It’s Broke? Let’s Fix It!

by Dan Forster - , Last Updated on December 15, 2015, How To Guides

Mobile not working the way you think it should? Smart phones are, well, smart, but just like any other kind of technology, they can break down or slow. You could head to your local mobile store and pay for someone to fix your phone for you, but a lot of common problems have some very simple solutions. So we’re taking a look at how to fix some of the every day problems that you might be experiencing with your mobile. No engineering degree required!

Before You Start!

Before you start messing around with your phone it’s always a good idea to have a back up. In some cases it’s not going to be possible (like if you just dropped your mobile in the toilet, for example), but if you can, plug your phone into your computer and back up all your data before you start, just in case. If you can’t do this, then if you’ve got a recent model mobile, it’s no big deal, iOS and Android both back up a lot of your data to the cloud anyway…

Problem 1: Frozen Phone

Probably the most common mobile problem that we see is a frozen phone. Your screen probably works, but your phone won’t actually do anything. The fix for this is simple. Just switch your phone off and turn it back on again, if possible removing the battery and reinserting it. Nine times out of ten this will fix the problem. If it doesn’t, you might be in more serious territory, so skip down to the “factory reset” section to continue.

Problem 2: Wet Phone

And the second most common problem? A wet phone. Whether you dropped it in a puddle or down the toilet, a waterlogged phone is potentially trashed. However, you can try to save it. Switch the phone off immediately (if it’s still on), and if you can, remove the battery. While you’re removing that battery, carefully clean out any water you see inside the mobile. Then bury your phone in a big bag of rice (not cooked rice, the dry kind, and yes, we’re serious). And now you play the waiting game.

Leave your phone in the rice for a good 48 hours, and don’t be tempted to turn it on during that time, just leave it alone. After a couple of days, try switching it on. If it doesn’t work then you’re going to be buying a new mobile, unfortunately. If it does work, then make a data back up right now! Probably your phone is going to be fine, but get that back up just on the off chance that there’s lasting damage.

Problem 3: Slow Phone

So, that lightening fast smart phone is just plodding along? There are a few easy ways to speed up your phone. First, go ahead and delete all those apps that you don’t use, they’re taking up precious memory space and slowing your mobile. Then you’re going to need to clear your memory cache. How you do this depends on the model of your phone, so you’ll need to google “phone model + clear + cache.” It’s usually easy though, so don’t worry about doing it.

After all this, restart your phone and be amazed at your new found speeds. If it didn’t work? Skip on down to the “factory reset” section for a more serious fix.

Problem 4: Smashed Screen

Oh, those smart phones and their delicate touch screens… Displays do get broken, and depending on how bad the damage is, you might need a replacement. First things first though. If you break your screen and you’ve got a screen protector on, then leave it on (it’s probably holding the glass together). If you don’t have a screen protector on, then you might want to put one on to hold the display together.

In some cases, a little crack isn’t going to trash your phone and you can probably just go ahead and use it as normal. If you’ve got major damage, or a non functioning display, then you’re going to need to replace the screen. We’ll be honest here, you can replace the screen of most models yourself, but it’s probably going to take more time, patience, and tools than you have, so it’s probably worth turning to a professional for this job…

How to Factory Reset

If the fixes above don’t work for you and you’re still having performance problems, then a factory reset will return your phone to the condition it was in when you bought it, meaning you get a brand new start (which will hopefully solve your issues). However, it will delete all your data in the process, so do make sure that you have a back up or a cloud account before you begin.

With an iPhone this is pretty simple. Plug your phone into iTunes, hit the “restore” option, confirm, and you’re good to go. With Android it’s a bit more complicated. You can try hitting the “factory reset” option in the settings menu, but for a real back to factory condition reset you’ll need to go into recovery mode.

To do this, switch your phone off. Then press and hold the power and volume up button at the same time until the phone switches back on again. Use the volume up button to scroll to the “recovery mode” option, then select using the volume down button. You should now see the Android logo with an exclamation point next to it and the words “no command.” Hold down the power button and press and release the volume up button. Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe data/factory reset” and then the power button to select. Then use the volume buttons to scroll to “yes erase all user data” and select using the power button. And… you’re done!

Plenty of things can go wrong with your high tech smart phone, but your phone is actually fairly good at fixing itself. Your first step with any problem should be switching your phone off and on again if possible (and as long as it’s not wet). The above listed common problems are easy fixes though, so don’t get stressed about your non functioning mobile, you can probably get it working properly all by yourself!