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How to Troubleshoot Problems on Your Android Tablet

No electronic device comes without its share of problems. Here are some typical problems you may encounter on your Android tablet and some suggestions for a solution.

General trouble: For just about any problem or minor quirk, consider restarting the tablet by turning it off and then turning it on again. This procedure will most likely fix a majority of the annoying problems you encounter.

Check the cellular data connection: As you move about, the cellular signal can change. In fact, you may observe the status bar icon change from 4G to 3G to even the dreaded 1X or — worse — nothing, depending on the strength and availability of the cellular data service.

My advice for random signal weirdness is to wait. Oftentimes, the signal comes back after a few minutes. If it doesn’t, the cellular data network might be down, or you may just be in an area with lousy service. Consider changing your location.

Check the Wi-Fi connection: Ensure that the Wi-Fi network is set up properly and working. This process usually involves pestering the person who configured the Wi-Fi router or, in a coffee shop, bothering the cheerful person with the bad haircut who serves you coffee.

Reset the Wi-Fi connection: Perhaps the issue isn’t with the tablet at all but rather with the Wi-Fi network. Some networks have a “lease time” after which your tablet might be disconnected. If so, turn off the tablet’s Wi-Fi and then turn it on again. That often solves the issue.

Music is playing and you want it to stop: It’s awesome that your tablet continues to play music while you do other things. Getting the music to stop quickly, however, requires some skill. You can access the play controls for the Play Music app from a number of locations. They’re found on the Lock screen, for example. You can also find them on the Notification shade.

An app has run amok: Sometimes, apps that misbehave let you know. You see a warning on the screen announcing the app’s stubborn disposition. When that happens, touch the Force Close button to shut down the errant app.


When you don’t see a warning or when an app appears to be unduly obstinate, you can shut ’er down the manual way, by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Apps or Applications.

  3. Choose the Running category from the top of the screen.

  4. Choose the app that’s causing you distress.

    For example, a program doesn’t start or says that it’s busy or has some other issue.

  5. Touch the Stop button.

    The app stops.

After stopping the program, try opening it again to see whether it works. If the program continues to run amok, contact its developer: Open the Play Store app. Search for the app you’re having trouble with in the Play Store. When you find the app’s information screen, scroll down the See Details list. Choose the Send Email item. Send the developer a message describing the problem.

Reset the Android tablet software: When all else fails, you can do the drastic thing and reset all tablet software, essentially returning it to the state it was in when it first popped out of the box. Obviously, do not perform this step lightly. In fact, consider finding support before you start the following process:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Backup & Reset.

  3. Choose Factory Data Reset.

  4. Touch the Reset Tablet button.

    The button could be titled Reset Device instead of Reset Tablet.

  5. Touch the Erase Everything or Delete All button to confirm.

    All the information you’ve set or stored on the Android tablet is purged. That includes apps you’ve downloaded, music, synchronized accounts, everything.

Again, do not follow these steps unless you’re certain that they will fix the problem or you’re under orders to do so from someone in tech support.

You can also choose to reset the tablet’s software and erase everything should you ever return or sell your Android tablet. Of course, you probably love your tablet so much that the mere thought of selling it makes you blanch.

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