I got the idea of writing this guide for the beginners from on of the comments 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 of the preset rules for those processes. In simpler words, whenever there is much load 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 of 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.
- Open Settings> Developer Options and scroll down a little.
- Here you would find the Strict Mode option.
- Just uncheck/unmark it.
- And, then reboot your device.
Here are 2 screenshots, from Nexus 4 and Galaxy S4 respectively showing the Strict Mode:
If you own a newer Android device (the above screenshots were taken 3 years ago on a Galaxy S3), do as instructed below:
- Open Settings> About device> Software info and tap Build number 7 times.
- Doing so will enable Developer options on your phone.
- Now go to Settings> Developer options.
- Scroll down to find Strict mode and disable it.
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.
Alternative 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 system files. That is to say, you must have root access to be able to use this method.
- 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:
- Also, download BusyBox and having installed it, open the app and tap the install button to run the busybox script.
- Launch Root Browser and open “system” directory.
- Scroll down to “build.prop” file and open it.
- Select RB Text Editor to edit the file.
- Now add the following lines at the end of “build.prop” (see the screenshot):
- Finally, tap the Save icon on the top bar to save the changes.
- 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!
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