If you have a problem with your Android phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6 or earlier, how do you go about solving it? Hardware problems require a trip to a service centre, but software problems can often be solved.
(This article has been updated with an Android 7 section below)
If the problem is with an app, it might help to completely uninstall it and to download it from the app store again. That is fine for apps you have downloaded and installed yourself, but Samsung phones, and some others, come with a collection of bundled apps that you can't remove, so what do you do then?
There are things you can do to solve problems, even with apps you can't uninstall.
Even though you may have the latest version of an app installed, for some unknown reason, it may not work properly. Perhaps an update broke something or the latest version of the app is not compatible with your phone model. Pull down from the top to display the notifications panel and tap the gear icon, or go to the all-apps screen and tap Settings.
On an old Samsung phone running an old version of Android, press the More tile at the top and then Application manager. On a Samsung phone running Android 7, press Apps.
Android 7 colour scheme is different, but the app listing is the same
Above is a list of apps and I have scrolled down to the Samsung apps section. Tap one of the apps, such as Samsung Music, and the App info screen is displayed. With most apps, there is an Uninstall button, but Samsung won't let you uninstall bundled software.
However, You can uninstall updates and if you are having problems with your phone, this can sometimes solve them.
In fact, if you want to go a step further you can uninstall updates and then disable the app. This is useful for apps that are a duplicate of other apps. For example, you might use another music player, such as Google Play Music and you might not miss the Samsung Music app.
This is different in Android 7 - see below
An example of this happened with Dropbox. This is a great app that I use all the time and it came pre-installed on my Samsung Galaxy S4. One day it stopped working and I couldn't get it to do anything.
The obvious thing to do is to uninstall it and download it again, but as it is a bundled app, there isn't an option to remove it. However, uninstalling all the updates put it back the way it was originally and it magically started working again.
This is different in Android 7 - see below
If you uninstall all updates, the question is, should you then re-install all the updates and bring it up to the current version? It might be worth trying this and seeing what happens. After all, you can uninstall all the updates again if there is a problem.
Reset Samsung apps to factory version to uninstall updates
With Android 7 on your Samsung Galaxy phone, things look a bit different, but really they are quite similar. It is just a different interface. Go to Settings, Apps and select the Peel Remote for example. It it one of the built in Samsung-bundled apps.
If you have a problem with it (or if you simply don't want it), tap Force Stop and then tap Disable. You are asked if you want to replace the current app with the factory version. This uninstalls all updates, which might be what is needed to fix a problem.
If you want to stick with an old version of an app, you need to turn off automatic updates or the system will simply add all the updates when the phone is idle. Go to the Samsung Apps app or Galaxy Apps as it is now called and press the menu button. Select Settings and tap Auto update apps. Disable it.
You can always run the app and check for updates manually by going to the menu and selecting Purchased. This enables you to choose the apps you want to update and to ignore the ones you don't
This works just the same in Android 7
The Google Play Store app has a similar auto-updates option and you can choose to enable or disable automatic updates. Pull the menu panel in from the left hand side and tap Settings, Auto update apps.
Select Do not auto-update apps. When you want to update apps, go to the left panel and select My Apps. A list of updates is displayed and you can choose to install the ones you want and ignore those you don't.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 14 June 2014