Read the reviews for many apps in the Google Play Store and a common complaint is that the app simply does not work or worse, that it crashes. There may be a simple solution. Get your apps working again!

It is very frustrating when apps don’t work after you have downloaded them to your Android phone or tablet. Even when an app has lots of four or five star reviews, there are always a small number of people that simply cannot get the app working properly.

The reason why is often complicated, but the number of different Android devices that are in use does not help and a developer cannot test their app with everything that is available. There are also multiple versions of Android and many people run old versions, sometimes very old, but others have the latest and greatest.

There could also be a hundred other apps on the phone or tablet and these may cause conflicts with the app you just installed that will not work. Apps are regularly updated and occasionally an app will exhibit problems afterwards or it might even stop working completely. Sometimes an app will just stop working or develop a fault for no apparent or obvious reason at all.

Don’t immediately delete the app or dismiss it as faulty because occasionally it is possible to fix the problem and get the app working again.

Quit the app and restart it. If you press the home button at the bottom of the screen, the app is just suspended and hidden. If you then tap the app icon it carries on where it left off, in its crashed or faulty state. You need to really quit the app.

Long pressing the home button on some phones and tablets displays a list of running apps suspended in the background. Other devices have a button, square in Android 5, at the bottom of the screen to show running apps. Swipe them all away to really quit them.

Android app switcher

Some apps still have components that are running in the background, so go to Settings, Apps or Application manager. Find the app in the list, tap it to display the details screen and press the Force Stop button.

Force stop Android apps

Restarting the phone or tablet can be helpful when there are problems and after swiping away all the running apps and force quitting the problem app, restart the phone or power off, wait a 10 seconds and power it on again. Holding down the power button on the device often displays a menu to power off or restart.

Restart Android phone

Does the app now work? Try it and see.

If there are still problems with the app, display all the running apps as before and swipe them all away. Go to Settings, Apps or Application manager and tap the app to show the details page. Force Quit it again.

Down at the bottom of the screen is a Clear Cache button. Tap it, return to the home screen and try the app again.

Clear Android app caches

Is it still not working? Here is another thing you can do. Quit all apps, go to the app in Apps or Application manager again, tap Force Quit, Clear Cache, and this time also tap Clear Data. This completely resets the app and when you now run it, it will be as if it has just been downloaded. It will have no history, no data, it won’t know who you are, and you might need to sign in again if it is an app that requires you to have an account, like Facebook, Twitter and so on.

There isn’t much else you can do if it still is not working after a complete reset. The final thing to do is to uninstall the app in Settings, Apps or Application manager. Then go to the Google Play Store and to the app’s page. Scroll down to the bottom and check out the list of similar apps. You might find another app from another developer that does what you want.