The best Android phones are great. They're powerful, they have amazing cameras, and they have all the additional features you care about. But the second any sort of trouble occurs, it can be a major pain in the butt. One common issue people often experience is their phone repeatedly shutting off unintended, and if this happens to you, it's not a good time.
No matter if it's a result of a low battery, easy-to-fix bug, or something more serious, here are a few tips on how to stop your phone from shutting off when you don't want it to.
Restart your phone
If you have a phone that keeps shutting off over and over, you may just need to restart it. As silly as it may sound, turning it off and on again really does work in many cases.
There are a couple of ways to restart your phone, the easiest of which just requires you to hold down the power and volume up buttons and select the Restart option that shows up on the screen. This will power your phone off and boot it back up, hopefully making it so things once again run like normal.
If that doesn't work, it's worth doing what we call a "hard reset." This also resets your phone, but does so using a combination of the volume and power buttons — something that comes in handy if you're having trouble accessing the power menu mentioned above.
To do this, hold down the power button and volume-down buttons until you're taken to the Fastboot Mode screen. Then, press the power button again to start the phone up. If you don't see the start option, use the volume-up and volume-down buttons to cycle through the various options until you find it.
If your phone decides to stay on and go back to normal after a good restart, you can stop reading here and go on with your life. However, if you're still having issues, there are a few other things we can try.
Charge it up
Another possible solution to your phone problems is to charge your device up. If your phone keeps shutting off or refuses to turn on, that could just be a sign that your battery is low.
Find your charging cable, plug your phone in, and leave it be and keep it charging for at least an hour so it can get some much-needed juice. Come back after a while, and if the battery looks like it's charging normally, you should be good to go.
If you find that your phone isn't taking a charge, try moving the charger to a different wall outlet or using a different cable/AC adapter. If that still doesn't work, something may be messed up with the charging port. If your phone supports wireless charging, place it on a supported wireless charger and see if that works. If you do that and the battery still isn't charging and/or your phone keeps shutting off, you have a bigger issue on your hands.
Factory reset and restore
Still no dice? It might be time to go a step further.
If you can use your phone long enough to tap the necessary buttons, backing up your data and performing a factory reset is worth a shot. A factory reset essentially takes your phone back to when you originally bought it (aka how it was when it came out of the factory).
Doing this will delete all of your apps, games, photos, and other personal data, so making sure that everything is backed up before initiating the reset is extremely important. Assuming it is, you'll be able to restore your phone back to how it was when going through the setup process. Google One can also periodically back up your phone to make sure everything is up to date as often as possible.
Factory resets can be very effective for improving performance, helping battery life, and many other things. There's a good chance it could stop your phone from repeatedly turning off, but because of how intensive of a process it is, we don't recommend it be your first course of action. Only if the above two steps don't work should you go down this route.
For a detailed take on what the backup and reset process looks like, take a look at the restore settings guide.
Contact the manufacturer
If you exhaust these DIY tips and still aren't making any progress, it's time to call your phone manufacturer and see what your options are. Most phones come with a manufacturer warranty to cover problems like this, assuming you haven't seriously damaged or worn out your phone and potentially caused the problem yourself.
Additionally, if you bought insurance for your phone either through the manufacturer or from a retailer like Best Buy, you should be able to take advantage of that to keep costs as low as possible for yourself.
We can't list the contact information for every phone maker out there, but here are the customer service numbers you'll want to call for some of the most popular brands.
- Samsung: 1 (800) 726-7864
- Google: Go to Tips & Support in the Settings
- OnePlus: 1 (833) 777-3633
- LG: 1 (800) 243-0000
- Motorola: 1 (800) 734-5870
It might be time to get a new phone
If your current phone is a couple of years old and you can't get it fixed, it may be time that you part ways with it and move on to another device.
Getting two to three years out of a phone is great, with anything beyond that being gravy. But, unfortunately, phones degrade as time goes on, and if you've been using them regularly, it's only natural for problems to pop up the longer you hold on to it.
We recommend consulting your needs and budget before going out and buying something. If you'd like some recommendations to point you in the right direction, we've rounded up the best Android phones currently available that are worth checking out.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.