- Apps crashing on an Android device is not uncommon, but there are several ways to troubleshoot the problem.
- You can often fix a crashing app by force-stopping the app and restarting it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, check your WiFi and make sure you have enough free storage space.
- Try each of these eight troubleshooting tips to fix a problematic app.
- Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.
The best part of having a modern smartphone is access to the virtually limitless array of apps in the Google Play store. But life with a lot of apps on your phone is a double-edged sword; if you routinely encounter unstable apps, using your phone can become difficult or frustrating. If this is happening to you, there are a few things you can try to solve the problem.
What to do if apps keep crashing on Android
There are many possible reasons why apps crash on Android, so the best approach is to try to troubleshoot the situation, starting with the easiest and most convenient fixes first. Here are eight things you can try if you encounter a misbehaving Android app that crashes on your device.
Make sure your Android operating system is up to date
When you’re having a problem with your phone, it’s always a good idea to start by making sure your operating system is up to date and to install any available updates. This eliminates the possibility that the problem is caused by an easily fixed bug.
Force the problematic app to close
If an app freezes or crashes repeatedly when you try to use it, the first thing you should try is to force it to stop, and then start the app again. If that solves your problem, you probably don’t have a larger issue and can keep working. To force an app to stop:
1. Start the Settings app.
2. Tap Apps & notifications.
3. Find the crashing app in the list of apps. You might need to tap See all apps.
4. Tap the app.
5. On the app’s details page, tap Force stop.
6. Start the app again and see if that has solved your problem.
Make sure you have stable WiFi
Some apps deal with weak or unstable WiFi connections poorly, and can freeze or crash if the internet is unavailable in the middle of a task when the app expects to have internet access. To troubleshoot this possibility, turn off your WiFi and rely entirely on your cellular signal (assuming, of course, that you have a strong signal).
1. Pull down the Control Panel from the top of the screen.
2. Tap the WiFi icon to disable WiFi.
3. Start the app and see if it runs without crashing.
Restart your Android device
If one or more apps are still freezing or crashing, you might be able to resolve the issue with a restart — a common troubleshooting technique is to turn the device off and back on again to eliminate any glitches that might reside in memory and to let all the system software start fresh.
To restart most Android devices, press and hold the power button until you see a screen with a Power off or Shut down button, then tap it to complete the shutdown.
Reinstall the app
It’s possible that the app is out of date and incompatible with another app on your phone, or with some aspect of the current version of the Android operating system. It’s even possible that something went wrong when the app was installed, and it’s partially corrupted. The solution: Uninstall the app from your Android device and then install a fresh version from the Google Play store.
If you prefer, you can check to see if there is an update available for the app.
Clear the problem app’s data cache
If none of the steps so far have kept the app from crashing, you might have a problem with corrupted data in the app’s data. Clear the cache and test the app again. The steps to clear the cache might vary slightly depending upon which version of Android you have, but here’s the general process:
1. Start the Settings app.
2. Tap Apps & Notifications.
3. Go to the list of apps (tap See all apps if necessary) and tap the app that’s causing problems.
4. Tap Storage & cache.
5. Tap Clear cache.
Make sure there’s enough free space on your device
In the same way that an unreliable WiFi connection can cause some apps to crash or misbehave, if you have very little free storage space available on your phone, apps can become unstable.
Start by checking to see how much space is available on your Android. Start the Settings app and scroll down to Storage. You should be able to see how much space is free without tapping, but tap Storage to see details about how much space is free and what kinds of apps and data are using it.
When you’re ready to do some house cleaning, free up storage space on your phone by deleting apps, photos, and other kinds of data you no longer need. Then see if the additional storage space solved your problem.
Uninstall the problematic app
If you tried all of these troubleshooting steps and you have an app that continues to crash frequently, it’s entirely possible — even likely — that it’s a buggy app or an app that’s fundamentally incompatible with other software on your phone. Your best bet is to report the app to the developer (which you can do from the developer contact section of the app’s page in the Google Play store) and then stop using it or even uninstall the app until it’s updated and working properly.