FP3(+). Safe mode

Sometimes 3rd-party apps can make your device unstable: your device might restart, freeze, crash, or become slower than usual.

To identify if a 3rd-party app is causing you issues, you can use Safe Mode: the phone will then restart without loading any external app installed over time.
If rebooting into Safe Mode fixes the issue, the problem is probably caused by 3rd-party apps.


Please note

  • If you suspect misbehavior of a specific app, try to clear the cache of that app first.
  • Safe Mode will uninstall your widgets. Follow this article to install them again.
  • You might have to log in to your apps accounts again when you return from Safe Mode. Make sure to save their login and passwords.


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 and release the Power button to power on the phone. The Fairphone writing will appear.
  2. After the Fairphone writing disappears, the blue animation will start. As soon as this happens, press and hold the Volume down button.
    Keep holding until your device starts.
  3. If everything went well, in a grey text field at the bottom left of your screen, you will see the words Safe Mode. If you cannot see them, just turn off your device and try again.


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 might be the source. One by one, clear the cache of each app until the issue is gone.
  6. If the issue continues, one by one, uninstall all the 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

Restart your Fairphone to exit the Safe mode and follow the next two articles.

  1. Make sure the SIM card(s) is not causing the issue.
  2. Try the last resort: perform a Factory reset.


If after reading the article you need more help, get in touch with our Customer Support.