How to turn safe mode on and off in Android

Here's how (and why) to use safe mode with an Android phone

Android Safe Mode
Simon Hill/Digital Trends

Troubleshooting on Android devices is a breeze thanks to safe mode, which temporarily blocks third-party apps from running on the system. Using safe mode is the best way to diagnose issues on your device—if you notice significant speed improvements in safe mode, you can bet one of your apps is the culprit.

Boot your Android device into safe mode by following these (very) simple steps. This way, you can finally get to the bottom of what’s been causing those slowdowns on your smartphone.

How to turn off safe mode in Android

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Tap the Restart option.

That’s it. A simple restart of your Android device will turn off safe mode.

How to turn on safe mode on an Android device

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S10, a Google Pixel 3, or any other Android smartphone or tablet, running Android 6.0 or later, then the process for turning on Safe mode is as follows:

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Tap and hold Power off.
  3. When the Reboot to safe mode prompt appears, tap again or tap OK.

Your device will then restart and it will say “Safe mode” in the bottom-left corner. This method also works for LG, HTC, Sony, and many other Android phones.

How to turn on safe mode with the keys

Whether you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, an HTC U12 Plus, or any other Android smartphone or tablet, then the process for turning on safe mode with the keys is as follows:

  1. Press and hold the Power button and select Power off to turn your device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power button, until you see the animated Samsung or HTC logo appear.
  3. Release the Power button, and press and hold the Volume down button.
  4. Keep holding it until your device boots up.
  5. You can let go when you see the words “Safe mode” in the bottom-left corner.

This method works for most Android phones and tablets.

What to do in safe mode

You can uninstall problematic apps and use your phone’s core functions while in Safe mode. If you find your issue is gone in Safe mode, then you can either uninstall apps one by one and test in normal mode again to try and identify the problem app, or you can factory reset your device and selectively install apps and games, making sure to watch out for a recurrence of any problem after each install.

If your device continues to crash, overheat, or otherwise perform poorly in safe mode, then it might be an operating system problem or a hardware issue. Try a factory reset and if that doesn’t resolve things, contact your retailer, carrier or phone manufacturer and find out about a replacement or repair.

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