Are you experiencing Android phone freezing problems and unexpected apps stopping issues that won’t let you use your phone or tablet device? And you can’t really figure out how to fix the problem. Don’t worry as you have come to the right place because here we have a complete in-depth step-by-step tutorial to help you troubleshoot, analyze, and fix the issue, once and for all. 😉
I can understand how it feels like when you are trying to use your Android device to make a simple phone call or maybe you have opened a camera to take a picture but your device is stuck and frozen, and it won’t let you do anything. And this situation makes you feel like throwing your device away.
Believe it or not, unexpected freezing of your Android phone, crashing of apps and unresponsiveness are the significant signs that your Android device has some sort of app or software issue and can be fixed all by yourself without taking it to the warranty or service center.
To help fix the freezing, unresponsiveness, and the crashing issue of your Android device, I have compiled a list of seven methods that you have to go through one by one and follow it to troubleshoot your problem and ultimately solve it.
#1. Have you tried restarting your phone?
Please don’t start rolling your eyes after reading this question. If you have ever called an IT support guy, whether you had a problem related to the computer, Internet, or printer; you can expect them to ask you the very first question, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”
This question is so frequently asked that it has become an IT support catchphrase. And whenever this question is asked then the people start questioning what the IT expert guy is being paid for? Are they lazy?
Sometimes people are so fed up with the issue they are experiencing that they simply say, “Yes, I have already done that,” even when they know they haven’t. But believe it or not, in reality, a simple act of restarting your Android mobile phone mostly fixes a lot of issues.
This leads us to the question:
How restarting a mobile phone is going to fix the freezing issue?
We all use our mobile phones without restarting it for several days or weeks, and during this time period we continuously open and close various apps, sometimes install a new app or two and maybe uninstall some apps. Over a phase of several days, all of these tasks leave a footprint in the memory and storage, which are no longer needed by the system.
This overloads the processor as well as the memory usage, which in turn causes Android phone freezing problems. And the easiest way to clear this unwanted footprint from your mobile phone and fix the freezing issue is to restart the device.
Now, jump over to the next section where I have prepared to a simple guide to help you restart your frozen Android phone…
How to restart Android phone when it is frozen and not responding?
Due to the number of Android phone manufacturers and variation in the models, the steps of rebooting the device vary a lot. However, I have covered almost all the options of hard rebooting your Android device when it is frozen and not responding at all. You can try one method at a time and see if it works for you or not.
The first method: It is performed using just the physical power button located on your device. You have to press and hold the Power button for maybe around 3 seconds, and the menu will appear with the option to Power off and Restart your device. The restart option may only be visible if your device is running the latest Android OS version.
In case there is no restart option on the screen then just tap the Power off option, and once the device completely shuts down, then you have to press and hold the Power button for around two to six seconds to turn the device back on.
The second method: It is where we perform Hard Restart or Hard Reboot. This method is especially useful in those cases when your Android device is frozen, and the first method of restarting is not working.
The procedure is to press and hold the Power button for fifteen to thirty seconds. During this moment, your frozen device should automatically power down and start again. If this method doesn’t work, move onto the next method.
The third method: This is another way to Hard Reboot or Hard Restart your frozen Android device and is recommended in case the previous process didn’t work. Most of the Android devices are pre-programmed to perform a reboot or completely shut down if the user press and hold specific button combination.
So the combination you need to try on your device is the Power button and the Volume Down button. And you need to hold both of these buttons for around fifteen to thirty seconds. If this worked, then your device will power down and restart. If not then you can try the next method.
The fourth method: In this method, we will be using another pre-programmed button sequence to perform a Hard Reboot or Hard Restart. Here you will be required to hold two buttons simultaneously, i.e., the Power button and the Volume Up button. You have to press and hold these two buttons for fifteen to thirty seconds. And within this timeframe, your phone should reboot.
In case none of those methods mentioned above worked for you then the last sequence is to press and hold all three buttons, i.e., Power button, Volume Down button, and Volume Up button for about ten to twenty-five seconds. This should force your frozen Android phone to reboot.
The fifth method: If the last option didn’t work too then, I will recommend you to remove your phone’s battery to force shutdown your device, then reinsert the battery and turn it back on.
Removal of your Android phone’s battery is only possible if your phone has a removable battery, otherwise, if your phone has a fixed battery then I will recommend you to skip this section.
#2. Check for any new device software update
If restarting didn’t fix the Android phone unexpectedly freezing issues then there are chances that your phone is lacking new essential updates and bug fixes from the device manufacturer that might fix the annoying freezing problem.
Your phone might start acting up or begin to freeze where there is some sort of a software glitch in the base Android operating system files. And obtaining the latest Android updates and installing it on your mobile phone will bring performance improvements along with security updates and bug fixes.
In most of the cases, automatic software updates are enabled by default on the Android mobile phones and tablet devices, which is preprogrammed to get the most recent updates from the servers and download it onto your device on its own.
How to manually check for the updates on Android phone?
Though, in case, if the automatic update option is disabled, then there is a manual option to force check for the recent updates on your device manually. The steps to do that are as follows:
Before proceeding, please note that the steps may slightly vary for the Android device you are using.
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down to the end of the settings page, and there you will see the Software update option or the About device option. Tap it.
- Tap on Download updates manually.
Using this option will force your device to check whether the most recent software updates are installed on your device or not. If any new update is found, then your device should automatically start downloading it.
Once the update file has been downloaded, the Android system will ask you when to install the update and apply changes. Simply tap the Install now button to begin the installation of the latest Android operating system update. But before you instruct your phone to start the installation, it is essential to have your device’s battery about 80 percent charged to avoid an unexpected shutdown during the update process.
#3. Check if your phone has enough free internal storage space
Android operating system not only requires RAM to operate soundly (as you might have heard from a lot of people) but it also needs sufficient free storage space in the internal memory to perform all the tasks promptly without any hiccups.
Let’s suppose if your device has an internal storage space of 32GB and your data has consumed about 90 to 95 percent of this storage then you are going to experience a significant amount of lags as well as phone freezing problems. And this freezing issue will occur even if your Android phone has bigger RAM like somewhere around 8GB of RAM.
Let me explain why this happens:
Android phones installed with the minimal number of apps, let’s say somewhere around 3 to 5 frequently used social media apps like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter, will require less free storage space. But, as the number of apps installed on your phone starts to increase, then the need for Android for free storage space will grow too.
You may ask, why Android operating system needs free storage space?
If you are an Android user, then you may have heard about the cache cleaning apps, and how a large number of “Android experts” recommends you to frequently clear cache on your Android mobile phones to make it run faster.
Regardless of the harm this process of clearing cache causes to the performance of your Android device, we at BestForAndroid will never recommend you to opt for cache cleaning apps. The reason behind this is the Android operating system uses cached data to speed up the processing speed and decreases the launch time of your frequently used apps.
All of this cache data is stored in your device’s internal storage, and this is why Android needs enough free storage space to function properly.
How do I check how much free space my Android device has?
Here is the tutorial to check the amount of free storage space left on your Android device. Please note that the steps may vary depending on the version of the Android operating system running on your mobile phone.
- On your Android device, go to Settings.
- Tap on Device maintenance.
- Tap on Storage.
- Here you can find all the information related to your device storage.
How can I free up storage space on my Android phone?
Please follow the guide below to free up storage space on your Android phone. The following steps may vary depending on the version of the Android operating system running on your mobile phone.
- On your Android device, go to Settings.
- Tap on Device maintenance.
- Tap on Storage.
- From here, you can tap any option from the list of documents, images, audio, videos, and apps.
- For example, if you want to uninstall unused apps from your device then tap on the apps option, and the list of all the installed apps will appear along with the storage space any particular app is consuming.
- To uninstall any unused or unwanted app, tap on the check box next to the app name.
- Tap on Uninstall button located at the top-right corner.
Similarly, you can free up storage on your Android phone by removing unused photos, videos, documents, and any other data.
#4. Check for slow or faulty external storage SD card
Android phone manufactures included a great feature in the smartphones and tablet devices, i.e. SD card, which allows users to expand the storage space and store additional media content like photos, videos, movies, and even some apps that won’t usually fit into the phone’s internal storage.
But as I have already discussed in the previous section about how Android operating system is designed to use cache data to speed up the performance of the Android phones, so using an SD card to store your data will force the Android OS to create cache data for all the content stored in the external storage.
Even though this functionality is designed in such a way to makes it easier for the operating system to remember where the files are stored. But this same functionality negatively influences the performance of your phone and causes it to freeze.
This same cache building functionality makes the situation worse in those cases when you have a corrupted file stored in the SD card, and Android media indexer tries to continually generate a cache or thumbnail preview of that media file. This might sometimes cause Android phone freezing problems.
According to a research that was conducted by the NEC Laboratories America on the impact of performance on Android devices due to the SD card:
So as already mentioned in the research conclusion, the usage of SD card directly affects the overall performance of your Android phone.
Moreover, in the market, you are to find some cheap micro SD cards that claim to offer you over 16GB or 32GB of storage and are Class 10. But these flash storage cards will stop working once you store data over 7GB or 8GB. This will cause your Android mobile phone to freeze, give you sluggish read/write speeds, unexpected slowdowns, as well as lags in performance, will occur too.
To overcome this issue, I will recommend you to invest in a better microSD card — specifically those cards that provide a better reading and writing speeds. Also, you need to make sure that you are not moving any frequently used apps, especially those apps that keep running in the background, to your external SD storage.
How to find out if your Android phone’s SD card is slow or faulty?
The best way to find out if your SD card is causing your Android phone to freeze then follow these steps where we eject the SD card external storage through the storage settings option and then analyze the change in the performance of your phone:
- On your Android device, go to Settings.
- Tap on Device maintenance.
- Tap on Storage.
- Tap the menu button located at the top-right corner.
- Tap on Storage settings.
- Now, under the Portable Storage section, you will see your SD card along with the available and utilized storage space. Tap the Eject button.
- You will receive a message, SD card unmounted.
You can now try using your Android phone and see if you are still experiencing freezing or slow performance issues. Most probably, the Android phone freezing problem should go away after you have unmounted the SD card from your device.
#5. Try uninstalling apps that you have recently installed
One of the major plus points of having a smartphone that’s running an Android operating system is that you get easy access to millions and millions of free as well as paid apps through the Google Play Store. And in the Play Store, apps are neatly categorized in over 40 diverse categories, and within each category, there are thousands and thousands of apps.
And there are chances that you have installed an app that has issues and is causing your device to become unresponsive and freeze. Don’t know how that is going to happen? Read the next section where I have explained the possibility…
How installing apps could cause Android phone to freeze?
There are times when we are looking for a specific app in the store, for example let’s say an app for embedding GIFs within the WhatsApp or Messenger chats, the search for the term GIF is going to give you thousands of apps, and you decide to handpick about six of them and install it on your phone.
Even though it’s a simple app designed to give easy access to the database of already published GIFs as well as the ability to add a quick search shortcut onto your keyboard. But little do you know about how much is being performed in the backend of the app, how well the developers have designed it, and if all the glitches have been appropriately ironed out before releasing it to the public.
So what going to happen is that after maybe a week out of the six apps you recently installed on your device and trying them out, the problematic app could cause your phone or tablet to freeze unexpectedly. And you won’t be able to figure out what’s causing the issue.
How can I find out if any specific app is causing the issue?
Just like computers, Android devices also have an option that let you boot your device into a safe mode to find and resolve issues related to the apps you have downloaded from the Google Play Store. So please follow the steps below to restart your device into a safe mode:
- On your device, press and hold the Power button until the power off menu appears.
- Touch and hold the Power off button.
- A Safe mode menu will appear that will ask you to tap again to restart your phone in Safe mode. So tap the icon to reboot your phone.
- Once your phone boots up in Safe mode, you will see Safe mode mentioned on the bottom of the screen. Now you can analyze and see if you are experiencing any freezing issue.
In case the freezing issue has been resolved in the safe mode then just restart your phone to exit the safe mode. Now that you have figured out the downloaded apps were causing the issue, so what you have to do now is begin uninstalling your recently installed apps, but one at a time.
Once one app has been removed, and then you have to try to check your device for any clue for the non-responsiveness or freezing.
If the issue persists, then uninstall the second recently installed app, and check your device for problems. You have to continue doing this until you find the app that’s causing the problem.
Once you have found out which app was causing your Android phone to freeze, you can then start reinstalling all the other apps that you have removed in the process.
#6. Perform a factory data reset on your phone (Last resort)
As I have already mentioned in the heading, if all the other methods that I have mentioned above failed to fix your Android phone freezing or unresponsiveness issue then the last resort is to factory data reset your phone.
Doing this will bring your device to its original state when you first bought it from the store. All of the personalization will be removed, all the saved data will be erased including photos and videos, and all the apps will be uninstalled too. So it is recommended to create a backup of all your important data before you begin to perform a factory data reset on your phone.
Also, you must have to make sure you remember your Google account details like username and password because all of your contacts, calendar entries, and other relevant data are synced there. And these Google account data will be automatically restored after performing a reset, only after you login to the account on your device.
How can I perform factory data reset on Android?
In case you don’t know, the Android operating system comes with a built-in restore feature that makes it easier for the phone owners to get over the situations like freezing or unresponsiveness by performing a factory data reset.
Before we proceed to the steps to perform factory data resetting on your device, it is important to make you aware that there are two possible methods to reset your phone or tablet, you may need to select the method depending on the situation you are in at the moment.
The first method – This is an ideal method to perform a factory reset on your device as it is the easiest, requires you to have a running Android device and can be performed through the Settings menu.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Go to Settings and scroll down until you find Backup & Reset and tap it (or maybe you need to look for the General Management option).
- Tap on the Reset option.
- Tap on the Factory data reset option.
- You will get a warning screen where Android will warn you that all of your data will be erased from your phone. Please read the warning properly before proceeding.
- Once you are ready, tap the Reset button to begin the factory data reset process.
Since this feature takes your device to its factory state so, this process is going to take some time to complete, depending on the processor speed and RAM of your device. During the process, your phone will reboot automatically.
This should resolve any problem that could have been causing your phone to freeze unexpectedly.
The second method – This is the alternative method to perform a factory reset on your device and can only be performed on the Android device that is completely powered off. This method of factory data reset also known as a hard reset.
Here are the steps to perform a hard reset on your Android phone:
- You need to access the Android system recovery by pressing and holding a combination of two physical buttons on your phone, e. Volume Down button and the Power button.
- Release the buttons once the Android system recovery starts.
- Touch usually doesn’t work in the recovery, and the only way to scroll up and down in the recovery menu is by using the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons. So using the Volume Down button scroll down to the Factory Reset option and then to select this option press the Power
- Your device will now start performing the hard reset and should automatically reboot to the Android operating system once the reset process is completed.
Once your device boots, the initial setup screen will appear where you will be asked to enter your details like WiFi password, Google account details, and other relevant information.
When the setup has been completed, all the issues should be resolved, and your Android device will now be free from unexpected freezes and instability issues.