Android Apps Not Working? Try These Fixes

Fix Apps Not Responding Featured

The vast majority of Android users are quite familiar with the inconvenient issue of an app malfunctioning. Whether the app is not opening, crashing, or just not responding, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. This article looks at ways to deal with Android apps not working as they should (and addresses the recent app problems that seem to have affected many Android users).

1. Uninstall Android System WebView Updates

In March 2021, there was a widespread error across almost all Android devices that caused a number of apps – including Gmail – to stop working. Eventually, Google released a fix that required users to update both the Chrome app and Android System WebView (if you haven’t done that yet, do so now).

But in the meantime, plucky users found a fix that could be applied if you encounter similar problems in the future. Android System WebView is a vital background app that lets other apps show web content. If there’s an error here, it can affect a lot of apps, and uninstalling its latest update can help.

Android Apps Not Working App Info

To roll back the latest version of Android System WebView, on your phone go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications” and tap “Android System WebView” in the list.

On the “App info” screen, tap the three-dotted icon at the top right corner then “Uninstall updates” and OK.

Android Apps Not Working Uninstall System Webview Updates

2. Update the App

The next step is to check and see if there aren’t any updates available for the app. Open the Google Play Store, tap the hamburger menu in the upper-left corner, then select “My apps & games.” Apps that have updates available are listed here. If you see your malfunctioning app on the list, tap Update and then check it again to see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix Apps Not Responding Update

Alternatively, you can simply search for the app using the search bar at the top. If there’s an update available, you’ll see an Update button underneath the app’s thumbnail.

3. Check for Any New Android Updates

Another way to solve the problem of an Android app not working is to update your system. Users are alerted via a notification when an OTA is available to download and install, but sometimes, for whatever reason, we put off doing the upgrade and forget all about it.

Updating your device usually brings with it numerous benefits including ensuring the smooth running of your apps. To check if an update has landed on your device manually, go to your device’s “Settings -> System -> System updates.” Depending on your phone’s model, the route may vary. You may need to go through “System -> Advanced -> System update,” or instead, look for the “About phone” section and from there select “Software update.”

Fix Apps Not Responding System Update

You will find your update status after following these steps. If a new update is indeed available, follow the steps that appear on the screen. Once it is installed, the phone will reboot, and then you can try again to load the troublesome app.

4. Force-Stop the App

If you have tried all the above but the app continues to malfunction, try and force-stop the app through the phone’s Settings. Most of the time when an app crashes or freezes, it’s because you’ve not fully closed it. Force-stopping the app kills the current instance of the app quickly and painlessly.

Fix Apps Not Responding Force Stop

From “Settings -> App & Notifications (or Apps on other phones) -> See All Apps,” find and tap on the specific app that is causing problems. Underneath, you’ll notice some buttons/options. Select the one that says “Force Stop,” then go back to the app and try to launch it again.

5. Clear the App’s Cache and Data

Another solution to this annoying problem is to go a bit deeper and clear the app’s cache and data. Again, the steps vary based on manufacturer, but on a OnePlus handset, you need to tap “Settings -> Apps & Notifications -> See All Apps.” Tap on the respective app and then on “Storage -> Clear Cache.”

Fix Apps Not Responding Clear Cache

Note that this is a temporary solution and that over time, the cached data reserve will fill up again, so you’ll need to repeat the process.

6. Uninstall and Install the App Again

If none of the solutions discussed above have worked for you, you could try uninstalling and installing the app again. To uninstall an app, simply long-press on it until a list of options shows up on the screen. Select the Uninstall option, then proceed to the Google Play Store, search for the app, and install it again on your handset.

Fix Apps Not Responding Uninstall

Another solution is to go to the Google Play Store, search for the app, and from there tap on the Uninstall button that is usually positioned underneath on the left.

Just keep in mind that uninstalling some apps will wipe out your data/media.

7. Restart Your Phone

This is the first thing you should do when dealing with an unresponsive app. Press your device’s power button for approximately 10 seconds and select the Restart/Reboot option. If there is no Restart option, then power it down, wait for five seconds, and turn it back on again.

Once the system loads up again, try launching the app again to see if the issue is still around. If yes, continue reading.

8. Check Your SD Card (If You Have One)

For those who are dealing with an app that crashes, the culprit may be a corrupted memory card. In such a case, any apps that write to the faulty memory card will be plagued by this type of error.

To check if that’s indeed the problem, remove your memory card and launch the app once again. If it works now, great, but you’ll probably need to get a new memory card. Nevertheless, the SD card is probably not entirely non-functional, so you’ll most likely be able to transfer your data to your PC safely.

9. Reset to Factory Settings

As a last resort, reset your device to factory settings. Do not attempt this unless you’ve backed up all your data beforehand. A factory reset has the effect of wiping everything on your phone or tablet. Once the deed is done, you’ll be able to restore everything quickly and painlessly, but only provided you’ve made a backup.

Fix Apps Not Responding Factory Reset

To perform a factory reset on your device, head to “Settings -> System -> Erase all data (factory reset).” Depending on the phone you are using, the path may be a little different. For example, on some phones, you’ll need to go to “Settings -> Backup & reset -> Factory data reset.”

Fix Instant Apps Not Working

The tips we’ve covered so far apply to standard Android apps that have been installed on your phone. However, there’s another type of app – Instant apps. These are available for a select number of devices and don’t require installation. Even though they are not fully-fledged apps, they can still malfunction from time to time. When that happens, you can try to apply one of these solutions.

1. Check Your Internet Connection and Reload the App

If you’re dealing with an unresponsive Instant app, make sure to check your Wi-Fi or mobile data connection and verify it is functioning properly. Check here for in-depth instructions on how to fix the mobile data not working on your Android. Alternatively, learn how to fix the obtaining IP address error on Android.

Fix Apps Not Responding Instant Apps Loading

Once you confirmed the Internet connection is up and running, tap on the link again to see if the app works as it should.

2. Turn Instant Apps On and Off

If the app is still not working for you, try to turn Instant Apps on and off and see if that helps. Open “Settings -> Apps & notifications -> Default apps -> Opening links.” Turn the Instant apps toggle off and back on.

Fix Apps Not Responding Instant Apps On Off

For good measure, also check the Instant Apps preference section which is right below Instant apps. See if the Upgrade web links option is on, and turn it on if it’s not. This allows web links to open in Instant apps instead of in browser when available. Once you’re done, go back to your Instant app and check it again.

Now that you’ve learned how to fix Android apps that are not working, maybe you’d like to continue to improve your Android experience, in which case you may be interested in reading about how to make your phone battery last longer. And, for something a little different, see our list of these retro-inspired Android flip phones.

Related:

Alexandra Arici Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

4 comments

  1. Hello this article was fantastic and I thank you. I’ve been two days trying to find out why apps aren’t responding. I’m nearly 70 with a modern phone my granddaughter brought for me. Thank you so much for making it easy for me. I don’t feel so much of a dummy lool.

  2. Thank you ever so much. I had an unresponsive game and did not want to uninstall, due to the risk of losing my progress. In the end, tip #1 worked – I updated Chrome.

    Without your article, I would not have thought about doing so.

  3. Step #6 worked for me (reinstall app), after trying the first five. Thank you so much for such a clear well written article.

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.