How to fix a frozen Android Marshmallow device


I like Android Marshmallow. It’s slick, fast and responsive. Despite its teething troubles, I have had no issues with it on either my Nexus 5 or my Galaxy S7. Any issues with either phone have been caused by my playing with apps or ‘experimenting’ with settings just to see what would happen. This occasionally caused the device to freeze. Here’s what I do to fix a frozen Android Marshmallow device.

Intermittent freezing on an Android Marshmallow device
If your phone intermittently freezes and then goes back to normal, chances are that it’s an app or background operation causing the issue. See what could be at fault.

1. Navigate to Settings, Memory and Memory used by apps.
2. Check out each app in the list, ignoring Android default ones for now.
3. Select an app and then tap the three dots in the top right.
4. Select Force stop.
5. Monitor your phone for a while to see if it freezes. If it continues, force stop another app. If the phone does not freeze, update or uninstall the last app you stopped.

Force reboot a frozen Android Marshmallow device
Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of using the menu or any phone function when it freezes on you. Fortunately, Android has built in a trick to allow a force reboot even if the OS is frozen.

1. Simply hold down the volume down and power buttons until the screen goes blank.
2. It should take 7-8 seconds under normal circumstances for the screen to go blank but can occasionally take longer. Just hold the buttons down until it happens.

Once the device has rebooted, begin troubleshooting apps and settings as normal.