I have a Samsung Galaxy S (i500) running Android 2.3.5 Lately it has been rebooting randomly. Sitting on my desk and it just reboots, sometimes when I'm on the phone, etc.

Does Android protect itself from installed apps? I thought the security sandbox apps run in was supposed to prevent an app from causing the entire phone to reboot.

My phone provider wants to blame apps for the phone reboots. I just want to know if this is legitimate, or if the reboots should ultimately be attributed to an android or handset manufacturer problem.

  • 1
    Well, as a dev, I know I've caused my OG Droid to reboot before by accident, typically infinite loops and such that lock the device down until the OS chokes. Doesn't happen very often, but it has happened to me. – Bryan Denny Dec 23 '11 at 4:56
  • Can in some way (like logcat etc) the culprit app/service that makes the phone to reboot be found? – Narayanan Oct 12 '12 at 7:50
  • Oh yes. Not sure about 2011 but I've been using Nandroid Manager for at least a year and it has the option to reboot your phone. – Celeritas Mar 2 '15 at 20:45

An app can certainly deliberately reboot the phone, depending on the permissions for the app in question and whether it has root privileges.

An app can also force you phone to reboot if it bombs out and takes Android down with it, particularly apps that interact with phone functionality (volume adjustors, automatic task killers - which are a bad idea in general, location aware apps, etc) If an app has the right permissions this can happen quite easily.

So to sum up, yes, it's quite possible that an app could be causing the system to die and your phone to reboot. If you want to troubleshoot, you can use Titanium Backup to freeze one app at a time to see if that alleviates the issue, or you can just uninstall and then reinstall later on.

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    I don't think an app can deliberately reboot the phone, at least not unless you've rooted your device. If it is possible can you provide a link to some documentation showing this is possible? – ScArcher2 Dec 22 '11 at 21:35
  • To deliberately reboot (like QuickBoot) does need root, along with various permissions - which I stated: "depending on the permissions for the app in question and whether it has root privileges." – Logos Dec 22 '11 at 22:11

Yes, an application can lead to a phone reboot, usually by combining a badly designed application and a bug in the framework. Exemple: an application that registers an Account but no ContentHandler issue 5009


Yes apps can reboot if giver permission, search for "public void reboot" on http://developer.android.com/reference/android/os/PowerManager.html

  • The reboot permission is only granted to apps which are signed by the system key. A "normal" app will not get this permission. – Flow Oct 12 '12 at 8:44
  • @Flow: yup agree any normal app will not get that permission – Calvin Oct 13 '12 at 5:02

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