When you encounter problems with the performance of your phone and you want to rule out that a corrupt app might be the cause, you can use Safe mode. This is an option that is more rigorous than just rebooting your phone and less intrusive than using the unforgiving Factory Data Reset, which erases all personal data on your phone.
Safe mode is a handy tool that can be used when a software issue might be involved. For example in the case where you suspect a specific app is causing trouble.
When you use Safe mode to start your device, it will only have the original software, widgets and apps that came with your device.
Note: this also means that your widgets need to be reinstalled and you have to log in to your app accounts again one by one when you come out of the Safe modus again.
It can happen that some apps that you have downloaded may cause your device to keep restarting itself, freezing, crashing, or be slow. If the issues go away in Safe mode, the problem is probably caused by a third-party app that you have downloaded on your device.
Reboot in safe mode
When the screen of your device is on, please follow these steps to reboot to safe mode:
- Press & hold the Power button
- A pop-up opens with the options Power off, Reboot and Airplane mode
- In this pop-up, touch and hold Power off for a few seconds
- You’ll see a “Reboot to safe mode” pop-up. Tap OK
- Your device will start in safe mode. You'll see the words "Safe mode" in a text field at the bottom
When the device is off, follow these steps:
- Press the Power button until the phone boots
- After the Fairphone logo shows your screen - when the animation starts -, press and hold the Volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your device starts in safe mode
- In a text field at the bottom of your screen, you'll see the words "Safe mode."
Find problem apps with safe mode
In Safe Mode, you can use your Fairphone as normal. Remember that you can use only original apps in safe mode, not any downloaded apps. The downloaded apps shall be visible only in grey tones and are disabled.
If the problem doesn’t occur in safe mode, an app that you have downloaded is probably causing the issue. To be sure of this, please follow these steps:
- Restart your Fairphone to exit the Safe mode
- If you have singled out the app, you can start by clearing the cache of the app to see if that solves the issue. If this does not work, please uninstall the app and restart the phone
- If you are still experiencing problems, another app must be the source. One by one, clear the cache of each app and see if this improves on the issue. You can also clear the cache for all the apps at the same time (Settings - Storage - tap Cached data - Clear cached data)
- If the issue persists, then one by one, uninstall recently downloaded apps. After each removal, restart your device in normal mode and see whether removing that app solved the problem
- After you remove the app that's causing the problem, you can reinstall the other removed apps
Tip: If you downloaded all your apps via the Google Play store, you can see (all) your downloaded apps in My apps & games via the menu (the three bars left of the words Google Play in the search bar). For other apps you might want to make a list of the apps that you uninstall.
When the issue is still persisting in Safe mode, a downloaded app is probably not causing your problem.
Restart your Fairphone to exit the Safe mode. Then try other solutions specifically for your issue, like: