Using a PC's Last Known Good Configuration to Start Windows

Get Windows 7 or Vista to start up using LKGC

Windows encounters problems starting up if the system's registry or a driver's configuration has created a conflict that causes the system to fail to start. One of the easiest solutions that can get you back into your computer is starting using the Last Known Good Configuration option.

Starting Windows using Last Known Good Configuration is often the best first step when troubleshooting a Windows startup problem. As the name implies, it starts Windows using the last configuration of the system's registry and drivers that allowed it to start and shut down properly.

These directions are for Windows 7 and Vista. Last Known Good Configuration isn't available in Windows 10 or Windows 8.

How to Start Windows Using Last Known Good Configuration

Start Windows using Last Known Good Configuration from the Advanced Boot Options menu.

Starting Windows using Last Known Good Configuration is simple. Just press the F8 key over and over while Windows starts. What you need to do next depends on which version of Windows you're using:

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, highlight Last Known Good Configuration (advanced) and then press Enter.

Screenshot of the Last Known Good Configuration option in Windows 7
Last Known Good Configuration (Windows 7).

Last Known Good Configuration Doesn't Help?

In most cases, if your Windows startup problem isn't solved by starting with Last Known Good Configuration, the next step would be to attempt a System Restore. However, if you came here from a specific troubleshooting guide, your best bet is to follow whatever troubleshooting step is listed next.

It's completely fine to try booting into Safe Mode before using Last Known Good Configuration. It's only after you've booted normally and loaded Windows that LKGC might no longer be helpful.

The changes made when starting Windows using Last Known Good Configuration can't be undone. Don't let this deter you from trying Last Known Good Configuration — a working Windows with the previous session's driver and registry data is much better than Windows that you can't access at all.