If you’ve noticed battery life, performance, overheating or other issues with your device, you might want to try booting the Nexus 5X into Safe Mode as a troubleshooting test.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is bringing Safe Mode to the table and this is going to help reduce battery drain for a lot of people. The thing is, Doze doesn’t kick in unless the Nexus 5X isn’t moving for a long period of time. Doze will learn your usage patterns and, for example, make applications go into a deeper sleep state at night when it knows you are sleeping and not using the device.

The sad thing is, this will not help you throughout the day because most people keep their phones in their pockets as they walk and travel.

So, if the battery on your Nexus 5X is draining a lot more than you feel it should, there are a few steps we can do to try and figure out what is causing the issue. The most common culprit for battery drain is 3rd-party applications. This isn’t always the case, but there are over a million applications in the Google Play Store and a lot of people like to install a hundred or two apps over the lifespan of their phones. The number of apps installed doesn’t matter though. The real issue is poorly coded and poorly optimized applications that eat up the juice in our batteries.

You could have 100 apps installed that are properly coded and see no noticeable drain in battery life. Then again, you could install just one application after unboxing your Nexus 5X and then see the battery drop to 0% in a few hours of standby time. So let me show you how to find out if a 3rd-party application is the thing that’s causing excessive battery drain on the Nexus 5X. This troubleshooting step can also help to find out if a 3rd party application is causing force closes, performance degradation or overheating as well.

Nexus 5X Safe Mode

  1. Have Your Nexus 5X Powered on and at the Home Screen
  2. Then Press and Hold the Power Button
  3. When You See the ‘Power Off’ Dialog Screen Pop Up, Let Go of the Power Button
  4. Then Tap and Hold Your Finger on the “Power Off’ Option
  5. After Holding for a Few Seconds You’ll be Asked if You Want to Reboot Into Safe Mode
  6. Simply Tap the ‘OK’ Option to Reboot Your Nexus 5X Into Safe Mode
  7. Then Wait for the Nexus 5X to Reboot


Booting the Nexus 6P into Safe Mode is going to temporarily disable any and all 3rd-party applications on the device. These will only be disabled while in Safe Mode, so when you reboot the Nexus 6P again, you will go out of Safe Mode and these applications will work like normal again. While in Safe Mode, applications can not be opened and the simply will not work(even in the background). This can be troublesome but it is necessary in order to find out if a 3rd-party application is causing the battery life, performance, overheating or whatever other issues you are testing for.

To boot the Nexus 5X into Safe Mode, we need to hold the Power button down as if we wanted to turn off the Nexus 5X. This will bring up the dialog box with the ‘Power Off’ option that you can tap to turn off your Nexus 5X. Instead of simply tapping this button, you’ll want to tap and hold your finger down down this Power Off option. After holding your finger here for a few seconds, you should see this dialog box disappear and then a new dialog box will appear. This new box is a prompt asking if you are sure that you want to reboot the Nexus 5X into Safe Mode. So go ahead and tap that OK option and your Nexus 5X will reboot and you’ll be in Safe Mode with a watermark at the bottom right.

You’ll notice that you’re in Android’s Safe Mode by looking at the bottom left of the screen. If you followed the tutorial properly, you should see a watermark in the corner that says Safe Mode. This watermark will always be here(when in Safe Mode) to remind you so there is no confusion. See, when your Nexus 5X is in Safe Mode, all of your 3rd-party applications will be grayed out and disabled. This is how we troubleshoot whether or not a 3rd-party application is causing the battery drain, overheating, performance issues, etc.

For example, if you’re doing this because of battery life, then you’ll want to monitor the battery drain while the Nexus 5X is in Safe Mode. Alternatively, if overheating is the issue then you will want to monitor the temperature while the Nexus 5X is in Safe Mode. If you don’t see any battery drain, performance issues, overheating, etc while your Nexus 5X is in Safe Mode then there is a 3rd-party application that is causing the issue. Sadly, there’s no way of singling out which 3rd-party application is causing the issue while in Safe Mode, so you’ll have to find alternative ways to figure out which one you need to get rid of.

The easiest way(but can also be the slowest way) is to uninstall applications one at a time until you find out which one was causing the trouble. If the issue is with overheating, you could use applications that monitor the CPU and GPU clock speed while you open each 3rd-party application one at a time. If you see an application max out the CPU and GPU for an extended period of time, then that’s probably the one causing the issue.


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