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Rebooting Into Safe Mode On Nexus Devices

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Cory Streater #1

Cory Streater
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Posted May 28 '13 @ 12:09 PM

It happens to the best of us.

 

We unbox our shiny new toy, power it up, enter our Gmail credentials, navigate the UI, and we begin customizing basic features such as ringtones & notifications to our liking. The next thing we do is pull-up the Play Store and start installing our favorite 3rd party apps.

 

With any luck, the Nexus will runny smoothly, with no lag, and decent battery life. If that's not the case, there's a good chance that you need to asses any 3rd party apps that you've installed.

 

I've learned over time to proceed with caution when installing 3rd party apps. Many apps on Android phones of the past may be incompatiable and/or not optimized to run on Google's latest operating system. It's also possible that the app developer has not tested their app on a Nexus device, and therefore does not provide support for it.

 

Developers sometimes state this clearly in the app description, and users are also quick to write negative reviews when things go wrong. Read these reviews, and check when the app was last updated. If it hasn't been updated in a while and/or it was developed prior to the latest release of the Android OS, you might want to hold off and install it after the Nexus is up and running smoothly -- doing so will make the troubleshooting process go a lot smoother.

 

Glance up to the top of this post. Notice the bold "enter our Gmail credentials" statement? There's a step after entering your credentials, that asks if you'd like to back up settings and app data to Google's servers. Both options are checked automatically. I decline both options, and choose to install apps manually, and modify settings to my liking. The latter is a feature that I could never get to work with any success. Examples include WiFi, ringtones, etc... In fact, I'm a little perplexed that the screen that presents you with this option doesn't elaborate on exactly what is being backed up.

 

Troubleshooting :

 

If you’re experiencing issues - such as apps crashing, reboots, or fast battery drain - you can boot the Nexus into "Safe-Mode." Safe mode temporarily disables all third-party apps that you’ve installed.



  1. Press the Power button on your device.

  2. Touch & hold the Power off option in the dialog box.

  3. Touch OK in the following dialog to start safe mode.


Try using your device in safe mode to see if the problem persists. If it doesn’t, restart your device to get it out of safe mode and uninstall recently installed apps to see if you can pinpoint the one that’s causing the problem.

 

If it doesn't, hit up the The Android Channel's Nexus Forums and pick the brains of our volunteer Android experts.

 

Please note: the process of booting your Nexus into safe mode was specifically written for the Nexus. However, all the advice written above still applies, regardless of your choice of Android phones. Process of elimination is your friend when it comes to troubleshooting.

 

You can follow Cory Streater on Google +


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ChromeJob #2

ChromeJob
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Posted May 31 '13 @ 1:45 PM

 

... Glance up to the top of this post. Notice the bold "enter our Gmail credentials" statement? There's a step after entering your credentials, that asks if you'd like to back up settings and app data to Google's servers. Both options are checked automatically. I decline both options, and choose to install apps manually, and modify settings to my liking. The latter is a feature that I could never get to work with any success. Examples include WiFi, ringtones, etc... In fact, I'm a little perplexed that the screen that presents you with this option doesn't elaborate on exactly what is being backed up.

 

 

 

 

I've actually had luck with this ... but that's because my HTC Amaze gave me oh so many opportunities to factory reset. You're correct, it's a little, no, a lot unclear what is and isn't synced. I presume that all the vanilla Google stuff (Gmail contacts, saved wi-fi SSIDs and passwords (!), other detritus) gets synced back down, but one time I caught apps being installed from the Play store once I chose an account there (I have several Google-style accounts). I believe that also was a result of leaving enabled the "backup and restore" option on first-boot setup. 

 

... I found that after booting to Safe Mode and then booting to normal mode, a lot of Home screen widgets were forgotten or didn't work. If using a launcher with a backup or export function, I'd use that before booting to Safe Mode ... just as a backup.


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Cory Streater #3

Cory Streater
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Posted May 31 '13 @ 3:22 PM

Great advice. Thanks.

 

I've also found that sometimes (for me personally) it's faster to just hard reset and start fresh. When I go the other way around, I often get an hour into it and think that I could have nuked it and started over sooner than that.


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