Android 4.2 random reboots getting Google fix soon

December 5, 2012

In case you own an Android 4.2 device – that means a Nexus handset or tablet for now – you may have experienced one of the currently reported Android 4.2 bugs, random reboots. But the good news is that Google has acknowledged the issue and it’s currently working on a fix that would probably be released in a future update.

Computer World managed to confirm with Google that the Android team is aware of the problem, although the Search giant did not specify why certain Nexus devices running Android 4.2 are seeing the reboots, nor did it mention when an update that would fix the matter would be released.

The same publication came to the conclusion that it’s not apps that are responsible for such crashes – with HD Widgets being one of the apps correlated with the random reboots – but that we’re most likely looking at a problem with the OS.

Moreover, apps would not be able to cause reboots independently, and the fact that HD Widgets was seen as the culprit for such errors is just a coincidence.

It would seem that the location-based services in Android 4.2 are somehow to blame for the crashes. Although it’s just an unconfirmed theory, it appears that turning off location-based services would stop reboots from happening. This may mean that there’s a problem with GPS and/or mobile network location handling in Android 4.2 which needs to be corrected, but again, nothing is confirmed by Google.

Another guess says that the lock screen widget feature could also be responsible for the reboots.

So why is HD Widgets being tied with random reboots by some users? Computer World explains that not only is the app using location-based services, but it also supports Android 4.2’s lock screen widget feature, being “one of the first and most prominent third-party apps to offer support for that functionality.” However, Google has apparently confirmed that the app is not responsible and “the bug resides on the OS level.”

Our own Joshua Vergara has experienced the issue while working on the Nexus 10 review, and we’re certainly going to keep you updated on this particular problem.

Let’s hear it from you, Android 4.2 users, have you experienced these random reboots issues?


  • chris125

    No reboots here on nexus 7. At least they can get it worked out for manufacturers once they start using 4.2 as a base since 4.2&4.2.1 still seem pretty buggy. Should have just stayed with 4.1 and worked all the bugs out and added these enhancements and whatever else they have planned in 5.0

  • Michael Hickman

    Both my Nexus 10 and 7 4.2 reboots randomly.

  • Alain Lafond

    I have Gaaxy Nexus, and that’s the reason why I downgraded CM 10.
    Happy to know that Google knows and plan t fix the problem.
    Thanks for the info AA.
    Up to date as usual…

    • Markus Ressel

      I have only reboots on my Nexus 10 but so rarely, I didnt care much (because I knew Google would fix such a huge issue as fast as they can). On my Galaxy Nexus everything seems to work just fine.

      • Justin W

        They only seem to happen to me when I’m not using it, but it’s kinda weird to see it randomly reboot.

  • Justin W

    Random reboots present on my nexus 10, but I knew Google would get a fix figure out.

    • a22matic

      Yep, me too. That’s part of the benefit of having a Nexus device.

    • Alex Zhao

      You are so tolerant of faults of Google. gSheep are unbelievable.

      • a22matic

        Nope, the device has been out for less than a month, and Google has acknowledged the problem, and stated a fix for it will come out soon. Thats way more than some manufacturer’s do (without naming any names).

        • Justin W

          I’m going with Apple. They acknowledged the issue with Maps but haven’t fixed it yet.

          • RarestName

            Apparently they are asking people to submit reports to their servers and they will “fix” the so-called bugs.

          • Hilo Yang

            And Google came to rescue! Releases their own map LOL

        • Randy Sylmar

          A month or a day it doesn’t matter. If I fork out money for a product I want it to work right out of the box. Maybe I’m crazy but I kind of expect a working functional product. It isn’t the case with google. I have had more problems with my nexus 10 in less than a month than I’ve had with my Nexus 7 in 4. Same games and apps yet the Nexus 10 can barely run it.

          To add to it I’ve been basically subjected to only using this thing to play videos because I can’t run chrome lag free or crash free. I started seeing reboots after I downloaded Dolphin. Sorry, but either this tablet was made for developers use only, this tablet was not ready to be shipped or was JB 4.2. Either way I am not a happy customer.

          With the hassle I had to go through just ordering this damn thing you think the trade off would be a decent product which I was clearly wrong. You can’t be an “iPad” killer when you can’t even impress the android crowd. We have the hardware for it why are we taking step backwards software wise. Get it together Google!

        • nothing2say

          Nice! A few months have passed. There has been nothing from Google yet. Eventually, I find my solution to prevent my Nexus 10 from crash: turn off it. Put it on the center of my bookshelf. It is a nice decoration, isn’t it? It hasn’t crash since then.

  • Perry Ahern

    HD Widgets may not be to blame, but uninstalling it fixed the problem for me. I haven’t had a random reboot since I removed it 4 or 5 days ago.

  • Lawrence Ellul

    Getting my nexus 7 in a few days time. I prefer not to upgrade until this problem is rectified..

  • stranded

    I can confirm that I do have random reboots on Nexus 7 with HD Widget onstalled.

  • mikee

    Once an evening — every evening — my Nexus 7 reboots. The reasoning above sounds spot on. I run HD widgets, and I also noticed the reboots tend to occur when using an app that accesses location. I can’t wait for the patch!

  • wesomatic

    I have reboots on my Nexus7. Kind of felt it was a bug. Very happy to read this article can’t put my nexus down. Have to send it back because ear phone jack does not work. So sad….

  • Jared Persinger

    I just got my 4.1.1 update so I won’t be looking for this for atleast 2 months

  • rad

    soft reset fix it. I used to have until I did factory defaults.
    Galaxy Nexus.

  • JBobea

    I have reboots almost everyday on my nexus 7, turning off location-based services did not stop the reboots. I had the same problem with 4.1.

  • arb

    yes, all the time on nexus 7

  • Howie

    Haven’t had a single random reboot om my n7 16 GB. I have not noticed a single bug since I updated to 4.2

  • Robert Caldecott

    No reboots for me on my N7 but performance is terrible, so I hope this is addressed.

  • Rodrigo Alves de Brito

    I haven’t experienced any reboots so far, and I’ve been using 4.2.1 for two weeks. HOWEVER, the performance on this version of Android is terrible! It seems that
    Project Butter has never existed… by swiping through apps and widgets in the
    app drawer you can see the screen freezing. And when you remove apps from the
    multitask side bar the same thing happens. Ah! And I can’t forget to mention
    the rotation issue… rotating the screen between portrait and landscape has
    become a nightmare, and it gets even worse when using the camera app. It’s a
    whole 2-3 seconds to perform the change. I do hope this upcoming update fixes
    these bugs as well.

  • 10and4

    I beg to differ with this conclusion that its not app related. I own a 10 (and a 4 but its sitting under my Xmas tree), and I’ve seen the reboot no less than 5x in the past few weeks. EVERY time it happens, is when I’m using Chrome. The app will freeze the entire system, and after about 60s it reboots. Its annoying, but switching to Dolphin resolved it for me. I just hope the fix comes soon, along with other optimizations I feel are missing for this extremely new A15 architecture.

  • Beth

    My nexus 10 rebooted every 1-5 minutes when sitting idle. Never had HD widgets installed, turned off all location services, stopped using chrome, and did a factory reset. To which the google support guy asked me, “Did you reboot after the factory reset?” Um, yeah; about 20 times while on hold waiting to talk to you. I returned it and asked for a refund. Perhaps I’ll try again in another month or so when these issues have been worked out. In my case, I suspect it was hardware, not the OS.

  • Stelios Pitsillides

    Nexus 4 here. Got the device yesterday and updated to 4.2. Rebooted at least 3 times since then – that i witnessed. Not using HD widgets but had location services on. Turned it off, waiting to see what ‘ll happen next. Google needs to attend to this asap not “in the next incremental update” which could be in quite some time. (who knows?)

  • Lee Sandy

    Yep, 3-5 times per day if I use it regularly. 1-2 time per day if not – nexus 10

  • mike

    HD widgets just released an update that says it includes a “possible fix for 4.2 reboots.” I’ve installed the update and, I must say, have not had any random reboot. Still to early to say for sure, but this update may solve the problem for the HD Widget reboot crowd. Fingers crossed!

    • Indra S.

      I don’t have HD Widgets installed on my Nexus 10 – but if HD Widget folks have fixed it, may be I should get it to see if they did fix it… Wdyt?

  • thecomputron

    I’ve had a Nexus 7 since day one, and although I can recall random reboots in the beginning, I haven’t witnessed one since I’ve been at 4.2(.1). Considering how often it’s used, it would seem unlikely to miss. Until reading this article, I had come to the conclusion that it was fixed :/
    My Galaxy Nexus on the other hand still has the (very) occasional reboot, though there are so many things installed on that, it’s hard to pinpoint.

  • Roll

    Yeah I have a new Nexus 7 and I’ve been getting random reboots since the update. Hope they get it fixed soon.

  • Indra S.

    I’m seeing random reboots – typically an application will just freeze and soon after that the Nexus 10 will reboot. Most frequently it happens while in the Chrome browser.

    I seem to also randomly see network freezes. A wifi shutoff and restart fixes it for a while. Anyone else see this? I sure hope I’m not alone.

  • DanF

    Owner of Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10 both on 4.2.1 and have been for a while. This does NOT fix rebooting issues. Even after factory reset.

    The Nexus 10 reboots up to 5 times a day, as someone else mentioned, when it is sitting idle mostly but also in use (namely Chrome)

    The Galaxy Nexus has had rare rebooting instances but stopped when I uninstalled HD Widgets. The bluetooth service however, which I use daily for calls and music is unusable. Stuttering, cut outs and loss of connection. The camera app also seems slower and clunkier (but now I’m nitpicking)

    Bizarrely, my GFs Nexus 7 seems to be totally fine so far!

    Ultimately, I’m pretty cheesed off with Google’s attitude and how they’re handling this. How can it take so long to get to the bottom of these bugs with the entire Android team working on it!? It’s not going to help Android’s reputation in the slightest.

  • Hebob

    any news on the fix for this bug?

  • drufe

    Got my Nexus 4 about a week ago and it’s rebooted/frozen up at least 4-5 times a day, most of the time just sitting in my pocket. It gets very hot so I know it’s cranking on something (probably LBS). I’m going to turn off LBS to see if reboots subside. My Nexus 7 running 4.2.1 hasn’t had any of these problems. I have to say I absolutely love my Nexus 4 (when it works) but Google really needs to step up their QA efforts before releasing something this flaky. It’s embarrassing and I could not in good faith recommend this device to a friend or family member that isn’t in the tech business and doesn’t mind fiddling with the device and restarting it multiple times a day. :(

  • Stick

    On my second Nexus 7 with 4.2 and I get the random reboots without having HD widgets. I find it tends to happen when I go in and out of WiFi range.

  • dynadom

    I have a nexus 10 this happens every time I try to load a page in chrome it freezes reboots.

  • Gary Wilkinson

    All these 4.2 bugs have hurt my impression of the Nexus brand. Quite upsetting, hopefully they get it sorted quickly.

  • Scott

    Anyone having this problem with Android 4.2.1 on their Nexus 10 should follow the link to Google’s bug tracker on this issue and star it. More stars hopefully with mean more attention.

  • Jeremy

    How is everyone’s Nexus holding up? I returned mine because of this issue. The Nexus was great, but not worth the hassle. I chronicled my saga here: The freezing was the least of my frustration. Dealing with Google support was just horrible.

  • pissed

    This is pretty ridiculous how long its taking to release a critical bug. The device crashes so often I am ashamed to use it in public. Class action lawsuit might wake them up.

  • harsh

    when is update expected?

  • Zoosha

    Nexus 7 tablet, 7 days old, great on 4.1 but after update 2 days ago the screen constantly goes black then if you press the power button the screen flashes up and then goes black again. Happening all the time and has rendered this product usless, i’m very very angry with google for rushing out an update thats not been fully tested. i dont have HD widgets i have turned off the location and done everything recommended. i want to revert back to 4.1

  • Jane

    A few random reboots on my Galaxy Nexus after upgrading to 4.2, but no problems at all on my Nexus 7.

  • Jamie L.

    I have had my asus tf300 for almost a year and never had a problem. Just got the update to 4.2.1 last week and inhave been having the reboot problem every day just about. I have not changed anything or downloaded and new apps so it is definately the new android update that is the problem and i hope they fix it soon.

  • Guest

    Experience same Problem – got Tiere ob it. Google please fix this ASAP

  • Heiner F

    Have experienced same problem and I’m tired about it. Google please fix this ASAP !

  • Allan Sethsson

    My phone crashes at least once a day. I’m getting fed up with having to pull out the battery on a daily basis! It was fine and stable before 4.2.1

  • Macdraw

    See me it reboots all the time when it is fully charged it at some point turns off and when i try to turn it back on it does nothing so i plug it to the charger it turns on but it gets to the lockscreen and shows 0% of battery and you know that fully charged it and when it gets to the lock screen it does not lat more than a second to reboot again and then it just stops working please help me guys !!!

  • Galen

    My Samsung Galaxy SII’s only function now is to constantly restart. I have a phone. That is an annoying, endlessly vibrating paper weight. So props to Google. I give you hundreds of dollars, and 12 months later, the thing I pay $120 for a month is useless.

  • manas


  • panzerbjorn

    most of the commentors don’t seem to realize that nexus devices are “developer” devices which means that we get first crack at all of the new goodies that google puts out since they develop for the reference nexus platform, but the other side of this is that we’re also the first to see the parts of android that don’t work or don’t work well. We pay for the privilege of being on the bleeding edge but there’s a price to be a beta tester. knowing this it’s illogical for people to start complaining that they have a bad customer experience because something went wrong. If you have a google account, gmail or have done anything on google in the past 5 years you’ll know that everything is in perpetual beta, upgrades come out, features are added and removed and as geeks we deal with it by reporting and being proactive. It looks like Google is addressing this issue and there are things we can do on our own, really we shouldn’t be complaining like privileged consumers but rather interacting like people engaged in a development community. and if you’re not wanting to do that, maybe a nexus device isn’t for you.

  • anant

    My xolo q2000 reboots several times a day n i thonk i ll hv to blame the charging for it because as soon as i insert the chrging usb in phones dock it reboots theres something strange going on in android 4.2.1