How to Turn Safe Mode On and Off on Android (All OEMs)

Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, all operating systems offer a diagnostic mode called Safe Mode. Very few users are aware of its presence and those who do know about probably don’t know how to boot into and get out of the Safe Mode. If you want to solve issues created by a third-party app, it can come in very handy. In case you have entered the Safe Mode willingly or by mistake, here is how you can turn it off on Android devices.

In this guide, I’ll be describing the steps to enter and exit the Safe Mode on Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Motorola, Huawei, Redmi, Realme, Vivo, Oppo, Nokia, Pixel, Huawei, Honor, LG phones and tablets. If you are a Windows user, check out the 4 methods to boot your Windows 10 PC into the Safe Mode.

What is Safe Mode?

The Safe Mode on Android is different from the Fastboot or Download Mode or the Recovery Mode. It is a diagnostic tool to help you find out misbehaving apps. The main purpose of the Safe Mode on Android is to find out whether a device problem is caused by a 3rd-party app, the OS itself, or the device hardware. When you reboot your Android phone or tablet in the Safe Mode, it boots up only with system apps. All 3rd-party apps are restricted or disabled and the Flight Mode is enabled automatically. You’ll also see the Safe Mode watermark at the bottom of the device screen.

safe mode on samsung
Safe Mode enabled

An app or game installed on your Android phone might cause one of the problems listed below:

  • The phone’s battery is draining fast.
  • You are having connectivity issues on your device.
  • Something is interfering with the incoming or outgoing calls.
  • The device has overheating issues.
  • The phone’s mobile data consumption has increased.
  • Irritating ads are appearing on your Android device.
  • Your device is restarting itself.
  • The device freezes frequently.
  • Your phone runs slow.

To diagnose if a rogue app is responsible for any of the problems listed above, you can turn on the Safe Mode. By doing so, you can at least eliminate the possibility that a particular issue on your device is caused by a third-party problematic app.

What to do in Safe Mode?

Android is a highly versatile mobile operating system. Due to the diversity in various Android devices and OS versions, app developers have to write extra bits of code to make the app compatible with a wide range of chipsets and OS versions. Due to this fragmentation problem, some apps might act weird on some devices or OS versions. However, the worst thing is that you can’t distinguish whether the issue is from an app or it is system-related. It’s in such situations, that the Safe Mode feature on Android can help you. All downloaded apps on your Android device are disabled by default in the Safe Mode.

disabled apps in safe mode

Now, the question is how can we determine which app or apps might be creating problems on your device? You can consider the following things to find out the culprit.

  • Try to recall which were was the last apps you installed on your device before you started having problems.
  • If you recently downloaded and installed an app and it sent your device in a boot loop, you can delete it to solve the issue.
  • Some apps automatically start as soon as your phone boots up. Such apps might create issues. Custom clock and weather widget apps, home launcher apps come in this category.
  • If you have installed too many apps on your phone, there may be many you don’t use at all. You should uninstall all such useless apps.

Once your Android device has entered the Safe Mode, go to Settings > Apps > All Apps and uninstall the apps or games that you think might be causing the problem. In most cases, it is some recently installed app that causes problems. Try uninstalling apps one by one and restart your phone after each installation to check if the problem you were having has been fixed.

Enter Safe Mode on Android Devices

There are at least 4 methods that you can use to boot your Android device into the Safe Mode. As a rule, these methods should work on all Android phones and tablets but depending on OS version and manufacturer, it may differ.

Method 1: Hold the Power off Option

Note: This method works on Samsung, OnePlus, Google Pixel, Nokia, LG, Motorola, and Realme devices. If you own a Xiaomi, Redmi, Huawei, Honor, Vivo, Oppo smartphone, this method to enter the Safe Mode won’t work for you.

  1. Press and hold the Power key to bring up the Power menu on your device.
  2. Touch and hold the Power off option until the Safe Mode icon or Reboot to Safe Mode prompt or pop-up appears.

    android power off option
    Android Power menu

  3. Tap the Safe mode icon or OK.

    safe mode prompt samsung
    Safe Mode option Samsung

Your Android phone or tablet will restart into the Safe Mode.

Method 2: Hold Volume Down key on Boot Animation

This method to boot into the Safe Mode works on all Android phones and tablets.

  1. Power off your Android device and then power it on. You can also use the Reboot or Restart option.
  2. Just when you see the Powered by Android logo on the boot screen, press the hold the Volume Down key.
    • Xiaomi and Redmi: Wait until the Xiaomi or Redmi logo disappears and you see the ‘Powerd by Android’ on the screen.
    • Vivo: You need to hold the Volume Down button as soon as the ‘Powered by Android’ logo disappears.
    • Oppo: You should hold down the Volume Down key when you see the Oppo animation.
    • Huawei and Honor: You need to press and hold the Volume Down key when you see the Huawei and Powered by Android logo.
  3. Keep the Volume Down key pressed until your device boots up and you see the Safe Mode watermark at the left-bottom corner of your phone’s screen.

Method 3: Volume Up + Down Key on Boot Logo Screen

This method is the same as Method 2 with the addition of the Volume Up key as well.

  1. Power off and restart your phone or just reboot it.
  2. When you see the boot animation logo (Powered by Android), hold the Volume Up + Volume Down keys together.
  3. Your Android device will boot into the Safe Mode.

Method 4: Using ADB Command (Requires Root)

You can boot into the Safe Mode on your Android phone or tablet device using ADB Shell commands as well. However, you need to have root privilege on your Android device for this method to work.

  1. Download and install the latest Android USB driver for your device on your computer.
  2. Enable USB debugging from Settings > Developer options on your device.
  3. Download and extract the latest SDK Platform-tools.zip on your desktop.
  4. Launch the command prompt window, connect your phone or tablet to the computer, and execute the “adb devices” command to check connection.
  5. Now, type the following command and press the Enter key.
    adb shell
  6. You need to execute the following ADB shell command to enable the Safe Mode on your device.
    adb safe mode command
    ADB Shell command to enable Safe Mode
    setprop persist.sys.safemode 1
  7. If the above command doesn’t work, try the following command instead.
    echo "1" > /data/property/persist.sys.safemode
  8. It’s time to reboot your device using the following code.
    1. adb reboot

In case your Android device is rooted and has a custom recovery like TWRP installed, you can use the following commands as well.

  1. Reboot your device into the Recovery Mode. You can use the “adb reboot recovery” command for that.
  2. Go to the Mount option in the recovery menu and mount the data and system partitions.
  3. Connect your device to the computer via USB cable.
  4. Launch the command prompt window and execute the following commands one after one.
    adb shell 
    echo "1" > /data/property/persist.sys.safemode
    adb shell chmod 600 /data/property/persist.sys.safemode
  5. Now go to the main menu in the recovery and select the Reboot option.

Your Android device should reboot into the Safe Mode.

Turn Off Safe Mode on Android

Method 1: Reboot the Device

Getting out of the Safe Mode on Android is as easy as rebooting your device.

  1. Tap and hold the Power key of your device.
  2. Select the Power off or Reboot option.

    power menu xiaomi android
    Exit Safe Mode on Android

  3. If you selected the Power off option, press and hold the Power button again.

When your phone boots up, it will get out of the Safe Mode.

Method 2: Via the Status Bar

This option may not be available on All Android devices but it’s there on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets. When the device is in the Safe Mode, you’ll see a small icon Safe Mode icon on the status bar.

  1. Pull down or swipe the status bar of your device.

    samsung option to turn off safe mode
    Safe Mode notification on Samsung

  2. You’ll see a notification saying, Safe mode is on. Just tap it and you will see a pop-up saying, “Turn off Safe mode?

    Turn off Safe Mode
    Turn off Safe Mode

  3. Tap the Turn off option.

Your phone will restart and when it boots up, the Safe Mode will be turned off on your Android device.

Method 3: Using ADB Command (Root)

We saw how we can get into the Safe Mode using ADB shell commands. You can use the same command with a different value to turn off the Safe Mode on Android devices.

adb shell

setprop persist.sys.safemode 0

OR

adb shell 

echo "1" > /data/property/persist.sys.safemode

With the hope that this tutorial would have helped you understand and use the Safe Mode on your Android device, I wind up my tutorial here. Before you depart, please don’t forget to check out the following tutorials.

2 comments

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  • Hello.
    I have an issue with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone that I am asking for your help to resolve.

    Recently, the power button and volume up button stopped working. The phone froze and I accidently turned the phone off forgetting that the power button does not work. I have tried various tutorials on YouTube trying to get it back on, nothing works. I tried the charger technique, quick battery pull and the list goes on and on.

    Eventually, I got it on but I still don’t know how it happened. When it came on, it went straight into safe mode. I tried most of the easy techniques that you have recommended in your blog but it did not work. I decided to try the and technique but my phone will not connect to my windows 10 laptop even when debugging is on. It says that my device is unknown. At this point I was just about exhausted and decided to do a factory reset. This did not work because my phone is still in safe mode. I turned it off again but this time I still don’t know how to turn it back on. I have two questions:

    1. How do I turn my phone on without the power button and volume up button working?

    2. How do I get my phone connected to my windows 10 laptop when it says that my device is unknown? I would like to try the adb to take my phone out of safe mode.

    Please help me solve this

    • Hi AJ,

      A simple reboot is enough to get out of the Safe Mode on Android devices. As for the non-functioning power and volume buttons, can you remember the last thing that happened or you did after which the problem arose. Was your phone recently exposed to water?

      Since the Galaxy Note 3 has a removable back cover, you can use a screw driver to loosen the screws so that you can use some pointy thing to press the power button from inside the metal band. I have tried this on several phones successfully.

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