Android Smartphone Troubleshooting
Also See our PC Repair Checklist, and Automobile Maintenance (to be added).
Introduction: This page explains some of the basic usage tips and fixes for an Android Smartphone. Many of these tips also apply to Apple iPhones. You are responsible for your phone, always do proper research and call your manufacturer.
* How to clean and reset any app: Log into your phone. Drag down the menu from the top of the screen. Tap the settings icon (a gear). Scroll down to Application Manager or Applications. Tap and Clear button. Tap Advanced, and again tap any Clear or ClearAllData buttons. The app has now been factory reset, but a broken app may need to be uninstalled and reinstalled. Phones low in memory, often need apps reset to free up space and to delete junk files.
* How to factory reset the phone:
* How to take a screenshot:
* How to download your photos: Some phones save to a MicroSD memory card, you can remove from the phone then put the memory card into an SD adapter and into your laptop. If not, you'll need to grab your charger cable and remove the power adapter from it. So you're left with a simple cable which attaches into your phone on one end, and to any USB port of your laptop on the other end. Sometimes a folder will pop up, and sometimes you must open MyComputer and locate your phone. Your phone will show up as a hard drive. Find your photos folder on your phone, often labeled the DCIM folder. Press Ctrl+A to select all photos, then Ctrl+C to copy the photos. Now make a folder on your desktop with any name you like, such as MyPhoneStuff, and open the folder. Now press Ctrl+V to paste in the photos. If that worked great, go back to your phone folder and then delete all those photos you had just moved. Keep in mind, it's a great idea to have a 512gb Flashdrive to store your files on, so they will be safe when your laptop crashes or is dropped. Also, having only one flashdrive is a bad idea because it will some day die. All flashdrives will some day die. So having your important files on two seporate flash drives, means the photos (or music or files) are safe when one flashdrive dies, the other flashdrive is still healthy. Some people toss out any flashdrive older than five years old, to avoid problems.
An alternative way to save your photos, if you have an iPhone, is to go to an Apple store and purchase online photo storage. If on Android, there is also a online photo backup solution but it changes often so you'll need to visit your phone carrier store. I personally do NOT use online file storage, because you can only access all the photos when there is Internet and it's just often a messy interface.
* How to update Android: This is slightly different on many Android phones. Log into your phone. Drag down the menu from the top of the screen. Tap the settings icon (a gear). Scroll down to "Android" or "System Update". Tap Check for Updates. If there is an update available, download it if you wish. It's optional. An update can speed up a phone and battery usage, but it can also cause a few minor glitches. Updates help protect the phone from incompatibilities and spyware/viruses. Before installing an update, ensure your phone is fully charged and plugged in, and connected to good Internet. Your phone will perminently break if the battery is low and the power is dropped mid-way through an update.
* Always use the same Gmail address on your phones and tablets, because your paid GooglePlay apps are attached to that address and can’t be changed to a new gmail address. Your gmail address is your identity with all Google products. Make it easy on yourself, keep a spiral notebook of all passwords, because being locked out can be horrible.
* How to replace the battery:
* How to have a backup tablet for when your phone is glitching:
* Most smartphones have a limited protection from heat and moisture. Keep them out of the rain.
* Phone not charging? Try a different cord or power adapter. Reboot the phone. Remove the battery and put it back in. Some phones require a specific power adapter. Check the power outlet. You can buy a super cheap new battery from ebay, but notice where it ships from, as it can take a month to get to you if it’s anywhere outside the USA. Your local phone store sells batteries, they will cost ten times more than ebay but they’ll likely last barely longer.
Cellular Carrier Service Issues
* How to pick the perfect carrier, Verizon or ATT, or dare you try Tmobile/Sprint/Boost/StreightTalk/etc?
* Know your warranties: A gadget will have two warranties unless you buy a third. One is the manufacturer warranty which is from Samsung or whomever made the phone. The store you bought the phone from, will likely provide a store warranty of 14 days to one year. You can also buy an extended warrenty from SquareTrade online. The manufactorer and store warranty often just cover defects, and not damage you caused. But the Squaretrade warranty, usually covers any damage at all, after you pay the expensive deductable. The deductable just means you are filing a claim, which means you just want the phone fixed. So if your 300 dollar smartphone is broken, there is likely an $80.00 squaretrade insurance deductible. Car insurance works in a similar way, if you get in a wreck then you pay a deductible (a fee) which is a small percentage of the value of the car. If you buy a new phone and it has a defect, quickly take it back to the store for a replacement, don't wait for the return policy to end. ALWAYS save every reciept and manual and box barcodes together in a ziplock gallon bag where it'll be safe. When you must return or service a phone, they will want a copy of the reciept and all dates and also the barcode from the phone box. When the battery dies in your phone, you'll badly want that warenty to work!
* Buying the perfect smartphone: Do you want a flipphone with just a calling ability, or a big fancy smartphone which has GPS maps and Internet? A smartphone ranges from free to 900 dollars, more or less. The most basic rule of thumb, is if the phone has 4GB of RAM Memory and 16GB of App Storage, then you're likely fine. But you'll have to look at reviews on Amazon and the Verizon website, and reviews on YouTube. Get a well-informed opinion about the phone. When you buy a used gadget (such as a phone) on ebay, there may or may not be a warranty still on it. If there's a sticker on the back of a phone which says IMEI, don't remove the sticker, because that's the identification for that phone. Your local phone store has a power cord and battery you can try. Your phone charger port may have got wet, rusted, or damaged, and can be repaired by Samsung or whomever the maker is.