Every android user can relate to waking up thinking it is going to be a great puts on his or her and finds out that the phone is in “safe mode”. Not only that but several of the apps: Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tumblr etc. is nowhere to be found.
Yeah, I know that feeling.
Just like how computers have “safe mode”. Android devices also have this mode.
Just like how easily your phone was able to enter safe mode you can also easily know how to turn off “safe mode”.
What is Safe Mode?
Safe mode or safe boot is the name given to when an operating system only allows default applications and settings to run. Safe mode doesn’t only happen in operating systems but can also be used in applications such as games and browsers.
An example is starting safe mode in Mozilla Firefox will disable all add-ons.
Safe mode reduces the functionality of the operating system making it a great environment for diagnostic, troubleshooting and maintenance purposes because utilities are available during this state for such purposes.
In safe mode, the system only allows a small amount of drivers and services to run and isolates the troublesome apps. You will also find the in safe mode, resolution is low and audio is disabled.
Apps or programs that are causing problems or have gone rogue are much easier to find and get rid of when the system is running in safe mode.
Safe Mode in Android
Just like how safe mode is important in getting rid of rogue software in operating systems. Safe mode is also exists on your Android device (Android is an operating system).
Phone issues like freezing, poor performance, instant battery drain, and phones crashes are normally caused by apps that are not installed properly or are from third parties. Most at times your phone screen might even be unresponsive or might not boot up making it difficult to uninstall.
This can really mess up your phone and even impact your user experience negatively.
Starting your android phone in safe mode prevents these problems and also gives you a higher chance at getting to the root of the problem. Apps that are installed from third-parties through APKs or google play do not run.
By being in safe mode, if the same problems do not persist then it is an indicator that a third-party app or software is the culprit.
Safe boot provides an alternative to factory resetting your phone which will wipe you phone clean losing all your data.
If it is an extreme situation, where you might find it difficult or might not even find the root problem. In that case, either factory resetting the phone or sending it for repairs should considered.
How to enter safe mode on Android
Booting into safe mode is very simple and involves just 4 simple steps
- Press and hold the Power button.
- Tap and hold ‘Power off’ or ‘Shut down’ option in the Power menu.
- The ‘Reboot to safe mode’ prompt shall appear on the screen.
- Press ‘OK’ to confirm and boot Safe Mode on Android phone.
What to do when you are in safe mode
Now that you are in safe mode you can quickly pinpoint what is causing the crashes, freezes and instant battery drain of your phone. If the problem started recently after you installed or updated an app. You can quickly solve the problem by clearing the cache or uninstalling it through your app manager.
It might also be an app which you installed a while back or updated.
Be careful not to uninstall all the apps because it will be a waste of time and would have been much faster if you had done a factory reset.
After uninstalling the app, reboot the phone to check if the problem persists. If it does, repeat the actions till the problem has been taken care of.
What to do when your phone doesn’t have safe option after going through the steps above
Not all android phones are able to enter safe mode with the steps provided above. Phones like Samsung, HTC and Oneplus all have different steps into entering into safe mode. This is because they have software skins that run on top of the android stock software.
For example to enter Oneplus safe mode you will have to tap and hold the restart option opposed to holding the power off option mentioned in the steps above.
The only exceptions are those that have android one written on them. Android one devices run on stock android software.
You can check on website, forums or YouTube videos on how to enter the safe mode of your android phone if the above steps do not work.
How to exit safe mode
OK, you have been able to find the root cause of the problem and successfully uninstall the rogue software. Now the next thing is to how to boot your phone out of safe mode.
Here are 4 options you can try
The normal way
- Press and Hold “Power” Key
- Press “Power off”
- Once the phone has shut down, simply press and hold the “Power” key to start the phone.
Power + Volume Buttons
You tried the first option and it didn’t work. Here’s another way to boot out of safe mode.
- Turn off the phone
- Press and hold the “Power button” until you see the manufacturers logo on the screen
- Release “Power button”
- Quickly press the Volume Down button and wait for a message that says safe mode off. Also, try the Volume Up button if Volume down doesn’t work.
Make sure none of your Volume keys are faulty or broken or this would work.
Disabling through the status bar
This normally works for Samsung, HTC and LG smartphones.
- Swipe down the “Status Bar”
- Tap “Safe Mode” option
This will automatically restart your phone and disable “Safe Mode”.
Phones with battery
For phones with removable batteries you can also try this out.
- Power off your phone
- Remove battery
- Wait for one or two minutes
- Put battery back in
- Power on your device
You are now out of safe mode. Hope this helps.
What to do if the problem still persists
If you have done everything to find the cause of the problem: you tried uninstalling the apps you suspected might be the cause and you even cleared the cache. And the problem still persists. There are three last resort options you can take:
- Factory reset the phone
- Take it to a repairer
- Get a new phone.
Just hope option number one works.
How to do a factory reset
Doing a factory reset will basically wipe out all your apps and data on the phone restoring it to how it was when you took it out of the box. It should be only used if you are not able to narrow down the problem when in safe mode. And as always back up your important data before a factory reset.
Factory reset is also the quickest way to solve the problem.
Here’s how to do a factory reset.
1. Go to settings
2. Search for backup & reset and choose that option
3. Tap restore factory settings
4. Tap “reset phone”
5. A notification will pop up to confirm your actions
P.S. Back up your data before doing a factory reset
Why is safe mode important?
Safe mode is really important because it provides you a way of quickly getting rid of rogue software without losing all your data by factory resetting your phone or taking it to a repairer which can take quite some time depending how good he is.