Smartphones, amazing and powerful as they are, sometimes turn into expensive paperweights when they freeze and stop responding to user input. If yours suddenly freeze, here are some things you can do to make your smartphone work again.
It can be frustrating to have your work or routine disrupted when your phone becomes unresponsive. But perhaps try waiting for a while, as whatever issue that is causing the smartphone to freeze might resolve on its own.
Also take into consideration that smartphones with aging components or entry-level specs may have sluggish performance when running resource-intensive apps. Operations and tasks may take some time to finish, and during that time you may expect the phone to freeze occasionally.
#2 Close the unresponsive app
At this point, you’ve already lost patience and decided to take action. First, see if you can close the active app via your phone’s recent apps view. Steps vary between phones, but a common way to check the list of recently opened apps is to swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The active app should appear at the forefront, at which point you can swipe it up to close it. Better yet, close any of the displayed apps that you’re no longer using.
#3 Forced reboot
If you’re unable to see your phone’s recent apps, or if your phone does not respond at all to any taps on the screen or presses to physical buttons, then the entire phone itself has likely frozen and not just the active app. You have to forcibly restart the phone.
For Android smartphones, you can do this by holding down the power button for 30 seconds. If that doesn’t work, force the phone to turn off by holding the power and volume down buttons until the screen goes black. Then turn it back on.
For the latest iPhone models, a forced reboot is done by pressing and quickly releasing the volume up and volume down button in that exact order, followed by pressing and holding the side button. Keep holding the side button until the Apple logo appears.
Restarting the phone may be enough to fix the issue causing the freeze, so carry on as you were. Make a habit of restarting your phone at least once a week and do it the normal way instead of a forced reboot.
- Smartphone RAM: How much do you really need?
- Running out of storage? Here are some tips to free up space in your phone
- 22 technology myths you need to stop believing
#4 Backup your files
Further troubleshooting is needed when the issue keeps happening. If you haven’t done it for some time, consider performing a backup now to prevent the loss of important data before making any further attempts to resolve the freeze issue.
#5 Get the latest updates for apps and OS
A smartphone that intermittently hangs or freezes may be the result of an unstable version of apps and the operating system. Check the app store and see if newer versions of your apps and OS are available. Besides adding new features, updates often come with fixes to improve app performance and stability.
#6 Free up space
Per Google, your smartphone may experience issues if it only has 10 percent of free space left in its storage. Try uninstalling apps you no longer use. Alternatively, expand the storage via the microSD slot if your phone has one and move some of your apps to the microSD card.
#7 Disable or uninstall apps
A specific app may be the cause of the unexpected freezes. To find which app it is, perform a trial and error method by disabling or even uninstalling the apps one at a time. Every time you disable or uninstall one, restart your phone normally and observe if the issue no longer happens. It’s recommended you start with the most recently downloaded app or the app you recently used when the issue started happening.
#8 Factory reset
Consider starting fresh with the phone via a factory reset when all the suggested solutions above failed. Again, don’t forget to back up your files. A factory reset restores your phone to its default factory settings and removes all user files and data from the phone, although with the right software the removed data can still be recovered.
#9 Contact the manufacturer
When your own attempts to fix the issue remain unsuccessful, or if the underlying cause is related to the phone’s hardware, it’s time to call for professional help. Contact your phone’s manufacturer or authorized repair service.