Booting the Pixel 2 into Safe Mode is a great way to determine if a 3rd-party application is causing battery life, performance, or overheating issues.

Millions of people every search for ways to fix overheating issues, battery life issues and performance issue with their Android smartphone or tablet. Most of these issue can be attributed to a poorly optimized or buggy 3rd-party application or game that was either installed via the Play Store or sideloaded manually.

Thankfully, Google is working to fix a lot of this with new changes to the Oreo update but there’s a better way to figuring out what is going on.

This week I’ve been walking you through how to boot the Pixel 2 into special boot modes including Fastboot Mode and Recovery Mode. Today, I want to continue this by showing you how to boot the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL into Safe Mode. This is a special boot mode that used to be triggered with hardware buttons but is now done with a software shortcut. When your smartphone or tablet is in Safe Mode it will completely disable all 3rd-party applications so they can’t be used.

Pixel 2 Safe Mode

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds
  2. Let go of the Power button when the Power Menu appears
  3. Then press and hold on the Power Off option for a few seconds
  4. When the Power Menu disappears, a new dialog box will appear for Safe Mode
  5. Read the description and tap the OK button to boot the Pixel 2 into Safe Mode

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Explanation

The goal here is to figure out what is causing the overheating issues, poor battery life issues, performance issues or any other issues that you may be experiencing. 3rd-party applications have so much power and control over the Android OS that we need to eliminate them from the equation as the first step to figuring out what is the root cause. To do this, we need to boot the Pixel 2 or the Pixel 2 XL into Safe Mode and we start this process by bringing up the Power Menu.

Once the Power Menu (the Power Off and Restart buttons) is opened  and on the screen, we then want to press and hold the Power Off option for a few seconds. Once this long press gesture has been detected, it will make the Power Menu disappear and then a new dialog box will appear in the middle of the screen. You’ll be asked if you want to reboot into Safe Mode and then there will be a short description about what this special boot mode actually does.

Pixel 2 Safe Mode Prompt
Here, you’ll be told what Safe Mode does and if you want to reboot into the Pixel 2 Safe Mode or not.

So, if we can disable all 3rd-party applications, we can learn if the issue is caused by one of them or if the issue is with the base Android OS itself. Once you’re in the Pixel 2 Safe Mode, you’ll see a watermark at the bottom left of the screen at all times. This will serve as a reminder so you aren’t confused that 3rd-party applications refuse to open. You’ll also notice that 3rd-party application icons have now had their color stripped away to show you which of your applications are currently disabled.

You’ll want to try and use your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL as long as possible while in Safe Mode to determine if the issue you were experiencing persists. For example, if the overheating, battery life, or performance issues are still happening while you’re in Safe Mode, then the issue is with the Android OS itself and you’ll either need to do a factory reset or manually flash the factory images (or both). If the issue is fixed while you’re in Safe Mode though, then you’ll want to reboot out of Safe Mode and figure out which of these apps are causing it.

To reboot out of Safe Mode you’ll just want to bring up the Power Menu again and tap the Restart button to reboot the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL. Once back in regular Android, you can then start to uninstall individual 3rd-party applications until you figure out which one was causing the issue.

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