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Troubleshoot Issues with Apps

Sometimes apps on our phones don't work the way we expect them to work. In these cases, we call them 'misbehaving'. This is a term that covers everything from connectivity issues to low sound quality. In this article we share some easy steps, which can solve most problems.

Before you can address an app that misbehaves, you need to find the cause. Generally, there are three main reasons why an app is not working properly:

  • There is a pending update - keep your phone and apps up to date. The updates often include improvements and bug fixes.
  • There are issues with the phone's hardware - for example, the camera might be damaged. If that's the case, apps that use the camera will not be able to perform well.
  • The app itself has a bug.

Below you can find instructions on how to start the investigation.

 


Update

Update your phone

Make sure that your phone is up to date.

If you are not running the latest software, or you are not sure, update your Fairphone to the latest Fairphone OS.

 

Update your apps

  1. Open your Play Store and tap on your Profile icon in the top right corner.
  2. Tap on Manage apps and device Update all.
  3. Once the updates are done, start your app again and check if it works now.

If none of the above steps help, keep reading.

 


Issues with the hardware

The following questions can help you find out if the issue is with the hardware:

 

Does the issue occur only with one app or do other apps get similar issues?

You can test this by using another app with similar functions. For example, if the camera is not starting in Instagram, try to open another app with a camera function. Or if you have issues with connectivity in the YouTube app, try to visit their website via your browser.

 

Does the issue continue after a restart of the phone?

A smartphone is just a small computer. Sometimes computers can get random small issues. Those are often resolved by restarting (power off and then back on). In the same way people make more mistakes when they are tired, the restart can act as a good night's sleep.

 

Is your SIM card older than 2 years?

Ask your provider for a new one and test again. The SIM card, like every other electronic device, can deteriorate with time. And for that reason, it can cause seemingly random issues with your phone. So even if the issue seems unrelated, it's worth the shot.

 

If none of the above steps help, keep reading.

 


Issues with the app

Sometimes apps can get a bug from a recent update or conflict with other apps. In these cases you can check the following:

 

Does restarting the app resolves the problem?

To check this:

  1. Go to Settings → Apps → See all [number] apps.
    • Alternatively, go to Settings → Apps & Notifications → App info.
  2. Scroll until you find the app and tap on it.
  3. In the menu that opens, tap Force Stop.
  4. Start the app again by pressing on the icon of the app (from your home screen or app library).
  5. If the issue is solved, yay! If not, continue reading.

 

Does cleaning the storage and cache of the app resolve the problem?

To check this:

  1. Go to Settings → Apps → See all [number] apps.
    • Alternatively, go to Settings → Apps & Notifications → App info.
  2. Scroll until you find the app and tap on it.
  3. In the menu that opens, tap Storage & cache.
  4. In the menu that opens, tap Clear Storage.
  5. Start the app again, by pressing on the icon of the app (from your home screen or app library).
  6. If the issue is solved, yay! If not, continue reading.

 

(For downloaded apps) Does the issue happen again if the app is reinstalled?

To do this:

  1. Press and hold the app icon on your home screen or app library.
  2. Keeping your finger on the screen, start to drag the app icon in any direction.
  3. Once Uninstall appears on the top of the screen, drag the app icon and drop it on the text.
  4. You'll see a pop-up asking you if you want to uninstall the app. Tap OK.
  5. Navigate to Google Play and open it.
  6. Search for the app via the search bar at the top of the screen.
  7. Tap on the app in the search result and click on Install.
  8. Once the app is installed, open it and check if the issue is still there.

 

(For pre-installed apps) Does the issue also happen in Safe mode?

Check if the same thing happens in Safe mode.

If that helps, that means that an app that you installed has caused a software issue. To fix that:

  1. Make a backup.
  2. Perform a Factory reset.
  3. Without restoring your phone's data, start reinstalling the apps you had in groups of 5 and check if the issue comes back.
  4. When it comes back, uninstall the group of apps and start installing them one by one and testing after each one, until you find the culprit app.
  5. Once you know which app was causing the issue, perform a Factory reset again, this time restoring your phone's data and only uninstalling the app that's causing the issue.
    • If the issue doesn't happen again, perform a Factory reset again, this time restoring your phone's data, and test again.
      That means that some left-over files from a previously removed app were causing the issue.

 


If after reading the article you need more help, contact our Customer Support.