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Getting Your BlackBerry to a Safe Place - A Guide to Safe Mode

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/27/2011

People may not think of smartphones as actual computing devices, but they are. Like a computer device, sometimes an app or program doesn't work the way it should and now, your BlackBerry is stuck. But, like with a computer, you can free yourself with safe mode.

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    Now I'm Stuck

    Your friends have told you about the latest mobile game and eager to try it, you quickly point your BlackBerry phone to the App World and download it. But wait. Something's not right. The game downloads, it installs, but when you open it, it just hangs. And hangs. And hangs. No amount of button mashing or touch screen touching will get the program to close.

    Your BlackBerry is stuck. And that means you're stuck.

    People sometimes forget that smartphones are essentially computing devices that just happen to be able to make and receive phone calls. In fact, more people use their smartphones for the computing aspects that help them keep up with work email and even work in general, without ever receiving one phone call for the day. When your phone locks up, it can be frustrating and maddening as you might not know how to fix it.

    As a computing device, a BlackBerry phone doesn't just have applications that mirror what you would find on your desktop, it also has something that computer users rely on when their computers don't co-operate with them -- introducing safe mode.

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    What is Safe Mode?

    If you're pretty familiar with computers and computer technology, you've probably used safe mode on your computer in order to troubleshoot your system. And that's basically what safe mode is -- it's a diagnostic program that helps users troubleshoot issues they might be having. When you first enter safe mode, the computer will only load the most basic of programs. This gets the system down to its most basic elements and reverts back to DOS (though the user interface can still be used).

    Safe mode is best used for when programs or drivers stop responding or are causing issues. A common use for safe mode is to rid the system of viruses that stubbornly refuse to be removed with the running antivirus software installed or perhaps the virus has corrupted the program and now it is not running.

    The safe mode feature within a BlackBerry's system is actually very similiar.

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    Getting to Safe Mode

    Getting into safe mode in your BlackBerry is quite easy and should only take a few minutes to complete.

    The first thing you need to do is remove your battery. You may be able to do a soft reset by using you keyboard keys of ALT, the right SHIFT key, and the DEL buttons. If you have removed the battery, replace it.Getting Your Blackberry to a Safe Place - A Guide to Safe Mode 

    Next, power up your phone (if you've removed your battery). You'll need to wait for the red light on your phone to go off as the phone starts, then press and hold the escape button on the key pad. Hold this until the phone starts to power up and go to the operating system. You don't need to continue to hold the button during the start up process, but it's a good idea to count to a slow 10 before releasing the button.

    Now, instead of your normal screen, you'll see the safe mode screen, which will then ask if you want to continue using safe mode, if you just want to reset the start up process, and if you need any help. Press OK to go into safe mode. When you've entered safe mode, you'll discover that you're taken to your home screen, however, you'll note that the words SAFE MODE will be at the top of the screen.

    Again, just like a computer's safe mode, only the basics of the BlackBerry will be running, such as messages, the phone, and browser. This allows you to go through those third party apps that might be causing issues.

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    What to Remove

    Getting Your Blackberry to a Safe Place - A Guide to Safe Mode When using safe mode, it's important that you know what it is you're removing. Usually, the latest item that was installed should be the first thing to go. If you've just installed a new game, theme, or program and you noticed that the system hung while trying to use the program, this should be the thing to remove first.

    You can remove other unused or unwanted items while in safe mode as well. This is a great time to remove those programs you no longer use. Again, be sure you know which programs you aren't using -- removing important applications, such as those that are important to running the phone's mobile system, could create problems so be careful.

    If you don't know what it is or does, it's best to leave it alone. To leave safe mode and get back to your phone proper, just remove the battery again and then replace it. Start up your BlackBerry as you normally would. You should now be able to use the phone free of that pesky program that was causing issues.

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