With some desktop operating systems, I often recommend that users reboot their systems after a crash. The logic is that memory could now be corrupted, and the system could be trending towards instability.

What about with Android? When a process in Android fails, is it advisable to reboot?

I see 6 common cases:

  1. When a third-party app crashes.
  2. When a Google app, such as Google Play services crashes.
  3. When a core software component (but not part of Android) crashes. Such a component may have been installed by the device manufacturer.
  4. When a component of Android crashes.
  5. When the user Force Stops an app that is running.
  6. When the user Force Stops a service that is running.

In which of these cases, if any, is it advisable to reboot the Android device?

If you don't know the answer for all the cases, but can contribute for just one or more of the cases, your answer is certainly welcome and will be appreciated.

Update (Optional Reading)

In Firelord's first two comments below (I'm guessing there will be more!), he/she brings up very good points and makes a smart suggestion. Firelord asks me make it clear the type of answers that I will find to be most useful.

The best answer will be one that can answer the 6 cases with reasonable certainty based on a technical understanding of Android. The next best answer (which will still be extremely helpful and useful) will be one that can answer some of the cases based on a technical understanding of Android.

One thing I've learned about Android, is that very few people actually have a good technical understanding of the OS. And those who do have this knowledge are only sometimes interested in answering questions that can be turned into a FAQ or community resource, like this one. (Which I understand, given that providing good answers is not easy and takes time.)

As such, I'm also open to answers that cover 1 or more of the 6 cases based on personal experience. I'm also open to answers that are based on other resources and articles.

Firelord's comments inspired me to think a little more about why I am asking this question. The reasons are twofold:

A. System stability is very important. I have had multiple Android devices become corrupt, which resulted in a large expense of time to get everything working again. (All of them were Samsung devices, which were flashy, but not reliable.) I would like to avoid data loss and corrupt devices as much as possible. (Although backups help avoid data loss, it is not always possible to have everything backed up all the time.)

B. Due to (A), I think I have become a chronic rebooter. At the first sign of trouble, I tend to reboot the Android device. Rebooting is a time-consuming process, so I don't want to reboot unless really necessary. It takes several minutes for Android to truly settle down after a reboot. Plus, rebooting drains the battery, as the CPU cores are generally all running at maximum speed during a reboot.

  • I think you should make it clear the type of answers you need here: answers that are technical in nature and drawing content from sources or processes that can be independently verified by users, or perhaps some mere hypothesis or a cocktail of opinion and incomplete knowledge of the concept. Maybe both.
    – Firelord
    Feb 20 '16 at 5:45
  • I've asked this because at this moment I'm expecting answers on the lines of: I often don't do a reboot because force-stopping usually solves my issue. But sometimes I do reboot since it clears the memory and leftovers of the app from memory which is good. It's like Windows. Reboot often works. Or, I've noticed that a reboot always solves my problem. Often my Android doesn't crash but apps does. Sometimes systems apps like Play Store/Services also crashes and reboot usually solves the issue. I think it doesn't hurt to reboot in any case if it can solve the issue.
    – Firelord
    Feb 20 '16 at 5:47
  • @Firelord Your comments are very insightful and useful. Instead of replying via comments (which I won't be able to edit after 5 minutes), I'll update the question to respond to the issues you raise. Feb 20 '16 at 6:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.