If you feel there is a rogue application affecting performance or battery life, you can test this by booting the Galaxy S7 into Safe Mode.

Update:
I’m getting reports that the AT&T and Sprint variants of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will not boot into Safe mode using the newer method. If you have either of these devices then look at the updated instructions for you.

Android smartphones and tablets are very complex mobile platforms and the 3rd party applications that you install from the Play Store can do a lot. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy Android more than iOS since it enables these apps to customize and tweak various parts of the OS. If you don’t like the way the home screen looks or want more functions out of it, then you can install one of a few dozen different custom launchers.

If you don’t like the way notifications look or operate then you can go back to the ticker style notifications of KitKat and earlier. There’s so much possibility and new apps with new features are being submitted to the Play Store each and every day.

The thing is, when apps have this much control over the OS, it can cause some issues with other parts as well. A poorly optimized application can cause performance issues throughout the OS. It can also cause battery drain when there shouldn’t be. There’s just so much a 3rd party application can do and there aren’t many tools for us to analyze and figure out exactly which one it is. These performance and battery issues can also be caused by an OTA update that has gone wrong. Usually the person will immediately notice these issues after an update is applied, so they would know if it’s a 3rd party app or if it’s the update itself. Still, today’s tutorial will help you begin the process of figuring out exactly what is causing the trouble.

Safe Mode on Android is a way for you to boot up into a special mode and disable all 3rd party application. If there was a rogue application from the Play Store that was causing performance issues, then booting up into Safe Mode will reveal that those performance issues are fixed. The same is said with battery life issues. If you have a 3rd party application from the Play Store that is ruining your overall battery life then booting up into Safe Mode will give you the battery life that you’re used to. So let me walk you through how to boot the Galaxy S7 into Safe Mode so you can figure out what is going on.

Galaxy S7 Safe Mode

  1. Press and Hold the Power Button
  2. Then Tap and Hold the ‘Power Off’ Option
  3. Tap the ‘Restart’ Option when Prompted About Safe Mode
  4. Wait for the Galaxy S7 to Reboot

AT&T / Sprint Galaxy S7 Safe Mode

  1. Power Down the Galaxy S7
  2. Once Completely Off, Press and Hold the Power Button
  3. Wait Until the After the ‘Powered by Android’ Splash Screen is Gone
  4. Then Press and Hold the Volume Down Button When You See the Next Splash Screen(it’ll be the Samsung animated one).
  5. Continue Holding the Volume Down Button Until You’re in Safe Mode

Explanation

This process is a lot more simple than it used to be thanks to a new feature that Google added into the core Android OS. Before, we had to power down the device and boot it back up while holding certain buttons down during the boot process. Now, we can initiate the Safe Mode reboot process almost like the regular power off option. This is still hidden and it’s not easy to know if you haven’t read it before. We’re going to do this with the display on and after you used your fingerprint, pattern, pin or password to unlock the device. Once the device is unlocked, go ahead and press the Power button until the power menu appears.

This will blur out the background and you’ll get three options here. One for Power Off, one for Restart and then one for Emergency Mode. What we need to do here is tap and hold down on the Power Off option. If you do this(without moving your thumb), then you’ll see the blurred background go away and then you’ll be greeted with a dialog box that talks about rebooting into Safe Mode. You can read the message, but what we need to do here is tap on the Restart option. This will power down your Galaxy S7 and then it will start booting up. Except this time it will boot up into the special Safe Mode where 3rd party applications are disabled.

You’ll notice this almost immediately with the watermark saying Safe Mode at the bottom left of the screen. You’ll also notice that there is a persistent notification telling you that Safe Mode is on. You’ll also notice that 3rd party applications are grayed out and if you try to tap one then you’ll see a toast message appear that says the downloaded app is disabled in Safe Mode. It will be like this for all 3rd party applications while you are in Safe Mode. If you are done with Safe Mode, you can press and hold the Power button and then tap on the Restart option, or you can tap on the persistent notification and then tap on the Turn Off Safe Mode option.

Both ways will result in the same thing happening so it doesn’t matter which way you get out of Safe Mode. As mentioned, Safe Mode is a great way for you to find out if a 3rd party application is causing trouble with the OS. Sadly, there’s no way to narrow down which app it is with Safe Mode, but at least you’ll know that it is an app from the Play Store and not something wrong with the core OS. If you find out that it is a 3rd party application causing the issue, then you’ll need to use something like Greenify to helpĀ improve battery life. If you’re having performance issues then you’ll either need to uninstall or disable some of those apps one at a time. Then again, the offending app might be up toward the top of the Battery usage page within Android’s Settings.

It’s a painful process and it sucks that Google doesn’t makeĀ more tools readily available for the people who use their devices. Still, I would rather have this way than an OS from Apple that restricts everything that I do.

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