Published on
Updated on 

What is safe mode on Samsung phone and Google Pixel?


Even though the Android operating system is quite robust and secure, it can still fail from time to time. Some symptoms of a problem: a phone hangs up, the system reloads, apps work extremely slowly, the response of a touch screen is poor, etc. Developers created Safe mode to help diagnose and fix such problems,

Table of Contents

What is safe mode on Android?

Safe mode is a separate environment designed for fixing software errors caused by the apps installed on your Android phone.

Not every gadget owner is aware of safe mode. Usually people have no clue how to detect a malfunction and bring back their devices to initial state with the help of safe mode. 

Working in safe mode on Android is similar to working in the same mode in Windows: you can launch only the essential system programs and apps, like contacts, call log, SMS messages, Internet browser, i.e. only those apps that were included with the phone. All others, including any downloaded by the user, will be disabled. 

If your device functions with no problems in safe mode, it means that the culprit is one of the third-party apps; you only have to find out which one it is and get rid of it. In order to do this, you have to disable safe mode and launch apps one by one, evaluating how the system functions after enabling each one. It’s best to start by launching apps which have been installed most recently. You can blame it all on the program that causes failures after you launch it; it should be deleted. Create a backup copy in advance, if necessary.

Of course, this method doesn't always help. Sometimes in order to restore the functions of a smartphone or a tablet you have to perform a hard reset.

When is safe mode useful

  1. When you want to test apps affecting the operation of your phone or tablet;
  2. When you want to erase a program but you can't do it in the usual way;
  3. When you can't open the menu due to the damage caused by a virus;
  4. When you want to test the speed and functionality of the system in its "original state," without any additional programs and utilities.

How to put phone in safe mode

The procedure of enabling safe mode varies due to different versions of software and manufacturers. Let’s start with how to boot safe mode on Android version 4.1 and later. (It will work for Google Pixel 2-3, and Samsung Galaxy 7, 8, 9, 10).

  1. Press and hold the power button until you see a window with possible actions.
  2. Find "Power off" in the list. Press and hold it until you are prompted to go to safe mode.
  3. Confirm the action and wait for your smartphone or tablet to boot in the selected mode. You'll see the "Safe mode" mark at the bottom of your device screen.

For Android 4.0 and earlier you can enable safe mode on phone in a different way.

  1. Switch off your device.
  2. Press and hold the power and volume buttons at the same time.
  3. When the screen saver appears, remove your finger from the power button but keep on holding the volume buttons. The operating system will restart in safe mode.

Some manufacturers want you to put Android in safe mode as follows: your phone must be turned off and turned on again by holding the "Menu" button. 

If there is no information on how to put Android in safe mode in the instructions for your device, try one of the above mentioned methods and take into account the version of your mobile device. If none of the methods was successful, search for the information on the official website of your smartphone/ tablet manufacturer.

How to turn safe mode off on Android

If you have enabled Safe Mode on your device by accident, you might be wondering how to exit safe mode get back to normal mode. Usually, a simple restart is enough:

  1. Hold the power button until the menu appears on your device screen.
  2. Select "Restart" and wait for the system to launch in its usual mode.

If you can't disable safe mode after performing those steps, try the following:

  1. Get rid of the app you've installed most recently. In order to do this, go to Settings > Apps, find the app you need, and after tapping on it, select the "Uninstall" option.
  2. Restart the phone.

When your phone or tablet has returned to the previous operation mode, the "Safe mode" mark will disappear from the bottom of its screen.


When in safe mode, your device will work only with the essential system components developed by its manufacturer which don't pose any threat to user data or the operation of the device. The operation of third-party apps installed by the user will be stopped.

Safe mode can be useful not only for testing the operation of apps, but also when more serious problems have been detected on a device, e.g. the failure of the call button or rapid loss of battery power. Even if your smartphone or tablet can't perform its basic functions in normal mode, it will likely operate with no problems in safe mode. Therefore, before going to the service center, make sure to test the operation of your device in this special mode.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.