When the program breaks, you’re either organizing your notes on the computer or conversing with pals on your smartphone. You reopen it, only to have the software shut off again. When an app begins to behave in this manner, it is quite inconvenient.
But there’s good news: whether you’re using Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS, fixing crashing applications isn’t that difficult. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the important actions you should take to get things back on track. However, double-check that your problems aren’t caused by a certain app. If numerous apps are acting up, you may be dealing with a wider issue with your computer or smartphone.
Troubleshooting Android apps
When a mobile app malfunctions, damaged data is frequently to blame. Many applications save little amounts of data on your phone’s local storage, such as a friend’s latest status update or a menu symbol. This allows you to access the app faster the next time you pull it up. However, the locally saved information might become faulty, causing the program to fail. You may occasionally resolve the issue by requiring the program to update its data from the cloud or the program’s original files rather than local storage.
Clear an app from your phone’s recent memory to do a simple cache refresh on Android. Your smartphone keeps recently used applications active, which keeps their local caches up to date. You reset the cached data by deleting the app from memory. To begin, enter the app carousel by gradually sliding up from the bottom of your screen. Then, by swiping up, you may exit the glitchy app. Restart your phone immediately after that for good measure.
To do a more thorough reset, Go to Settings > Applications & notifications > See all apps and choose the problematic program from the list. Once there, Go to Storage & cache and select Clear cache. The software will have to refresh its data the next time it loads, which should delete the erroneous pieces. If this doesn’t work, go to the same screen as the Clear cache option and select Clear storage. This deletes all saved data, reverting the program to the state it was in when you originally installed it. That means you’ll have to log back in and change your settings. Still, if this step solves the problem, the effort is worthwhile.
When a program continues to misbehave, there may be a serious problem with the app’s coding, or it may no longer be compatible with your device. Because the developers may be aware of these issues, you should check to see whether there is an update that addresses them. Open the Play Store app, press your avatar in the upper right corner, select My apps & games, and check to see if the app in issue is listed under Updates awaiting. Whether so, apply any updates and see if it makes a difference. Updating your Android operating system may also help to reduce compatibility concerns. In Settings > System > Advance > System update, look for Android updates.
If you don’t notice any updates, or if they have no effect on how an app functions, uninstalling and reinstalling the software may help. Return to the app’s Play Store listing, press the app’s name, and then hit Uninstall. When this procedure is finished, the button should revert to Install. Restart the phone, then go to the Play Store and reinstall the app.
After that, if the program continues to crash, the final recourse is to contact the developer personally and explain your problem. Tap on the app’s name in the Play Store listing, and you should see a Developer Contact option with an email and a website to assist you get in contact.
Troubleshooting iOS and iPadOS apps
The procedure for iOS and iPadOS is fairly similar to that for Android: clear the data cache, restart the phone, update the software, and finally contact the developer for assistance. Follow these instructions on your iPhone or iPad as shown below.
First, remove the app’s cache from memory to refresh it: Slide up from the bottom of the screen and hold until all of your open applications show (or double-tap the Home button), then swipe up on the app causing problems. Next, force an iPhone reboot by simultaneously holding down the Volume down and Side keys until a slide to power off option displays. Hold down the Home and Side buttons on your phone until the Apple logo shows. To restart an iPad, press Volume up, Volume down, and then the top button simultaneously.
On an iPhone or iPad, unlike Android, there is no simple method to remove an app’s cache or data. As a result, your first action should be to check for updates. Launch the App Store, choose your Apple ID avatar, and install any updates that appear. While you’re at it, check Settings > General > Software Update for any outstanding upgrades.
If the troubled app does not have an update available, or if upgrading it does not work, it is time to remove and reinstall the program. This should clean away any faulty data or incorrectly specified settings, causing the software to restart from the beginning. On the home screen, press and hold the app’s icon, then select Remove App from the menu that displays, followed by Delete App. Restart your phone and download the app from the App Store again.
Beyond reinstalling, your next step should be to contact the developer. Return to the App Store listing for the app and look for the Developer Website item. This should bring you to contact information where you may inquire about the issues you’re experiencing.
Troubleshooting Windows apps
These days, computer operating systems handle apps much like phones do. That means you can follow broadly similar troubleshooting steps. You install updates, which can fix bugs and update compatibility, and erase a program’s cache of local data, which may have become bloated or corrupted.
Windows don’t have a central application-management system like a smartphone does, so the update process will vary slightly from app to app. First, open the program and see whether the menu includes an update option. Or head to the app’s official website to see whether the latest version is available for download. For example, you can get the latest version of iTunes here and the latest version of Spotify here. Programs you purchased from the Microsoft Store are easier: You can update them in bulk. Head to the taskbar, search for “Microsoft Store,” and select the top option. Then click the menu button (three horizontal dots) in the top right and pick Downloads and updates > Get updates.
Your computer is a more complex beast than your smartphone, which means there are more potential problem areas. For example, a computer program is more likely to have compatibility problems with other software and with the hardware itself. So in addition to updating the problem program, you should make sure your other applications are up to date as well. While you’re at it, head to Settings > Update & Security and install any pending updates that appear on that screen.
If updating the app doesn’t fix it, your next step will be to clear its data cache, potentially removing any bugs. On Windows, the only way to do this is by uninstalling and reinstalling the program. To remove a program, hit the Start menu and select the cog icon to open Windows Settings. Choose Apps, find the problem program, click on it, and choose Uninstall to remove it. Then reinstall the application from the web or the Microsoft Store.
When problems keep cropping up after that, it’s time to get in touch with the developer team. The program’s website should point you toward whatever support system the developers offer.
Troubleshooting macOS apps
The method on macOS closely resembles the Windows process. Again, you will follow the principles of updating and cache-clearing.
First, install updates. For programs you installed from the internet, check the application’s menu for an update option, or download the latest version from the web. Anything you got from the Mac App Store will alert you automatically when updates are available. Check on and install pending updates by opening the App Store and selecting the Updates tab.
The same tab will also tell you if any macOS updates are available. If a new version of the operating system has recently been released, but you haven’t installed it yet, some of your installed programs might experience occasional bugginess due to compatibility issues. Update the operating system to eliminate this problem. As on Windows, one of your applications might be going haywire in response to another application or even a hardware device. If you’ve recently changed something about your system, that might be a clue. That’s why it’s important to keep all your other software up to date, even if you’re not noticing any buggy behavior in other apps.
If updates don’t fix your application, then it’s time to clear as much of its data as possible by uninstalling and reinstalling the program. If you installed the app from the Mac App Store, open Launchpad, click and hold the app’s icon, and select the X icon that pops up. For programs installed separately, look for an uninstaller tool, which should appear in the program’s folder in Finder > Applications. If you can’t find an uninstall option, just drag the app from Applications to Trash, then click and hold on Trash and select Empty Trash.
After you reinstall the software from the App Store or the web, it should erase any buggy data and reset to factory settings. If this doesn’t clear up the issues you’ve been experiencing, try contacting the developer. You can often find a contact option through the app, or check for contact information on the official website.
Other troubleshooting tips
As we’ve mentioned, your computer is more sophisticated than your smartphone, which means a problem has more potential culprits. Extensions and faulty hardware can make your apps keep crashing.
Computer programs like web browsers often work with third-party extensions—and a bad plug-in can ruin them. If you think this might be the root cause of your woes, try disabling the add-ons for your browser (or whatever application you’re using) one by one. In Chrome, go to Chrome menu > More tools > Extensions; in Firefox, choose Firefox menu > Add-ons; in Microsoft Edge, choose Edge menu > Extensions; and for Safari open Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
In addition to extensions, recently-installed hardware devices can cause app issues, particularly when the device in question is older. To check whether it’s to blame, disconnect the hardware and see if this clears up your problems. If it does, you might be able to fix the issue by downloading updated hardware drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
Finally, whether an app is misbehaving on your computer or your phone, you can always consult the internet. A quick web search can turn up known issues with specific apps, along with potential fixes for the problems. Even if your research fails to find a solution, you’ll at least know that the fault doesn’t lie with you.