If Tails does not start properly, refer first to the known issues page. Similar issues might have already been reported for the same model of computer.

Otherwise refer to the following sections, depending on whether or not the boot menu appears when starting Tails:

Tails does not start at all

The following section applies if the boot menu does not appears when starting Tails.

Send us an email including the following information:

  1. Which is the brand, and model of the computer?

  2. What exactly happens when trying to start? Report the complete error message that appears on the screen, if any.

  3. From which media are you trying to start Tails: DVD, USB stick installed manually, USB stick installed with Tails Installer, SD card? Keep in mind that, we do not support any other installation method than the ones listed above.

  4. Have you been able to start Tails successfully on this computer before, from another media, or with another version of Tails? If so, which ones?

  5. Does the same media start successfully on other computers?

  6. Have you been able to start Tails successfully on the same computer using different installation methods? For example, it might start from a DVD but not from a USB stick.

  7. What installation method did you use to set up Tails?

If you are knowledgeable about BIOS configuration, you can also try the following:

  1. Make sure the computer is configured to start with legacy BIOS and not only UEFI. Try any of the following options if available:

    • Enable Legacy mode
    • Disable Secure boot
    • Enable CSM boot
    • Disable UEFI
  2. Try to upgrade your BIOS version.

Tails does not start entirely

The following section applies if the boot menu appears but not Tails Greeter when starting Tails.

  1. In the graphical boot menu, press TAB.

  2. Remove the quiet option from the boot command line.

  3. Add the debug and nosplash option.

  4. Hopefully, this displays useful messages while starting Tails. You can then include them in a bug report to be sent:

  5. If the error message is /bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off followed by (initramfs), then try removing the live-media=removable option.

    When removing this option, if an adversary installed a fake Tails on an internal hard disk, then you will likely be starting this dangerous operating system instead of the genuine Tails that you intended to use.

    If removing live-media=removable allows you to start Tails, please report a bug as documented above: this allows us to improve the list of problematic USB sticks. In this case, you should install Tails on another, better supported USB stick.