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I was using my phone (Galaxy S3 SGH-T999), not doing anything intensive, just web browsing on Chrome, then all of a sudden my phone restarts into Safe Mode.

I opened the app drawer and noticed most (possibly all, not sure) of my downloaded apps were gone.
My notifications bar was informing me that some apps were being re-downloaded.

Not sure of the reason, I just restarted the phone and it booted back up normally.

However strange things have been happening, like:

  • Apps re-downloading or updating.
  • Facebook app authorization failing
  • All my contacts were gone. I use SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts. Opening the app asked me to enter my password. My contacts came back.
  • My iCloud calendar was gone, again because SmoothSync logged out. Logging back in was no problem.

Nothing really bad has happened, but it just seems strange and random to me.

Why would Safe mode be activated out of nowhere?

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This sounds like a file system corruption (maybe). Do you have a terminal emulator at hand to check for 'dmesg' and logcat (or via the aLogcat app)? –  ce4 Nov 29 '12 at 18:16
    
I was browsing this site and came across this post which now that I think about it, is when my phone rebooted - just when I tapped 'copy'. –  Jason Varga Nov 29 '12 at 19:43
    
Can you crosscheck with Firefox / Opera? Chrome has some bugs still (my Nexus 10 does also sometimes crash when playing videos). –  ce4 Nov 29 '12 at 19:48
    
@ce4 I haven't been able to replicate it at all. Not even chrome. –  Jason Varga Nov 29 '12 at 23:21
    
I wonder are is your samsung s3 running jelly bean? Because my s3 also randomlly boot to safe mode when I was using google map and web browsing. But its only happen after I updated to jelly bean. –  King Chan Dec 17 '12 at 2:11
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1 Answer

This is strange, and is most certainly a software issue.

It could be that, for some reason or another, Chrome (or another background app) took up all the available RAM, which caused the OS to crash - it could be a built in safeguard that the device boots into safe mode when this happens.

As well as this, safe mode (on my old device at least), disables all 3rd-party apps (so you can debug, and see if an app is causing the issue).

I would suggest you check your RAM usage, and maybe do a clean wipe if it happens again.

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