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

Safe mode can help you to track down the causes of problems you may be having with your smartphone. When you boot your phone into safe mode, it doesn’t run any third-party apps installed on your device. If your smartphone has been overheating, suffering battery drain, or otherwise not performing properly — yet it doesn’t exhibit these issues while in safe mode — then you know that an app you installed is the culprit.

The process for booting your phone into safe mode can vary a little between different Android devices, but getting out of safe mode is always the same. Here’s how to do it.

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 Google Pixel 3, a Samsung Galaxy S9, 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 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.

Mobile

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks to get started with your new smartwatch

Got your hands on a Fitbit Versa Lite? The smartwatch may be the pared down version of the more expensive Fitbit Versa, but there's still plenty for you to tweak in the settings. Here are our Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Wearables

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.
Deals

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.
Mobile

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Mobile

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.
Gaming

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.
Mobile

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.