Just like your Computer, your Android phone also has a safe mode, which when launched, boots your mobile phone into a clean session without launching any third-party apps or widgets. Android safe mode was designed as a trouble shooting tool to observe the device for software issues and compatibility. It helps identify the reason of device crashes or slow performance.
Safe mode on Android is a feature which can be activated voluntarily. It helps the user to identify which apps consume the maximum of resources and hamper the performance of the device. It can also help diagnose which app consumes most of the battery resources by manually switching one app on and observing its toll on the battery. Other smartphone issues like overheating, unresponsive screen issues, increased usage of data, random reboots and others can be easily classified into software or hardware issue as the phone only loads the default system apps in its normal state, just as it was when you opened the box for first time.
If your device boots into safe mode involuntary then it is likely that the device has encountered an error with the functioning of an app, malware issues or maybe a glitch with the operating system. If your mobile works fine in the safe mode, then the good news is that there is nothing wrong with your hardware. It is a third-party app which is causing the glitch and is not compatible with your phone. This generally happens if you have installed an app from a third-party website and not from Google Play Store.
What can you do in Android Safe Mode?
- Identify apps which create problems and uninstall them. However, third-party apps will not function in safe mode. It is more of trial and error method keeping the recent ones at top priority.
- Take advantage of a clean Android environment and use your phone’s core functions.
- Identify if your device has hardware issues as those issues will persist irrespective of booting the device in any mode.
- Check for other issues like heating, crashed, low performance.
- Run the default apps like Chrome or Maps to identify & see if the device functions normally with them.
- Safe mode can be used to uninstall all apps and clear cache that cannot be resolved by factory-reset. This can save time and effort required to take backup and reinstall all apps in case of a factory reset.
- Once enabled, it is very easy to turn of Safe Mode on Android devices.
Suggested Read: Best Android Cleaner apps for free.
Steps to Turn On Safe Mode in Android Devices.
Safe Mode is an easy and quick way to detect any issues with your device. If you face any issues with your mobile phone, reboot it into safe mode and check. If you still encounter same issues, then it can be a hardware fault. If not, check the list of recent installed or updated application and try removing them in safe mode itself. Reboot your device in the normal mode and check your device.
To activate safe mode, perform the simple steps:
- Press and hold the power button on your phone until you get a power menu with four options – Power Off, Restart, Screenshot and Emergency.
- Release your hold on the power button and hold it on the screen over the Power Off button.
- You will get a message to reboot your phone in the safe mode. Click on OK and your phone will restart in safe mode.
In order to identify the restart mode, check the left bottom of the screen and you find ‘Safe Mode’ written over.
Those are the basic steps to access safe mode in any Android device. However, some manufacturers customize the operating system before loading it in their devices. And this may result in safe mode not being activated. Try out a few alternative steps instead:
- Follow step one from the basic steps listed above.
- Hold the Restart button instead of the Power button.
- Your phone will prompt you for a reboot in Safe Mode.
There is another method especially for older devices.
- Press and hold the power button until the power menu appears on your screen.
- Tap the Power Off button once to shut down the device.
- Once turned off, wait for 20 secs and long press the power button and hold it until you see the device manufacturer or Android logo on the screen.
- Once you seen the logo, release the power button and press the volume down button until the device reboots.
- Release the volume down button once the device has rebooted and loaded the operating system on the screen.
- The loaded operating system would be Safe Mode.
Suggested Read: Best Anti-Malware Android Apps.
Steps on How to Turn Off Safe Mode on Android Devices.
Sometimes, it happens that a device in safe mode is not able to return to the normal mode. It mostly happens when the device has slipped into the safe mode automatically without any attempt from your side. In such cases it becomes a task to pull it back to the normal mode. Here are a few steps to do so:
- Restart the phone. This simple step works in 90% of the cases. Press and hold the Power button of your device and choose the Restart option from the Power menu. It is a defined process that any Android device will get out of Safe Mode and will restart in normal mode when restarted normally.
- Delete startup apps. Some Apps like custom home screens and widgets launch at startup and can be one of the reasons for your Android device booting up into Safe Mode. Uninstalling such apps will disable safe mode and try to reboot again.
- Notifications Panel. Some devices show notification when your device boots into Safe mode. Pull down the notification panel and tap on that notification. It will restart your phone and turn off the safe mode.
- Hardware Buttons. Another method to turn off Safe Mode on Android devices, is to first turn off your device. Then press and hold the power button. This will turn on the mobile. As soon as you see any logo on the screen, release the power button and press the volume down button. This will help boot your phone in normal mode.
Note: This can be considered as a hit and miss type of step and you might have to try it out more than once.
- Damaged Buttons. If your phone reboots into safe mode every time then do check the volume buttons, physically. A broken pressed volume button could let the device think that the button was pressed intentionally, and this could result into the phone booting up in safe mode every time. Clean and fix the stuck power button to disable safe Mode.
- Uninstall recent apps. If your phone has automatically slipped into the safe mode, then there’s a possibility that one of recent apps installed might be the culprit behind it. The best way to recover back to the normal mode is to uninstall the recently installed apps and then try to get out of the safe mode.
- Clear App Cache. It is quite possible that an update released for a previously installed app might cause this problem. If that so then it would be wise to delete the cache or app storage for that app. If it does not resolve the issue, then uninstalling the app would be the only solution. To delete the cache, follow these quick steps:
Step 1. Open Android settings on your device.
Step 2. Locate Apps & Notifications, and tap See all apps.
Step 3. Tap the app’s name which you suspect.
Step 4. Tap the Storage option and press the Clear Cache button.
Step 5. It the previous step does not do the trick, then press the Clear Storage button. This might lose all your user data stored like credentials, history etc. within that app.
Step 6. If the issue still persists then uninstall the app.
- Clear Device Cache. If the above step did not work, it seems that the app remains to identified. It would be then necessary to clean the cache for the entire device. Doing it one app at a time would be a never-ending process and it would be better to clear it all in one go. To do so, you need to access the recovery mode of your smartphone by turning your phone off and restart it by holding the power button along with the volume up button pressed together, until the recovery mode screen appears on your screen. Use the volume down button to move through the options and the power button to select any option that is highlighted. Bring the highlighter to ‘Wipe Cache Partition’ and press the power button to delete the cache and disable safe mode.
- Pull the Battery out. If your phone has a detachable phone, which is not likely nowadays, then just remove the back cover and remove the battery. Wait for 30 secs and place it back in and restart your phone. It would boot in normal mode and turn off the safe mode in Android.
- Factory Reset. The final step remaining for you to try to get out of Safe Mode state is a factory reset. This can be achieved in two ways:
Important: Factory reset wipes all data. So, take a backup of all your files and settings before you attempt this step.
The Software Method
Step 1. You can reset your phone through the operating system options. Locate the Settings options and type ‘Reset’ in the search bar of the settings window.
Step 2. Find the option labelled as ‘Factory reset (erase all data)’ and tap it. You phone will restart and reset all settings to the way it was packed in the box.
The Hardware Method
Step 1. Turn off your device and restart it by holding the power button along with the volume up button pressed together.
Step2. Use the volume down button to move through the recovery options and choose ‘Wipe Data/Factory Reset’ and press the power button to select it.
Suggested Read: Best Android Optimization and Booster Apps.
Finally, I guess now you know what to do if your Android device, Phone or Tablet, starts acting up or becomes slow suddenly for no apparent reason at all. Enter the safe mode on your device and check its functionality then, if it’s the same then there are only two options-Hardware fault or Factory data reset. But if you don’t face any issues in Safe Mode then a third-party you installed later is causing the issue. Some apps are known to cause conflict with each other and with the operating system as well. Uninstall the app you think might have caused this and check your device. Safe Mode is like a resort you would love to visit occasionally to enjoy the calmness and purity of the environment, but you cannot decide to live there forever and have to come back to the normal mode.