Find problem apps by rebooting to safe mode on Android

You can use safe mode to start your phone with only the original software that came with it.

Some apps that you can download can make your phone keep restarting itself, freezing, crashing, or be slow. If the issues go away in safe mode, an app downloaded on your phone probably caused them.

Tip: Safe mode removes some Home screen widgets. If you use widgets, take a screenshot to help you put them back.

Restart in safe mode

If your phone is on
  1. Press and hold your phone's power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off Power. If needed, tap OK.
  3. Your phone starts in safe mode. You'll see "Safe mode" at the bottom of your screen.

Note: Safe mode can vary by phone. For your phone's details, contact your device manufacturer.

If your phone is off
  1. Press your phone's power button.
  2. When the animation starts, press and hold your phone's volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your phone starts in safe mode.
  3. You'll see "Safe mode" at the bottom of your screen.

Note: Safe mode can vary by phone. For your phone's details, contact your device manufacturer.

Exit safe mode

To leave safe mode and return to normal mode, restart your phone.

  1. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds.
  2. On your screen, tap Restart Restart. If you don't see "Restart," continue holding the power button for about 30 seconds, until your phone restarts.

After you leave safe mode, you can put back any removed Home screen widgets. Learn how to add widgets.

Note: Safe mode can vary by phone. For your phone's details, contact your device manufacturer.

Find problem apps with safe mode

To find problem apps, use your phone normally in safe mode and see whether the problem goes away.

In safe mode, you can use only apps that came with your phone, not any downloaded apps.

If the issue goes away in safe mode

A downloaded app is likely causing your problem. To see which app it is:

  1. Restart your phone.
  2. One by one, remove recently downloaded apps. Learn how to delete apps. After each removal, restart your phone normally. See whether removing that app solved the problem.
  3. After you remove the app that caused the problem, you can add back the other apps that you removed. Learn how to reinstall apps.

To remember the apps that you remove so that you can add them back, make a list.

If the issue doesn't go away in safe mode

A downloaded app is likely not causing your problem.

  1. Restart your phone.
  2. Try other solutions specifically for your issue. See a list of other troubleshooting solutions.

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