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Android Safe Mode: Restart Phone or Tablet and Troubleshoot

android safe mode label on screen
Samyak Lalit | March 1, 2017 (Last update: March 1, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Safe Mode in Android is very similar to safe mode in Windows OS. In safe mode Android loads all the default applications and settings but you cannot access any third party apps. All the apps that you downloaded from Google Play Store cannot be used till you reboot your device in the normal mode. But the question is why do you need to reboot Android in safe mode? Most often you might want to do so to troubleshoot your device. In this mode you can resolve general problems like screen freeze or force close errors. You can also troubleshoot issues like the boot loops, lags, battery drain, heating situations, alerts, or total blackouts. In short, you can address any problem that is caused by an app, a process or a malware and remove it through the Android safe mode.

In this article we will show you how to switch to safe mode to troubleshoot your Android device.

Restart Android in Safe Mode

The steps mentioned in this section apply to Android 4.1 or later versions.

  1. Press the power button for a few seconds, the options menu will be displayed with the following options – Power Off, Restart, Flight Mode, and Data Network Mode. Depending on the device you are using, the menu options may differ.
    power option to reboot android in safe mode
  1. Press the Power off option for few seconds and you will be prompted to reboot your device in safe mode. Press OK to confirm the reboot process. Your device will reboot in safe mode and disable all third party applications that you have installed. An indicator will be displayed in the bottom-left corner of your device safe mode label on screen

Safe Mode in Older Versions of Android

  1. Switch off the device.
  2. Press the Power key to switch on the device, when the logo is displayed immediately press and hold the volume down button till the phone boots.

The lower-left corner of the screen displays safe mode indicator. Sometimes you may fail to boot in Safe Mode at the first attempt. Try again; it is all about pressing the keys properly.

Note: The earlier versions of Android do not prompt you to switch to safe mode.

Auto Safe Mode

Most Android devices automatically switch to safe mode whenever it detects a recently installed malicious app, thereby giving you an opportunity to troubleshoot or uninstall the infected app instantly.

Troubleshooting the Device in Safe Mode

  • When your device is running in safe mode, all the third party applications you downloaded from Google Play Store will be disabled and the widgets that you copied on to your home screen will also disappear. The device will display the apps installed by default.Use your device in safe mode for some time. If the device continues to function normally without freezing, decreased battery life, random crashes etc., then probably the issues are related to third party apps installed on your device.
  • Though the third party apps are disabled in safe mode, you can still uninstall them by going to Settings > Manage Apps and uninstall the recently installed app.

Restart your device in normal mode and check the performance. If the problem persists, then the uninstalled app can be re-installed. Uninstall the second recently installed app and check. You may have to uninstall and re-install other apps one by one till you identify the problem causing app.  If you encounter a malicious app, do report to Google Play Store.

Exiting Safe Mode in Android

Exiting safe mode is simple. Just switch off the device and restart again to boot in normal mode. This method applies to all the versions of Android.

Should you have any question on this topic, please feel free to ask in the comments section. We at TechWelkin and our reader community will try to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!


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