Android Marshmallow problems: troubleshooting guide

by: Kris CarlonFebruary 19, 2016

Android 6 Marshmallow raining crop

The Android Marshmallow update may have only rolled out to just over one percent of Android devices but that number is about to pick up significantly, with Samsung releasing Marshmallow for the Galaxy S6 and LG pushing it out for the G4 and G3. Nexus users and Moto X Pure Edition owners have been enjoying Android 6.0 for a while though.

While Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings a lot of great changes to Android, it’s not without at least a few flaws. With that in mind, here are the major Android Marshmallow problems new updaters can expect to encounter, and how you can fix them.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0126See also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – February 12, 2016137

Marshmallow battery drain

Battery drain is the one sure-fire update problem that almost everyone experiences eventually. Not surprisingly, Marshmallow battery drain is one one of the major Android 6.0 problems being bandied about the interwebs. Early cases of misattributed Wi-Fi battery drain tended to just be bad system reporting, but other more serious battery problems are easy enough to deal with.

If your phone or tablet is suffering from genuine battery drain after the marshmallow update, the easiest thing to do is wipe the system partition, also known as the system cache. Think of this like emptying the smelly juice out of the trash can before putting a new bin liner in: it leaves things fresh and clean for the future rather than having them polluted by leftovers of the past.

Nexus 5X VS Moto X Pure Edition-19

Depending on your particular device, the path may be slightly different, but for Nexus devices:

  • Go to Settings > Storage and USB > Cached Data > OK. This will wipe your system partition.

You can also do the same thing from recovery mode:

  • Turn your phone off
  • Hold Power and Volume Down to access Fastboot (again, this process differs with different devices)
  • Use the volume buttons to highlight Recovery and press Power to confirm.
  • If you see the Android robot, press Power, then Volume up briefly to access Recovery.
  • Scroll down to Wipe cache partition and hit Power to confirm.
  • Scroll down to Yes and hit Power to confirm.
  • Reboot

If the problem persists, you can also clear the app cache for your device (explained below) and the last resort is to do a full backup and perform a factory reset. Wiping your device and restoring your apps and data is one of the simplest and best ways to avoid any weirdness following an Android update, including battery drain and general system performance issues. Fortunately, once you’re on marshmallow, you’ll have Google’s improved app backup and restore options.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Marshmallow app crashes or freezes

Some users have also been experiencing random app crashes after the Marshmallow update. If you notice is it always the same app that crashes, it may just be a mismatched API issue (Marshmallow is API 23 and not all apps are compatible with it yet). The easiest thing to do is clear the app cache.

  • Go to Settings > Apps > [choose app] > Storage > Clear cache. This will clear a single app’s cache.

If you’re not sure which app is responsible, or lots of them are crashing, you can also clear the cache for all apps simultaneously:

  • Go to Settings > Storage and USB > Cached data > OK. This will clear the app cache for all installed apps.

Facebook Messenger Twitter Shutterstock

Marshmallow app syncing problems

Following the update to Android 6.0, some Nexus users were reporting issues with app syncing, mostly with email apps like Gmail and Inbox. Various explorations pinpointed Doze mode as the culprit, whereby the apps either synced very slowly or not at all due to Doze’s restriction of background processes.

The issue was marked as resolved by Google in early February, with a fix being applied in the first half of February. As mentioned at the time, there is no OTA or system update required, the problem was clearly just on Google’s side, but if LG or Samsung owners suffer the same problem, be sure to send a bug report to Google in case it is a simple Google-side fix again.

Marshmallow installation problems

Last year many Nexus users had Marshmallow installation problems due to a “missing system.img” error. Long story short, this was due to the flash-all.bat file not allowing the system image to be flashed.

The workaround is simple: just unpack the zipped image file, put all the unzipped update files in the same folder and flash each file individually via terminal commands (see the very bottom of this article for more detailed instructions). This won’t be a problem for Samsung and LG users, but it might reappear in future Marshmallow updates for Nexus devices.

All unpacked update files together

Marshmallow random reboots

The Marshmallow random reboot problem started happening almost instantaneously for a lot of folks after the update to Android 6.0, mostly when plugged into mains power. Some Nexus owners got a reprieve by reflashing the factory image or updating to Android 6.0.1.

Others solved the problem by disabling or uninstalling Greenify. Franco, hells-Core and ElementalX kernels were also found to be incompatible with 6.0 but seemed to work fine again on 6.0.1. The Weather Live app was also deemed to be guilty, based on a fatal exception on Android 6.0.

The long story short is there is no definitive solution for this problem yet, and we’re more than likely going to see it affecting Galaxy devices and the G4 soon. Strangely enough, at first a faulty power button was accused, and despite happening to lots of people simultaneously after the Marshmallow update, it seems to have at least a little credibility.


Marshmallow GPS problems

Following the earliest updates to Marshmallow, GPS accuracy took a hit, with many users logging the problem on the AOSP issue tracker. Despite more than 150 comments, Google still seems unable to find a solution, requesting more bug reports be submitted to help pinpoint the problem.

Suggested fixes include toggling GPS on and off, ensuring Wi-Fi scanning is enabled under Settings > Location > [overflow menu] > Scanning > Wi-Fi scanning > On or switching to Battery-Saving Mode for GPS accuracy, but no permanent fix has yet been identified.

Google Maps Driving Mode

Marshmallow Wi-Fi problems

If you suffer from Wi-Fi connectivity problems after the update, try the following: toggle Wi-Fi on and off, enter Airplane Mode and exit again, forget and re-add your network connections, reboot your phone and finally go to Settings > Backup and reset > Network settings reset > Reset settings. This will reset all of your connections, including Wi-Fi, cellular and Bluetooth, so be aware of that before pulling the trigger. The same steps generally help with Bluetooth connectivity problems too.

Marshmallow data problems

If you suffer from data connectivity issues after an update, the solutions are equally low-brow: turn your phone off and on again, toggle mobile data on and off, remove and replace your SIM card and toggle Airplane Mode on and off. If these don’t help, hit your carrier’s support pages to see if others are having the same problem and contact your carrier to see if there are any known connectivity issues on the new Android version.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_1266

Marshmallow performance problems

General system sluggishness is another frequent complaint following an Android update. The easiest way to deal with it is to clear the system cache (outlined above) and if that doesn’t help, to simply do a backup and factory reset your device. There are plenty of great backup solutions out there, both computer-based and via apps.

If that seems a bit extreme, you can take the long route, by booting into Safe Mode to identify if the performance problem is app related. Safe Mode disables all third-party apps, so you can discover if the problem is caused by an app you installed. If it is, you’ll need to clear app caches or systematically uninstall each app and test performance. If your device is unstable or sluggish even in Safe Mode, then it’s a system performance issue and you should just factory reset.

Personally, the way I always avoid update problems is to backup before I update, factory reset, update, factory reset again and then restore my apps and data. While this process may seem like a pain, I never have battery or performance problems following an Android update and it’s definitely faster than endlessly looking for solutions and trying various fixes. Trust me, find a backup solution you trust and give the process a try next time you see an update notification.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0137

If all else fails: factory reset

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do and you’ve tried everything. No matter what half-baked or serious-sounding solution you attempt the problem persists. In these cases you have no choice but to bite the bullet and performa a factory reset. Many people find this option to be extreme, but it really isn’t. As mentioned above, simply backup your essential apps and data, factory reset and then restore and go about your business.

You can do a factory reset in the Android settings by going to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone. Alternatively you can do the same thing from recovery, by turning your device off and following the steps outlined in the battery drain section of this article. Remember, the exact button combination is different for different manufacturers.

Factory Reset Protection Nexus 6P

Installation troubleshooting

The following instructions are for Nexus users that experience problems manually flashing a firmware update using the flash-all.bat file. Simply unpack the zipped image file and move the contents to the same folder the rest of the update files are located (where flash-all.bat is located) and execute the following Fastboot commands. If any of the files are missing, just skip them.

  • fastboot flash bootloader <bootloader-filename>.img
  • fastboot flash radio <radio-filename>.img (if there is no radio file you can skip this step)
  • fastboot reboot-bootloader
  • fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  • fastboot flash boot boot.img
  • fastboot flash system system.img
  • fastboot flash vendor vendor.img (only required for Nexus 9)
  • fastboot flash cache cache.img
  • fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
  • fastboot reboot

We want this list to be responsive, so if you are suffering from a problem not already covered – or you’ve found a fix for the one of the unsolved problems above – please hit the comments and let us know. If you see a comment posted with a problem you also suffer from, please upvote it so it gathers visibility.

  • John

    So marshmallow is like very android version one big bug?

    Ah, I don’t care, still love Android :D

  • Hunter Miller

    Greenify actually helped with the battery drain on my Nexus 6p

  • alex

    I would say that the biggest Marshmallow problem is that very few actually have it installed.

    • Arshdeep Singh Saini


      • frustrated too

        I installed the Marshmallow 6.0 two months ago and it gave me grief; and now 6.01; the supposed fix for 6.0 issues, and they have all started over again – they are making a great platform sucK

    • Melba Mauldin

      We did not install. Verizon pushed through to select LG3 users. We are livid because MARSHMALLOW has rendered our phone inoperable. Verizon telling us we have to purchase new phones? Why? Their fault!

  • Chris Jutting

    On my G4 I’ve noticed higher battery drain when active and less when asleep (thanks doze!) I’ll try a few of these suggestions and see if it improves.

    • DrakenFX

      I been notice the same but only in stock carrier MM Update…. When I was using Genisys Rom (H815) on my H811 battery life was way better…..I even have Sync problems with Exchange/Email….I’ll KDZ back to stock and start all over again and see if I can find a solution.

  • pimpymcgee

    I’ve had GPS issues in lollipop and marshmallow, only solution I’ve found to work for me is to turn off location permission for Android system.

  • Daggett Beaver

    How to fix the problem: Don’t upgrade until they get all these stupid bugs fixed.

    • DrakenFX

      Problem there is that G4’s attach to carrier we are not going to see such patch/update …. The H815 is been good getting bug fixes and all that but here in the States we are doom. That’s one reason we I’m about to flash the H815 Global MM Update on my H811, notice before a better performance and battery life.

  • mazn badran

    if marshmallow dose have all these problems so it shouldn’t called update

  • Brad Fortin

    I can’t wait for the article titled “Google’s Software Problem” that goes on about how Google’s software quality has been lagging behind lately.

  • Jason C

    my experience was pretty bad on my G4 that the battery drains in 2 hours on SOT. I just couldn’t stand it and forced to wipe back to lollipop

    • hope this helps

      I had an issue with cyanogenmod a while back. Suddenly the battery was being drained in a matter of hours. If it’s your google play services sucking up all your juice it will be something constantly looking for “location info”. I fixed my issues by going through the apps and setting up privacy guard. Battery now lasts a couple of days

      • Jason C

        Thanks for that, I did try that. However didn’t help.

  • Andrew White

    Not just battery drain.
    Ran Antutu on my G4 with Marshmellow update (932 MB) a couple of weeks ago and it’s roughly 8% slower.
    Not bloody happy.

  • phatmanXXL

    Look I got tired of Android bugs and I switched to iOS not long ago. I now no longer have to worry about security.

  • abed haj yihia

    i don’t understand, MM is meant to be like lollipop with bug fixes….now it seems it’s having it’s own bugs and problems….why do google release it to public when they know it’s full of bugs, android N will be announced 3 months from now…this means they won’t rush to fix MM bugs…disappointed by google

    • WAusJackBauer

      A lot of the bugs are introduced when upgrading from an older firmware. When you update to marshmallow and then factory reset I’m pretty sure there’s like no bugs.

      It sucks that you have to do that but yeah.

      • abed haj yihia

        i always do a factory reset after every update… i just hope that reseting the phone really makes it flawless

  • Islam

    Apple Iphone 6S is the solution. Am sick of android slow updates

    • saksham

      get outta here!

    • sledgehammer to a nut

      lol. why burden yourself with meglomanicas with a disire to brick your device when all you need to be is either patient or willing to install cyanogenmod

    • Dan

      and you think the iOS 9.3.1 update is any better. Google it and notice all of its flaws.

  • Peter Prewett

    Moto G3 update to marshmallow

    Cannot access photos by just inserting usb cable.
    Tried accessing by clicking on moto g3 icon in windows 7 computer and nothing happens.

    • Jessica

      I have the same issue. It wont let me pull anything off of my phone and will not save files to the sd card.

  • Peter Howe

    Marshmallow killed bluetooth on my LG G4. Every time it goes ‘Unfortunately, bluetooth has stopped. :(

  • Hoss

    I regretted installing it. It bricked my LG G4 and won’t factory reset. It’s now a paperweight.

  • Diablola

    Guys I spent around 15 hours trying to unlock my samsung galaxy s6, and found a solution. You’re welcome. You need google acc+dont need a connection turned on already for this to work (worst case scenario).
    It didnt recongnize my fingerprints, and my backup password didnt work. I couldnt sign in to my google account since my wifi and mobile data was turned off before the device locked.
    This is the solution i found AFTER 15 hours of this madness, you need to be quick:
    1) enter wrong backup password 5 times
    2) wait 30 secounds countdown
    3) enter wrong backup password 5 times
    4) wait 30 secounds countdown
    5) select sign in with google account
    6) enter google account credentials (DONT SIGN IN YET)
    7) hold ‘wake up button’ (home button)
    8) press emergency mode and go thru with aggreeing to all it asks you to
    9) press TURN ON, and after that press ‘sign in’ with your google account (where step 6 left off)
    If you were quick enough, you will enter emergency mode and you will pass the lock screen, now quit the emergency mode the same way and change your backup password, and write it down this time so this doesnt happen again. You are welcome.

  • Bonzai

    Marshmallow has major issues with Bluetooth, especially with Android wear and car connections… I have a 6P, completely unusable at times, hope it improves…

  • Ranuk

    Finger Print Sensor not working after the Marshmallow 6.0.1 UAE update.

    Did the Factory Reset 2 times and also kept restarting since a restart was supposed to work.

    Did the sensor Test using *#0*# and everything passed without any failures.

    Hope they will have a fix for this soon!

    • donjulio

      Hello Ranuk,
      I am experiencing same problem as you. I got my Samsung Galagy S6 Edge in UAE and after updating to 6.0.1 the unlocking by fingerprint function stop working.
      I you go to the settings where you can add more fingerprints to unlock, it detects actually your fingerprint, but this does not work in the unlocking screen.
      Have you find a solution to this?

  • Mark Ian Barrameda

    I just wanted to raise the issue where in.. After the marshmallow update..My phone is asking for a password even though I did not set up any password. I don’t want to perform a master reset on my phone due to important files that I have on it..I have Samsung S6. Do we have work around with this??

  • Prashant Pasupuleti

    Hi I got my phone os upgraded to marshmellow and would like to report a bug. Every time from lock screen when you access ” OK google” you get a message stating no Internet connection found.however if you ignore that and click on try again it works.

  • sourav

    the problem is that what ever app m using to call people from whatsapp , hike facebook it just keep saying reconnecting but the phone is connected to wifi , please help :S

    • pallavi r

      did you find a solution? i am facing the same issue

  • hatem

    i would say i have a problem when i make refresh Facebook or new feed the application says can’t connect right now wi-fi or mobile data how to fix it ?

  • hatem

    how fix the problem in Facebook under in picture in Wi-Fi or mobile data

  • ptibbitsjr

    i just updated my lg g3 yesterday. ever since then, in the middle of using my phone, the screen flickers and then fades to black. sometimes i can swipe to display the lock screen almost immediately, but other times i cannot see anything on my phone for 5 or more minutes. the phone is definitely on and working because i feel/hear messages coming in, but i cannot see anything. factory reset didn’t do anything; the problem kicked in immediately during the set-up process after the reset. now i’m sending the phone back to lg. we’ll see what that does (other than leave me without a phone for 2 weeks).

  • Matt

    I updated my S6 Edge a few weeks ago & battery life is worse! I was hoping it would get better with Doze! I used to get at least 4 hours screen on time, max of 5.5 to 6 hours. Now I struggle to reach 2.5 to 3 hours!

  • HTC Desire 816, Android 6.1, bluetooth quality start to degrade after 20-30 seconds conversation and I have to use speakers (ear or speakerphone). Same problem with WiFi calls. Same problem with both my bluetooths (Plantronics Voyager Legend and Plantronics Explorer 210).

    Any suggesitions?

  • Vikas Vicky

    Hey guys. I got the Android Marshmallow update a week ago on my Lenovo K3 note device.
    From past 4 days I have been facing a bug. Every few minutes, a volume notification popup shows on screen with a ‘thuck’ sound. It’s completely random and there is no particular scenario to reproduce this bug. Since it’s displayed only for a second, I wasn’t able to capture a snapshot.
    Can you please help me with this?

  • Hilda

    CRAP!!! I update my phone to this M>E>S>S
    Now I HAVE to keep my location on to be able to sync my fitbit and google etc etc…This is going to REALLY run up my data now!!!
    Just to sync fitbit??? Come on now…. what happened to bluetoothing???

  • shawn

    which mobile phones are shown in the first picture of the article? Im especially interested in the right one

  • Dave O

    My Bluetooth wouldn’t turn on. Only fix I have found is resetting to factory but it takes awhile to restore everything plus I’ve done it 3 times with 2 months

  • Rick C.

    I’ve had a problem with 6.0.1 on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 5. It may be Waze itself, which is where I notice it (because it’s about the only app I have up onscreen for a long period of time). Screen suddenly goes to total black for a bit, when I go to log back in (I have fingerprint security on), it tells me that the phone was rebooted and I must enter my password rather than my fingerprint. There definitely wasn’t enough time for my phone to have rebooted though. I’d say I can turn the phone screen back on after about 10 seconds and I have that message.

    I did try uninstalling Waze (just in case), clearing phone cache in the boot menu, restarting, and reinstalling Waze. It seemed like it didn’t happen for a couple of days after but then it started up again.

  • frustrated too

    I doubt i will ever do an Android update again. My 1+1 phone was running fine, but now screwed! No WIFI, even after following all the advice given in the Android Authority’s several procedures to fix this flaw.

    And after reading all the other issues that Marshmallow has started it seems Google has hit its peak and is on the way down. Why can’t they leave a good thing alone – is it all the hungry wanna be execs trying for gold stars?

  • Jessie

    Fixed my problems with WiFi on my LG G3, thank you!

    • Craig Good

      Same for me. I attempted both going in to airplane mode and exiting plus the forget all networks option. One of them fixed my WiFi.

  • Freddie Oyaroh

    Hi,i updated my htc desire 816 to android 6.0 marshmallow and every time i check my balance i get this USSD code running tht last foreva till i restart or switch off my phone…it wont stop even after reseting my phone

  • shayla jackson

    In my text messages it says the number of the person who I’m texting instead of the name even though they are in my contacts how do I fix it?

  • Melba Mauldin

    Marshmallow update is a NIGHTMARE! One app continually crashes on launch since pushed MARSHMALLOW update by Verizon on my LG3 Android phone. I have repeatedly sen reports and requests to Google and it falls on deaf ears. Have taken phone to Verizon 3 tumes, factory reset done and problem still exists! Other problems with Marshmallow as well. Drains battery, update combined contacts [what a pain that has been]! Marshmallow has rendered our LG3 Android phones unuseable. Verizon tells us we will have to purchase new phones. Why, the MARSHMALLOW update took out functionality away! We are contacting the Colorado Attorney General’s Office because LG, Verizon and Google refuse to fix the problem! Our phones are not even eligible for upgrades. They are only 13 months old. I ask, is this a ploy to increase new sales! The Consumers are the losers here and it is time we push back. I have sent report after report to Goigle, LG, and have made 3 trips to Verizon. Even suffered through a factory reset to no avail. Verizon has checked and rechecked our settings and everything is correct. So, please tell me why, before Marshmallow, my apps worked but after update they will NOT launch! Get the problem resolved. Perhaps class-action lawsuit might get their attention!

  • Michael Matyshak

    Since my S5 updated the biggest problem I have is that the Smarteye keeps turning on making it impossible to do anything. Shutting off has not helped some features for my display control are gone. Not really sure how to fix it. If anyone has the same issue and has figured out how to fix it please let me know?

  • Typeface.stace

    The software was pushed to my LG G3 and immediately I started having issues with my Wi-Fi. I tried all of those steps above and it would fix the problem for maybe 5 minutes. I did a factory restore and still nothing. I’m now at a loss of what to do with my phone because AT&T doesn’t want to replace it and I didn’t ask for this new software. Is there something I can do?

  • Michal

    Wasn’t Android 5x version suppose to be more stable than Apple software?
    And Android 4.4 was marketed to be working fast on older phone (with 0,5G RAM).
    Looking at the list of problems in Android 6 I’m not sure if the software deserves to be 1.0 version.