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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Android KitKat problems and how to fix them

Android KitKat is the most popular Android version around right now, running on roughly 40 percent of devices. But it has its problems. We've had more experience with many of these Android KitKat issues than anyone really deserves, but we learned some valuable lessons in the process. So we've compiled this list of the most common KitKat problems and how to fix them. Join us, friends, for a walk down Android KitKat troubleshooting lane.
Shortcuts:

AndroidPIT Galaxy S5 Lollipop KitKat

1. Battery drain

Battery issues following a firmware update are pretty much par for the course, so don't despair. They tend to settle down after a short while, but you can also help them on their way to recovery. Give our tried and true solutions (in order of severity) a go:
  • Pull the battery for 30 seconds and reboot.
  • Assess the apps that are causing the problems by checking your battery usage stats in settings (either reinstall them on the new firmware or remove them).
  • Recalibrate your battery with an app called Battery Calibration (you'll need root access for this).
  • Clear your system cache. This is done through Recovery Mode, specific to your device. Search AndroidPIT for individual tutorials.
  • Finally, the only remaining option, but the one that always works best, is a factory reset. Do not reset your phone until you have backed up all your important data though.
Battery CalibrationInstall on Google Play

2. Bad Wi-Fi connection

Quite frequently new firmware brings problems with Wi-Fi connectivity and even to call connections and 3G/4G data. The quickest and easiest way to fix this problem is to try toggling your data and Wi-Fi connections on and off or switch Airplane Mode on and off again.
Alternatively, you can go into your Wi-Fi settings and tapping the connection, then Forget and then adding it fresh. You can also try switching frequency bands. If all of this doesn't work, you might have to resort to flashing the latest radio file for your device. You can also try our guide to boost your phone's Wi-Fi.

AndroidPIT Advanced Wi Fi Settings

3. ''Unfortunately Gallery has stopped''

While this problem made headlines on the Galaxy S3, it caused problems for plenty of other people too. On the Galaxy S3, the six was simply to disable the Paper Artist app. To do this, just go to Settings > App Manager and locate Paper Artist. Tap it and then tap Disable. It will now appear in a Disabled tab in your App manager (and can be enabled again at any point).
On other devices, the trick is equally simple. Just clear the cache for the Gallery app. Go to Settings > Apps > Gallery and clear the cache. If the problem persists you can also clear the data for the app, but make sure you have all your photos safely backed up before you do so. You can also try uninstalling the app and re-installing it – or another one – if things are still crashing.

AndroidPIT KitKat Gallery Photos

4. Random reboots

A random reboot is when your phone just crashes and restarts without you doing anything. Sometimes it happens regularly, sometimes it happens because of a particular action or app, but it's never cool. There's a million reasons why random reboots might occur, but without the easiest way to clear them up is to just wipe your device.
Copy your important files over to your computer with a USB cable and use a backup app or cloud service to keep everything safe. You can also use computer based solutions like Heliumwhich doesn't even require root for a full system backup.
Once you have your backup, just go to the Backup and Reset section of your device's settings and follow the steps. It's much simpler to just restore your data on a fresh device than to spend weeks tinkering to find a particular solution to the reboot problem. If you need help saving your stuff, follow our guide on how to backup up everything on Android.

samrtphone usb laptop

5. Broken SD card access

KitKat is not the external SD card's friend but there are ways around the problem. You can read our tutorial on how to save to the SD card on KitKat, or you can grab one of a number of ''save to SD card'' apps in the Play Store. The only issue is that you will need to have root access to make this happen. You can also check out this fix for SD card write problems on KitKat.

6. Wake-from-sleep lag

There's a few issues here. The first fix could be a simple as going to your settings and lock screen widgets and switching from personal message to clock (or clock to personal message and back again). Alternatively, you can turn off your lock screen effect.
Various manufacturers issued patches for just this problem, so go to your Settings > About Phone > Software Update screen and make sure you have the most current version of KitKat for your device.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Lollipop lock screen widget

7. Reoccurring download notifications

This was originally a Jelly Bean problem, but it found its way into KitKat for some users as well. Fortunately it's a super easy fix: just open your app drawer, and find the Downloads app and deleting all downloads present.
Of course, you'll want to back these up first if you want to keep them. You can also go into Settings > Apps > Downloads and clear data. That should get rid of ghost notifications once and for all.

AndroidPIT S3 Download Manager

8. Mobile data and LTE issues

If mobile data fails, or it doesn’t automatically connect when turning off Wi-Fi or leaving a Wi-Fi area, there’s a couple of things you can do. The first is to simply toggle Airplane Mode on to disrupt all connections – and failed attempts – and then turn it off again. This will frequently result in the connection being made. The next thing to try is to restart your phone. If that doesn't work either you might want to call your provider and ask for network assistance.

androidpit airplane mode

9. Inaccurate GPS

GPS issues are another regular update bug. To fix it, go into Settings > Location and ensure that Location Access is turned on and switched to High Accuracy. Toggling through different settings can occasionally fix the problem, but if it doesn't you might want to download an app from the Play Store to diagnose your GPS problem. Give GPS Status & Toolbox a shot. Definitely worth a try if you feel like your GPS isn't up to par. We've got more tips to improve GPS signal.
GPS Status & ToolboxInstall on Google Play

10. System-wide problems

Sometimes the problems are so widespread that trying to fix each one individually is impossible. In these cases – when everything is about to meltdown along with your patience – the best trick is to just do a factory reset. It may sound scary but it's no big deal. Just make sure you back up your important data first.
Once you're all safely backed up, go to Settings > Backup and Resat and follow the steps. Once your phone restarts you can restore your apps and data and carry on, bug-free. Personally I always backup before an update, factory reset, update and then restore just to avoid the usual plethora of problems.

AndroidPIT Galaxy S2 Factory Reset

General advice

Before flashing any new firmware, official or otherwise, you should always do a backup, of your photos, music and documents as well as apps and data. This means that your important stuff is already safe before anything bad can happen. It's always a good idea to regularly back up your data.
It's also wise to avoid installing a new update straight away. Just let the notification sit there for a few days and come visit AndroidPIT or do some Googling to see if it is causing widespread problems before you commit to it. Being aware of the problems and fixes before they affect you will save a lot of headaches.
Finally, you can follow my method: backup your data, factory reset your device, install the update on a fresh system and then restore all of your apps and data. I do this automatically these days and it only takes half an hour. I figure that's a wise investment of my time and I very rarely suffer from bugs after an Android update (except those nasty ones baked into the update itself).
Any Android KitKat troubleshooting you need help with? Have you fixed these KitKat issues differently?

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