This is for those of you who need to enter what is known as "safe mode" on HTC Desire. There may be several reasons why one needs to enter this mode. It is usually because the phone is not working properly.

One such reason can be that you have flashed your phone with a custom ROM and you are stuck in what is known as a "boot loop". If you manage to boot into safe mode you may be able to backup your data to a safe place before you attempt to rescue the phone by data destructive methods such a re-flash.

  • For basic information what "safe-mode" is, plus links to useful ressources on the topic, you might also want to see our safe-mode tag-wiki (you'll find those tag-wikis by hovering your mouse over a tag and click the "info" link in the popup -- or by simply clicking the tag, and then select the "Learn more..." link). Quite a few of our major tags have such a wiki with first-aid :) I'll link your question there now, as it is one of those "ressources" :)
    – Izzy
    May 20, 2013 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


This applies to the original HTC Desire, codename Bravo. The instructions have been tested to work on the GSM version of the phone with Android 2.3.3.

How to enter Safe Mode

  1. Power off the phone.

  2. Press and hold down the menu button, and then press and let go of the power button, but continue holding the menu button. The phone will power on and start booting.

  3. The phone will vibrate when it enters safe mode. Let go of the menu button when you get past the HTC logo with "quietly brilliant" animation, or when you feel the phone vibrate. You will see the text "Safe mode" in the lower left corner of the display if the phone has entered safe mode properly.

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How to leave Safe Mode

To leave safe mode, follow these instructions.

  1. While in safe mode, press and hold the power button until you see the power options menu.

  2. Tap the option "Power off". The phone will now leave the safe mode and quickly reboot into normal mode. Note that it will not actually do a power off. If you want to power off repeat these steps once more (while in normal mode).

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Important notes about Android 2.3 and Fast boot

If you have upgraded to Android 2.3.3 then you should have "Fast boot" disabled. If Fast boot is enabled the phone will not do a complete power off. This has the advantage that the phone boots more quickly. But to enter safe mode the phone needs to be completely off. You can achieve this by either disabling Fast boot first, and then powering off the phone. Or you can power off, with Fast boot enabled, and then take out the battery to disconnect the power source, and then put it back in. Then you can enter safe mode as described above.

You will find the Fast boot option by pressing menu button, then going to Settings, Applications, and then check or un-check the option "Fast boot".

If you have Android 2.2 or below, then you don't need to worry about Fast boot. You can check which version you have by pressing menu button, then going to Settings, About phone, and then Software information.

  • 1
    Nice answer, Sammy -- but what is "Android 2.29"? Never heard of such a version. Also: "Fast boot" is a misleading term; it does not really "boot", but rather kills the "System Server" (see Can somebody explain the boot process of an Android device?) -- which basically means: from the 6 levels of boot-up, it leaves the first 4 untouched (and running), and just re-enters at level 5. Which should explain why it's faster :) Btw: do not confuse this with the fastboot mode for flashing, which again is something very different...
    – Izzy
    May 20, 2013 at 17:28
  • 1
    Yes, that's actually Android 2.2. I confused it with the build number 2.29.405.5. Thanks! Yeah, that's why I tried putting quotation marks around "fast boot" to indicate that it is not THE "fastboot". It's difficult when they use same words to mean different things. They could have just called it "quick boot".
    – Samir
    May 20, 2013 at 17:59
  • I was not blaming you for the "confusing terms" :) Don't know why HTC even decided for that ("quick restart" would be much better fitting -- and in fact it's called "quick boot" on some devices, to avoid the above confusion. However, the term "boot" does not fit here at all. Not your fault :)
    – Izzy
    May 20, 2013 at 18:03

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