iPhone Safe Mode – Have You Seen This Before?

By , Aug 28, 2009

Yesterday night, I was quietly watching some bad reality TV when a push notification showed up on my iPhone. I grabbed the phone, looked at the notification and I slid to unlock the phone in order to launch the mail.app.

To my surprise, the following screen appeared.

iphone safe mode

exit safe mode

What’s strange is that I wasn’t doing anything with the phone. That day, I did nothing but installing a new app (TomTom), and I am 100% positive I didn’t mess with any of the settings.

I had heard about the iPhone safe mode before but I had never experienced it until today. I know the iPhone can only get into safe mode on jailbroken iPhones and that it has something to do with the fast respring. That’s about all I know about this issue.

I simply tapped “OK” and turned off the phone. For a minute, I was scared that the problem would persist after rebooting the iPhone but it didn’t.

Has your iPhone been into safe mode before? If so, why do you think that happened?

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  • billc124

    That has happened to me a few times before. Once on my original iPhone and once on my 3GS. Both times I had installed an app from Cydia that caused it. A reboot did not make it come back and all was fine from then on.

    • Kelly

      How do you know which apps is causing the iphone to be in the safe mode? Furthermore, does the phone ‘crashes’ immediately after downloading a certain apps?

  • Rich

    Had it twice, after installing dTunes and once after a respring after changing a theme

  • T-Will

    Yeah, I had it once when I installed LockCalendar (I think). After a restart everything was back to normal. It’s a great safety feature to have though, otherwise your UI would be hosed until you could disable the faulty extension.

  • Morgan

    My phone crashes all the time to safe mode. But if u knew what is on my iPhone it would blow ur mind. I’m running programs my mac can’t handle. But it’s no big deal. Just restart and ur good to go. There can be conflicts between 2 perfectly good jailbroken apps.I’ve been getting this for two years I’m just surprised this is new to people.

  • Jackzilla

    Yeah when I first jailbroke, it went into safe mode a few times. Really had me worried as I wasn’t so sure about jailbreaking and here I go and do it and it looks like my phone got messed up.

    But whatever it was always seemed to fix itself after powering down for a few then back up.

  • Solphisticated

    I get safe mode all the time from my mail app crashing. It started after I upgrated to 3.0. It happens alot when there are pics attached to the email. Still haven’t tried to restore yet.

  • Diguinho

    it usually happens when you are installing a big (more than 100mb) app, I don’t know why, but it happens to me… but it is never a persistent problem…

  • http://blog.bar-coders.com bar coders

    Honestly this screen i see for the first time. i Phone OS 3.0 inrtoduce some new bugs. I can’t wait for next software update from Apple which hopefuly will resolve all of those issues.

  • Jeton

    The Safe Mode isn’t a feature of 3.0
    Safe Mode appears only on jailbroken iPhones. It’s Saurik’s work.

    Usually it happen when a MobileSubstrate (as shown in the screen) uses this as a protection, so that you can uninstall the (last?) app that caused the trouble.

  • Jerry

    haha my phone has went into safe mode so many times..I used to get it when I had a certain theme on and I sent out MMS messages..then i removed the theme and put another one and it stopped..but it usually goes into safe mode when the phone “crashes”

  • David

    Hey!

    As mentioned this is MobileSubstrate feature and not OS3.

    If you have SBSettings (sure you have!) then you have in ‘More’ a screen that lists all hooks to MobileSubstrate and lets you disable them. So before uninstalling anything go over that list and see if something there is new, unfamiliar or worth disabling.

    Good luck! :-)

  • Josh

    Universal Search which is an awesome jailbreak app (let’s you search google, yahoo and a dozen other search engines within spotlight) has a bug that crashes you into safe mode each and every time you install an app from the app store or cydia. Until I figured out the cause I was greeted by the sad iPhone a few times a day. The dev is working on a fix for this problem.

  • Rn3sto

    I do it in an intentional way as I wanted to play Brother in Arms and was quite bugy… it helped a lot..! xD

  • http://rayray173@twitter.com rayray173

    yes about 35 times if u have the rock app installed thats what it is they suck it puts you iwhatever you have in safe mode its a good app but it just fucks with u iphone

  • AlbaneZi

    never happend to me i have 1 month that i jail-unlock my 3gs and works just fine…
    i heard someone say about .ipa games that working only in safe mde…pufffff

  • http://iphone4ever.eu tobiCOM

    If u are using Lockdown, the Safe Mode comes up a few times a week!

  • stekuya

    hey just hapend to me on my 3g realy scared deleted a buncha apps i got from cydia n restarted springboard

  • QUEENS

    Yeah, this just happened to me after I tried to download a sceen lock app utility. I tried both restart on the prompt and a home/sleep button turn off, nada both times. Help, lol!

  • Param

    I have installed many apps from Cydia and suddenly it happened. I uninstalled all the latest installs and found the culprit.

    It was “HiddenSMM Lite” by Kandox s.r.o. After uninstalling this the Safe mode has gone for ever.

  • Param

    There was a typo in the last msg. The Culprit is “HiddenSMS Lite” not *SMM*
    ;-)

  • William

    I have this problem a few times but managed to reset it after restart springboard. However after a while restarting springboard will not help. I uninstalled the softwares that I downloaded from Cydia and the safe mode is gone.

  • Tom

    hey i got this funny message on my 3Giphone too…. its after a while i jailbrake and unlock my iphone, I got worried at first after few times turnoff and turn on it just go away, i think the new programs i install on it made this problem,also one program that was a trial period has expired i just uninstall that program now its all good. thanks

  • iphone dude

    I get this everytime after downloading anything off cydia. when it says reloading data the spinning circle suddenly stops and a smaller circle apears in the middle of it then after a while small one stops and then bam sad iphone. i think it was pwn player which crashes anytime i open it up. @Param: How did u discover the culprit? did u run a program that told u the faulty app cuz i cant figure it out

  • iphone dude

    and onemore question: will deleting cydia sources delete the apps u downloaded from them? oh and one more: will deleting cydia or rock delete all the packages i downloaded with em?

  • jspatsrule4

    I have an unlocked iPhone 1st gen and mine goes into safe mode every time I get a text from a certain person. Its really messed up and I have no idea why a certain number would do that. Its a US number and not foreign or anything. Any ideas?

  • sayed

    i recently had the same problem and i solved it by uninstalling quickscroll

  • mourad

    it happend to me yesterday on my 3gs 3.1.3 , anybody know what to do to exit the safe mode

  • http://me.com/bhoss04 Brad

    This just happened to me…..i installed background and sms backgrounds, restarted springboard, and BAM! sad face. Uninstalled, and back to normal, everyday-hacked-to-hell iphone. Gawd, I hate Cydia!

  • Whattodo?

    Even I am in this same problem..right now also!
    Pls help me…restarting or rebooting ain’t helping!
    :(

  • helppp

    i tried to download an app but it crashed in the middle of it and now its on my home screen but wont allow me to delete it from cydia and my phone is still in safe mode i have restarted it many times.. please helpp!

  • restore

    restore!!!!!!!!

  • Daniel Taylor

    After restarting my iPhone for like ten times it still runs on safe mode any help