Maybe you had a feeling that something wasn’t right about that game you recently downloaded. It wasn’t available on Google Play, but you still had to have it. Everything was going great until you were suddenly swatting pop-up ads like flies, and it seems like everything just went downhill from there.
Even the new third-party security app you loaded to fix things seemed sketchy, but then again you’ve downloaded a lot of apps. Perhaps your data usage has spiked for no obvious reason, your smartphone is constantly crashing, and its performance is sluggish at best.
Did your Android phone catch a virus or some other malware?
How can you know exactly what the culprit is?
Absolutely – with the help of Safe Mode.
A Closer Look at the Risks
It is estimated that more than 99% of mobile malware is on Android devices, according to the newest study conducted by F-Secure. Before you concede that maybe Steve Jobs was right that the only way to prevent viruses is through tight control by the maker, it’s also important to acknowledge that maybe that number was a bit overstated.
The vast majority of these malicious apps come from small third-party app stores located in Asia and the Middle East. When you look at the statistics for apps available from Google Play itself, the odds of your Android contracting a virus are quite minuscule – .1%.
Nonetheless, the latest report from G DATA estimates that around 3.5 million new Android malware strains will be discovered until the end of this year. The odds of your device finding itself under attack can vary greatly from the .1% depending on your geographical location, user behavior, and the fact that the threats tend to increase, not decrease, over the years.
If one of these nasty programs renders your device inoperable, that .1% is going to feel like 100% to you personally. If you find your Android to be the victim of a vicious rebooting cycle or other frustrating phenomena, you will want to know how to handle these without losing your mind or your Android.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
When it comes to viruses, the adage used in medicine still applies- an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
In addition to figuring out how to turn on Safe Mode and recover from malware, you will also want to be aware of how to prevent it in the future. Choose and use a good antivirus app for your Android device, and use a privacy browser when browsing less than reputable and trustworthy sites. Download apps from Google Play or a third party app store that’s been vetted for malware.
How to Boot Your Android Phone Into Safe Mode
I know you’re already itching to know how to access safe mode on your Android phone. So without further ado, I will teach you to do so using these two methods below. The first is by using the Power button and the second is by combining the power and volume keys.
Using the Power Button
This method usually works well with newer phones. If you own a device that’s running on Android 4.0 platform and above, go ahead and try this one.
Press and hold the Power button until the Power Off option appears on the screen.
Tap and hold the Power Off option. You should see the option to reboot into Safe Mode.
Some devices, like mine, did not bother asking to turn on safe mode. If you have the same case as me, don’t worry as your phone will immediately reboot you into safe mode.
Check the lower left corner of the screen and if you see Safe Mode, you’ve successfully enabled the feature on your phone.
Key Combination (Power + Volume)
You’ve guessed it right, the next method is a combination of the two powerful buttons: the Power button and the Volume rocker. If one can’t handle it, then these two would do the trick and give you access to the safe mode.
If your phone runs on an operating system that’s older than Android 4.0, you should try this method. It’s not only for older phones; it also works on some newer devices as well.
Turn off your phone.
Press and hold the Power button until you see the logo on the screen, then release. Make sure that the phone is totally turned off before you start pressing the Power button.
Quickly press the Volume Down button and hold it for few seconds until you see the message “Safe Mode: ON.”
How to Turn Off Safe Mode in Android
You followed the instructions above and managed to enter into safe mode. The only problem is that now you don’t know how to turn it off and boot into normal mode.
Here’s the simplest and easiest method to get your Android phone out of safe mode: Restart.
For starters, restarting your smartphone solves a variety of malfunctions. Your Android device needs to take a power nap from time to time as much as humans do. Here’s how to reboot your Android phone and get out of safe mode.
Press and hold the power button.
From the menu presented, select Restart/Reboot. Some devices, however, only have the Power Off option.
If your phone has the Restart option, it should power up automatically after it goes off.
If you don’t, you have to press the power button again to turn the phone back on.
It might seem daunting to have to uninstall what you have worked to install on your phone, but at this point, it is probably necessary. However, you can get it back, minus the offending apps or updates.
Of course, safe mode is not the only method of troubleshooting your Android. I would definitely recommend trying it before you resort to a factory reset, which will require you to wipe everything except for what came out-of-the-box.
Problems may stem from a variety of sources, and aren’t limited to apps or updates. There could be an issue with the hardware on your device itself. Rather than an update being a problem, the issue could be that you didn’t apply an update that would have fixed a known bug. A bad connection can also result in less-than-optimal performance.
While Safe Mode is a nice place where things can return to functioning correctly, it is limited. You will still want to work on the issues that brought you here. Until then, you will have no access to anything that wasn’t originally installed on your phone.
Safe Mode is a fine place to visit, but probably not anywhere you would want to live. Think of the treasures you’ve found that are collecting digital dust, or all of the unexplored opportunities you have yet to find.
Do you know of other methods to access safe mode on your Android phone that aren’t mentioned here? Do you have troubleshooting advice and tips? Please tell us about it in the comments below.
And if you’re still curious about Safe Mode, check out our Ultimate Guide to Safe Mode!