Android is one of the most exciting mobile operating systems you can find. It ticks the right boxes in most areas that you would expect from a good OS. Unfortunately, like any technology imaginable, Android is not without bugs.
Regardless of your smartphone brand, your Android device can come up with a number of annoying issues. These can be Android-wide issues or brand-specific issues. We’ve rounded up some of the most notoriously annoying Android problems and show you how to deal with them.
1. Your phone’s screen won’t turn off during a call
This annoying problem is typically caused by a faulty or partially covered proximity sensor. Depending on the exact cause, there are several ways to fix the problem. The easiest solution is to wipe the proximity sensor with a clean, dry cloth. For reference, it’s usually on the top of your smartphone, near the front camera. So make sure you wipe your entire top bezel.
If this doesn’t work, your protective glass or phone case may be blocking the view of the sensor. You need to adjust one or both to fix the problem. If it still doesn’t work, there are three other options on the table:
Reboot your phone: This is usually sufficient after cleaning your sensor.
Turn off your proximity sensor: If the proximity sensor isn’t working, you may need to remove it. To turn off your proximity sensor:
- Open the Phone app on your device and tap the three dots icon in the top right corner of your screen.
- Beat Settings > Call Settings and turn off the proximity sensor. Unfortunately, you may not find this option on some Android phones depending on the OS version and device manufacturer. But all is not lost, you can try the third option on our list.
Turn off all sensors: This approach is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. But it works, so we promise not to judge. To turn off all your sensors:
- Open settings on your Android smartphone.
- Navigate to System > Developer Settings (or developer options) > Quick settings developer tiles > Sensors off. You may need to enable developer options first.
- This doesn’t actually turn off your sensors, it just adds a shortcut to turn off your sensors to your quick settings menu. To turn your sensors off anytime your proximity sensors are misbehaving, simply swipe down to bring up your quick settings menu and turn on sensors off Icon to turn off all sensors.
Turning off your sensors will interrupt your use of the microphone, camera, and location services. Only consider this a last-second stopgap measure.
2. Your phone screen will lighten and darken randomly
It’s cool when your phone increases its brightness in lit areas and dims it in dark rooms. Unfortunately, your smartphone’s light sensor, which is responsible for controlling this function, sometimes does not work properly. This causes your phone’s screen to randomly dim and lighten under the wrong conditions. So you get a cool feature that suddenly becomes an annoying one.
To fix this, open your phone settings and search Adaptive brightness or Automatic brightness. Tap to open and turn off the feature.
If you can’t find either option, as a last resort and emergency solution, you can consider turning off all sensors using the steps outlined above. In this case, you need the help of a technician for a permanent solution.
3. Your screen is too bright at night
Using your Android phone at night can be a tedious squint exercise. Adjusting the screen brightness or the distance of your smartphone from your eyes doesn’t exactly fix this. Luckily, newer Android OS versions ship with a built-in dark mode.
To enable dark mode on your Android device, just go to Settings > Display and turn on Dark mode.
This should immediately enable an OS-wide dark theme for your device and cause some of your apps to switch to a dark theme as well.
Use dark mode in your browser
Unfortunately, most Android browser apps don’t have a reliable dark mode feature. You get a dark mode that only applies a dark theme to the browser menu and not to web page content. As you surf the web, you’re stuck with eye-damaging, harsh white light.
Luckily, Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome and Brave have a workaround. To enable a dark mode feature that actually renders web content in a dark theme on Chrome and Brave browsers:
- Visit chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark from your Chrome or Brave browser.
- On Brave, look for the option that says Automatic dark mode for web contenttap the associated drop-down menu and select Enable.
- In Chrome, look for the option that says Force dark mode for web contenttap the associated drop-down menu and select Enable.
- Beat reboot at the bottom of the page to restart your browser with a dark theme.
After restarting your browser, web content and not just the browser menu should be rendered in a dark theme. For reference, here is a screenshot of a Yahoo News page on Chrome’s regular dark theme and another on the forced dark theme:
Here’s how to enable dark mode in some popular Android apps.
4. Your phone’s memory will fill itself up
You don’t download new files or install additional apps, but somehow your phone’s memory fills itself up. Why is that?
The biggest culprit is usually your app cache and other app data. As you use your applications, they slowly accumulate data in the background, eating up gigabytes of disk space before you know it. Social media apps like Telegram and Facebook are particularly notorious culprits. Chrome and Netflix are also big hoarders of application data, so keep an eye out for them, too.
To clear app caches and other application data on your Android device:
- Open settings on your device and navigate to applications (or applications for some brands) and tap on it.
- On the next screen, tap Show all applications or manage apps.
- From the list, find and tap apps that are currently taking up a lot of disk space.
- Next, tap Storage > Clear Data or clear camp and choose either manage storage space (or clear camp) or clear cache. If you have decided on the manage storage space option, should you find an option Delete all data for the selected application.
- That clear cache Option should help rid your device of all temporary files associated with selected app.
If you can’t seem to follow these instructions on your Android brand, here is an alternative guide on how to clear the cache on your Android device.
If you want to clear cache data for all your apps at once, try navigating to Settings > Storage > Device Storage > Cache Data and type Extinguish to clear cache data for all your applications at once. This option may not be available on all phones.
5. You can’t find some hidden Android features
This is not a malfunction, but it can still be annoying. There are some features that you have to navigate the depths of your Android device to find every time you want to use them. But why not just add the feature to your quick settings menu?
To add a shortcut to your quick settings menu, just do the following:
- Swipe down from the top of your Android device to view the quick settings menu.
- From the menu, tap the pencil icon to see available shortcuts you can add.
- Tap on any of the available shortcuts to add them to your quick settings menu.
If you are unable to follow these instructions on your Samsung phone, here is a guide on how to customize your quick settings tiles on Samsung devices.
Unfortunately, there’s a limit to the number of features you can add as shortcuts in the quick settings menu. However, this is not the end of the road. Apps like Tile Shortcuts let you add any app to your quick settings menu and access it with a single swipe.
Android problems solved
Although Android comes with a bunch of annoying baggage, it’s still one of the most powerful mobile operating systems out there. As development progresses, some annoying bugs will be fixed. The problems of the earliest iterations of Android are now a thing of the past.
While we wait for an integrated solution to some of Android’s most pesky baggage, use the tips we’ve shared to solve your most immediate problems.