frozen apps

What to do when apps won't respond?

It’s happened to us all. We’re happily using an app and out of nowhere it freezes on us. If an app on your smartphone or tablet is unresponsive, there are a few things you can do to try to resolve it.

What we mean by ‘unresponsive’ 

By unresponsive we mean when an app has suddenly stopped working. This could be that the interface has frozen, or that it has crashed and won’t allow you to open it anymore. Basically the app has (temporarily or permanently) broken down. 

This isn’t the end of the world though, and is (usually) easy to fix. Both Apple and Google have issued step-by-step guidance on how you can try to bring these apps back to life. 

Click here for iPhone

Click here for Android

Unresponsive iPhone Apps

If an app on your iPhone or iPad has crashed suddenly, here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do.

Step 1 - Close the app

Close the app by swiping it off your home screen tabs. Wait a few seconds, and then try to reopen it again. 

Step 2 - Restart your phone

Restart your iPhone or iPad, and then try to open the app again. 

To restart an iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE (2020):

  1. Press and hold the side button
  2. Drag the slider to turn off phone 
  3. Wait 30 seconds
  4. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on screen

To restart an iPhone X, 11, or 12:

  1. Press and hold the volume button and side button
  2. Drag the slider to turn off phone
  3. Wait 30 seconds
  4. Press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears on screen

Step 3 - Update your device

Check to see if your device has any pending updates. These often include bug fixes that could be preventing certain apps from functioning properly. For iPhones, the most recent operating system is currently iOS 14

To check if your phone is up to date, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Your phone will tell you if a new update is waiting to be installed. Once your device is up to date, check to see if the app will open.

Step 4 - Delete and re-download

The last step you should try if everything above hasn’t worked is to delete the app and re-download it from the App Store. 

If the app still isn’t working properly after all these steps, then it’s most likely to do with the app manufacturer. You can contact them directly to resolve the issue, or simply delete the app and stop using it if it’s not one you need. 

 

Unresponsive Android Apps

If an app on your Android phone or tablet has stopped responding, you can follow these steps to try and fix it. 

Step 1 - Restart your phone

Restart your Android phone or tablet, and then try to open the app again. How you restart differs by model, so you may need to refer to your device’s manufacturing guide. 

To restart an Android phone, you (usually) just hold down the power button until the phone asks you if you’d like to restart, then you swipe/select yes. 

Step 2 - Check for updates

Check to see if your device has any pending updates waiting to be installed and downloaded. Not updating your phone or tablet regularly can cause bugs and other security issues. For Androids, the most recent operating system update is Android 11.

To check if your phone is up to date, you can go to Settings > System > Advanced > System update.

Your phone will tell you if a new update is waiting to be installed. Once your device has been updated, check to see if the app will open.

Step 3 - Update the app

The app may not be opening properly because it’s due an update. Go to the Google Play Store > Profile > Manage apps and devices > Updates available > and make sure the app that has crashed is fully up to date.

Step 4 - Clear cache

Another method you could try is clearing the app’s cache and data. Perhaps it has crashed because of a system error or it could be being overloaded with information. 

To clear the app’s cache, go to:

Settings > Apps Menu > Installed Applications > Find the app in question > Move the app to the Storage Tab > Clear App Cache. 

This may unfreeze the app if the problem was due to an overload. 

Step 5 - Delete the app

If all of the above is unsuccessful, the last step you could try is to delete the app and then re-download it from the Google Play Store. 

If, after re-downloading, it still isn’t working, it’s an issue for the app manufacturers. If the application is important to you, you can contact the manufacturer directly to try to resolve the issue. If not, you could simply delete the app (and maybe install it again at a later date).

Hopefully these tips have helped solve your crashed app issue. Check out some of our other app guides:

We have loads of app reviews and recommendations on our blog so you can find the best applications to suit your life. 

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss when we publish more  helpful guides or a new smartphone deal. 

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