Android 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.