Fixing Random and Annoying Problems on Your Amazon Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

Aren’t all problems on the Fire phone annoying? A welcome problem doesn’t exist, unless the problem is welcome because it diverts attention from another, preexisting problem. And random problems? If problems were predictable, they would serve in office. Or maybe they already do?

Here are some typical problems and suggestions for a solution:

You have general trouble. For just about any problem or minor quirk, consider restarting the phone: Turn off the phone, and then turn it on again. This procedure will most likely fix a majority of the annoying and quirky problems you encounter when using your Fire phone.

To restart the Fire phone, press and hold the Power/Lock button. From the menu that appears, tap the Restart button. The phone instantly restarts. Hopefully, that fixes whatever has gone awry.

When restarting doesn’t work, consider turning off the phone, waiting about 15 seconds, and then turning it on again.

The data connection needs to be checked. Sometimes the data connection drops but the phone connection stays active. Check the status bar. If you see bars, you have a phone signal. When you don’t see the 4G, 3G, 1X, or Wi-Fi icon, the phone has no data signal (Internet access).

Occasionally, the data signal suddenly drops for a minute or two. Wait, and it comes back around. If it doesn’t, the cellular data network might be down, or you may simply be in an area with lousy service. Consider changing your location.

For wireless connections, you have to ensure that Wi-Fi is set up properly and working. Setup usually involves pestering the person who configured the Wi-Fi signal or made it available, such as the cheerful person in the green apron who serves you coffee.

Some older Wi-Fi routers cannot handle the increased load of multiple wireless devices. In some cases, turning off the phone’s Wi-Fi and then turning it on again may restore the connection: Pull down the Notification panel and tap the Wi-Fi icon. Wait a moment. Then tap the Wi-Fi icon again to see if that restores the connection.

The phone’s software must be reset (a drastic measure). When all else fails, you can do the extreme thing and reset all software on the phone, essentially returning it to the state it was in when it popped out of the box. Obviously, you should not perform this step lightly. In fact, consider finding support before you start:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Device to expand that area.

  3. Choose Factory Reset Your Fire.

    Nothing scary happens yet.

  4. Place a check mark in the box by Back Up Device Before Reset.

    That sounds like a good idea.

  5. Tap the Reset button.

    Still nothing scary.

  6. Touch the OK button to proceed with the erase-and-reset.

    Scary: All the information you’ve set or stored on the phone is purged.

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, however, follow these directions should you decide to sell, give away, or return your phone. In that case, erasing all your personal information makes a lot of sense.