How to boot your Android phone or tablet into safe mode for troubleshooting

safe_mode_androidAndroid is a relatively stable mobile operating system, but every now and then, performance issues arise. Safe mode is a great tool that you can use to troubleshoot these issues. Safe mode boots your phone running only the apps that came with the phone – that means no third-party apps. Therefore, if your phone runs without an issue when you’re in safe mode, it’s a pretty good bet that the problem isn’t system related, and instead a third party app you downloaded.

Click through the break to see how you can enable safe mode to test if it’s a system problem or a third-party problem.

Unfortunately, not all phones have the same method to enter safe mode. Most Jelly Bean devices use the first method below, but some devices with older versions of Android and some newer devices (like the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One) use the alternate method further down the page.

Method 1 (most Jelly Bean devices)

1. Hold down the physical power button on your device.

2. Long-press the “Power off” option that appears.


3. A dialog box asking you if you want to reboot to safe mode may pop up. Tap OK.
(Note: If the box doesn’t appear, go on to the alternate method.)


4. When the phone reboots, you should see a “Safe Mode” watermark at the botom left of the screen, to let you know that you are in fact in safe mode.


Alternate Method (some older versions of Android and some Jelly Bean phones)

1. Turn off your phone.
2. Once your phone is off, turn it on by pressing the power button.
3. As your phone is booting, hold down both the volume up and volume down buttons (yes, both) and keep them held.
4. Once your phone has booted, you should see a “Safe Mode” watermark at the botom left of the screen, to let you know that you are in fact in safe mode.

Note: If the alternate method also doesn’t work, you can try holding down menu instead of volume up and down while booting.

In safe mode, while you can’t use third party apps, you can uninstall them. So if your phone is giving you problems as bad as freezing and not letting you uninstall apps, you can uninstall the problem app/apps in safe mode. In addition, if you need to, you can backup your data or factory reset your device in safe mode .

To exit safe mode, you just restart your device as you normally would.

Happy troubleshooting!

About the Author: Aditya Thawardas

Born in India and raised in Tennessee, Aditya is currently a marketing/finance student in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh. Aditya started off in the world of smartphones with a first generation iPhone, until he realized what he was doing and quickly switched to Android. He then got an HTC Aria, followed by a Samsung Captivate, and today he is a proud Samsung Galaxy S III owner. Aside from writing for Talk Android, he occasionally writes for the Tennessee Titans blog, as is a huge Titans fan. In addition to the Titans, Aditya also loves all Pitt Panthers teams, the Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also enjoys playing the guitar.

  • araneta

    Didn’t work on Gingerbread

    • Sterling Stewart

      that’s a damn

    • mshaker

      works on 2.3.5 (power up then vol up/down)

  • sky

    i used samsung galaxy grand , but recently i have a problem,the problem is my atomatic lite on and off.any one plz help me

  • tc

    doesn’t work for pipo m3 locked on startup screen. no options come up


  • umasankar

    sir, I had a wm8850-mid tablet ,after 3 month OS had been can i download OS from internet for my tablet..plz help me….

    • Kris Patel

      google this

      how to factory reset (tablet model goes here)

      or if that doesnt work, and if your android is badly corrupt then it may not

      how to root, and flash rom on (tablet name

      note when he asks you to flash the rom zip you will want to search for

      stock flashable (tablet model here

  • Shankster

    On Galaxy Tab 3 go to settings – security – verify apps, then uncheck box
    restart your tablet to get back to normal mode and see downloaded apps.

  • Fancy Mwangi

    Got it thank you

  • Mazharul Islam

    My phone become locked and now showing too many pattern attempts. And also showing to unlock sign in with your google account but I cant remember which address i used to open play store or others. Now How can I solve the problem. Please if any one can then assist me… My cell phone model is Galaxy Y (young).

  • Zedy

    This was very helpful!!! I have a Nexus 7 Tablet which had a damaged screen with Toddler Lock installed. Toddler Lock required all four corners to be touched clockwise to unlock. Since the screen was damaged, I could not exit out. Tried powering down and rebooting to no avail. Safe mode and Uninstalling Toddler Lock did the trick. Thanks!

  • noah

    thank you saved me alot of work

  • sunnygreen2013

    On your Windows PC, you can boot into safe mode to load Windows without any third-party software. You can do the same on Android with Android’s safe mode. In safe mode, Android won’t load any third-party applications.
    This allows you to troubleshoot your device – if you’re experiencing crashes, freezes, or battery life issues, you can boot into safe mode and see if the issues still happen there. From safe mode, you can uninstall misbehaving third-party apps.

  • Levis

    hello….i tried to install a rom……and succeded in it …… but when i turn on my phone it is showing the service name and then restarts…….this is being done randomly……….can anyone tell me what to do

  • kapil

    please tell me how to exit from safe mode in samsung grand phone i did all options but i am not exiting from safe mode so please resolve my problem as early as possible
    -i did restart phone,reset then also i am not exiting from safe mode.

    • saikiran

      same problem with me also kapil

    • hash

      Lol restart the phone

  • byron

    can this work on a bricked phone

  • Sonu Khan


  • chin panelo

    This is really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing. :-) chin from Philippines :-)

  • jithesh

    i cant get bootting .it stuck with recover icon

  • nye

    all i get is emergecy dload mode

  • Sushant Khaire

    Hey,u know how to root iBall Slide i9702.Please reply.

  • C S Lokesh Singhal

    how to get original boot in viewphone3

  • C S Lokesh Singhal

    my phone viewphone3 always shows ow memory what to do??

  • Pai Magen

    yehey! I’ve tried several ways to solve my tab’s problem but yours is the only way that solved it. thanks~ :)) but how can I remove the safe mode? :)) or hide it? O.o

  • denled

    my pipo pro9 tablet keeps coming up connection timed out and video player widget has stopped I have a brand new talk talk router and no problem with laptop anybody help

  • Ana

    how to get out of safe mode on sony xperia m? restart doesn’t help

  • V

    very useful information

  • grinning_square

    Lol my tab just put itself on safe mode itself but when I restarted it, it worked normal again, this information is quite useful thanks

  • j355ica760

    My tab dosent load past the second.screen when turning it on i have factory reset it and its still doing it…what can i do?

  • wanted

    If i do in factory reset in note 3 then my older version of android will come back or not and i do rest in safe mode so does it effect on normal boot does my data will get effect please any one reply me

  • raj

    it was nic…
    bt nw i want to know how to co
    me out of safe mode ?

  • danger

    can these methods works with android 2.3

    • yes

      Just use the option under older versions of Android

  • Murray Greenfield

    Thankyou, I have spent days no weeks searching the net and forums for an answer to my problem, ‘Tablet Screen Freezes as soon as it has finished booting” so Ï was not able to remove any programs that may have been the cause of my problem, So many forums are full of incorrect answers or they don’t read the question properly before giving an answer, and not one of of them mentioned about booting into safe mode, or how to do it, not one.

  • Numi

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I did the “volume up and volume down push” and my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with Android 4.3 started in Safe mode. I was able to go into “Settings – Application manager and uninstall the offending app. Thanks again!

  • lph

    press down the power off button…

  • lph

    sorry , press & hold down the power off button…

  • freddy.

    you can use third party apps in safe mode by creating shortcut icon on the desktop before rebooting into safe mode.

  • freddy.


  • crlshvi

    it works on Android 4.4.4. Thanks so much! just remember to uninstall the app that it was locking your phone. by example the FBI lock screen on your phone.

  • coco

    I have a galaxy Ventura, it worked the first time I held the volume button down. But my phone died while I was trying to delete app. Now it will not reboot back to safe mode. I’ve tried all of the above. What do I do?

    • coco


  • rob

    How do I put a tablet in safe mode

  • Chris

    Cannot get my Samsung Galaxy player 5.0 into safe mode can anyone help?

  • bobandmarcy

    I too got the mandiant virus on my tablet (Samsung galaxy 10.1) and I can’t seem to get into safe mode to try and remove it. I powered on, held down the volume up/down button and got different outcomes on two tries. The first was asking about install some outside OS and currently I have the little android guy (flashing) with the word “downloading” beneath the android guy.. What to do?????

  • Unique Hamilton

    My volume down button don’t work what can I do to get safe mode off now

    • Thomas

      Do you mean off or on?

  • Alejandra

    Hola, tengo una tablet Noblex que está totalmente bloqueada por Kidoz. No me deja salir de la aplicación para desinstalarla.Ya me comunique con el soporte técnico de Kidoz y nada funciona!

  • Cristi

    I started booting a galaxy tab 2 and it showed an attention sign and said that it doesen’t have the right os and now it is downloading something and it started a while ago

  • Rameez

    Thnxx it works for me…..