More on the core smartphone functionality

Before you start learning about addressing various issues with your smartphone, you should understand the basic functionality of your phone which can be applied as tools for troubleshooting.

Soft Reset

One of the important terms you need to get yourself familiarized with is ‘Soft resets’, especially if you are coming from a desktop background. On a regular desktop computer, you perform the soft reboot with the operating system or dedicated button on the case. The traditional nature of such soft reboot is, that they never power down all the way. On the opposite hand, you perform a Hard Reset by holding down the power button for a couple of seconds until the system shuts down completely. Generally, you do not want to reboot this way but if your system requires so, then do it. An example is your system is frozen.

On a mobile device, a soft reset is straight off restarting the device. Be it from the OS or the hardware buttons. In case the device does not restart, consult the manufacturer resources for a soft reset. If you notice that you are correctly performing the soft reset, you can go ahead and remove the battery from the back, if it is removable.

Generally, with a reboot, you can expect to fix all kinds of strange and spooky behaviour of a mobile device. This is the easiest procedure to quick fix your mobile devices and I hope that this is enough and you do not have to go further from here like a ‘factory reset.

Uninstall/ Reinstall App

This is one of the important steps to troubleshoot your device. You can easily uninstall any app via the app store or the application manager and reinstall them only with the app store. If a user faces any problem after installing a new app, the obvious diagnosis is to uninstall and reinstall the app to see if the mischievous behaviour persists. If they are using a certain app, make sure to jot down the important settings and back up the data before you uninstall it.

Yet, uninstalling and reinstalling the app may not fix certain issues and the reason may not be obvious. If a user has been using an app for quite a long time and lately the app started to act up, it could be the developer released a new update, which is why the app is acting up. This is just one possible theory. If all other fails, you may need to remove the app completely and wait until the developer releases a new update.

Reset to factory default settings

This is one other reset and also known as hard reset, factory reset, reset to factory default – for mobile devices. It is “Reinstall the windows” for a mobile device. Be very careful if you go down this route. Performing this will wipe everything out of the device and return to the very original state you bought it. Please take note that this is not the same as a hard reset of a desktop computer but more like reinstalling the windows in terms of a desktop theory. If you are relying on documentation or a how-to kind of page, try to look for more obvious and explicit resources than implicit resources.

You certainly do not want to perform this until you have the necessary data backed up. The only exception is if this factory reset intends to sell the device, recycle or hand it over to a new user, in such case probably you do not want to back up data unless you need it. In case the issue comes back after resetting the phone and retrieving user data from the backup, you may be looking at some potentially disruptive app that you need to track down.