How to Access the Boot Menu in Windows 11

The Advanced Options Menu, sometimes called the Boot Menu, contains tools and configuration options you can use to troubleshoot or repair your PC. Here’s how to use it on Windows 11.

What Does the Advanced Options Menu Do?

The Advanced Startup Options Menu offers you a handful of utilities. Some of them are as simple as left-clicking the option and you’re done, while others require extensive user interaction. Here is a brief rundown on what the utilities are and what they do.

  • Startup Repair: Startup Repair will attempt to automatically fix issues that prevent Windows 11 from booting correctly.
  • Startup Settings: Startup Settings allows you to change how Windows 11 Boots. You can do things like enable Safe Mode, debugging, or boot logging, to name a few.
  • Command Prompt: The Command Prompt option brings up a Command Prompt window that can be used to run diagnostic or repair commands.
  • Uninstall Updates: The Uninstall Updates option will roll back the latest updates installed, including major Windows versions or updates.
  • UEFI Firmware Settings: This option restarts your computer and opens the BIOS/UEFI.
  • System Restore: System Restore allows you to use a previously created restore point to roll back Windows to a point where it was working correctly.
  • System Image Recovery: System Image Recovery is similar to System Restore, but uses a complete system image instead of a restore point. System images are much larger and more complete than restore points and include all of your files, programs, and settings.

How to Access the Advanced Options Menu

Windows 11, unlike Windows 10, does not support systems that are running a BIOS — they must be using UEFI. The UEFI requirement means that the advanced startup menu is always accessible from within Windows.

Within the Settings App

Open the Start Menu, type “Settings” into the search bar, and then click “Open” or hit Enter.

Ensure that you are on the System window. If you aren’t, click “System” in the top left-hand corner of the Settings window. Then scroll down and click “Recovery.”

There will be a section titled “Recovery Options.” Look for a section titled “Advanced Startup,” make sure to save anything you’re working on, and then click “Restart Now.” You may get a prompt warning you about unsaved work— if you have already saved everything, don’t worry about it.

Your computer will restart after a few seconds.

By Clicking Restart

If you don’t want to go into the Settings app and navigate through some sub-menus, there is a more efficient way: Shift-clicking the Restart option. Click the Start button or hit the Windows key, click the power icon, then hold Shift and click “Restart.”

The most obvious place to use this trick is with the Restart option in the Start menu, but it isn’t the only place. Just about anywhere that you see a “Restart” button will work, including the lock or login screen.

After Restarting Your Computer

Your computer will display a blue screen with a few options on it after you click “Restart Now” in the recovery menu, or Shift-click “Restart.” Choose “Troubleshoot” from the listed options.

Note: It is possible there will be more options available to you than are displayed here. For example, the “Choose an option” screen might also feature a “Use a Device” option.

Click “Advanced Options” on the next screen, and you’ll be taken to the Advanced Options menu.

That’s it — you’re at the Advanced Options window.

Windows 11's Advanced Options screen.

The Advanced Options menu has a number of different utilities available. Some of them are fully automated, like Startup Repair, whereas others require extensive user interaction, like the Command Prompt. Which you use depends a lot on what is wrong with your PC.