How to use Safe Mode on an Android Device

If you have ever owned or used a Window’s PC, you have most likely seen or heard about Safe Mode. Safe Mode is basically a stripped back version of the Operating System (OS) that enables only the key files that are necessary for the OS to run. All other programs and files are stopped from running to allow you to access the OS. Operating Systems have these safe modes to help fix a problem within the OS, whether it be a virus or corruption.

Why would I need to enter Safe Mode?

Android is a pretty robust OS but it can have its problems; such as a bad application. Reasons for entering Android Safe Mode would be to eliminate any third-party applications, identify any problems, stop an Android device from a continuous boot loop, or to help solve a draining battery. Remember that Safe Mode is only there for troubleshooting and shouldn’t be run as normal usage.

How can I know if I am running Safe Mode?

Unlike Windows where the wallpaper is removed and the theme is set to a “Windows XP” style; your wallpaper will continue to stay. In the bottom left corner of your screen you will see “Safe mode” written out in grey text. The text will always show no matter what screen you’re on.
You may also notice that any third-party widgets will fail to load. Do not be alarmed if your home screen looks different.

How do I enter Android Safe Mode?

Unfortunately Google has not included a standard sequence to do so. For some odd reason most OEMs choose to hide the option or will ask for a key combination to start the Safe Mode booting process. Since there are many different sequences you can try one of these:
  • Hold both the volume keys when booting your Android device.
  • Press and hold the home key when booting your Android device.
  • If you have capacitive buttons then be sure to hold the home key when booting. Once the LED lights have turned off, release the button but press again and hold if the LED lights turn back on.

How to reboot into Safe Mode.

A much easier option and most likely to be available on all OEM devices is to reboot your Android device right into Safe Mode. Although this could still differ between devices.

On a stock Android System, such as on a Nexus phone, or ROM; press and hold the power button until a menu shows up. Then hold the power off/shut down option. After a few seconds you should see a new popup box that asks to confirm Safe Mode. Hit OK and it should reboot into Safe Mode.

On an OEM Android device press and hold the power button, as before. Once at the power menu press and hold the reboot option. You should see a popup box that asks to reboot into Safe Mode. Then hit OK and it should reboot into Safe Mode.

How do I get out of Safe Mode?

Safe Mode is only active once per boot. All you’ll need to do is simply reboot your device via the power button.

Chances are you won’t ever need to go into Android’s Safe Mode but it’s nice to know the process for any future problems. Luckily for non-techy people, Android’s Safe Mode is extremely user friendly since it looks almost identical to the normal OS, unlike Windows which can be tricky.
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