Why do non-system apps launch in Safe Mode?


Moderator’s note: This question was raised as part of troubleshooting a false SIM card notification in another thread. It has been branched to a new discussion so that it can receive the attention it deserves without diverting the focus in the original thread.

I just rebooted to Safe Mode (got SIM error) to see what Bluetooth apps were still launching in Safe Mode (checking from Apps->Running).

Of those that are still running that are actively using Bluetooth:

  • Mi Fit (Offiical app for the Mi Band)
  • Mi Band Tools (Gut feeling is it might be this one.)
  • Tasker (Doubt this one; I have no Tasker scripts that are using Bluetooth)

QUESTION: Why are these apps booting on startup in Safe Mode? Safe Mode shouldn’t allow any installed apps to launch, only system apps. (It’s the whole point of Safe Mode!) I’ve searched on Google and I can’t find any reports of this. I’m not rooted, and I don’t have any sideloaded apps. (Moto X1, Lollipop, RW 2.0.)

SIM card not working message

Depending on the model of the phone, I found that if an App has a shortcut on any of your Home pages it will be able to launch while in SafeMode … true for some (but not all of the non 3.0 phones)


That seems really strange; no installed app (non system) should be able to launch in Safe Mode.

From Google themselves:

Starting your device in safe mode means your device only has the original software and apps that came with it. If an app is misbehaving but the issues go away in safe mode, the problem is probably caused by a third-party app downloaded on your device.

BTW, to your point, two of my apps that launch at startup aren’t on my launcher screen.


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