3 Android smartphones on a table with Andy the Android logo on the screen.

For many of us, our Android phone is one of our most important possessions. It contains pretty much everything you need. All your personal information, all your access to the world around you.

While Androids phones are generally reliable, they’re not without their issues. Depending on the manufacturer and model you have, you might face more issues than others.

The silver lining here is there are a lot of common problems that all Androids experience, and they all have common solutions. Check out this handy guide we’ve put together to help you fix just about any problem you might have!

Cracked Screen

There’s not much worse than that sinking feeling you get when you drop your phone. The slow bend to pick it up. The prayer that it’s not shattered to bits. The quiet rage when it is.

If you can’t deal with big cracks marring your screen or you’re afraid of slicing your fingers on a sharp edge—fear not! Cracked screens are probably our most common repair. We can replace your screen in as little as 15 minutes.

If you’re particularly tech-inclined or really trying to save money, you can find DIY screen repair kits and instructions online. But be warned: there’s a decent chance you can ruin your phone if you’re not exceedingly careful.

Rapid Battery Drain or Early Shutdown

We also run into a lot of battery issues. If you’re having to charge your phone up multiple times per day—especially if you’re not using it constantly—you could be looking at a number of issues.

First off, if your phone is more than 2 years old, your battery is probably getting pretty shot. After so much usage, phone batteries begin to lose their charging capacity.

A fully charged lithium-ion battery typically loses about 20% of its capacity after 1 year of use. A 3,400 mAh battery might only hold 60% of that after a few years—that’s a few hours of battery life lost per charge. If this is the case, you’ll want to start thinking about replacing your battery or your phone.

Phones less than 2 years old should not be having battery issues (again, unless you’re a continuous power user). When you’re having battery trouble with a newer phone, the issue is likely related to a software issue with an app or Android OS.

Fixing Rapid Battery Drain

You can download a battery-monitoring app like AccuBattery to assess your phone’s battery usage over time. After a few days of normal use, you’ll be able to see exactly which apps use the most data (among other bits of useful information). Some of this information is also available under the Battery section of your Android settings.

Here are some common solutions for battery problems caused by software issues:

You should also beware that these commonly used apps are just battery hogs and there’s no way around it:

  • Facebook and Facebook Messenger
  • Snapchat, Instagram & Tik Tok
  • WhatsApp
  • YouTube, Netflix & Hulu
  • Lots of mobile games, especially those with high graphics or lots of video ads

Of note: battery-boosting apps simply do not work and should be avoided entirely. All of them. They claim to save battery by closing background apps. In reality, these apps cause more problems than they solve by closing down necessary background apps and processes, which start right back up again. It’s like parking and turning your car off at every stop to save gas.

Charging Port & Cable Issues

It’s also not uncommon to have problems with your charging port and/or charging cable. The 2 most common of these are loose charging cables and slow charging. The former is usually caused by accumulated dust and dirt in your charging port. The latter is often due to knockoff or faulty cables and power adapters (the little brick you plug in the wall).

Cleaning Your Charging Port

Just about everyone’s experienced a loose charging port. You go to plug your phone in, and the cable either falls out, or you have to jimmy it around to get it to connect properly. Thankfully, this is largely something you can fix on your own by cleaning it out. But you have to do it carefully:

  • Get yourself a safety pin, small paperclip, or something similarly sturdy and narrow.
  • Using this tool, carefully scrape around the edges and bottom of the port. This will dredge up the accumulated lint, dust and dirt. Do not touch the gold contacts inside the charging port. This could cause damage and prevent charging and data transfer.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush out the loosened debris.
  • Blow into the port to further clear out the debris. Do not use pressurized or canned air. It can damage the gold contacts.

If these steps don’t resolve your issue, you could be looking at a damaged port. Bring it in to us and we’ll take a look.

Slow Charging or Not Charging at All

If you’re experiencing slow charging, or you’re getting a warning about an unsupported or unrecognized charger when you plug your phone in, you can safely assume you have a bad charging cable or power adapter.

The days of gas station chargers are long over. For one, most manufacturers have switched to proprietary chargers because the cheap ones were eating into their profits.

For two, most phones now have some sort of fast charging capability and need a specific type of power adapter to achieve that. But don’t worry! If you’ve lost your manufacturer charger, you don’t have to spring for a premium-priced replacement—you can find good ones on Amazon. Anker, a 3rd-party manufacturer with a reliable reputation, makes great chargers, power banks, cables and other accessories for a reasonable price.

If your phone isn’t charging at all and the above advice didn’t help, you’re probably looking at a broken charging port. Bring it in to us and we’ll take a look. Usually, this can be fixed.

Lagging, Freezing & Crashing

Smartphones are mini computers with a lot going on inside. Besides whatever app you’re using, you have apps and processes constantly running in the background.

If you have too much going on and your phone doesn’t have the resources to keep up, you’ll notice a dip in performance in the form of apps (or the OS) lagging, freezing or crashing. These problems can usually be improved if not fixed if you address the following areas.

Freeing Up Storage Space

Your smartphone has limited storage space for apps, photos and other files. These days smartphones typically have 64GB (which is quite small) to 256GB (which is quite roomy). Some Android phones can also take an external SD card for extra storage space.

In addition to storing all your phone’s data, storage space can also be used as extra RAM space by your phone’s processor (more on that in a moment). If you have less than 1GB available and the processor gets overloaded, you might notice some performance issues.

If you’re running low on storage, you can usually free up space in the following ways:

  • Uninstall unused and unnecessary apps. Some Android OS versions will even show you which apps haven’t been used in a while under the Storage settings.
  • Clean up old downloads and files. You can either go through your downloads manually using the File Manager app, or if you’re running Android 11, you can use the file cleanup tool under the Android Storage settings.
  • Backup photos to the cloud. Google Photos makes it simple to back up your photos and clear up space:
    • First go to your Library and make sure all your folders with images you want to keep have backup & sync enabled. If you need to back up a bunch of photos, you’ll need to give it some time to upload everything.
    • Next, tap your Google Account icon at the top right of the screen. You should see a menu showing the storage space of your Google Account and an option to free up space below that. Tapping on that option will delete all backed-up photos from your phone’s internal storage.

Clearing Cache and Cookies

When your Android opens and runs programs and apps, it temporarily stores little program files and bits of data (called cookies) to help it manage these multiple processes more efficiently. This temporary storage is called cache memory.

While cache memory helps the Android OS to open and operate apps more quickly and efficiently each time they’re opened, these temporary files will accumulate into a mess of several GBs over time and can clog up your memory and hamper performance.

You can clear your phone’s cache and even caches for individual apps to potentially improve your phone’s performance.

 

  • To clear your Android OS cache, go to your “Android Settings” > “Storage”, and look for “Cache” or “Cached Data,” usually at the top or bottom of the list; tap on that option to clear it out. Deleting cache can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more, depending on its size.
  • To clear individual app cache, go to your “Android Settings” > “Apps” or “App Manager.” Locate the app you want to clear and tap on it. From there you should see an option to clear cache.

 

  • These are general steps for Android OS and will different between phone manufacturers and even OS versions. You can find specific instructions for your device online.

Check for App & Android OS Updates

Out-of-date apps and OSes can also lead to performance issues. Updating them can often alleviate these issues:

 

  • To update an app, go to the Play Store, then tap the top-left hamburger menu and select “My apps & games.” You will see a list of all pending updates there. If your phone is not set to auto-update apps, you can set that up in the Playstore by going to the “Menu” > “Settings” > “Auto-update apps” > select “Wi-Fi only” or “Wi-Fi or over any network.”
  • To check for OS updates, go to Android Settings and scroll down to the bottom and look for “System update” in the “System” or “About Phone” menus, depending on your manufacturer and current OS version.

 

Running a New OS on an Older Phone

As technology progresses with new phones, OSes apps are updated to be able to take advantage of these new features. They get bigger and require more resources to do what they want to do.

Newer phones have those resources in abundance. Older phones do not. After a few years, your phone simply can’t keep up with the demands of newer OSes. Google itself only guarantees 2 years of Android OS updates to its Pixel lineup. After that, new versions will be too unwieldy for older phones.

All this is to say that if you’re using a phone over 2 years old, you can’t expect it to perform the way it used to.

Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Connectivity Issues

Wireless connectivity has been one of technology’s greatest luxuries. We take it for granted, and when it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work right.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the 2 main wireless features that smartphones use. They’re usually reliable, but issues do arise from time to time.

Common Wi-Fi Issues & Solutions

If you’re having trouble with your Wi-Fi connection, your problem lies in 1 of 2 places: your phone or your modem and Wi-Fi router. There are several different Wi-Fi connectivity issues people run into:

  • Failing to reconnect to a saved network
  • Dropping connection intermittently
  • Slow data speeds

There are also a few solutions that tend to work across the board for all Wi-Fi issues:

 

  • Make sure you’re in range of the Wi-Fi router. Wi-Fi networks only broadcast about 150 feet indoors. You’ll experience connection issues even before that, especially if there are multiple walls or obstructions between you and the router.

 

    • Restart your phone. This is a great first step for nearly every problem you have with your phone.
    • Forget the network you’re connecting to under “Android Settings” > “Wi-Fi.” Tap and hold on the network in question and select “Forget.” Reconnect using the correct login information.

 

  • Adjust your Wi-Fi settings under “Android Settings” > “Wi-Fi” > “Wi-Fi preferences.” If you’re not worried about using your mobile data, enable the toggle to turn on “Switch to mobile data automatically,” and your phone will drop the Wi-Fi connection if it’s too slow.
  • Reset your network settings under “Android Settings” > “System” > “Reset options” > “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.” This will delete all saved connections and return your network settings to default.
  • Reset your modem and router. Unplug both the modem and router and leave them unplugged for at least 10 seconds. Plug the modem back in first, wait a few seconds, then plug the router in. Allow a few minutes for everything to start back up.

 

Bluetooth Issues & Solutions

If you’re having trouble connecting to a Bluetooth device, try these common solutions:

 

  • Forget the Bluetooth device connection under “Android Settings” > “Bluetooth”. Tap the gear to the right of the connection name then tap “Forget.”
  • Re-pair the connection following the Bluetooth device’s instructions.

 

  • Reset your network settings under “Android Settings” > “System” > “Reset options” > “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth.” This will delete all saved connections and return your network settings to default.

Cellular Repair & Exchange Is Here to Help

Don’t let a bust phone hold you back! If none of the above advice helped fix any of your issues, bring your phone here to the experts at Cellular Repair & Exchange. Located in Tulsa, we can fix just about anything on any mobile device.

We also have affordable replacement phones if your device can’t be repaired and you don’t have a phone upgrade available. Don’t lock yourself into another contract if you don’t have to!

If you have questions about how we can help you, contact us here or call us at 918-551-6550.