Reboot your FP3 in Safe mode


Sometimes downloaded apps can make your device unstable: your device might restart, freeze, crash or simply become slower than usual.

To identify if a third-party app is indeed the cause of the problem, you can use Safe Mode: the phone will restart without loading any third-party app you might have installed over time.
If the issue is gone after rebooting into Safe Mode, then the problem is caused by a third-party software.

Please note

  • If you suspect misbehavior of a specific app, try to clear the cache of that app first
  • You need to reinstall your widgets when you return from Safe Mode
  • You have to log in to your app accounts again one by one when you return from Safe Mode. So make a list of them, their settings and passwords before you start in Safe mode.
  • The Google Play store lists all the apps you ever downloaded in your Google account in My apps & games. Access them via the three-bar menu to the left of the words Google Play in the search bar. For other apps, make a list of the apps that you uninstall.


How to reboot in Safe Mode

If your phone is powered on:

  1. Press and hold the Power button
  2. A pop-up opens with the option Power off
  3. In this pop-up, touch and hold Power off for a few seconds
  4. You will see a Reboot to safe mode pop-up. Tap OK
  5. Your device will start in Safe mode. You will see the words Safe mode in a text field at the bottom.

If your phone is powered off:

  1. Press the Power button until the phone boots
  2. The animation starts. After the Fairphone logo shows on your screen, press and hold the Volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your device starts in Safe Mode
  3. In a text field at the bottom of your screen, you will see the words Safe Mode.


Identify problematic apps

The first thing you will notice is that only system apps are active. Any downloaded app is disabled and its icon is greyed out.

Scenario 1: the problem is gone

If the problem does not occur anymore, you have positively confirmed that a third-party app is causing the problem.

You now have to find the app:

  1. Restart your Fairphone to exit the Safe mode
  2. Either try to remember what was the last app you installed, or go for your best guess
  3. Clear the cache of the app.
  4. If the issue continues, uninstall the app and restart the phone
  5. If the issue persists, another app must be the source. One by one, clear the cache of each app and see if this improves on the issue.
  6. If the issue continues, one by one, uninstall recently downloaded apps. After each removal, restart your device in normal mode to see if this solved the issue.
  7. After you remove the app that is causing the problem, you can reinstall the other removed apps.


Scenario 2: the problem persists while in Safe mode

Too bad, but it was worth a shot! Restart your Fairphone to exit the Safe mode. Use the Troubleshooter tool or consult the relevant support article of your issue: