By Ivy / Last update December 13, 2021

What is Windows 11 Recovery Environment?

Windows 11 recovery environment is an operating system based on the Windows Preinstallation Environment(WinPE) and it’s installed in a separate partition on your computer immediately after the system partition (C: drive). And it includes several tools for troubleshooting, recovery or diagnosing.

Windows 11 Recovery Partition

How to Access Windows 11 Recovery Environment Easily

Here you will learn 5 methods to access Windows recovery environment, among them, some of these methods can be achieved by different forms and you will get all of them.

Method 1: Use Advanced Startup to Access Windows 11 Recovery Environment

If your computer is still bootable, you can directly use Advanced Startup feature within Windows. For detailed steps, you can do as follow.

Step 1. Press Win + I key to open Settings app and select it.

Step 2. Select System > Recovery.

Step 3. Go to Recovery options and select Advanced startup > Restart now.

Advanced Startup

Step 4. Then, you will be prompted to save your work before restarting. If you already save your work, click Restart Now again. If not, click Close.

Method 2: Use Shift + Restart key to Access Windows Recovery Environment

Except for Advanced Startup feature, you still can use Shift + Restart key to get into Windows 11 recovery environment. And this method can be achieved using different ways.

#1: From Start Menu
Open Start > press the Power button > hold down the Shift key and select Restart.

From Start Menu

#2: From the Context Menu of Start

Right-click the Start menu > select Shut down or log off > hold down the Shift key and select Restart.

#3. Use Ctrl + Alt + Del key

Press Ctrl + Alt + Del > select the Power button > hold down the Shift key and select Restart.

Ctrl Alt Del

#4: At the Login stage
Select the Power button > press and holder Shift and choose Restart.

Method 3: Use Command Prompt to Access Windows Recovery Environment

Command Prompt is another way to access Windows WinRE when you are still within Windows. You have two ways to achieve this goal, namely using shutdown and reagent command.

#1: Use Shutdown Command

Type cmd in the search box and select Run as administartor > type shutdown /r /o.

Shutdown


Notes:

  • The /r parameters is to restart your computer.
  • The /o parameter is to go to the menu of additional boot options.

#2 Use reagent command

Open command prompt window > type reagentc /boottore and hit Enter > Restart your computer.

Reagentc boottore

Note:

The /boottore parameter enable your computer boot from the Windows recovery environment at the next system startup.

Method 4: Use Recovery Disk to Access Windows Recovery Environment

If you have Windows 11 installation media come along with your computer, you can use it as a recovery disk. If not, you need to create Windows 11 recovery USB with installation ISO files or Recovery feature. Please be sure you have one of the recovery disk and then follow the steps below. Take Windows 11 installation media as an example.

Step 1. Connect the recovery disk and be sure it’s recognized.

Step 2. Then, restart your computer, press F2 or ESC to access BIOS and set the disk as the first boot option.

Step 3. Save changes and reboot. After a few seconds, you will be asked to press any key to boot from USB drive, just do so.

Step 4. In the Windows Setup page, select language, time format and keyboard input method. Click Next.

Step 5. Click Repair your computer.

Repair Your Computer

Tip:

If your a recovery drive created in Windows 11, you need to select the keyboard layouts after booting from it.

Method 5: Use Hard Reboot to Access Windows 11 Recovery Environment

If your computer is unbootable but you don't have any bootable disk, you can use hard reboot. Please learn how to open Windows recovery environment on startup with it. 

Step 1. Press the Power button and hold down until your computer completely shutdown.

Step 2. Press the Power button again to turn it on.

Step 3. Repeat the previous two steps 2 or 3 times. Then, you may see the Windows logo screen, Please wait, or Diagnosing your PC message during boot.

Step 4. Then, you will access the Recovery window, click See advanced repair options. If you see Automatic Repair window, click Advanced options.

See Advanced Repair Options

How to run Windows 11 Recovery Environment

After accessing Windows 11 recovery environment, you may see 4 options in the Choose an option window, namely Continue, Use a device, Troubleshoot, Turn off your PC. Then, what does these recovery environment options can do?

  • The first option allows you to exit the recovery environment and boot into Windows 11 while the last allows you to turn off it completely.
  • The second option is to use a USB drive, network connection or Windows recovery drive while the third option has the ability to reset your PC or use other advanced options, such as, Startup Repair, System Restore, Command Prompt etc.

Then, which one should you use if you want to reset or repair your computer?

>> Click Use a device if complete wipe your hard drive and reinstall Windows 11 using installation disc. Also, if you cannot access the boot menu to change boot priority for boot USB, you can select it from this option.

Use A Device

>> Click Troubleshoot, you will see Reset this PC, Recovery from a drive or Advanced options.

Recover from a Drive

What if Windows 11 Recovery Environment Missing?

Sometime, you may find that the Windows 11 recovery environment is missing, you may wander if there are any way to fix this error and then repair computer. If not, how do I repair my computer when run into issues?

For the first question, this Windows 11 recovery environment missing error may be caused by disabled WinRE, corrupted Winre.wim file or a broken installation disk. You can get solutions in this article: 3 Ways to Fix Windows Could Not Find Recovery Environment.

For the second question, you can create a Windows 11 recovery environment with a third-party tool like AOMEI Backupper Standard. By using it, you don’t need any device to store the boot files and to set boot priority for it. And you can access the WinRE every time when your system startup ( as long as your computer is not completely bootable) and restore system image or other backups to get your data back.

Then, I’ll show you how to install and open Windows recovery environment with this software step by step.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and install it on your computer. Then, launch it, go to Tools > Recovery Environment.

Download Freeware Win 11//10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Recovery Environment

Step 2. In the Recovery Environment Settings page, tick Enable the boot option of AOMEI Backupper recovery environment and set the standing time down on this boot menu. Then,click Next.

Enable Windows 11 Recovery Environment

Step 3. Then, you will see a message, saying the boot option will take effect at the next system startup, click OK to confirm.

Confirm

Step 4. Wait until the recovery environment is created completely. Then, restart your computer to see if there is an option Enter into AOMEI Backupper.

Enter Into Aomei Backupper

Notes:

  • This tool currently does not support dynamic system and system before Windows 7.
  • It’s recommended to update the recovery environment after this software is automatically updated or registered, or when the recovery environment is missing.
  • This tool is only the entrance to get into Windows 11 recovery environment. To restore Windows 11 system image to new hard drive or another computer, you need to create a system image backup in Windows 11 when it works properly.
  • To add an extra layer of your data, you’d better create a Windows 11 bootable USB as well. Because the recovery environment created by AOMEI Backupper is kept under the path C:\Aomei Recovery and it’s easily damaged by system failure.

Summary

By reading this article, you may already know how to access and run Windows 11 recovery environment easily to repair or recover your computer. But there is a possibility that the Windows 11 recovery environment is missing and you cannot access, let alone run it.

In this case, you can fix this error by given article or directly use a third-party tool to create Windows recovery environment. It allows you to directly access and restore system at system startup, without any device to store boot files and setting boot priority for the boot disk.

Besides, you still can use this software to backup system, disk, partition and files and then restore them in the event of a disaster. And if you want to make an exact copy of Windows 11 and directly from it, you can choose clone disk or system.