How to turn safe mode on and off in Android

There’s nothing more annoying than your phone running slowly or apps crashing, especially when you’re midway through a boss battle in your favorite game or on a video call with your boss. If you don’t have a clue what’s causing the problem it can be doubly frustrating — which is where safe mode steps in. It’s a quick, easy way to troubleshoot exactly what’s going wrong on your Android device.

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Safe mode temporarily blocks third-party apps from running, making it the best way to diagnose issues on your Android phone or device. If you notice significant speed improvements with your device in safe mode, it’s likely one of your apps is the culprit.

To boot your Android device in safe mode, follow these (very) simple steps. This way, you can finally get to the bottom of what’s been causing your device to sputter and slow.

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How to turn on safe mode on an Android device

If you have a Samsung Galaxy S21, a Google Pixel 5, or any other Android smartphone or tablet running Android 6.0 Marshmallow 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 off safe mode in Android

  1. Press and hold the Power button.
  2. Tap the Restart option.
  3. You can also turn off safe mode by opening your notification panel and tapping the Safe Mode Enabled notification.

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

How to turn on safe mode with the keys

Whether you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, an HTC Desire 20 Pro, 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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