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How to Enable & Disable Safe Mode on Android Phones & Tablets

If you’ve been a PC user long enough, you’re likely to be familiar with “Safe Mode” – a feature that can get you out of trouble after an application starts acting up or a driver gets corrupted and prevents your display from working.

Few people know that Android phones and tablets also have a Safe Mode feature and today we’re going to tell you how (and why) to enable and disable it. First however, let’s talk about Safe Mode for a bit, understand what it does and why you may need to enable it in the first place.

This post is now being updated for 2017, and a lot of users are still facing this issue. Once again, the solutions listed here are the best options available, and if you still can’t get out of safe mode despite a factory reset, you may want to delete everything on your device and see if that turns off safe mode.

What is Safe Mode on Android and why you may need it

You can think of Safe Mode as a troubleshooting tool, which when activated or enabled, allows you to work with the bare minimum of software (only default apps) so you can figure out which app is causing issues with your phone or tablet.

For instance, let’s say your Android is experiencing massive battery drain and you have a ton of apps downloaded and installed. Now it would take a lot of time for you to disable or uninstall all these apps one by one to figure out whether the issue is related to software or is simply because of an aging battery.

In such a scenario, you can enable Safe Mode, which in turn disables all but the stock apps so you can figure out what’s wrong. Similarly, if there is an app or malware which runs automatically at startup and is stubborn when it comes to uninstalling it, you can easily remove it from within safe mode.

When safe mode is enabled, you will see a label in the bottom left corner of your screen, like the image shown below.

Safe Mode Badge Android

There are also instances where safe mode is automatically enabled, such as a malware attack, a software failure or an accidental push of buttons on your phone or tablet. However, now we’re going to first discuss how to enable safe mode and then move on to disable it.

How to Enable Safe Mode on your Android Phone or Tablet

Enabling safe mode is fairly easy if you follow instructions, but they may vary according to your device and the version of Android you are running. Here are a few methods you can try.

First Method – Reboot to Safe Mode

The first method, which is likely to work for most Android phones and tablets requires you to press the power button on your device till a small menu window pops up. Press and hold the “Power Off” option on that menu window for a few seconds and you will see a confirmation message before the phone reboots into Safe Mode.

Android Enable Safe Mode Menu

Second Method – Power and Volume Down Key

This method works for most Samsung devices and involves turning your phone or tablet off first. Now you hold the power button to switch it back on, and as soon as you see the manufacturer’s logo, leave the power button and press-hold the volume down button until the phone boots completely – it should boot into safe mode now.

A variation of this method is to hold down both the volume down and power keys while switching on your device, and then leaving the power key as soon as the maker’s logo appears (but continuing to hold the volume down key until the phone or tablet boots).

Third Method – Power and Volume Down + Volume Up Key

This method works for most older devices and requires you to power your phone or tablet off and then power it back on while pressing both the volume up and down keys at the same time. If this doesn’t work, you can try rebooting the device and tapping the capacitive menu key (that brings up the options menu) repeatedly till the phone boots completely.

How to Disable Safe Mode on your Android Phone or Tablet

Once you are done using safe mode to fix your device, troubleshoot issues or uninstall buggy apps, you will want to disable and deactivate safe mode and return to normal usage. Even if your phone or tablet has automatically gone into safe mode, you can use the methods below to get it out ‘safely’ (no pun intended).

First Method – Reboot Device

The first thing you need to try in order to disable safe mode is to simply reboot your device. Press the power button to bring up the menu and then choose reboot from the options. Wait for your phone or tablet to turn off and then back on and once it’s fully booted, you should be out of safe mode.

If you are using a new Samsung device, you may also see a disable safe mode option in the notifications bar after you pull it down.

Android Power Off Menu

Second Method – Power and Volume Up Keys

If a reboot doesn’t fix it, you can try switching off your Android device and powering it back on while holding down both the power and volume up buttons. This method gets most devices out of safe mode, but if it fails to work for you, try again with the volume down button instead of volume up.

Third Method – Manual Battery Removal

If both the methods above don’t get your Android out of safe mode, you can try a manual battery removal to turn it off completely. To do this safely, first power off your device properly and once it has shut down, open the back and remove the battery.

Ideally you should wait for a minute or two before placing the battery back in and powering up your device. If this doesn’t work either, try removing the battery again along with your SIM and memory cards. Wait for a couple of minutes again before switching your device back on.

Fourth Method – Factory Reset

This method should be used only as a last resort because it will wipe out all settings, accounts, contacts, apps and messages from your Android phone or tablet. In order to perform a factory reset on your Android device, go to the settings page and choose the option called “Backup & reset”.

Recommended for you: How to Protect & Secure Personal Data on Android

On the next page you’ll find the factory reset option, select it and then confirm that you want to erase all data. You might also see a check box which asks you whether you want to delete all SD card content. If you leave this box unchecked, your media files, including photos, camera shots and videos will remain on your device’s memory, while everything else will be wiped.

Android Factory Reset Option Screenshot

We hope by now you understand what is Safe Mode on Android, why you should use it and how you can enable and disable it. Even if your phone or tablet automatically boots in safe mode, worry not and simply try the methods in this post to get it out of safe mode.

If you run into any issues, feel free to comment below and we will try to resolve your problem.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. james

    August 4, 2015 at 12:35 AM

    Hello,my phone isn’t exiting the safe mode even after trying the above steps. Please help.

    • Hunain Naseer

      August 7, 2015 at 9:05 AM

      Hey James, can you please specify which phone you have and which version of Android it’s running?

  2. becky

    August 14, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    I tried these method but it didn’t work.

    • Hunain Naseer

      August 15, 2015 at 2:55 PM

      Hi Becky, which phone and Android version do you have?

  3. Natalia

    August 20, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    I have tried all options but it didn’t work.

    • Natalia

      August 20, 2015 at 2:37 PM

      I’m using a Samsung Galaxy J1

  4. Shari

    August 25, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    Htc m9 android 5.1
    after using safe mode it erased everything off my homescreen. No apps were showing during safe mode except Amazon shopping, Amazon music, stock music app, calculator, calendar, gallery, stock file manager, flashlight_clock,(downloaded app), stock clock app, & meme generator. Even the camera was removed by safe mode, as well as all google apps, games & social media. cannot get them back, battery NOT removeable. Main issues with this phone: will not charge, cannot use ANY browser, any apps or music files moved to sd are lost, I cannot access music if it was moved to sd, gets too hot.

  5. Li Tong

    September 16, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    hi, im using samsung galaxy a5 and i updated my app(snapchat) and restarted my phone, it went in to safe mode and i’ve tried to restart it again, uninstall snapchat but there was no use. few days ago, i dropped my phone and the volume button was dented and i cannot use the solution above. i’ve also factory reset my phone, but the safe mode is still there. is there nothing i can do to save it other than sending it to the technician?

    • Jesse Afolabi

      September 26, 2015 at 7:27 PM

      headover to sammobile.com and download the specific firmware for your A5 and flash it using odin. there’s the problem of your volume button dented you’ll have to find a fix for that first.

  6. Sabrina N Jason Bradley

    June 24, 2016 at 1:50 AM

    hi. i am new to this. been looking everywhere for an answer about a huawei y6 ( scl-l01 ) camera issue. the icon for rotating from front to back screen is gone from the camera screen. it used to work. tried clearing cache,and ultimately factory reset. no fix. tried turning on safe mode but couldnt find it. tried some suggestions above but no joy. please help.

  7. steve

    August 16, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    Have tried all methods listed above, I am still in safe mode. I have an amazon fire phone and I just spoke with Amazon’s “Technical Support” who told me to simply restart the phone, other than that, they have nothing for me. So, other than your above listed fixes, which again I’ve already done, what do you suggest?…

  8. sagari

    September 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Have tried all methods listed above even after factory reset, I am still in safe mode.

    any suggest ?

    i have samsung galaxy J1

  9. beautifull

    September 30, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    My tablet name is ikon-700 n after doing all the methods given above still it isnt working…plz help me to get out of safe mode -_-

  10. Alain

    November 5, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    Hello, completely refused to get off power save mode . No pop up notifications , factory reset option doesn’t appear in the setting . What can I do
    My divice is samsung galaxy J1 ace
    Thanks

    • Hunain Naseer

      December 21, 2016 at 7:35 PM

      Hey Alain, you mean power saving mode or safe mode? They are two different things. For power saving mode you will need to go to settings and find the battery option or power saving option which turns on when you reach low battery. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  11. Lee carroll

    November 8, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    I had my phone plugged in charging the power started flickering after that happen my phone won’t even power on what can I do

    • Hunain Naseer

      December 21, 2016 at 7:33 PM

      If it’s not turning on, you might want to try connecting it to another charger just to make sure your charger isn’t fried. If the phone still doesn’t work, it’s likely that a hardware component is faulty due to the electricity surge. You’ll need to take it in for repairs then.

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