Safe Mode is an invaluable tool for troubleshooting problems on your Android. In fact, Safe Mode may be the only way you can even start your phone if malware is causing problems. Using the process of elimination, you can determine if the problem you were experiencing still exists on the stripped down version of your phone. But, that’s just it—it is a very limited version of your phone.
If a rogue app is causing your problem, Safe Mode takes the app out of the equation until you can get things back under control. The thing is, it’s not just that app; it’s every app you installed. For all of its wonderful and useful qualities, Safe Mode is a desolate place for your phone to become stranded. What’s more, you don’t have the option to regain what you’ve lost, because you won’t have any access to Google Play.
Your phone will let you know it’s in Safe Mode by displaying a “Safe Mode” text sign typically located on the lower-left of the home screen. In addition to not having full access to all of your apps, some of your settings may have reverted back to default.
If we are describing your pain, there is hope. If you reached Safe Mode by accident, you will want to determine the reason. Or, if you’ve entered Safe Mode of your own volition but got trapped, we can help with that as well. Different methods work best for different devices, but we are going to list the most common. We recommend a backup before starting any of these methods, just to be safe.
The following methods show you how to turn off Safe Mode in Android. When you are frustrated, it might be tempting to start with a drastic approach, but we recommend that you start with the first methods for a simpler and less risky technique, if possible.
Method 1: Restart (Warm Boot)
How do I turn off Safe Mode?
It’s typically as simple as a reboot. In case you haven’t tried it yet, restarting your device solves a variety of malfunctions. It’s akin to your phone taking a nice power nap. Some devices will allow you to press the “Restart” option from the status bar.
Press and hold the power button.
- From the menu presented, select the “Restart” or “Reboot” option.
- If your phone is like mine, the only option you will have is “Power Off.” See Method 2 to turn off Droid Safe Mode.
Your phone should take care of the rest if you had the “Restart” or “Reboot” option.
If you don’t, you will have to push power again to turn your phone back on.
Method 2: Perform a Soft Reset. (Cold Boot)
A restart doesn’t always cut it, although it’s awfully similar to this method. Turn off Safe Mode on an Android with a soft reset.
Hold the button down until a menu of options appears.
Select “Power Off.”
Wait a few seconds and turn the phone back on by depressing the power button again.
Method 3: Cut Off All Power
If you still cannot turn off your Android’s Safe Mode, try this. The following method rules out any residual power remaining in your phone, as well as resetting the SIM card.
Take off the back case and remove the battery. (Not all devices will allow you to do this.)
Dislodge the SIM card.
Reinsert the SIM card.
Replace the battery.
Method 4: Key Combinations
Sometimes the way you can get out of Safe Mode is the same way you arrived or can arrive. Turn off Safe Mode Android phone. Ensure that your case isn’t pressing against the power or volume buttons as well.
Power off your device.
Now hold the power and volume key together. Try the both sides of the volume independently—what you would use to increase and decrease sound.
This takes a screen shot on my phone, which isn’t terribly helpful, but on some devices this works.
Method 5: Wipe the Cache of an App
If you suspect that an app is causing your issue, but you can’t bear the thought of uninstalling it, you can try this first. This will work if temporary files are misbehaving. Apps sometimes store elements for quick retrieval. The following method works for most devices. If you are wondering, how do I turn off Safe Mode on my Android tablet? Try this.
Locate Settings. Then find the apps menu.
Tap on “Apps” or “Applications.”
Find the app and select it.
Choose “Clear cache.”
Method 6: Clear App Data
This approach is a little more drastic than Method 4 because you will clear both the cache and any personal preferences such as your login or settings.
From Settings, Find “Apps” or “Applications.”
Select the app by pressing on it.
Tap on “Clear data.”
Method 7: Uninstall the App or Apps
I’m sorry it’s come to this, but any app that has you locked into Safe Mode really isn’t usable anyway. You will, at least, regain access to your other apps. Sometimes this is what you have to do to turn Safe Mode off Android. For an app to help manage your apps in the future, take a look at or list of the best app killers out there.
Go to Settings.
You can find Settings on most devices in your notification drawer.
Select “Apps” or “Applications”, depending on your device.
Touch the app you want to disable.
This method is great if you’re only going to uninstall a single application, but if you can’t identify which particular app is the culprit or want to go ahead and eliminate some other apps at the same time, using one of the methods in our post, ‘The Fastest Way to Uninstall Apps on Android,’ can help you quickly uninstall several apps.
You can try disabling it, but ultimately you will probably need to uninstall it. Some type of change, whether internal or external, has caused this issue with your phone. It’s possible that your phone is trying to tell you something. If you have recently installed new apps, your phone’s new insistence on remaining in Safe Mode might be the symptom, not the problem.
Method 8: Wipe the Cache of Your Entire Device
We started out small-scale and that didn’t work. So, with the next few methods we are going to pull out the big guns, so to speak.
Enter recovery mode.
Depending on your device and installed programs, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways.
On many a device, recovery mode can be accessed by turning your phone off, then pressing and holding the power and volume up buttons at the same time. You can select recovery mode with the volume down button.
On a Samsung, you will want to turn your phone off. Now press the Volume Up, Home, and Power buttons simultaneously. When the phone vibrates or when you see the Samsung logo, release the Power button only. Only when you see the Android Recovery screen appear should you release the Volume Up and Home buttons.
Use the Volume Down button to choose “Wipe cache partition” and the Power button to select it. Your device should instruct you to reboot.
Related: What To Do To Clear Android Cache
Method 9: Perform a Factory Reset
that you have modified along the way. It will be reminiscent of the first day you got it, before you had an opportunity to add your personal touch. Does this description bear a suspicious resemblance to the very thing you are trying to exit—Safe Mode? Absolutely—but at least you will be able to start anew.
Warning: Make a backup first or you will lose anything you have added to the device. Retain information about your Contacts, Calendar, App data, Wi-Fi passwords, some phone settings, and bookmarks through “Backup and reset” in the “Settings” menu. This is not a 100% backup. You might want to look into supplemental backup apps to ensure that your photos, SMS, videos, and other data is not lost forever.
Enter recovery mode
Follow the steps explained during Method 8 or locate “Backup and Reset” from “Settings.”
The nice thing about “Backup and Reset” is the backup part. You will want to have a backup if you want to salvage anything.
Select “Factory data reset” or “Delete all user data.”
Read the disclaimer and tap on “Reset Phone.”
When your phone is finished, choose “Reboot system now.”
Press the power button again.
If you check “Automatically Restore” your phone should take care of the last few steps for you. For a more thorough explanation read our other article about how to perform a factory reset.
Method 10: Troubleshoot Hardware
Let’s say you dropped your device in water. It happens, but your phone or tablet is not a fan of water. It can take a toll. It could be that the hardware is causing the issue.
Warning: If you have a warranty, now would be the time to use it instead. Do not disassemble your phone unless you know what you are doing! If you don’t feel comfortable, let someone else handle it. If you know or you can see that something needs to be cleaned, and you feel OK about doing it, perform this step.
Remove and clean any faulty hardware.
Test the buttons
Press buttons to ensure they are working properly and that none remains stuck. The volume buttons are often responsible for locking in Safe Mode.
Most of the time you should be able to simply restart your phone and exit Safe Mode. The rest of the methods can be useful when it’s just not quite that easy. Stuck buttons, bad updates, seedy or buggy applications, and defective hardware can all lead to this issue. Apps may conflict with each other and even the operating system itself can have issues.
Just remember that as frustrating as this experience might have been, Safe Mode is not an enemy. It has been around on desktop computers for a very long time as a means to troubleshoot or recover from a crash safely. But, Safe Mode should be a means to an end.
Which method works best for you? Still stuck in Safe Mode? Do you know a method not listed here? Tell us more about it below.