HTC Sensation stuck in Safe Mode

I turned on my phone one day and it had the words "Safe Mode" on the bottom-left of the screen. While in safe-mode, the phone has very limited functionality -- none of the third-party apps will work, including gmail.

Safe-Mode is usually enabled by pressing and holding the volume up button while your phone boots. To deactivate, generally you need to do the opposite and press and hold the down button just after you see the HTC logo.

You can also take the battery out and leave it out for around 30 seconds, then put it back in, and power your phone as normal, and it should come out of safe-mode.

For me, however, none of these methods worked...

Turns out the cause was broken volume buttons. My volume rocker hasn't worked for months, so I just use a volume widget instead. However, I think recently, the underlying buttons themselves must've got stuck in a pressed position. I noticed this a few weeks ago when I tried to reboot into recovery and couldn't using the standard methods (so I used a third-party app instead).

So it seems that one of the volume buttons was stuck pressed causing the phone to always boot in safe-mode. I fixed this by taking out the battery and taking out the six small screws on the back-plate. Then gently prying open the back-plate on the side of the volume controls. Just above the up-button, there is a black 4mm flat cable that connects the volume buttons to the circuit-board -- I just pulled on this cable till it ripped out, physically disconnecting the power buttons permanently. (You can pull on it gently and it will simply unclip in case you want to repair it at some point. For me, I didn't really care, as it's time for a new phone in a few weeks anyway...)

I then put the screws back in, then the battery, then started it up, and no more safe-mode!


  1. Top bit of advice, works a treat, thank you. Now do I bother sourcing a replacement volume strip.

  2. Glad the tip worked, but I think it's time to upgrade :-)

  3. Thanks for this, it all sounds much more likely that the other bits of advice which were to hold down the power button and volume at the same time etc. which did not work!!!! This is driving me nuts! Can I ask- my phone doesn't appear to have screws whatsoever- then what?


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