How to restart Galaxy Tab A to Safe Mode | fix third party app issue

Third party apps may sometimes cause problems in Android devices. If your Galaxy Tab A appears to be having an issue and nothing appears to have worked so far after doing some troubleshooting, then you need to check the possibility of a bad third party app by booting it to safe mode. In this short post, we’ll explain what safe mode is and how to use it to troubleshoot your problem.

What is Safe Mode?

Safe Mode in Android is a diagnostic software environment that is used initially by technicians to troubleshoot a device. When your device is running on safe mode, it can only allow a limited set of tasks to be performed, unlike when it’s on normal software environment. All third party apps are prevented from running on safe mode. In Samsung Galaxy devices, third party apps can’t be launched as they’re greyed out. 

Why run your Galaxy Tab A to Safe Mode?

Apps can sometimes cause problems by interfering with Android OS or with other apps. This can be due to poor coding, malicious intent by an app developer, viruses, or plain old unanticipated problem. Safe Mode functions as a convenient method to check if one of the apps is causing a problem. It can help a technician or user to narrow down suspected apps but it’s not capable of pinpointing the exact culprit. By restricting third party apps from being launched, safe mode is a helpful tool to figure out if one of the installed apps is causing whatever problem you’re having.

How to restart your Galaxy Tab A to Safe Mode?

Booting your Galaxy Tab A to safe mode is simple. You only need to turn the tablet off and press a couple of hardware buttons. Once the tablet has restarted, the word SAFE MODE will show at the bottom to indicate that it’s now running on safe mode. In this mode, all third party apps, the ones that you added and are not part of the original app package, can’t be opened. 

To boot the device to safe mode:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Power key.
  3. When Samsung appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting. This may take up to 1 minute. Just be patient to wait for it.
  6. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode on the device.

How to use safe mode to troubleshoot

The first thing that you want to do once the device has booted to safe mode is to check if there’s any difference. For example, if you were previously having an issue downloading and installing an app via the Play Store app, you should try again after rebooting to safe mode. If there’s no problem during safe mode, that’s an indication of a third party app problem. If you installed a lot of third party apps and you have no idea which of them may be causing the problem, you have to spend time in eliminating potential problem apps using safe mode. If you remember that the problem started right after you installed a new app though, delete that app from the system and see what happens when it’s gone. If the problem won’t appear afterwards, that app must be the source of the problem.

If you suspect that there’s a third party app issue and you want to narrow down the possible reasons, these are the steps that you want to do:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall a single app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem again.
  5. If your Galaxy Tab A still has the problem, repeat steps 1-4.
  6. Continue doing the cycle until you’ve identified the culprit.

Keep in mind that when your Galaxy Tab A is running on safe mode, only preinstalled apps can be used. If you rely on third party apps to, say, communicate with your friends or family, you won’t be able to do so.  You should get out of safe mode first to be able to use those apps again.

How to turn off Safe Mode on Galaxy Tab A?

In order to return to normal mode or turn off safe mode:

  1. Press and hold the Power key.
  2. Tap Restart.
  3. The device should restart in normal mode.


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