Find problem apps by rebooting to safe mode

Some apps that you download can cause issues with your phone. If your phone has any of these problems, try the steps below:
  • Restarting itself.
  • Freezing. 
  • Crashing.
  • Running slow.

Restart in safe mode

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

If your phone is on
  1. Turn your phone off.
    • For Pixel 5a and earlier:
      1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds.
      2. On your screen, tap Power off Power.
    • For Pixel 6 and later:
      1. Press and hold the Power and Volume up buttons for a few seconds.
      2. On your screen, tap Power off Power.
  2. After you see 'Safe mode' at the bottom of your screen, wait to see if the problem goes away.
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.
Tip: Aeroplane mode is automatically turned on when you enter safe mode. We recommend turning off aeroplane mode in order to continue using features, such as GPS, Wi-Fi and making phone calls.

Step 2: Check if the problem goes away

  • Use your phone normally and check if the problem goes away.
  • If it does, an app is likely to be causing your problem. Go to step 3 below.
  • If the problem doesn't go away, an app isn't causing your problem. See a list of other troubleshooting solutions.

Step 3: Exit safe mode

  1. Restart your phone.
    • On Pixel 5a and earlier: Press your phone's Power button for about 30 seconds, or until your phone restarts.
    • On Pixel 6 and later: Press and hold the Power and Volume up buttons for a few seconds.
  2. Tap Restart Restart.
Tip: After you leave safe mode, you can put back any removed home-screen widgets. Learn how to add widgets.

Step 4: Check apps

  1. One by one, remove recently downloaded apps. Learn how to delete apps.
  2. 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.

Tip: To help to identify which apps are causing problems, make a list of the apps that you force stop.

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