Nobody likes a faulty phone, especially when some applications “unfortunately stops working”. It’s always very annoying especially at its most needed time. Unfortunately for our phones, bugs, crashes, and other issues are inevitable, especially as your phone gets older.
The good news is that many of the most common issues have simple fixes you can perform by yourself!
Disclaimer: The bad news is that this will not always be the case. If these solutions don’t do the trick, we’re sad to tell you that you might have to take your handset to a professional repair shop, or upgrade to a newer model.
Hey, don’t start panicking just yet because the solution to your problem may just be in the next couple of lines.
If your phone is slowing down it might not be because of a general issue, but simply due to a few bad apples. Oh, did I say apples? Of course, I meant apps. Figuring which one it is could save you a trip to the shop and a few bucks. If it’s only a few apps, you might be able to repair the situation by deleting the data they store on your phone.
Here’s how to fix that:
On Android, open Settings, go to Apps & notifications, select that troublesome app, and tap Storage & cache. Here, you have two options. First, try choosing Clear Cache to erase only the temporary files that the app has stored on your phone. (When these grow too numerous or become corrupted, they can mess with the app’s speed and power.) Clearing the cache won’t mess with the app’s settings, but it may not be enough to solve your issue.
If this doesn’t help, select Clear Data to erase all the app’s information and start from scratch. Clearing the data offers a more comprehensive option, but you may have to re-enter your information afterwards, such as your username and password.
On iOS, you won’t get the same data-clearing options. Instead, you must uninstall and reinstall your app. Find its icon, press and hold it, and then tap Delete App option from the drop-down menu that appears. Then find it in the App Store and reinstall it. This will wipe all the locally stored data, and the app will boot up from scratch. If you want to delete a bunch of apps at once, press and hold one app and continue holding after the drop-down menu appears. One or two seconds later, all the app icons will start shaking and small gray X’s will appear on them. Tap the X to delete.
The old uninstall-reinstall trick will also work on Android phones if the clearing-data trick failed. From the hub or your unlocked screen, tap and hold the app’s icon, then drag it up to the Uninstall button. This method has the added advantage of making sure you’re running the latest version of the app, which will have all the updated patches and bug fixes. But if you want to get the app back, you’ll need to back up the app data—whether it’s documents or high scores—before you jump into uninstall-reinstall. Most apps can now store data in the cloud, but it can’t hurt to double check.
If you’re still experiencing issues with an app even after uninstalling and reinstalling it, it might be time to do some research on whether you’re dealing with a known problem, or contact the developer directly with the details of what’s going on. Remember to include a thorough description of your issue, the manufacturer, and model of the device you’re using, plus the OS version it’s running. You can usually find developer contact details on the app’s online listing.
If general issues keep appearing almost at random in all kinds of apps, it’ll be harder to pin down one root cause. Perhaps a hardware component is failing, the device is overheating too often, or an upgrade didn’t work correctly. But you won’t actually need to diagnose your phone to fix it.
The old fallback of turning your device off and on again can sound a little obvious, but it can easily solve a variety of problems. This works because it clears out everything in your phone’s temporary memory, so if a couple apps are making the whole phone go haywire, it might be enough to get your device working again.
If the phone has frozen and you can’t power it off in the normal way, try a special hardware reset combination. To figure out just what buttons to press and hold in order to force a reset, look up your phone’s make and model online. You can easily find instructions for Google’s Pixel phones or Apple’s numerous iPhone models.
If the off-and-on-again fail-safe fails, it’s time to indulge in some detective work. Unexplained crashes can be caused by an overheating phone, so monitor its temperature while you’re using and charging it. If it’s often hot to the touch, the issue might lie with a faulty charger or a battery that’s on its last legs.
A lack of local storage space can also cause random bugs and crashes, so check how much free room is left on your device. On Android, open Settings and head to Storage. On iOS, open Settings, then tap General and iPhone Storage. If you’re running out of space, you need to make some room. Most phones have their own way to help you free up space, but if yours doesn’t, check out our guide for it.
As a last resort, you may want to consider resetting your whole phone back to its factory settings, which means wiping off all the data and setting it up again as if it were brand new. If the problem persists after that, you’re probably looking at a hardware fault.