

  • Minimize the active program window.

  • Press Alt+Tab to switch to Word and to make Word the active program window.

Then, you can click Yes to start Word in safe mode. Or, you can click No to start Word as you typically do.

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!