Did you know that you can boot Android into Safe Mode to solve technical issues, same as in Windows? We tell you how to use it.
If you have Android 4.1 or later, you can launch your mobile or tablet in Safe mode. Note that it is not the same as the Recovery mode.
This is how Android tells you are in Safe mode
Safe mode is used to solve issues caused by defective or malicious applications. It’s usually activated in these cases:
- When Android has suddenly become very slow or unstable
- When an application prevents you from using Android normally
- When the device is trapped in a boot loop
- When something seems to be draining the battery
- When you suspect you have accidentally installed malware.
Nothing is deleted or reset in safe mode, but you can’t use apps downloaded from Google Play or installed by APK files.
The idea is that if one of the previously mentioned problems appears, you can access Android and uninstall the guilty apps.
How to launch Android into Safe mode?
There are several methods to access Android’s safe mode, which vary depending on the manufacturer and the Android version.
- Press and hold the power button in your device for a few seconds
- In the box that has appeared, long press “Reboot” or “Power off”
- Tap “OK” when the option to “Reboot to safe mode” appears.
Volume button method:
- Reboot the device normally
- When you see the manufacturer logo, press the Volume Down button until the safe mode label appears
Menu key method:
- Restart your device or turn it off and on again
- Tap the “Menu” key during launch until Android has booted into safe mode
Android will launch normally, but you will only be able to use the system apps, the ones that you found in your device when you bought it and launched it the first time.
How to leave Android’s safe mode
To leave safe mode you only have to reboot or turn the device off. In the next start Android will be back to its normal mode, with all the apps available.
If you are still trapped in safe mode after rebooting, turn the phone completely off and turn it on again (don’t use the reboot option).
Some people choose to take the battery out for a few seconds and then reboot it, but this isn’t necessary in most cases.
What if safe mode doesn’t solve the problem?
There will be some situations in which safe mode won’t help. These include:
- Damaged operating system (Android is “bricked”)
- Damaged physical components (memory, motherboard, etc.)
- Firmware error (ex. failed update)
- Problems not associated with an app
In these cases, you’ll have to resort to a complete or factory reset, which causes all data to be deleted (Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset).
Another option is to launch into Recovery mode and try a hard reset from there. The method varies between devices.
In the most difficult cases, it’s best to contact the brand’s official technical support or take the device to a trusted technician.