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How to Boot the Google Nexus 7 Tablet In Safe Mode



The Google Nexus 7 Tablet works great and runs smoothly, but like all computers it can act up.

If this happens, Google built a safe mode into the Jelly Bean operating system for testing and troubleshooting. It’s super easy to reach and use.

One normally shuts down any Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device, like the Google Nexus 7 Tablet or the Galaxy Nexus phone, by pressing and holding the power button till the following menu shows on-screen.

Power Off Menu in Jelly Bean on Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Safe Mode runs the operating system in a special mode that uses only the basic Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS on the Google Nexus 7 Tablet or other devices without any widgets running. It gives the user just the basics without extras and add-ons running. The apps will still show up including those placed on the home screen. The apps run and function in this mode. A user’s live wallpaper will still show up.

How to Run Google Nexus 7 Tablet in Safe Mode

Here’s how to reach the Safe Mode on the Google Nexus 7 Tablet. Hold down the power button as one would to shut down the tablet or phone. When the shut down menu appears, press and hold the Power off item and the following box shows up on the screen.

safe mode option in jelly bean

The message reads:

Reboot to safe mode.

Do you want to reboot into safe mode? This will disable all third party applications you have installed. They will be restored when you reboot again.

Cancel or OK

Not all apps will work. I tried to run the new OnLive app now available on the Google Nexus 7 Tablet and it crashed the system and forced it back into regular mode turning on all the widgets I placed on my home screen. Also, the Google Reader app failed to run, so most people won’t want to run their Jelly Bean device in Safe Mode all the time. It’s great for some specific uses.

Why Run in Safe Mode

Why would someone want to boot into safe mode? I can think of a few reasons:

  • Testing – it lest the user test the tablet or phone without anything else but the OS running.
  • Conserve battery life – if a user hits a period where he or she needs to use the device this will preserve some battery life.
  • Quick fast environment – for those who like to add lots of widgets and customizations this gives the user a sleek and fast environment to run Android.
  • To uninstall a troublesome app that’s causing issues.




  1. 312capri

    08/04/2012 at 11:38 am

    Thanks, while installing my new Nexus 7 case, which arrived this morning, apparently I managed to hold down the “power” button long enough to accidentally end up in the “Safe Mode”. Searched the manual for what “Safe Mode” meant to no avail. Googled Nexus 7 safe mode and ended up here.

    Thank-you, would have been lost with out your help….

  2. g2-075550305f5dddaabdf4970d95cc4b63

    08/30/2012 at 11:54 am

    Finally a pationate. I am searching on the web for now more than an hour.
    My Nexus 7 has shot down and I cannot boot it again.
    Have you heard about similar issues ?

    Thanks by advance.

    • Julie

      09/01/2012 at 2:34 pm

      I just got my nexus 7 yesterday and to be honest I don’t know if there is something wrong with it or not. I need to hold the on/off button approx. 10 seconds before it will boot up. I tried tapping the screen, pushing the on/off button several times, and nothing works but holding the on/off button for about 10 seconds.

      • Lythys

        09/13/2012 at 1:50 pm

        After long searches, I have found that the Nexus S has the same issue. But I don’t know if this is something related to Nexus or to Android.
        I have tried to contact Asus helpdesk, but I don’t have any answer (2 weeks !!! A real shame).

        If I find something about this (origin, real solution, etc …), I will post a comment with the results.
        Thanks for your help !

      • Don

        09/14/2012 at 1:20 pm

        I’m having a similar problem. Try entering setup mode and stopping some of the RUNNING apps before powering off. That clears the problem for me…at lest for a while.

  3. Frankie

    12/08/2012 at 5:30 am

    This did not help me. Seems everyone is having the problem – but no one answers HOW to get it back out of Safe Mode . Help????

  4. Gerald Entwistle

    10/31/2013 at 3:11 am

    I accidentally put my nexus 7 2013 running 4.3 jelly bean in safe mode.To reset it I held the power button down for about 15 seconds , the screen flashed the word google went dark again re flashed google again I let It go and it seemed to have reset itself to normal mode. I have been experiencing the screen turning itself on randomly and that problem disappeared when in safe mode and has reappeared again now that normal mode is on.

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