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Apps keep crashing on your Android phone? Try these fixes
Apps are a vital part of smartphones and make them incredibly capable devices. However, mobile apps are susceptible to bugs and glitches like any piece of software. Buggy apps that keep crashing or freezing can quickly ruin your Android smartphone experience. If you face app issues, here’s how to stop apps from crashing or freezing.
To stop your Android apps from crashing, clear the app cache. Go to Settings > Storage > Other apps > (app name) and tap on Clear cache. There are plenty of other troubleshooting steps you can try as well, like force-stopping the app, checking for app and phone software updates, and checking your internet connection and your phone's storage. You might have to clear the app storage, reinstall the app, or factory reset the phone if nothing else works.
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Why do some apps keep crashing on my Android phone?
There are a few reasons your Android apps might keep crashing, force closing, freezing, or not opening. Your device could be running out of storage space, or you might have lost your Wi-Fi or data connection. Apps will usually warn you if these are why an app isn’t loading, but it might simply stop working or keep crashing instead.
If you notice your apps and games crashing after extended use, it could be because the phone is overheating. Android phones tend to compensate for overheating by throttling performance, which might cause the app you’re using to freeze or crash.
You might also see apps crashing or freezing after a recent software update, either for the phone or the app. Frequent phone and app updates are great for running your phone smoothly, but only when they work. Software updates are sometimes littered with bugs that might make apps crash or freeze.
How to stop Android apps from crashing
There are plenty of troubleshooting steps if you see apps crashing or freezing on your Android phone.
Check your internet connection
Most apps require an active internet connection. You will generally see an “app not loading” or “check your data connection” warning when you open an app without connectivity. The app might crash or freeze in some cases, though. Check the phone’s Wi-Fi and mobile data settings to ensure you’re connected. If you’re running into other connectivity problems, check out our guides on potential fixes for Wi-Fi not working and mobile data not working.
Check your phone storage
After making sure you have an internet connection, ensure that your phone has enough space to run the app. Apps will cache data to make them easier and faster to run and load in the future, and some game files can be pretty big. Go to Settings > Storage to see the phone’s available storage. You can also see a breakdown of what files are using storage. You can delete unnecessary files and apps to free up some space. This should stop apps that keep crashing from doing so.
Check app permissions
Newer phones with newer versions of Android have a robust permission management system that prioritizes your privacy and safeguards your data. So, apps have to selectively request permissions to access information on your phone that they need to work properly. However, if an app does not smoothly handle a denied permission, it could crash. The same would also be the case for old apps that have not been updated.
If an app is repeatedly crashing, you should check its Permissions and see if you have denied any permission that would be critical for the functioning of the app. Go to Settings > Apps > See all apps > (app name) > Permissions, and see if you can spot anything out of the ordinary.
We do not advise blanket granting of permissions for the crashing app, but you can try toggling denied permissions one by one to see if the app stops crashing.
Force stop the app
You can try force-stopping an app if it freezes or crashes. Go to Settings > Apps > See all apps > (app name) and tap on Force stop. Restart the phone and relaunch the app to see if the force stop helped.
Clear the app cache
Clearing the app cache is a go-to troubleshooting step when apps keep crashing or freezing on Android. Cached files are temporary files of important information the app stores to make loading an app faster. This can include login information, favorite playlists, and regular settings. Cached files can get corrupted, though, and might cause the app to keep crashing or freezing.
To clear the app cache, go to Settings > Storage > Other apps > (app name) and tap on Clear cache. You can also find this option by going to Settings > Apps > See all apps > (app name) > Storage.
Uninstall updates on pre-installed apps
If you run into issues, you can roll back an update on pre-installed apps, like Google apps. Go to Settings > Apps > See all apps > (app name). Tap on the three vertical dots icon at the top right corner and select Uninstall updates. Third-party apps won’t have this overflow menu.
Check for software updates
Ensure that the app and your phone are updated to the latest software version, especially if a previous update caused the apps to keep crashing and freezing. Check for the newest app update using the Google Play Store. For your phone, go to Settings > System > System updates.
Restart the phone
Did you try turning it off and on again? Turn off your phone, let it cool down, turn it on again, and see if the app issues persist. That’s all it sometimes takes, especially if your app is crashing because the phone is overheating.
If the app has caused your phone to freeze, you can try a force restart:
- On older phones with a power button: On older phones where only the power button is needed to be pressed for a regular shut down, press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to force restart.
- On newer phones with a side button: Newer phones have renamed the power button to “side key”, pressing which activates a voice assistant like Bixby or Google Assistant. On such phones, a simple shutdown is by pressing the side key and the volume up button simultaneously. You can force restart on such phones by long pressing the side key and the volume up button simultaneously for ten seconds.
We are now getting into the last resort stages of troubleshooting. Clearing the app storage might help stop apps from crashing if nothing else works. But this step essentially resets the app like a new installation. You will lose this data if you haven’t saved game files, linked the app to an account, or backed up information to the cloud.
To clear the app storage, go to Settings > Storage > Other apps > (app name) and tap on Clear storage. You can also find the option by going to Settings > Apps > See all apps > (app name) > Storage.
Uninstall and reinstall the app
Uninstalling and reinstalling the app does the trick in some cases. Find the app in the Google Play Store and tap on Uninstall. Like the “clear storage” option, you will lose your data if the app isn’t linked to an account or cloud storage.
Reboot into Safe Mode
Android comes with a Safe Mode feature that lets you reboot into the OS where all third-party apps are disabled. Your phone will only run and display first-party apps in this mode. But do not worry, all your data is still intact and will become visible to you when you reboot into normal mode again (though some widgets may disappear, so make a note of them before you boot into safe mode). This safe mode is helpful in assessing if a system app crash was being caused by a third-party app conflict.
Here’s how to reboot into safe mode:
- Switch off your phone.
- When switching it back on, press and hold the volume down button when you see the phone animation, aka the bootanimation play. Some phones will vibrate in a random pattern to indicate that they have received the command to boot into safe mode, so don’t panic if your phone vibrates abnormally for a short period.
- Your phone will boot into Safe mode. You will see Safe mode written in the left corner.
Safe mode, by default, starts in Airplane mode, but you can toggle your device’s internet settings back on. You will notice that your downloaded third-party apps are not visible, and their widgets have also disappeared from your homescreen. You should now try running the system app that was crashing, and see if it is still crashing.
If the system app is no longer crashing, then some third-party app that you installed was causing a conflict. If the system app continues to crash, then third-party apps were not the problem, and you likely have no option but to try a factory reset.
To exit safe mode, simply switch off your phone and switch it on again normally.
Last resort: Factory reset your phone
Before you reach this step, we suggest looking for an alternative to the app that keeps crashing. It is possible that a different app will serve the same purposes for you, and you wouldn’t have to take this step. You should only factory reset your phone if absolutely nothing else works. Factory resetting the phone will erase everything. Make sure you back up your information and save all necessary files, so you don’t lose anything vital.
To factory reset the phone, go to Settings > System > Reset options and tap on Erase all data (factory reset). Check out our guide on factory resetting Android devices to factory reset the phone if it doesn’t turn on.
No, an app crash has nothing to do with a virus. An app crash is more likely caused by bad code than a purposeful virus.
You can try approaching the app’s customer care service and also your phone’s customer care service for a possible resolution. However, in most instances, the fixes they will suggest will likely be the ones we are suggesting. So it makes sense to try these fixes first.
Sometimes, apps can crash due to misconfigured config files that are pushed from the app/service’s website. In such instances, the app developer may roll out a server-side fix or an app update that will stop the app from crashing, as we frequently see in the case of Google Play Services crash. You can consider reaching out to the developer of the app to inform them of persistent crashes and see if there is a server-side fix in the works.