The list of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Android and quick answers.
Do you have a question about your Android device? This is the place where you will find the answer! Take a look at this long Android FAQ section and find the answer you are looking for!
Need For Android FAQ Section
It’s a little bit strange, but no Android phone comes together with any kind of user’s manual of how to use Android (the operating system), not the phone. If there are phones with the Android user’s guide attached to them in the box, please let me know!
As Android is an open-source system, it offers much more flexibility and has many more features. However, this sometimes comes at a price, because the range of available features or configuration may differ from device to device.
Fortunately, there is the MobileGuru.LOL website which answers all of the most frequently asked questions about Android. The questions are ordered from the most often asked to the least often asked. Let’s begin!
Question #0: How Do I Delete Apps?
Answer: Basically, you can delete unwanted (or unneeded) apps in two ways.
You can either use the built-in app manager or use a special app for that. You can access the built-in manager by going to Settings > Applications > Application manager (though this setting may differ slightly depending on the version of Android you run). The disadvantage of this solution is that you need to delete each app separately.
Question #1: How Do I Install An APK?
Answer: To be able to install an APK file on your phone, you need to do two things.
First, you have to transfer that app file to your phone (I suggest simply connecting your phone to your computer via USB cable and simply dragging & dropping the file to your phone’s storage or its SD card).
Second, you have to allow for installation from unknown sources by going to Settings > Security and making sure that Unknown sources is enabled. Lastly, you need to use some app manager to navigate to the APK file you copied to your phone and begin its installation. Done!
Question #2: How Do I Block A Number?
Answer: Most of Android phones have a built-in function for blocking numbers. In the case of my Samsung Galaxy S7, you just need to go to the call log, click on the number you want to block and choose Block/unblock number under MORE.
Question #3: How Do I Update Apps?
Answer: Keeping your software up-to-date (whether it’s apps or Android OS) is one of the most important security practices which greatly improves your overall level of security. By default apps installed on your phone will automatically update once you connect to a Wi-Fi network.
To make sure that all of your apps are up-to-date, go to Google Play > My apps & games and then hit UPDATE ALL. This way all of your apps will be updated. If you haven’t updated your phone for a long time, this process may take some time (depending on your Internet connection speed).
You should also make sure that any future updates are automatically installed. To make sure that happens, go to Google Play > Settings and choose Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only (if you don’t have an unlimited data plan).
Question #4: How Do I Know What Apps Are Running?
Answer: The easiest and quickest way to know what apps are running is go to Settings > Smart Manager > RAM. This will show you the list of the currently running apps which you can end if you want to.
Alternatively, you can also install some more advanced app manager or cleaner which will better let you manage apps running on your device. Clean Master is certainly the leader among cleaning apps for Android.
Moreover, depending on the phone model and make, you can click on either home or action button to quickly view all of the running apps and end them all with a single click.
Question #5: How Do I Close An App?
Answer: You probably know that simply leaving an app doesn’t close it and the app will still be running in the background.
To close the app you need to either use a special app killer or display the list of currently running apps and close it manually. It’s totally up to you which option you choose but remember that some apps will reopen even if you manually close them.
Question #6: How Do I Take A Screenshot?
Answer: Taking screenshots is one of the most useful things you can do with your phone. What if you want to share what’s on your screen with your friend who isn’t nearby? Take a screenshot and share it!
Depending on the phone make and version of Android, you will take the screenshot in a variety of ways, but the two most common ways are:
- press the home and power button simultaneously (in Samsung phones)
- press the volume down button and the power button at the same time
You will hear the shutter sound and the image will be saved to gallery for you to use and share.
Question #7: How Do I Copy And Paste?
Answer: This may differ depending on the phone model and Android version you are using, but generally you have to long hold on a given piece of text and wait until a menu with extra options for selection appears.
From Android 5.0 coping and pasting has become a bit easier, i.e. all you need to do is long-press on a given word and it will automatically be selected. You can also easily and quickly adjust the length of the text selected. To copy the selected area of text, simply click COPY. You will be able to paste the text in any text field field you long press and choose PASTE.
Question #8: How Do I Block Texts On Android?
Answer: There are really lots of ways of blocking texts on Android! Again, it all depends on the phone model, Android version you are running and text messaging app you are using.
There are basically two ways in which you can block texts on Android:
- you can either use a special blocking app which will offer you more extra blocking features
- you can search for this feature in your text messaging app.
Question #9: How To Add Widgets On Android?
Answer: This one is usually quite similar even across different versions of Android and different phone models. You need to long press on the blank space on the screen (on the home screen or other panel). A small menu will appear and will let you choose whether you want to add widgets, app shortcuts or go to more detailed settings. Once you choose widgets, you will be able to simply drag and drop widgets onto the chosen panel (or the one you have free space on).
Question #10: How Do I Backup Contacts?
Answer: If you have added a Google account to your phone and you connect your phone to the Internet from time to time at least, your contacts are most likely updated automatically to the cloud.
Question #11: How Do I Add A Ringtone?
Answer: Android lets you use any audio file you want as a ringtone so all you need to do basically is copy the desired audio file to your phone’s storage, navigate to it and then set it as ringtone.
If you are looking for new and cool ringtones, you can use one of many ringtone apps available in Google Play. My favorite app for downloading both ringtones and wallpapers is Zedge which even lets you change the given item (ringtone or wallpaper) from the level of the app.
Question#12: How Do I Archive Text Messages?
Answer: This purely depends on the text messaging app you are using and whether it has such an option. In the case of Google Messenger, you can easily archive text messages by simply swiping right on the message you want to archive. It’s an extremely useful option which lets you leave the most relevant and important messages in your inbox without the need to delete the rest of the messages.
Question #13: How Do I Back Up Photos?
Answer: There are, of course, many different ways of backing up photos from your Android phone. The one I recommend the most is simply using Google Photos. All you need to start using this app is your Google account correctly added to your phone.
Depending on your configuration, the app will back up all your photos to the Google account once you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you choose the HQ version of photos to be backed up (instead of original photos), you will have access to unlimited space. How cool is that?
Question #14:How Do I Disable Apps?
Answer: If you want to learn more about this topic, I suggest you read my article on how to disable apps on Android. Generally, the rule of thumb is to go to settings and look for app settings. In the specific settings of each app, you will most likely find the option of either uninstalling an app or disabling it. If it’s a built-in app, you will only be able to disable it.
Question #15: How Do I Root My Phone?
Answer: Note that rooting is only for advanced users who know what they are doing and what they want to achieve by rooting their phone. You do know that, don’t you?
Question #16: Do I Need Antivirus?
Answer: Whether you should use some antivirus largely depends on how you use your phone. You certainly don’t need any antivirus if:
- you keep your phone always up-to-date (both OS and apps installed on it),
- you don’t install apps from sources other than Google Play,
- you don’t allow installation from unknown sources on your phone.
However, if you like to look for apps in other app stores or download APK files and manually install them on your phone, you should certainly install some antivirus software.
Question #17: How To Do A Factory Reset?
Answer: If you have been using your Android phone for a long time (i.e. a year or even more), you probably noticed that it’s become a bit slower and less responsive. Unfortunately, it’s completely normal for Android phones to slow down after some time.
What I always advise in this situation is to simply do a factory reset which will literally give your phone a second life. Depending on your phone model and version of Android, you have to go to Settings > Backup and reset and choose Factory data reset. Remember to back up your data before doing a factory reset!
Question #18: How Do I Clear Cache?
Answer: If you want to give your phone a temporary boost, it’s a good idea to clean app cache which may even amount to hundreds of megabytes. You can clean each app’s cache manually by simply going to its app settings: simply go to Application manager, choose the desired app, click on Storage and then CLEAR CACHE.
Question #19: How Do I Move Apps To SD Card?
Answer: The easiest and the quickest way to move apps to SD card is to use a special app for it. There are many such apps but I strongly recommend using AppMgr III (click to download the app from Google Play).
The app will let you easily manage apps installed on your device and decide which ones you want to transfer to SD card and the other way round. I recommend transferring games and any heavy apps (which weigh more than one hundred megabytes) to SD card and leaving only the basic ones on your phone.
Question #20: How Do I Encrypt My Android Phone?
Answer: This point applies only to older phones running Android below 6.0 (Marshmallow), because Android 6.0 is encrypted by default. What I suggest doing here is updating your phone to Android 6.0 (if the update is available for your phone) and then restoring factory settings (only a fresh installation of Android will be encrypted by default).
If you bought a new phone which already has Android 6.0, you don’t need to do anything, because it’s already encrypted. In the case of older phones, you have to go to Settings > Storage and choose Encryption. The process of encryption may take anywhere from several minutes to more than an hour but it’s certainly worth doing.
Question #21: How Do I Find My Phone Number?
Answer: There are many different apps that will display your phone number based on the information from SIM card. However, in the case of some network operators, these apps may fail to show your number.
That’s why the easiest way to find your phone number is simply call another number (the one to which you have access) and see what number is displayed. Some network operators also have special codes which will let you find your phone number (but you need to ask your operator to give you the exact code).
Question #22: How Do I Find My Android Phone?
Answer: Fortunately, it’s quite easy to locate your Android phone with the use of the Android Device Manager. For the Android Device Manager to be able to find your Android phone you need the following:
- access to the Google account you signed with on your Android phone,
- mobile data and location turned on.
Once these conditions are met, you can remotely locate, wipe or ring your lost Android phone simply by logging into the Android Device Manager from your web browser.
Question #23: How Do I Find My Android Version?
Answer: This may differ a bit depending on the phone model and the version of Android, but generally you need to go to Settings > About device and then choose Software info.
You can learn more about checking the Android version in this article: What Android Version Am I Running?
Question #24: How Do I Clear Android History?
Answer: There is no problem with manually clearing call log, messages or browser history in your Android phone. If you really want to be super safe that everything’s been cleared (because you are selling your phone), you can restore your phone to factory settings.
However, if you just want to clear the history quickly and easily I suggest using CCleaner app (click to download the app from Google Play). It’s a free cleaner app which you can use both on your desktop computer and your Android phone.
Question #25: How Do I Know If My Android Is Rooted?
Answer: The easiest and quickest way to check if your Android phone has been rooted is to download an app called Root Checker (click to download it from Google Play).
Once you install the app, you will be able to verify with one click if your phone has been rooted.
Question #26: Why Does Android Update So Much?
Answer: Android OS and apps installed on it are constantly improved, updated and any bugs are fixed. The most important reason why Android updates so often is the security of our device.
If there are holes and bugs in our system, it’s much more vulnerable to viruses, spyware and all kinds of malware. What’s more, updates sometimes bring new functionalities and features.
Question #27: Why Does Android Battery Die Quickly?
Answer: This usually depends on the phone model and make you have. In the case of newer phones (running Android Marshmallow), the battery usage has been improved a lot. Sometimes battery may die quickly because there are lots of useless apps installed on the phone and they consume its resources unnecessarily.
Question #28: Why Does Android Become Slow?
Answer: Unfortunately, the longer we use our phone the more different kinds of files are stored on it (mostly system files and temporary files). What this means in most cases is that after one year of use our Android phone isn’t as quick and responsible as it was in the beginning. Sometimes some app (or multiple such apps) may slow down our phone.
Question #29: Why Does My Android Phone Get Hot?
Answer: This is the problem especially among newer phones with more efficient CPU units. From my own experience Sony phones (with Snapdragon 810) like to get hot like crazy. I also remember that HTC phones (from the One series) liked to get hot as well.
As long as it doesn’t impact your phone’s performance, it’s quite OK and you just need to accept this. However, when your phone turns off and restarts because it’s too hot, there is certainly something wrong going on.
PIECE OF ADVICE: If you really don’t want your phone to get hot, you should look for the model and make which don’t get hot or get hot rarely. I can recommend Samsung Galaxy S7 in this respect.
Question #30: Why Does My Android Alarm Not Go Off?
Answer: This used to be a serious problem some time ago because many app killers supposed to optimize our devices also killed our alarm clocks which then didn’t go ff. If your alarm didn’t go off, the app has either been killed or put to sleep (in the case of Android Marshmallow).
To make sure that your alarm will always go off, you should adjust its notification settings. Go to Settings > Notifications and make sure that receiving notifications with your alarm clock is turned on.
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