What to do when your Android freezes

AndroidPhone_Jan13_AWhile it is often hard to believe, the smartphone is simply a computer that has been shrunk down into something we can hold in our hands. Anyone who has used a computer knows that these machines will eventually freeze or stop working – it’s inevitable, and the same can be said for smartphones. There will come a time when your Android device freezes. The question is, do you know what to do when this happens?

If your Android phone or an app on the phone has frozen, here are two things you can try.

Frozen app? Try to force close it

Oftentimes when people say their phone has stopped working, the phone is running fine, it’s an app that isn’t working properly or which may have frozen completely. Because this does happen from time-to-time, Android has a built-in way you can force close apps when they stop working. This can be achieved by:

  1. Hitting the home button on your phone to go to the Home Screen (If you are in the app).
  2. Sliding down the notifications menu (slide from the top of your phone’s screen) and tapping on the profile icon in the top-right.
  3. Tapping on Settings followed by Apps.
  4. Scrolling to the app that has stopped working and pressing on it.
  5. Pressing Force stop under the app’s icon followed by OK.

These steps will close the app and usually keep it closed until you reopen the app again. However, some apps are essential and need to remain open in order for your phone to operate properly. If you are unsure of what an app does, don’t force close it.

Did you try turning it off and on again?

There is a long-running gag on the tv show the IT Crowd where the techies in the basement answer every phone call by asking the caller if they have tried turning their computer off and on again.

While this may sound silly, and maybe even a little patronizing, restarting your device could be the solution it needs. In fact, many common errors are usually fixed by simply restarting your device. There are two types of restart you can execute:

  1. If you can still navigate your phone –┬áPress and hold the power button for a second or two and the shutdown window should open. Tap on Power off and wait a few seconds. Your screen should go black and the device will be off. If you have low power, it may be a good idea to plug your phone in and charge it for a few minutes before starting your device up again. This type of shutdown/restart is the best because it allows your device to close all apps and stop all processes before it turns off.
  2. If your phone has frozen – This means you are not able to select apps and pushing the buttons does nothing. Android devices have different force restarts with most requiring you to hold the power button and volume down buttons for up to 10 seconds. Others require you to hold the power button and both of the volume buttons down. When the screen goes black, your device should switch off.

When a device has frozen, many people take the battery out – this should be an absolute last resort, as you could damage your device. If you can’t remove the back cover of your device to get to the batter, don’t try to remove it. Instead, try a forced restart. If this doesn’t work, try plugging your device in and letting it charge for a few minutes before restarting it.

Should the device still not work, the best thing to do is to bring it to a mobile expert like us. We may be able to help you. And, if you are looking to learn more about your Android device, contact us today.

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