Troubleshooting Mobile Devices – CompTIA A+ 220-1102 – 3.4

We rely on our mobile devices for many aspects of our daily life. In this video, you’ll learn about troubleshooting app issues and crashes, update failures, battery life issues, random reboots, and more.

Because of the architecture of the mobile devices we use today, there’s really limited troubleshooting we can do with the operating system in the applications. But there are some best practices we can follow, and we’ll look at those best practices in this video. If you’re having a problem starting an app on your mobile device, or you’re finding the app is not performing the way you would like, there are a few things you might want to try.

The first, of course, is to restart your phone. Have your phone power down and then power the phone back on, and see if the application problems still occur. If the app is currently running and it’s having a problem, you may want to stop the app and restart it. If you’re using an iPhone, you can either double tap the Home button or you can slide up on the screen to present all of the apps that are currently running. You can then slide the app up that you would like to terminate, and then you can go back to your main screen and restart the app.

On an Android device, you can go to Settings apps, select the app, and then choose Force stop. If this continues to happen, there may already be a bug fix for this so you might want to check the app and see if there’s an update. There might also be times when you’re using an app and suddenly it stops working. But all of the other parts of your device and all of the other apps seem to be working normally. Or maybe you’re using the app and suddenly it disappears or you get an error message saying there was some type of issue.

The first step to troubleshooting this would be to start with a clean slate. So we want to restart our mobile device and then try using the app again. We then might want to check for updates or we might want to check with the software developer and see if they’re aware of this problem. And if we think the issue may be related to something on our device, we could always delete the app and then reinstall the app from our favorite App Store.

So it may be that updating this app is going to solve the problem. Except then when you try to update the app, you find that it doesn’t update to the latest version. And yet all of the other apps that you would normally use have updated themselves successfully. You might be able to manually install an app update. You can go to your favorite App Store and then choose the process to update that particular app.

Some app stores require that you have a form of purchase on file so your credit card or some other payment system has to be part of the app store before it will begin to update those apps. And of course the best practice of restarting the mobile device may be able to resolve the problem that you’re having with updating a particular app.

Of course, there will be times when our mobile device needs to be updated with a new version of the mobile operating system. But if you try to update and you find the update process is not working, there are a few steps you can go through to correct this issue. One of the biggest issues in updating an operating system is having enough free space on your device to be able to download the new operating system. So you may want to check your available storage.

And if there’s not enough space, you might want to remove any apps or documents you no longer need. These are also very large updates, so if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi this could take a very long time to download. To improve this download speed, you may want to look for an available Wi-Fi network and use the increased bandwidth to download the latest OS version.

Our mobile devices are usually connecting to an update server to be able to download the latest version of the operating system. And if many people are trying to access that server simultaneously, this process could be relatively slow. So you might want to try a different connection or different Wi-Fi network, and see if it will connect you to a different update server.

And of course, there could be something running on your mobile device that’s preventing this download from occurring. So of course, you should restart your mobile device to see if that resolves the issue. If you find the battery in your mobile device is being rapidly depleted, it might be that your device itself is outside the range of your mobile network provider.

If you are outside of a range or you have very limited signal, your device will constantly be trying to find a new signal to use. And the process of performing that search is going to use battery on your mobile device. If you know that your mobile device is going to be out of range of these networks, you may want to put it into airplane mode so it’s not constantly trying to regain access to that mobile network.

And if you’ve had your device for a couple of years, you may notice that it doesn’t seem to hold a charge like it used to. This is perfectly normal for the battery technologies we use these days, and you may need to replace the battery to bring it back up to its full capacity. In the meantime, you might want to disable anything that could be using the battery that you’re not currently using.

So if you’re not connected to an 802.11 network, you might want to disable that radio inside of your mobile device. The same thing applies for Bluetooth, GPS, and anything else that might use power on that mobile device. Our mobile phones and tablets have ways to monitor the battery use. On iOS or iPadOS, you can go to Settings and Battery. And in Android, you can also go to Settings and Battery.

A very frustrating problem to troubleshoot is when you’re using your device and then suddenly it reboots, and you have to wait for the entire reboot process to regain control of that mobile device. This could be related to the software that’s running on this device. So we should check the operating system version, make sure that it’s up to date, and then make sure all of the apps that we’re using have also been updated.

Of course, this could also be related to the hardware of this device. But there’s not a lot of diagnostics we can do with hardware on Android or iOS devices. We can certainly look at the battery health to determine if that might be causing a problem. But unfortunately, there’s not a lot of other options when you’re trying to perform diagnostics of this hardware.

Each time the device crashes, however, there will be a log that is stored on that device. You can contact tech support and they have access to be able to read these logs and understand exactly where the problems might be occurring. Of course, these are mobile devices so it’s very possible for us to take our device outside the range of a particular signal. And there may be times when you’re in a building or in a location where you will occasionally have connectivity, and other times have no connectivity.

If this is happening with an 802.11 wireless network, you may want to try moving closer to an available access point or try connecting to a completely different access point. If you’re getting no connectivity at all, you’ll want to check the Wi-Fi settings and make sure that you have enabled the Wi-Fi functionality. You’ll then want to confirm that you are connected to that Wi-Fi network, and that you’ve provided the proper security key to gain access to that network.

And it may be that this problem is related to a bug in the operating system. So occasionally resetting your device can resolve this particular connectivity problem. If you have no Bluetooth connectivity, the process for troubleshooting is very similar to 802.11. You’ll want to check to see that Bluetooth is turned on in the settings and then you want to check that you have properly paired to the Bluetooth component that you’re trying to communicate with.

And of course performing a reset can clear everything out of memory and give us a clean slate to begin our troubleshooting. Many of our mobile devices include connectivity for NFC, or Near Field Communication. This is very commonly used when you’re checking out at a store and you can use your phone or other mobile device as a payment system. Your mobile device might allow you to enable or disable the NFC radio so you want to make sure first that it’s properly turned on. And then you might want to reset the device to see if you can clear out this issue.

If the problem you’re having is related to the payment process, you may want to remove the card that you’re using from your mobile phone and then add the card back into your operating system. And with iOS, you have the option to use Airdrop to transfer information from one device to another. If you’re not seeing the destination that you’d like to Airdrop to, you need to make sure that they’re nearby.

The Airdrop is only going to work to about 30 feet. Then you should check and make sure that your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on on your mobile device. Airdrop uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to be able to provide this functionality, and you may want to check the airdrop settings to see that it’s configured for allow me to be discovered by so that other people can find your device.

Our mobile devices are very good at recognizing if we’re holding it in a portrait mode or landscape mode, and it will rotate the screen depending on the orientation of the phone. But what happens when you turn the phone but none of the information on the phone rotates with it? There are some troubleshooting steps that might help. These devices do include a rotation lock. So if you have accidentally enabled that lock, it will not rotate when you move from one orientation to another.

If the rotate lock has not been configured, then perhaps the problem is with the app itself. So closing out the app and restarting may resolve this problem. And if nothing on your phone is automatically rotating, you may want to reset the phone and see if you can restore that capability. This may be a hardware problem, so it could be the sensor inside of your device is the root cause of this issue.

You may need to contact tech support to see what options may be available to resolve this hardware issue.