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Samsung Galaxy S4 Boots Up in Safe Mode

galaxy-s4-safe-mode-boot-loop

Safe Mode is a helpful tool when some third-party apps are causing some problems hindering the phone from booting up properly. Basically, when an Android phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 is booted up in Safe Mode, all third-party apps are disabled leaving stock apps and services to run. In this mode, you can disable or uninstall apps that are causing problems. But what if your phone boots up automatically into Safe Mode?

There were a lot of complaints related to this problem. In fact, we did receive a lot of emails from our readers telling us their phone automatically boots up in this mode and that they can’t turn it off leaving them to use stock apps only. Here is one email from our reader that best describes this problem:

Just recently, I noticed that there were times when my Galaxy S4 boots up into Safe Mode without me initiating it. I would simply turn the phone off and boot it up normally to exit Safe Mode. However, in the last couple of days, my phone keeps booting up in Safe Mode and I can’t seem to turn it off. When in this mode, I cannot connect to the internet and I cannot use the apps I downloaded from the Google Play Store. Please help me fix this problem.” — Mike, AR

Possible Causes

Here is the list of the possible causes to the problem:

  • A third-party application is preventing the phone from starting properly.
  • You accidentally touched keys while the device is starting up.
  • Third-party case or gel skin touches the keys.
  • Phone’s operating system maybe corrupted preventing it from starting to normal mode.

Possible Resolution

The main purpose of this post is to determine what causes the problem. To do that, here are the things you could do:

Step 1: Uninstall Rogue Apps

If you recently installed an app that may have caused this problem, the best thing you could do is to disable the application first to confirm if you’re right or wrong. If you’re right, then proceed to uninstalling the app to provide permanent fix.

  1. Go back to the Home screen, then tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings, then More tab.
  3. Tap Application Manager.
  4. Swipe to right once to choose All tab. (Other tabs are Downloaded and Running.)
  5. Scroll up or down to look for the app you suspected of causing the Safe Mode loop.
  6. Tap the Disable button.
  7. Reboot your phone because some apps may not be disabled unless your restart the system.

If disabling one app won’t solve the problem, do the same to other suspected apps.

Step 2: Boot The Phone Up Again

When Safe Mode greets you upon starting the up, try to reboot the device normally to see if you would still be directed to the same mode. It could be that you have accidentally pressed other keys during the boot up or some service unexpectedly stopped working during the process.

To exit Safe Mode, all you need to do is boot the phone normally. During normal operation, the phone will start into Normal Mode provided you didn’t press the Volume Up and Home keys during the boot up. Therefore, every time your phone enters Safe Mode, just restart it until it boots up normally.

Step 3: Remove Third-Party Cases

If you just put on a new case and your phone started to act unusually, you should consider reverting to its original case or skin to see if the problem is resolved. It would take several tries to confirm if the new case or skin is the cause.

Step 4: Wipe Cache Partition

There could be some corrupted data in the operating system that prevents the phone from booting up normally. These cached data are stored in a specific partition in your phone’s internal memory. Try clearing these data to see if the problem is solved. Here’s how:

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  3. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power button to select the option.
  7. The phone will automatically restart once cache data are wiped out.

Step 5: Hard Reset Phone Using Hardware Keys

After doing the steps above and the phone still reboots into Safe Mode, there’s nothing left to do but bring the phone back to its default settings. To do that, you need to perform a factory reset and to do that effectively, you need to do it using the hardware keys.

  1. Turn the phone off completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  3. Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  6. Press the Power button to select it.
  7. Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  8. Press the Power key to select it.
  9. Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  10. Press the Power button to restart the phone.

Tell us your problems

The solutions we provided here are based on reports and testimonies from owners who have encountered these problems. I also ask my XDA developer friends regarding some of the problems. Now if you have other problems or questions with your smartphone that you want answered, don’t hesitate to send us email at [email protected]

We don’t guarantee a reply to all emails because we receive hundreds of them daily, but rest assured your email messages will be read by me. But I urge you to provide as much details as possible so I could easily find references and compare your problems with reports from other owners. If your problem is as common as others, there could already be solutions that exist and I would surely point you to them. Screenshots often help so attach one if you can.