How to Fix the Red Frame/Border Around the Screen of Android Devices



I got the idea of writing this guide for the beginners from on of the comments of a user at this post (thanks to him!). It is meant for those who have just started with Android and also those who have been using an Android device but do not have time to delve deeper into its settings and other technical stuff.

Have you ever experienced a flashing red frame on all sides of your Android phone’s screen? Sometimes, this red border stays for  about 10-20 second and even more. Have you ever thought what it is and why you are seeing that read line on the four sides on your device’s display? If you are just a basic user or unfamiliar with it, you might take it for a problem with the phone’s display or LCD, a software bug, or even as an indication of some impending disaster with your phone.

So, is that red glow around the edges of your Android phone’s screen really a serious thing to be bothered about? I do not think so because it is just a tiny glitch resulted from a misconfiguration on your phone’s settings and it is known as “Strict Mode”. It is not one of those features that are meant for normal use. Rather it is a developer tool to test and analyze some technical aspects of Android devices.

Strict Mode is not found on all Android devices. It is a new feature that was added to assist developers with Ice Cream Sandwich and above. So, you’ll be able to see the red line thing only on phones with ICS, JB and possibly the upcoming Key Lime Pie. It does not matter whether you have a Samsung Galaxy, Sony Xperia, Motorola, LG Optimus, HTC or a Nexus device, if it is on any of the above mentioned versions of Android, you should see “Strict Mode” on it.


What is Strict Mode on Android?

As I mentioned above, Strict Mode is a developer tool that detects your Android device’s Disk Read and Write and Network processes, and then tell you via the red frame flashing and some other indications on the screen when it finds any violation with the preset rules for those processes. In simpler words, whenever there is much load on on your device’s GPU It brings them to your attention so that you can fix them.

According to the official Android Developers blog, “StrictMode is not a security mechanism and is not guaranteed to find all disk or network accesses. Future versions of Android may catch more (or fewer) operations, so you should never leave StrictMode enabled in applications distributed on Google Play.”

How to Get Rid or Disable Strict Mode:

If you have been experiencing red glow lines or frame on the edges of your phone’s or tablet’s screen, you can disable it right from your device’s Settings interface.

  1. Open Settings> Developer Options and scroll down a little.
  2. Here you would find the Strict Mode option.
  3. Just uncheck/unmark it.
  4. And, then reboot your device.

Here are 2 screenshots, from Nexus 4 and Galaxy S4 respectively showing the Strict Mode:


Another solution for disabling the Strict Mode on your phone or tablet is a factory reset but doing this will wipe all data and apps on your device. So if you go for it, do not forget to backup your data first.

Alternate Fix for Red Frame on Android Devices:

In case disabling the strict mode on your Android phone or tablet does not solve the red line issue at all sides of the display, follow the steps given below. Please note that the procedure given below works only on rooted devices since it involves editing a system files. That is to say, you must have root access to be able to use this method.

  1. Download and install a root file browser/manager app from the Google Play Store. I recommend Root Browser.. Skip this step if you already have it installed: 
    Root Browser
    JRummy Apps Inc. Productivity Free
  2. Also download BusyBox and having installed it, open the app and tap the install button to run the busybox script.
    Stephen (Stericson) Tools Free
  3. Launch Root Browser and open “system” directory.
  4. Scroll down to “build.prop” file and open it.disable-strict-mode-android
  5. Select RB Text Editor to edit the file.
  6. Now add the following lines at the end of “build.prop” (see the screenshot):
  7. Finally, tap the Save icon on the top bar to save the changes.
  8. When you are done with these things, reboot your phone for the changes to take effect.

I well know all of you are not likely to encounter the flashing red border on your device but it is still important that you should know about it. Knowledge always helps and never goes wasted. It;s our job to keep you update with every bit and byte of Android so that you can use your phone with greater efficiency and confidence and fix such issues yourself.

As always, cheers to all!

Read These Too:

When you are done with this, do not forget to take a look at some other useful articles that might help you:

Things to Do Before and After Installing a Custom ROM on Android

How to Delete and Merge Duplicate Contacts on Android and Gmail

How to Recover Deleted Files on Android Phones and Windows Computer

  • Ved

    Thank you so much. Panicked a little since it appeared on my week old Moto X style. Disabled strict mode and rebooted. The red frame is gone.

  • Izzaldin Samir

    It is working on Tablet

  • Aizam Adzha

    step 1 worked for using s5..1st need 2 able developper option 1st..

  • yalok

    Thanks a lot, that’s the only thing that really helped.

  • Bill Myst

    None of these steps worked for me, no idea why..

    Then I tried this:

    build.prop edit



    Worked like a charm.

  • Droidhead74

    The first method worked perfectly for me on my note 3 international, thank you so much, I really thought my screen was starting to fail… Easy fix… Cheers!

  • Does your device has proper root access?

  • josh

    I keep getting this whenever i try to install it?

  • Also install BusyBox and then try again.

  • josh

    Hey a quick question, using the samsung galaxy s5. Tried the second method, and when I entered in the two lines in build.prop, it wouldn’t let me save it? It keeps saying “failed to save”. Any help?

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  • Joud Toma

    Problem fixed Thank you so much. 😀

  • Great! Thanks for the appreciation!

  • Liz Vance

    You guys are great! You saved the day. When I started seeing the red border last night, I panicked thinking it was a virus taking a snapshot of my screen at every key press, and waiting to delete my phone thereafter. I was about to wipe my phone for a total reboot this morning when one thought came to me to Google the problem…and bam! came your webpage. Your first suggestion worked perfectly. The problem might have come up when I activated the “Developer’s option” sub-menu. Thanks a million guys.

  • Amol Ganganawar

    busybox is not installing

  • Use Root Browser and also install Busybox on your phone.

  • Jinn

    I typed it out and hit save and it it keep on saying. Failed saving build.prop What should I do

  • Glad to know!

  • F Pugh

    Thank you. Your recommendation worked the first time I tried it.

  • Thanks!

  • Pradap

    you guys are awesome

  • disqus_XFYrVt6saV

    I had to go all the way down to build.prop, but it worked. Thank you!

  • teknotry

    Nice post helped me a lot..

  • Scarlet Cross

    Thanks a ton!!!!! i didn’t do anything about it at first though it was bothersome because i new it that it started after i fiddled around in settings but my friend scared me saying it was something serious. thank god it was nothing serious XD

  • sara ahmed


  • Axel Morales

    Thank you you rock

  • Do a factory reset after backing up your apps and data. It’ll be fixed.

  • Ian Valentine

    I have a tablet which shows the same red flashes but I don’t have strict mode in developers settings. I am running ICS 4.0.4. Any ideas how to get rid?

  • Anisha Jayadevan

    Thanks for this! I thought it was a defect.