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Safe Mode

Sometimes 3rd-party apps can make your Fairphone 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 restart without loading any external app.
If rebooting into Safe Mode fixes the issue, then a 3rd-party app is probably the cause.


Important notes

  • Make sure you are running the latest software version. If you are not running the latest software, or you are not sure, update your Fairphone to the latest Fairphone OS.
  • If you suspect misbehaviour of a specific app, try to clear the cache of that app first.
  • Safe Mode will uninstall some your widgets.
  • 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 ON

  1. Press the Power button to turn on the screen.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Volume up buttons at the same time.
    (On some Fairphones, press and hold the Power button).
  3. On your screen, tap and hold Power off for a few seconds.
  4. Tap OK.

If your phone is 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.
  3. Keep holding until your device starts.

If everything went well, your device will start in Safe Mode. You will see the words Safe Mode in a text field at the bottom.


Identify problematic apps

The first thing you will notice is that only system apps are active, and 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 is not causing the issue.
  2. Try the last resort: perform a Factory reset.


If after reading the article you need more help, contact our Customer Support.