Android phone powers itself off and on

Is your Android smartphone powering off and on randomly all by itself? When using your phone does it just power off then back on all by itself for no particular reason at all? This issue can be pretty annoying not to say frustrating especially if you’re using your phone when it happens. This article will go over some things that can be done to get this power-cycling problem fixed and hopefully allow for a more permanent solution preventing your Android phone from continuing to power-cycle in the future.

This article reviews methods that can be used in order to fix a phone that is power-cycling (powering off and then back on). If however your phone is powering off and not powering itself back on by itself and you have to manually power the phone back on or remove and re-insert the battery to get it to power back on then I recommend you read the article Android phone turns itself off and stays off for a more specific solution to that particular problem.

When does it happen?

Does your Android device only power off and on by itself when you’re doing something specific? For example does it only power cycle when you’re playing a specific game or using a certain application? If so then it’s probably a bad or poorly written application and you might want to either consider not using it any more or even contacting the software developer who wrote it to let them know that there is an issue with their program.

Check your protective case

Some protective cases are a little too snug and can actually put pressure on the power key causing the phone to power off or on sporadically. So if this issue started occurring after investing in a protective cover, skin, etc. then I recommend that you check your phone case and see if it might be turning your phone off and on. You can even try it without the case to simply make sure. If you try it without its case and the issue stops then return the case and see if you can get one that’s a better fit for your phone.

Note: when getting a case also make sure that it DOES NOT cover the light sensor or proximity sensor at the top of the phone or you might start getting a black screen and or start having problems ending calls.

Check your battery

Make sure the battery is snug

If your phone will allow you to remove the battery then remove the battery cover or back plate from the phone and make sure that the battery is nice and tight inside the battery compartment. If the battery is loose then the leads on the battery that connect to the phone might not be connecting properly and that might be what is causing this problem. If those metal prongs stop touching then the phone is not going to be able to pull power from the battery and the phone is going to obviously power off.

Now if it’s simply not a good connection because the battery is loose then the leads from the battery and phone might disconnect for mere seconds then reconnect, removing the power and then supplying it again giving us the powering off and on issue. So check your battery and make sure that it’s nice and snug and that the metal leads on the phone and battery are staying connected to each other.  

Check the batteries condition

After you remove the back plate to make sure that the battery is nice and snug pull the battery out of the phone and make sure it is still in good shape. If you remove the battery and it looks warped or bloated, or rocks back and forth on a flat surface, then the battery might indeed be bad and requires replacing. If this is the case then look into buying a replacement battery from Amazon, they are usually pretty affordable. Batteries don’t last forever BUT if your phone is less than a year old then look into your warranty options.

Check the Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) on the battery and make sure that it is still white, if its pink or red then the battery has been exposed to liquid and that could be the culprit. If the LDI is still white and there is no physical damage then batteries are usually covered under the one year manufactures warranty and you might be able to get a brand new battery for FREE. And free is always in my price range.

Run a battery test

Many Android phones have an option available that will allow you to test the battery.

Check to see what version of Android your phone is running on. If your Android OS (Operating System) is the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or earlier, for example it says 2.3.x (Gingerbread) 2.2.x (Froyo) or even 2.1.x. Then try testing the battery with the STAR CODE.

If the phone is below 4.0

Open up the Dialer, as though you were going to type in a telephone number, and instead of a phone number type in *#*#4636#*#* or *#*#INFO#*#*. A screen should pop up all by itself with some options. Tap on Battery Information, then check on the batteries health and make sure it says good. If it says poor or unknown error then power off the phone count to ten and then power the phone back on, open your dialer and type in the code again, tap battery information and if it still doesn’t say good then your battery is going out and needs to be replaced.

If your battery health is showing good and the battery scale is reading 100 then the other options and values might differ from time to time because they can fluctuate but the Battery health and Battery Scale are what you should be the most concerned about.

If the phone is 4.0 or higher

If the Android is on the 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich or later then go into the Setting on the phone and tap on Battery. This window will show you a lot of information about the battery and battery usage. On the top of the window there is going to be a chart that shows the battery level as its being used. Click on that chart to make it bigger.

The amount of recorded time will very but see if the chart spikes down or spikes up around the time that the device power-cycled last. The chart should be pretty steady when it’s going down because of use or going up when it’s charging. Make sure you don’t see any spikes, and if you do then try and think about what was running on the phone when the battery spiked. This window can be a great tool when checking your battery and power usage.

Check your applications

Android phones are usually pretty solid as far as Operating Systems go, and when they do have issues its often time related to a bad application. When did you first notice this issue happening on your phone? Was it around the same time that you downloaded an application?

Applications can cause weird issues on Android phones sometimes and the application doesn’t necessarily need to be running to cause problems either. Try and think back to when this issue first started happening. Uninstall any applications that you might have downloaded, or updated, around that time. Try the phone without the application(s) for a few days and see if it fixes it. If removing the application from the phone fixes the issue then I would keep it off the phone and enjoy.

Upgraded Software

Did this happen after upgrading your Android phone to a more up to date Android Operating System? If so then chances are it wasn’t a bad upgrade but is the result of an application issue. An app on the phone might not be getting along with the new Operating System and that might be what’s causing the problem. Go through and remove some apps, try the phone, remove some apps, try it again, until there are no more apps that you personally downloaded onto the device.

If you remove all the applications that you can from the phone and it’s still powering off and on then it’s most likely a software issue, maybe not caused by an application, but possibly a software glitch, bug, virus, etc. If this power-cycling issue is a problem related to the software then resetting the phone is most likely going to fix the issue.

Backup and reset

Resetting a phone is often a last resort for most situations but a factory data reset on an Android phone can often times fix most phone related issues, especially when it comes to software.

Before going into your settings and factory data resetting your device I recommend you read How to backup and reset an Android phone for a step-by-step guide on how to backup the information saved on the phone first. Because a reset sets the phone back to how it was when it came off the shelf. Your phone is going to think it’s brand new again so you want to make sure you save all that information first, that way you don’t lose anything.

Warranty

And that should fix it. If for some reason the Factory Data Reset doesn’t fix the device and you have tried all the other suggestions on this article then I recommend you read I can’t fix my phone now what should I do for some possible solutions.

Enjoy your phone, thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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