Common Troubleshooting Techniques for Android

With any bit of technology, be it a gadget or software, there are some basics for general troubleshooting some people don’t always think about. Even the most tech savvy people can get into a bind with misbehaving technology.

When troubleshooting any problems with an Android device, there are couple of things you can try before taking further action. If these seem like common sense, please keep in mind that not everyone is good at trouble shooting.

Read the Instructions

While this seems like the most obvious step, we tend to scan over the instructions may times looking for the important stuff. If you are running into a problem, make sure to read what is on the screen. If you are getting a specific error, that’s a great place to start. Try to search the error in Google to see what is causing it.

Also, when in doubt, look at the manual or tutorial. Many times, there is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section where the solution to your issue may be.


Restarting your device using the power button or possibly remove the battery for 30-60 seconds can solve a lot of little quirky problems. It is recommended to power cycle your phone every day or two to keep things running smoothly.


Clearing the Application data

When there is a problem and you have narrowed it down to a specific program, try clearing the application data. Clearing the data can be done by following this path: “Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> Manage applications -> find the application in the list -> Clear data”.

By clearing the data, you effectively reset the entire application reverting it back to when you first installed the application. There can be some leftover info on your microSD card though. Make sure you have a back up of any important information before erasing the application data.


Uninstalling the application

If clearing the data doesn’t work, there is one more step you can take. Uninstall the app from the phone by following these steps: “Menu-> Settings -> Applications -> Manage applications -> find the application in the list -> Uninstall”. You will also want to use a file manager to delete the folder on the microSD card or the internal memory of your device. This should wipe out any traces of the application and the problem.

Master reset

Note: There is no way to recover any information after a factory reset. Make sure to backup contacts and other important information in any note taking or applications not synced anywhere else!!!

Master clearing the device kinda sucks to do but totally reverting your device to the factory settings will get rid of any 3rd party software related issues. While there is a possibility a hardware issue or something going on with an aftermarket ROM, master resetting your device will further rule out software problems. The factory reset can be in different locations but can commonly be found following these steps: “Menu -> Settings -> Privacy -> Factory Data Reset”.


Final thoughts

Whenever you have a problem and need to do a little troubleshooting, try to use a little common sense. Think about any changes you have made to settings or new applications you have downloaded recently that may be causing the problems.

What are your troubleshooting steps?

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Trevor Dobrygoski
Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.

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