Restart an Android phone to solve problems and reset apps to fix errors and other issues. Here is how to do it and how to automate it.

When I hear people have a problem with their phone, I always ask if they have restarted it. Usually they haven’t and after a restart the problem often goes away. Here’s how to automate it.

Restarting a phone does not fix everything but it is surprising how much it fixes and it is one of the things you should try when problems arise. This fix is not limited to phones and restarting or switching off and then back on cures all sorts of problems in electrical devices from TVs to computers to phones.

If you ever call technical support for a device, it is one of the first things they tell you to do.

Clear recent apps

Before getting on to restarting, let’s first look at some other fault-fixing techniques, such as clearing recent apps. If you start an app and then switch to the home screen or another app, then return, it tries to carry on where you left off.

This sometimes causes problems, so closing an app completely can sometimes cure the problem. It is like a soft reset. On an Android phone press the recent apps/task switching button and swipe away all of the apps that have been suspended.

After getting rid of all the apps, try the app that you had problems with. It fixes some, but not all faults.

Reset an app

  1. Go to Settings on your Android phone
  2. Press Apps or Application Manager and press the app with the problem
  3. Press Force Stop
  4. Press Storage on recent versions of Android
  5. Press Clear Cache
  6. Press Clear Data

 Force stop an app on an Android phone Reset an Android app by clearing the cache and data in Settings

Apps store data and create caches, and the steps above clears them, which can fix some problems. It is like resetting the app back to factory settings. Return to the home screen and try the app again. Be aware that this will clear all data for an app, such as your account and login details if it requires it.

Reset the phone

Sometimes you need to quit all apps and that includes swiping away suspended apps from the recent apps/app switcher screen.

Then press and hold the power button and restart the phone. You will not lose anything, apart from a minute of your time restarting. However, it sometimes fixes faults.

Automatically reset the phone

On my Samsung phone (I don’t know about other phones), there is an option to automatically restart the phone from time to time. It is good for the phone and it can avoid some problems or cure them.

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Go to General Management
  3. Press Reset
  4. At the bottom of the screen, turn on the Auto restart switch
  5. Press Auto restart
  6. Press the time and select a time when you won’t be using the phone, such as at night
  7. Press the day and select a day when it will be convenient to restart the phone

 Auto restart an Android phone to avoid or fix problems Set the day and time an Android phone is to be automatically restarted

This is a handy feature, but I don’t know how many phones it is on. If may just be a Samsung feature or an Android 7 feature. Look for it in the settings on your phone.