Sometimes phones, HTC phones included, get stuck or frozen on their boot-up screen. Sometimes an HTC Android phone will even get caught in a power cycling loop. The device will power on, load to the HTC logo, then power off, then power on, then off, on, off, but never actually loading all the way like it should. This can be extremely frustrating because you will not be able to even turn on your phone all the way, much less use it. If this has happened to you don’t fret, there is hope.
Now we might be able to fix this issue but let me stress that this is a PROBLEM, an uncommon, inconvenient and sometimes hard to fix problem, but this article should get you on the right track and will give you a good advantage when trying to fix a frozen HTC cell phone.
Let’s start simple and work our way from there
Power the phone off
Power cycling your phone or at least getting the phone to power off and on is going to be your first goal in troubleshooting a frozen HTC. If your phone doesn’t have a removable battery, which is becoming more common in HTC phones, then it can be a little harder to get your cell phone to power off.
Start by pressing the power key and holding it down for 10-20 seconds to see if you can get your HTC to power off. Sometimes powering the phone off can be difficult using this method and I have seen it take a minute or two of pressing and holding the power key for a phone to power off. It should only take 10-20 sec but if there is no success at first then you might have to hold the power key down a little longer.
Power the phone back on
If you were able to power the phone off by holding the power key then power the phone off and leave the phone off for about 30 seconds and then power the phone back on.
There are a few things that can go wrong with an Android device when trying to power it off.
Rebooting itself - If the phone is not staying off, for example you power the phone off and it turns itself on all by itself then troubleshooting properly is going to be more difficult. Make sure that the power key on your phone is not stuck or pressed in by a protective case.
Wont power off – frozen phones can be stubborn, and if you cannot power the phone off at all then this might be one of the only times that it would be appropriate to allow the phones battery to drain to zero, charge the phone a bit and then attempt to power the phone on again.
Try to avoid letting a lithium ion battery drain to zero whenever possible though as it’s hard on the battery and it can sometimes be a chore to get the battery to charge up again. If the HTC phone hangs or gets locked up or frozen again and still won’t let you power the phone off then let it drain once again and then charge it for a little bit and while it’s OFF but with a bit of a charge try the troubleshooting below.
Remove the memory card
If there is a memory card that can be removed from your HTC cell phone then take it out and try rebooting the phone without the memory card. If the phone boots without the memory card then after the phone is powered on all the way you can try reinserting the memory card back into the phone and then make an attempt to mount the card. Just don’t forget to power cycle the phone to see if it will allow you to turn it on with the memory card inserted again. If it locked up with the memory card inserted then the memory card might have malfunctioned and you might have to look into reformatting the card or even purchasing a replacement.
If this is the case then I recommend choosing a top memory card for some advice and tips on how to choose the best memory card for your HTC Android cell phone, but I digress.
Boots up and works properly
If the phone powers on properly and you are able to use your phone again then I recommend that you create a backup of your cell phones information just to be safe. There could be something on the phone that may be causing trouble. So perform a backup should your phone malfunction or something happens that’s outside of your control that way you don’t lose any of your important information.
HTC still frozen at the HTC logo or locking up
If you are able to power your HTC phone off and on but it gets stuck on the HTC logo again or freezes up before the phone can power on properly then proceed with the more in depth troubleshooting below.
There is still hope but there’s a catch
Your Android Smartphone will NOT POWER ON, which means that saving ALL your important information is going to be near impossible. Now don’t worry your contacts including your names and phone numbers are saved on your Gmail account. All you will need to do to get your contacts back is to log into your Gmail account again and BOOM! All your contacts are going to automatically pull back and get put on your phone.
Thank goodness for Google’s brilliant ideas. In fact if you ever lose your phone or heaven forbid it gets stolen and you need to file an insurance claim or purchase a new/different phone, all you need to do in order to transfer most of your information to your replacement android phone is log into your Gmail account.
It’s awesome! To check your Gmail account, when the phone is working correctly of course, all you need to do is go to your Home > Menu Key > Settings > Accounts (or Accounts and Sync), your Gmail account will be listed on that page. To check and make sure that your phone is backed up to your Gmail simply click on that Gmail account and make sure that it shows the days date next to it. If those sync options don’t show today’s date or if you ever want to sync manually tap "Sync Now".
Try and make sure you know your Gmail Account a lot of people set it and forget it, make sure you got yours remembered or written down, you might need it!
Chances are very high that you have a Gmail and if you don’t then you’re going to want to create one. But I digress. Here is the fix if you’re stuck on the HTC screen.
1. Start with a 2nd level reset
- Power the phone on and then remove the battery (remove the battery with the phone on, make sure the phone is not plugged into a charger)
- Count to 10 (10 seconds).
- Put the battery back into the phone.
- Power the phone on. (Now wait patiently for the phone to boot up. If you wait for more than 5 minutes, or longer than the phones average boot-up time, and it seems to still get stuck at the HTC white-screen again then proceed to step 2)
- If the phone powers on correctly then go to step 4 if it does not or you cannot remove the battery from the device proceed to step 2 (you want to make sure to backup your mobile unit and do some additional troubleshooting to make sure that the phone doesn’t freeze again. I recommend a factory data reset, which can be located under the settings of your phone. Make sure to uncheck the option to delete/erase your memory card if given the chance. A Factory Data Reset will be a more secure fix to your phone).
2. Try the Recovery
If the 2nd level reset in step 1 doesn’t work and your HTC is still stuck on an infinite loop or showing the HTC logo then try this.
- Pull the battery, and then reinsert it, but DON’T power it back on.
- Make sure the phone has a GOOD charge on it and can be used without being plugged into the charger. I highly suggest that you charge it (while it’s powered off) for 15 minutes to an hour making sure that it has a GOOD charge on it.
- After charging the phone for 15+ minutes unplug your HTC phone from the charger (make sure your HTC phone is unplugged or this won’t work).
- Press and hold the Volume Down button and then briefly press and release the Power button while still holding the Volume Down button.
- A special screen should pop up which will give you some options. When this screen appears release the volume down button.
- Use the Volume keys to scroll through the available options until the “Recovery” option is highlighted.
- Once Recovery is highlighted use the Power key to make the selection.
- This next step is going to depend on the phone but typically a black screen should pop up showing a sync icon (2 green arrows forming a circle and an arrow pointing down in the middle of that circle).
- Wait patiently…
- After a minute or two the icon should change and switch to a picture of a phone with a red exclamation mark inside of a red triangle symbol.
- Once you see the red exclamation mark, pull out the battery, reinsert the battery, and power the phone on like you normally would. Note: if your phone doesn’t have a removable battery then your main goal is to reboot the phone. You can often hold the power button down for a few seconds to turn your cell phone off instead of removing the battery.
The phone should boot up and you should still have all of your information and it should be working at 100%.
Don’t forget to backup the information on your HTC just in case something happens to your phone and for some reason you cannot recover the unit again.
If your phone is still stuck and you have waited a few minutes to make sure that it is in fact still stuck at the HTC screen or caught in a loop proceed to the next step.
3. Sounds like a possible software issue in the phone
We might need to do what is called an Alternate Factory Data Reset, try not to panic when I tell you that we are going to need to erase all the information from the unit. It isn’t clear what caused the issue. It could be a corrupted file, a glitch in the software, a virus (viruses are not common but they do happen), most likely something picked up online or through a bad app.
The worst part of this issue is that you can’t get into your phone which means that we can’t backup texts, can’t backup apps, the Call log etc. HTC is really good about automatically backing up information for you, so you shouldn’t lose much but just FYI. “Can I take my mobile phone to the store where I bought the phone to backup my info?” Nope and here’s why. Your phone will not power on all the way which means it cannot communicate with the store’s machine or your computer for that matter. Cut and dry you need to do this reset to get your phone working correctly. Here is how you can try and get your phone to boot up after trying the battery pull.
- Give it 24-48 hours - your phone might be performing an update on its software, which is great! It’s always a good idea to keep your software up to date, this helps your phone run faster, smoother and most of the time adds more functionality. If you can, then also check your WiFi to make sure it’s on (check your home not on the phone its self. Wireless internet will help you download the update a lot faster and you don’t use your service providers data plan, which will save you money too)
- So if you can wait then wait - yes I know we NEED our phones and your probably already starting to show symptoms of withdraw but if you file an Insurance or warranty claim you’re going to have to wait at least 2-6 business days to get a replacement and they usually have you do the steps shown below anyways (the manufacture requires that your phone gets wiped to make sure it’s a manufacturing defect and not something 3rd party causing the issue). PLUS when getting a replacement it’s almost always a refurbished or reconditioned unit. The best option is to fix the phone you have. If you have already waited then proceed down the page.
Perform the Alternative Reset –
- Power the phone off. - (If the mobile is still getting stuck/frozen at HTC then we are going to have to do some troubleshooting. Don’t worry our options are limited for this issue and I’ll help you every step of the way). Make sure your phone is no longer powered on and make sure it’s NOT plugged into a charger or this won’t work. Remember the phone needs to be completely off. If the phone will not power off then remove the battery and count to ten, put the battery back in and your good to go. Note: you can also remove the memory card as a precaution, the reset shouldn’t effect it in the slightest but if it sets your mind at ease you may remove the memory card aka SD card and it won’t affect the reset. If you don’t know if your phone has a memory card then don’t worry about it, because, again, it shouldn’t affect it.
- Press your mobile’s reset key combination – this might vary depending on what model of phone you have. I recommend you read how to hard reset an Android smartphone for some common hard reset methods. The standard or default reset combo for an HTC smart/Android phone is as follows:
- Press and hold Volume up + Volume Down + the Power key. Hold down the volume down button, then (while still holding the volume down key) press and hold the volume up key, while pressing these two keys press and hold the power key.
- When the phone powers on release the power key (and only the power key, keep holding volume up and volume down)
- A fastboot screen with options should pop up - When it does release all of the keys. (If the phone boots up regularly, and all the way, then go to step 4). If the mobile gets stuck on HTC again then the reset didn’t go through properly. Try the reset again, you might have to pull the battery and try multiple times. I have had to try like 8 times before I could get it to kick in. Basically try it until you get to a screen giving you some options. If you tried both volume controls and the power key combo and simply cannot get the device to show the fastboot screen then try holding only the Volume Down + Power key. Some phones are different even being the same model! When an update comes along the reset procedure might even change (the Motorola Atrix was such a model when it updated from 1.x.x Froyo to the 2.x.x Gingerbread, it removed the need to tap the lower right of the screen to get the fastboot to work correctly. This was a good thing because you couldn’t tap the screen if the device was experiencing a touch screen issue, but I digress).
- Scroll to Factory data reset – To scroll use the volume down to scroll through the options, then use the power key to make the selection. It might read something like reset phone or master clear, you’re not looking to reboot your phone you’re looking for a reset/erase option. If the power key doesn’t allow you to select the option then use the volume up key. Most HTCs however have the volume controls as navigations for making selections.
- Wait for the phone to reboot - the phone should power itself off all by itself then it should power itself back on all by itself. This can take 15 min. but usually only takes like 5 min, if even that.
- Be Patient – it can take a few minutes to load back up. Even when doing a reset when a phone is not having any problems, or performing a reset through the settings of the mobile device this happens so just wait. It might even look like it’s stuck on the HTC screen again. Don’t start panicking yet. Just give it like 15 min. If phone is still showing the HTC loading screen or starts to power cycle (turning off and on over and over all by its self) then do the alternate reset again.
3. After doing the alternative reset your left with a few options:
- Your phone has started working correctly – enjoy your working phone! You are going to have to set up the phone again, just like you did when you first got it. It’s very self explanatory, you shouldn’t have any problems. Make sure you log into your Gmail account. Again, after you have setup your phone and logged into Gmail your mobile phone should sync your contacts back onto the phone. Some providers add secondary backups like the ATT address book or Sprint mobile sync, etc. if your phone prompts you to sync, when accessing contacts, then I would sync with that option (if it asks you if you want to remove/replace/delete current contacts or any information then hit no. Then for your own knowledge check your pictures to see if they are still there. HTC is pretty good with having pictures save automatically to the memory card as opposed to other mobile providers; Samsung mobile phones, for example have the feature but requires the user to set it up themselves in the settings, which the average user doesn’t do. Your phone might look a little different as well. As mentioned above its going to think it’s brand new right off the shelf.
- Still Stuck on HTC with a white screen? – Bummer, I recommend that you try the reset once more. If it’s stuck and that’s all there is to it, then we are running out of options. Here are some things that you need to consider.
- Filing a Buyer’s Remorse claim – this particular issue, of getting stuck on the HTC loading screen, usually does NOT happen on newer phones, simply because new phones don’t have a lot of information on them yet and the user of the phone hasn’t had time to add anything that would cause problems. IF HOWEVER you have had, or I should say purchased, your mobile phone less than 15 days ago then you should qualify for what is called buyer’s remorse. Take the phone back to where you purchased it as soon as possible. Don’t delay this is your best option and almost all sales locations are pretty strict on the 14 days part. If its over 14 days your usually out of luck, and they’ll give you your warranty options. So make sure you don’t put it off until tomorrow.
- Contacting your mobile providers warranty department – if you purchased your mobile phone new and if you have had it for less than a year then you are covered under the manufacturers warranty. This warranty covers manufacturer defects and known issues of the phones that the manufacturer sells. This issue of the phones display being stuck at HTC, should be covered under your warranty as long as you don’t have any physical or liquid damage, but we’ll discuss that in further detail below. The best way to file a claim is through your service provider. Why file a claim through your provider? Because it’s far more convenient, you can often go into a location and get it taken care of or depending on the situation have a replacement mailed out to you. If you go directly through the manufacture, in this case HTC, you’ll have to send your phone in for repair then have to wait for it to get fixed, and then wait for it to get sent back. When doing it like this you can be without a phone for 2-3 weeks. And for this issue they would most likely just have its OS (operating system) flashed to its default and sent back. Click here to learn more about warranty and how to contact your service provider in order to file a warranty claim.
- File an Insurance claim – If you cannot file a buyer’s remorse claim or a warranty claim and you had chosen to invest in an insurance plan through your service provider then you should contact them to do so. Insurance usually requires a down payment, the amount depending on the model of phone you wish to file a claim on.
- If you’re unable to do the options above then look into purchasing options. Note: remember you’re locked into your contract with your service provider, usually a 2 year contract, but you’re NOT locked into your phone, don’t let anyone trick you, as long as its branded with your mobile providers name then your sim card should work in that phone, even a different manufacturer. For example, if your AT&T HTC Inspire froze on the HTC screen and you needed a replacement then you can take your sim card out of that HTC Inspire and put it into any other phone that has ATT printed on it. Whether it’s a Samsung phone, LG phone, Motorola phone, etc if it’s ATT it should work. This is sometimes really good to know if your phone has damage like a cracked screen and needs to be replaced and you can’t file an insurance claim, or if you NEED a phone while you wait for a replacement phone to arrive.
I hope that I was able to get you taken care of one way or another. Remember that a 2nd level reset, basically pulling your battery out of your phone with it powered on, will often fix a lot of minor issues with smart phones, at least temporarily, and a Factory Data Reset (we did a factory data reset an alternate way) will usually be a more permanent fix. After doing a reset on the phone make sure to try it without downloading any apps for a couple days.
Usually when smart phones, especially Android phones, act up its because of a bad app. Try using the phone with a clean install for a couple days then adding apps one at a time. Download an app try it out for a few days, download another app try it, etc. remember if you download an app and your phone starts having problems then you should uninstall that app and not use it any more.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment, or perform a search on the site, there is a lot of information present on this site as far as proper phone care and maintenance.