It might be a line from comedy, but turning your phone off and rebooting really does solve a lot of problems. We asked our lead developer, Chris, why a phone reboot often solves app and phone problems, and when you should try it?

The Advantage of a Reboot

Our smartphones are the touchstones of life. They help us manage our time and interact with friends and family. And they are now the most common way we access important information such as our banking. 

But, like lots of everyday items, we are in danger of taking our phones for granted. Simple care tips, such as regularly shutting the phone down, can have a huge effect on how well your phone will continue to perform. 

What causes phones and apps to run slowly?

It’s all about the RAM! As you use mobile apps on your phone, they fill up the memory on the phone (RAM). The more apps you open, the more memory they use up.

The problem comes when you close them. In nearly all cases, even if you close apps, or manually remove them from memory, they’re not completely closed down. Quite a lot of apps are put into a “sleep” state where it can be restarted faster. This means that remnants of apps hang around in the system, clogging up RAM and leaving less room for new apps to load up. 

The operating system of your phone knows this and makes efforts to cope. It tries to move things around in the memory to make room for new apps to be loaded. But it’s here that things may start to slow down a little bit. Not only does the operating system have to load the app, but it also has to do the shuffling around in RAM to make room. 

This slowly eats memory and battery power on the phone. If you think about all those times you’ve thought that your phone drained entirely too fast that day, it’s probably when you’ve had lots of apps open. Or when you’ve been using, video streaming or apps that frequently pull data down from cloud servers. These apps not only sap battery, they also use up lots of RAM.

Restarting the phone clears apps and memory leaks, and gets rid of anything draining your battery. 

What About Crashes?

Crashing happens for various reasons, but a regular reboot of your phone can definitely help with these as well. Every update, page loaded, and app installed or deleted will add and remove code in the operating system of the phone. 

Sometimes these remnants of code are incompatible or improperly removed after installation or uninstallation. Restarting your phone will clear them out, and remove most of these issues and will get your phone working better.

What effect will rebooting have?

Some operating systems are better at managing memory than others. So you won’t always notice a massive performance improvement once you restart. But quite often, you’ll see apps load and launch quicker and you will be able to switch between running apps quicker as well.

It also fixes common app issues such as hangs, crashes and syncing problems. That’s why we often ask users who are experiencing problems with My Shift Planner, to start off by turning off the phone and rebooting it. 

So, if you’re having issues with any  app, and you close/reopen it without fixing the problem, a phone restart may be the solution. 

How often should you reboot your phone?

The basic advice is to do this at least once a week. To help retain memory, prevent crashes, run more smoothly, and prolong your battery life.

Of course, estarting isn’t a fix-all solution. If a problem persists after a reboot, there’s clearly a bigger issue that needs further research. 

When it comes to issues with My Shift Planner, our advice is to reboot the phone first. To see if the issue persists. Then, if you are still getting issues, to contact our support team on support@myshiftplanner.com

It may be that there is a problem with the app that we can help with, or it might be an issue within the phone. Whatever the cause, we can usually point you in the right direction to get the issue sorted.