How to fix an Android phone that doesn’t work right after upgrading

Did you recently update or upgrade the software on your Android and now your cell phone doesn’t seem to want to work properly? This can happen sometimes after upgrading to the newest version of software for an Android smartphone but don’t panic this is often an easy fix. This guide will describe why this usually happens and of course what you can do to fix your phone and get it working the same or even better then it was before upgrading.

Updating didn’t break the phone

The good news is that if the update was able to finish downloading and it installed properly then the new software on your phone is likely working correctly and these hiccups will be easy to fix.

How do I know that the upgrade installed correctly?

If you can turn on and navigate your phone after upgrading, and your cell phone will allow you to make selections and open the settings then the upgrade worked and was installed properly.

Causes and symptoms of bad updates and upgrades

The most common causes of bad upgrades and bad updates are caused by interrupting the installation process. If the upgrade doesn’t get to finish installing then bad things often happen to the phone. Some of the more common reasons why a software installation might not get to finish installing properly include the phones battery draining to zero during the install, a power outage that powers off a computer being used to upgrade the phone, a laptops battery running out while upgrading, intentionally or unintentionally disconnecting the phone from a computer that’s installing the software, etc.

More information about how to circumvent these types of problems can be read at How to avoid issues when updating or upgrading an Android phone. These types of circumstances can result in a bricked/broken phone that is little more than a paper weight.

So if you’re able to navigate and use your phone then it’s not bricked and there is a very good chance that it can be fixed.

Causes of issues after updating an Android

The original applications

The most likely culprit and number one cause of problems on an Android phone after upgrading are the phones applications. The applications that you have downloaded onto your phone since you got it might not be 100% compatible with the phones new software. This is especially true as new versions of Android are released. The people who wrote the application(s) might need more time to update their applications software to keep it running smoothly on the newer version of Android.

A problem with the software release itself

This is extremely rare as updates and upgrades are thoroughly tested before being released but once in a blue moon new software is released that might have a minor issue or bug that eluded testing. These bugs are often patched quickly depending on the severity of the issue and new software is released to fix the issue.

Software hiccups

Rarely does a hiccup occur when updating/upgrading that can cause minor or commonly occurring problems on the phone but these issues can be solved much of the same way that you would solve issues relating to your applications.

How to fix the phone and get it to work properly again

Ok here is what you can do to get your phone functioning correctly again and running possibly even better than before.

Give it time

If for the most part your phone functions properly then simply giving the phone time can resolve your issues. This will allow application developers to update their applications or allow a patch to be written for possible bugs in the Android version itself.

Upgrade or remove the problematic applications

If there are specific apps or a singular application that no longer seems to run properly then you should check for updates regarding that specific application and if available update it. If there are no updates available then you could uninstall that application from the phone until a compatible version of that application is written for your version of Android and then re-download the app. Or you can try to uninstall and then reinstall the application to see if a fresh install will correct any issues that might be randomly creeping up.

Default apps or features are malfunctioning

If the applications that come preinstalled on the phone by default are crashing or malfunctioning such as your contacts, calendar, Play Store, Google processes, etc. or your phone is getting error messages regarding these functions or even if features you need don’t seem to be working properly then the BEST and surefire way to fix all these problems is to perform a full backup of all the information on the phone and then perform a factory data reset.

This will wipe everything from the phone and cleanup any software issues, hiccups, glitches, bugs, outdated apps, etc. that might be causing problems. The phone will think its brand new right out of the box. An important note to keep in mind though is that the phone will remain on the new updated software and will not go back to the previous version that that was installed on the phone before the upgrade.

After performing the reset I recommend that you use the phone without any custom or third party applications for a few days to make sure that everything is working like it should. This reset should resolve any issues that started after upgrading/updating the phone and chances are you might even notice an increase in performance and functionality on the device.


If your Android device seems to experience problems after upgrading its software then one of the best solutions to the problem is to find the application that seems to be causing trouble, removing that application or applications and then to make sure that the phone is working properly. If removing the custom apps from the phone doesn’t resolve the issue then the best fix is to backup the phones information and then perform a factory data reset on the device.

After using the phone as a clean install for a few days you can start re-downloading and installing apps from the Play Store again. I recommend that you do this cautiously at first though. Download an application and then try the phone out to make sure everything is working properly for a few days. Download another app try it out for a day or two, etc.

As mentioned already, the most likely cause is a bad app on the phone so if you download that bad app again then your phone might start acting up again due to that app. By taking the time to try out applications after downloading and installing them onto your phone individually you can pinpoint problematic apps a lot faster and then choose whether or not you want to uninstall them or if it’s worth the trouble to keep using that app and just put up with the issue until the apps developer creates and releases an update that helps the app run smoother on the new software.

That is how you can fix a phone that seems broken after upgrading.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your upgraded phone, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions or would simply like to leave a friendly remark.

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12 thoughts on “How to fix an Android phone that doesn’t work right after upgrading”

  1. Unfortunately, the process…
    “Unfortunately, the process has stopped” keeps on popping up even after a hard reset

    – After firmware update, the error message kept on popping every 3 to 5 seconds.
    – I made hard reset, and when starting up android again, the message keeps on popping too.
    – I cannot reach the home screen on m S3. I`m stuck with the start up screen.
    – they ask for the language, then for Google account, then for Samsung account, then they go back to ask for the language.

    Note: I already made a backup for my important info, so I just need my S3 to function properly now.

    Obviously hard reset didn’t solve the problem, any other ideas?

    1. Try this…

      Hi Omar,

      It sounds like you have a bad app my friend. I cannot say for sure which app it is or what caused it to malfunction BUT if I was to make a guess I would say that it didn’t install properly after updating your Samsung Galaxy S3.

      Interesting that a hard reset didn’t help and it’s also odd that your cell phone is now stuck in the setup process. Talk about annoying, if you cannot even setup your phone properly then you obviously won’t be able to use it. Try this though…

      From the error message that you were getting, chances are very good that it’s an App causing issues so try booting your phone into Safe Mode. Safe Mode will start the phone and disable the non-essential apps. If one of the apps is causing problems this should allow you to start the phone properly, and will let access the phone again and do some troubleshooting. Hopefully allowing you to locate the problematic app and fix it.

      To boot the Samsung Galaxy SIII into safe mode what you need to do is power the phone off completely (remove the battery for a few seconds and then reinsert it if you need to), then press the Power key until the Samsung Logo appears on the screen. When you see the SAMSUNG logo you can release the power key but you will need to immediately start pressing and holding the Volume Down key until “Safe mode” appears in the bottom left hand corner of the unlock screen (it can take a minute to show up).

      If you can get your cell phone to boot into Safe mode then it should allow you to access your phone again. If you can do that then the first thing I recommend that you try to resolve this issue it to go into the Settings > tap Application manager > make sure that the All option is selected (you might see a Downloaded, On SD card, or Running, option as well but you want to select the All option), find the Downloads option and open it, then press Disable, wait 30 seconds, and then Enable it again. Restart the cell phone and see if this helped to fix it allowing it to start up properly.

      If it gets stuck again, then boot into Safe mode again go to the exact same location (Settings > Application manager > All) and then tap the Menu key and then choose the Reset app preferences option.

      Reboot and see if that helps. If not then reboot into Safe mode and start reinstalling your apps. I recommend that you start by uninstalling SwiftKey, reinstall it, and then reboot to see if it helped; then rinse and repeat with the phones other applications.

      If you try this and still have issues then let me know and I will give you some more tips that could help to solve the problem.

      Either way let me know Omar, I look forward to your reply.

      1. Same issue
        Hello James

        Thank you for your prompt attempt for help 🙂

        I tried what you have suggested but I’m still having the same problem. Only difference is now that “Safe Mode” phrase is shown on bottom left of screen.

        I believe the problem is in the firmware update that I did. If there’s a way of removing it and re-installing the old version I think this will solve it.

        But, unfortunately, I don’t know what the last version was….I don’t even know what the current is. Moreover, I have to find a way to do so without going into settings since I can’t reach home screen in first place.

        What do you think?

  2. a slightly different problem
    I have a Samsung tab3. After performing the most recent update, I have noticed that a feature ‘turn off background apps’ is not there after the recent update. I used this to avoid lag, so what should I do? I have mentioned this on this forum because I thought of resetting the android version.

    1. I would keep the update

      Hi Mahesh,

      That is interesting… While possible, I have a hard time believing that they would remove that feature entirely as many other people also enjoy having (and using) it on their Android devices. A common occurrence after installing an update is that the navigation of the device might change slightly. That setting might be in a different place than it was before etc. Do some searching through your Samsungs settings first as it’s a good habit to keep electronics up to date with the latest software. Try to go forward and not backwards whenever possible, unless of course there is a serious software issue or something was changed that you just can live with or in this case without.

  3. Bricked?
    I did an update to my android phone today and it was working fine after. My battery died, and now when I have it charging and try to turn it back on it is stuck on the Motorola logo screen and won’t do anything. Can I fix this – it was working with the new update earlier today.

    Thanks for you help!

    1. Stuck on the Motorola startup logo

      It’s really hard to brick an Android smartphone so try not to panic yet.

      Try booting your phone into Safe Mode to see if it might be an outdated app that’s causing problems. If your phone boots correctly into Safe Mode you can locate the troublesome app, remove it from the phone, reboot, and see if that fixes it or not.

      Since your problem is kind of on the serious side (your phone won’t even power on properly which is going to make it a little more difficult to troubleshoot effectively) if using Safe Mode doesn’t help then I suggest reviewing and following the advice listed at How to troubleshoot an Android smartphone that will not load past the Motorola startup screen.

      I think it might just be exactly what you are looking for.

      1. Thanks a million

        Thanks a million James. My phone actually just randomly booted up today, so I’m not sure what the issue was.

        Your website is solid, I will definitely refer to it in the future.

        Thanks again,


  4. Guys, I installed an update
    Guys, I installed an update to my lenovo A500 then suddenly after 15 mins. I cant turn it back on. What is the possible remedy for that?

  5. Phone is not opening after update
    My LYF LS5009 is not opening after an update. The update was successfully download but when I installed the update the install got to 99% and after 99% it showed some error message. I skipped that message and restarted my phone but the phone is not opening and I have restarted it many times, it always take me to the reboot page.
    What should I do to open my phone without a reset?

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