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Fix a buggy app, free up storage and more on your Android phone

We all want to love our smartphones all the time, but our phones don’t always cooperate. Little annoyances can crop up when navigating your Android device, but you don’t have to let them get to you. Instead, fix them.

Don’t let a misbehaving app or a cluttered home screen get you down. There are some easy solutions for these problems and other common Android annoyances. It’s all about knowing where to find the right settings to tweak and how to access some shortcuts.

Keep in mind that Android operating systems can vary quite a bit, so you may need to hunt around to find the right settings.

Fix a buggy app

A crashing app can put a damper on your day, but there are some steps you can take to try to put it back in line. The first possible fix is to just restart your phone. That may clear out a temporary hangup. Also check that your Android operating system and the app itself are up to date.

For the Android operating system, open Settings, tap on System, and then on System Updates to see if a new download is available. To check on the app, open Play Store, tap on the three bars in the corner, and choose “My apps & games.” If you see the app with an Update button, then go ahead and tap on the button.

If you want to completely shut down a misbehaving app, head into Settings, tap on Apps & Notifications and tap on the name of the app. The Force Stop button will shut it down. You can also choose to uninstall the app from here, and then download it again from the Play Store to see if a fresh installation fixes the problem.

There’s another step you can try to clear up problems with an app. From the same window where you see the Force Stop and Uninstall options, tap on Storage. Hit the Clear Data and Clear Cache buttons. If none of these steps work, then you may need to get in touch with the app’s developer for support.

Here’s how to fix Google Play Store when it’s acting up.

Free up storage

You’re snapping photos, taking videos and downloading apps. Those are all wonderful things to do, but it’s not as much fun when you suddenly find yourself running out of storage space on your device.

Android gadgets running more recent versions of the operating system have a quick fix available. Head to Settings, tap on Storage, and then tap on the “Free Up Space” button. Here, you can choose which items to remove. Pay special attention to the list of apps. Android will tell you which ones you haven’t used within the past year. Once you’ve selected what you want to clean out, tap on the Free Up message at the bottom that tells you how much storage space you will recover.

For even more tips on making space on your Android device, check out our Komando guide to cleaning up your storage.

Remove an unwanted autocorrect suggestion

Autocorrect can save you from a bad spelling error, but it may also end up giving you some suggestions you’re not interested in seeing. These may come about because it learned a certain spelling, or it may suggest a spelling that’s different than what you prefer to use.

To remove an autocorrect suggestion, just tap and hold down on the word when it appears while you’re typing. A trash-can icon will appear along with “Remove suggestion.” Drag the word up to the trash can and let go and you won’t see that autocorrect suggestion appear anymore.

Declutter your home screen

If you’ve caught the decluttering bug, then seeing your Android home screen filled with random shortcuts and widgets might start to drive you a little nuts.

You can clean up the look of your home screen by pressing, holding down, and then slightly moving an unused app shortcut. Drag the icon up to either the remove message (to simply remove it from the home screen) or to the uninstall message at the top of the screen to delete the app from your phone.

The process is similar for widgets. Long-press on a widget and drag it up to the remove message at the top to clear it off.

You can also group apps into folders. Just hold down on an app icon, drag it on top of the app you want to put it with, and then let go. You can then add more apps to this folder using the same method. You will see smaller versions of the app icons within the folder icon. Tap on it to see the contents of the folder.

Solving life’s little Android annoyances can go a long way toward making your smartphone or tablet experience more enjoyable.

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