Find problem apps by restarting in safe mode

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

Some apps that you can download can make your device keep restarting itself, freezing, crashing or be slow. If the issues go away in safe mode, an app downloaded on your device 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 device is on
  1. Press and hold your device's Power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off Power.
  3. Your device starts in safe mode. You'll see 'Safe mode' at the bottom of your screen.
If your device is off
  1. Press your device's Power button.
  2. After the Google logo shows on your screen, when the animation starts, press and hold your device's Volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your device starts in safe mode.
  3. You'll see 'Safe mode' at the bottom of your screen.

Exit safe mode

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

  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 device restarts.

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

Find problem apps with safe mode

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

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

If the issue goes away in safe mode

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

  1. Restart your device.
  2. One by one, remove recently downloaded apps. Learn how to delete apps. After each removal, restart your device 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.

Tip: 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 probably not causing your problem.

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

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Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page below.

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