Smartphones are complex devices. This means there are a number of issues that can crop up at seemingly random times. This includes but is not limited to overheating, lagging performance, poor battery life, & more. If you’re experiencing any of these then your first step should be to boot the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, or S10e into Safe Mode.
I am constantly preaching about how customizable Android is. This includes the unique software features that each OEM bakes into their firmware. All the way to the various APIs and components that 3rd-party applications can change. And this isn’t even getting into things such as custom ROMs, custom kernels, etc.
An application like Tasker all by itself can completely automate your smartphone with various triggers. And while these features are great and all, they can also introduce some issues to your daily user experience as well. For example, Tasker may be trying to execute a task right when you are trying to play a mobile game.
This could lag up your game and ruin the experience but it’s something that comes along with having such freedom with our smartphones.
The above is a good example of something that you know is causing trouble with your device. However, there are other examples were apps are either poorly optimized or are just programmed to eat up as many resources as possible. These are bad behaving applications (or games) and they can also ruin your user experience.
There’s also the dreaded ‘bad update’ that gets pushed out by the manufacturer of the smartphone. So it can be difficult to know what is actually causing your bad battery life, laggy performance, force closes, or overheating issues. But thankfully there is a special boot mode that can help us.
I will now be showing you how to boot into Safe Mode to find out if the culprit is a 3rd-party application or not.
Time needed: 3 minutes.
How to Boot the Samsung Galaxy S10 into Safe Mode
- Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds to bring up the Power Menu
- Then tap and hold on the Power Off option for a second or two
Continue this long press until you see the Safe Mode option appear
- Tap the Safe Mode button and wait for your Galaxy S10 to reboot
- You should see a watermark when you have booted the smartphone into Safe Mode
Look in the bottom left corner for the watermark
- Now use the phone as you normally would to try and reproduce the issue
- If the issue is not present while in Safe Mode then it’s a 3rd-party app that is causing the issue
But if the issue is still happening while in Safe Mode then it’s the OEM firmware that is at fault
So, it’s very easy to boot the Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, or Galaxy S10e into Safe Mode. Samsung gives us multiple reminders while we are in this special boot mode. This is pretty important because when you are in Safe Mode you cannot open up downloaded/3rd-party applications.
This is why I consider it to be your first troubleshooting step when coming across an issue with your phone. So many people are downloading hundreds of apps and games on their phone. These apps can be poorly optimized, be aggressive when asking for resources, or simply have negative interactions with other apps (or specific devices).
Experiment with the Galaxy S10 in Safe Mode
The goal here is to boot the smartphone into Safe Mode and see if you can replicate the issue you were having. Sadly, you can’t do everything you normally would while you are in Safe Mode. That is because you simply cannot open one of these 3rd-party apps or games that may be causing the issue.
However, I recommend that you try to do your best to replicate the issue you were having. Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s poor performance, a weak battery, apps or games being force closed, or the entire device overheating. Just try to replicate these issues while the Galaxy S10, S10+, or S10e is in Safe Mode.
If the issue is not present while in Safe Mode then it’s one of these apps that is causing the issue.
If the issue is still happening while in Safe Mode then it’s most likely the OEM’s firmware that is at fault.
Is it Fixed in Safe Mode?
The next step will depend entirely on what your above outcome is. If it’s an issue that is caused by one of your applications or games then you will need to find out which application or game is causing it. Samsung has some tools in the Device Care section of the Settings app that may be able to help you here.
That might not be the best place to figure out what is causing the issue but since it is baked into Samsung’s software then it’s a good place to start. I would personally recommend checking out BetterBatteryStats (even if it isn’t a battery issue) as it can give you a lot of information about your app usage.
Is it Still Happening in Safe Mode?
Alternatively, if the issue is still happening while your Galaxy S10, S10+, or S10e is in Safe Mode then it is most likely because of some firmware issue. Granted, this could still mean that it’s an application (one that isn’t grayed out while in Safe Mode) that is causing the issue.
If you’re able to find out which one then you could try to wipe the cache or data from that app. This is a rare case but it’s still possible so it’s something to keep in mind. In this instance, the difficult part would (again) be to learn which app is causing the issue in the first place.
However, the more likely cause is something within the firmware itself. OEMs do a lot of Q/A with their updates (especially big companies like Samsung) but there are still times when bugs slip through the crack. Whether this is from you activating the phone for the first time from the box or after you have installed an OTA update.
Just like people suggest doing a fresh install of Windows, it is often recommended that you do a fresh install of Android if you’re noticing some random issues.
How to Boot the Galaxy S10 Out of Safe Mode?
Now that you know how to boot the smartphone into Safe Mode you may be curious to learn how to boot out of this special boot mode as well. As you can see from the image above, anytime you are booted into Safe Mode then you will have a persistent notification waiting for you.
If you want, you just have to tap that notification and that will force your Galaxy S10 to reboot. Once you boot back up into Android then you will no longer have your apps or games disabled and grayed out. However, all this is doing is rebooting your smartphone.
So if you wanted to, you could also just press and hold the Power button to bring up the Power Menu. Then tap on the Reboot button twice and that will reboot the smartphone as well. Both methods will just reboot your phone and boot you out of Safe Mode.
Samsung Galaxy S10 is Stuck in Safe Mode
I have seen a number comments from people with other devices that are telling me they end up getting stuck in Safe Mode. They tell me that no matter how many times they reboot they continue to see the Safe Mode watermark and are unable to open any of their 3rd-party applications.
Unless you have root access, the only way to get out of this Safe Mode loop is by doing a factory reset. It’s a shame that is bug happens from time to time but it does seem like an extremely rare case. If this happens to you and you do have root access then let me know and I can show you how to get yourself out of this loop.
I will be discussing some of these possible solutions in future tutorials. But if you ever run into any issues with your Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, or Galaxy S10e then please feel free to ask in the comments section below.
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