Quick Tip - How to Boot Your BlackBerry in Safe Mode

By Adam Zeis on 24 Aug 2009 11:42 am EDT

Safe Mode

Over the weekend my Tour had a minor disagreement with an app I installed. I tried to reboot after I added the application, and my device wouldn't boot past the VZW splash screen. I had no access to a PC, so I was stuck with a dead device for two days. In my research and hopes of getting up and running, I came across the RIM article on how to boot in safe mode. We touched on this a while back, but never really got into any detail. Now, I also found out this doesn't work on the current Tour OS (for me anyway), but supposedly it works with most devices running OS 4.6 and higher. The basic idea behind it is that much like Safe Mode on a PC, booting your device this way allows you to uninstall any "bad" applications by loading the bare essentials upon startup. You simply perform a battery pull and then hold the Back key until the Safe Mode dialog appears. Just a good tip in case you ever find yourself in my shoes. Check out the full RIM Knowledge Base article here. If you've got a few minutes to kill, give it a try on your device. Does it work for you?

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Quick Tip - How to Boot Your BlackBerry in Safe Mode


this is actually really funny since last night i installed a buggy theme that wouldnt allow me to go past anything i spent a good few hours on a friends phone searching on how to fix it and i ended up finding this safe mode -works great- saved my ass

the service document says that you have to wait until the red light goes away. Even that, this safe mode never worked on my Bold. It is on BIS with a password, so I dont know if the password keeps safe mode from booting though...

Yes, this works on my Storm. I used MeterBerry to 'reset' and was given the 'Ok', 'Reset' and 'Help' Safe Mode Dialog box.

so I remove the battery, when the red light goes out, I press and hold the back key. After 2 min, my theme loads anyway, the Verifying security software kikck in, and 30 sec later my screen goes dark and I still have the back key pressed. How can I screw this up?

oh, and I disabled my password.... this just doesnt work. any suggestions?

It took me like 6 or 7 minutes waiting for it to boot up but it worked for me. Guess I'd be willing to do that if my phone was screwing up, but is there any other reason to use safe mode other than a program install screwed up?

That was on an 8900. Checked the difference in available memory, I had 124MB initially in safe mode, 119MB in normal.

Didn't do a thing for me. No dialog, no no differences.

I'm on a BES, no password.

Maybe with the later versions of the 4.6 OS it doesn't work. Too bad.

My storm went into safe mode and even asked if I wanted to continue in safe mode or reset it. Worked fine, it took a few minutes to boot up but not too long!

Well tried it today on the storm and it works. Just hold it down till u see it . it takes a while it will show up just before the securty test starts on the verizon VER..

This worked for me. I held down the back key during boot up for about 2 min while the wiating indicator was on then screen. After 2 minutes I became bored and let go. The device did boot into Safe Mode. After I logged in then I had the screen to click ok or reset.

I just tried it this morning on my storm with the same result the message popped up stating it was in safe mode.

Tried it, worked just fine. Seems to take forever to boot up, but then again, dosn't everything take longer when your watching it?

Socialscope was giving me the dreaded white screen 503 error after rebooting. Of course I was on vacation at the time. Ended up having to get a USB cable and download Desktop Manager to remove the bad app.

Have used it time and time again, supremely useful if you have a theme playing up to start back with the original Zen theme and remove the one with the issue.

I installed the free HTC Hero theme a few days ago. When I rebooted yesterday, the theme messed up my phone so it wouldn't boot. (Stay away from that theme by the way!)

I tried all variations of going into safe mode, and nothing worked. Luckily the article on this site about restoring a bricked phone saved my butt, if not my data and settings.

That was my first experience with a bumm theme. It can really jack your berry.

Wow, what good info! Thanks for the tip Adam!

I tried both ways of restarting (Batt pull, and alt+shift+del), and only the battery pull method worked for me.

Safe mode reset worked great with the above tip. Thank you very much. It's a nice thing to know about my Storm.

This works on the Storm and can be invaluable if you use 151 and accidentally load up an incompatible theme.

I was in this situation before with my 8350i. Lately, more and more applications are causing me to reboot with the dreaded WSOD/Error 552... before I learned how to use Loader.exe to remove the bad app, my local Sprint store was swapping out my device with a brand new one -- it's very odd that this is not readily known amongst local Sprint reps... Thanks so much for posting this.

I am going to give it try at random just to make sure I know what I will be getting into...my BB has crashed on me before.

I am testing it on 8900 on OS and it looks like it worked! waiting on the device to reboot right now to see if it did work.

My partner is having a problem where she is stuck in safemode when she re boots and selects exit safemode she stills ends up in safe mode... Her back/esc key isn't working could this be the cause and any resolutions please?

How do I figure out what app or any other thing is making my curve stop from booting i.e it gets tuck at the "blackberry" screen.