No one can deny that smartphones have been a game-changer. Yet, with all their supercharged tech, our iPhone and Android devices aren’t immune to the occasional hiccup. But sometimes, these hiccups can become more than the occasional inconvenience.
Have you ever had your phone screen jitter and jolt unexpectedly or have a sudden dip in performance? Those frustrating issues interrupt your daily scroll, making you sit up and wonder, “What’s going on, and why is my phone glitching?” You’re far from alone.
While the reasons for these glitches can be as diverse as the apps we download, they generally fall into two categories: software and hardware issues. And the good news? There are ways to address them.
In this article, we’ll dig into the most common causes of phone glitching on iPhone or Android devices. We’ll tell you what it is, why it happens, and how to fix it. Let’s get started!
Identifying Common Smartphone Glitches
⚠️ Overheating: Your phone gets unusually hot, impacting its performance.
⚠️ Battery issues: The battery drains faster than expected.
⚠️ Malware/virus infection: Harmful software is causing unwanted behaviors or risks on your iPhone or Android device.
⚠️ Charging problems: You have difficulty getting your phone to charge or hold a charge.
⚠️ Phone screen glitching: The phone display has anomalies, flickers, or doesn't respond correctly.
⚠️ Sluggish performance: Your phone is slow, freezes, or lags frequently.
Common Reasons Your Phone Is Glitching and How to Fix Them
Having your phone overheat is a common issue with mobile devices and can cause glitches, such as unexpectedly shutting down or slowing down the entire system. Over time, overheating can shorten your phone’s lifespan and make glitching and performance issues worse.
Here are some common reasons why phones overheat and how to fix them:
⚠️ Intensive media use
Prolonged video streaming or gaming, especially while charging, strains the CPU and can cause your phone to overheat.
✅ Solution: Limit the duration of your streaming or gaming sessions. Avoid charging your phone during these intensive activities. Consider using a cooling pad or case specifically designed for smartphones.
⚠️ Having too many apps open
Having numerous apps open puts strain on the phone’s processor and battery, possibly leading to overheating.
✅ Solution: Regularly close apps that are not in use. Ensure that your phone’s multitasking features are managed properly. Utilize built-in system monitors or third-party apps to track CPU and RAM usage and close resource-hungry applications.
⚠️ Weak signal
Searching for weak or non-existent signal increases energy use and can cause overheating.
✅ Solution: Switch to airplane mode in areas with poor signal to prevent your phone from constantly searching for networks. If the Wi-Fi you’re connecting to is weak, consider using mobile data or vice versa. Alternatively, use a signal booster or repeater if you’re in a low-signal area consistently.
⚠️ Being outdoors
Direct sunlight or extreme heat can cause the internal components inside your phone to overheat.
✅ Solution: Always store your phone away from direct sunlight, such as in a bag or shade. When at the beach or other warmer locations, use protective cases that shield your phone from the sun and keep it in a cooler environment, like underneath a towel or in an insulated bag.
Quick battery drain
Your battery could be draining quickly for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
⚠️ Intensive background processes
Apps running in the background, especially those constantly fetching data like emails or updates, can use significant battery power.
✅ Solution: Regularly review which apps are operating in the background using the phone’s battery settings and restrict unnecessary background processes. Update your apps regularly to benefit from optimized versions that may use less battery.
⚠️ Screen brightness
Having your screen at full brightness or with a long timeout setting can rapidly deplete battery life.
✅ Solution: Adjust your screen brightness settings to a comfortable, lower level. You can also set it to auto-brightness or select the adaptive brightness feature on your phone so that your screen adapts based on the lighting conditions around you. Another solution is to reduce the screen timeout or auto-lock time.
⚠️ Location services
Apps that frequently check for your location can drain your phone’s battery quickly.
✅ Solution: Turn off location services for apps that don’t need it. When not required, switch off the phone’s main location service.
⚠️ Push notifications
Apps that continuously send push notifications can consume more battery.
✅ Solution: Limit push notifications to essential apps only. Consider fetching data manually for apps like emails instead of having them push automatically.
Malware or viruses
It’s not uncommon to accidentally allow malicious software or viruses access to your phone through problematic apps, links, or unsecure Wi-Fi networks.
Malware runs unnoticed in the background and consumes significant resources. This can cause your phone to slow down, drain the battery, and degrade its overall performance. Unfortunately, that’s not even the worst part.
Malware can give cybercriminals access to your personal data, such as photos, messages, emails, and contacts. With this information, they can steal your identity, commit financial fraud, or encrypt your files and demand a ransom fee.
✅ Solution: If your Android or iPhone is glitching or sluggish for no apparent reason, it might be more than just a minor software hiccup. Run a FREE malware scan with Certo’s app for iPhone or Android.
Fig 1. Detecting malware with Certo for Android.
Phone not charging
Another common issue with iPhones and Android devices is that sometimes they won’t charge. Before you take your phone to an authorized service center, here are three reasons why your phone isn’t charging and how to fix it.
⚠️ A faulty charger
The charger or its cable might be damaged, leading to charging glitches.
✅ Solution: Check your charger and cable on another device. If they don’t work, consider replacing them. Always opt for original or certified third-party chargers for safety and efficiency.
⚠️ An obstructed charging port
Dust, lint, or debris in the phone’s charging port can prevent a proper connection with the charger.
✅ Solution: Gently clean the charging port using a soft brush or compressed air. Ensure the phone is switched off when doing this and avoid inserting sharp objects into the port.
⚠️ Using an incompatible charger
Using a charger that isn’t compatible with your phone’s power requirements can cause charging issues.
✅ Solution: Ensure you’re using a charger with the correct power output for your device. When in doubt, use the original charger provided with the phone or consult the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Screen flickering or unresponsiveness
A flickering phone screen can arise due to hardware malfunctions or accidents but can also stem from software bugs.
In such cases, a simple restart or, in the worst case, a factory reset can often set things right. Below are a few causes and solutions for a glitching phone screen.
⚠️ App Bugs (Android only)
If you have a faulty or broken app installed on your phone it could cause odd behavior, such as screen flickering.
✅ Solution: Restart your phone. If that does not work, try using Safe Mode temporarily. It runs your phone without third-party apps but keeps your data.
A third-party app is likely the culprit if the issue disappears in Safe Mode. Note that Safe Mode is diagnostic and won’t fix the underlying issue.
Here is how to activate safe mode:
- Press and hold the power button.
- Long-press the Power Off option until the Safe Mode prompt appears.
- On the following warning screen, tap the icon once more to proceed. Your phone will then reboot into Safe Mode, and any screen flickering should cease.
How to exit safe mode:
- Simply restart your device.
- Alternatively, use the notification panel: select Safe Mode is on and then tap Turn off.
⚠️ Auto-brightness (adaptive brightness)
If you have underlying issues with your phone then auto-brightness (adaptive brightness) can sometimes cause your screen to flicker as you move from light to dark areas.
✅ Solution: Try disabling adaptive brightness and see if this fixes your screen glitching issue. On iPhone, go to the Settings > Display & Brightness. On Android, this feature is under Settings > Display > Adaptive brightness.
⚠️ Physical damage
Physical damage to your device’s screen, such as cracks, impact damage or a loose internal connection, can cause faults when interacting with it.
✅ Solution: If your phone screen has obvious damage, you’ve dropped it recently or you think there could be a hardware issue inside the device, take it to an authorized service center as this will usually require professional repair or replacement of the damaged components.
⚠️ Water damage
Exposing your phone to liquids can damage internal components, affecting the screen.
✅ Solution: Most modern smartphones have Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs) or Liquid Damage Indicators (LDIs) that can tell you if the device has been exposed to water. For iPhones, remove the SIM card tray and check for a red line. For Android, check where your LCI/LDI is for your specific model. Typically this is near the SIM card or inside the headphone jack.
Fig 2. Checking an iPhone for water damage.
A sluggish phone can be quite frustrating. Several factors could contribute to your phone’s decreased performance, including:
⚠️ Full storage
When the internal storage gets too full, your phone doesn’t have enough free space to operate efficiently, leading to slower performance.
✅ Clear browser cache: Periodically clear app caches to free up memory and improve performance.
💡 Pro Tip: How to Clear Your Cache
To clear your cache and cookies but keep your browsing history:
1. Go to Settings
2. Tap Safari
3. Tap Advanced
4. Tap Website Data
5. Tap Remove All Website Data.
On your Android phone, open the Chrome app:
1. At the top right, tap More.
2. Tap History > Clear browsing data.
3. At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All Time.
4. Next to Cookies and site data and Cached images and files check the boxes.
5. Tap Clear data.
✅ Uninstall unnecessary apps: Remove apps you no longer use to free up storage and resources.
✅ Storage management: Delete old files or photos. Consider using cloud storage to remove some data from your phone.
⚠️ Aging hardware
Over time, the physical components of your phone, including the processor and memory, can degrade, leading to reduced performance.
✅ Use lightweight app versions: Opt for “Lite” or “Go” versions of apps if available, which are optimized for lower-end hardware and consume fewer resources.
✅ Avoid overburdening: Reduce the use of widgets, live wallpapers, or heavy themes.
💡 Pro Tip: Remember, all electronic devices have a lifespan, and there might come a point when it's more efficient to upgrade to a newer device rather than continue troubleshooting an older, sluggish one.
⚠️ Too many background processes
Many apps run background processes, even when you’re not actively using a particular app. These can accumulate and slow down the device.
✅ Limit background processes: Adjust your settings to limit the number of apps that can run in the background.
General Fixes for a Glitching Phone
Often, simple solutions can be the most effective. If none of the above-mentioned common problems and fixes apply to your phone, always remember the power of a basic restart.
Moreover, ensuring your phone is updated can often resolve many glitches. These two straightforward steps might just solve a significant portion of the issues discussed above:
Restart your phone
It might sound simple, but restarting your phone can be one of the fastest and easiest ways to stop it from glitching. It’s a quick and simple solution that’s worth a try.
How to restart your iPhone
- Press and hold the volume up or down button and the side button until the power-off slider appears.
- Drag the slider to switch off your iPhone.
- After switching off your iPhone, press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo appears.
How to restart your Android phone
- Press and hold the power button until the power options appear.
- Tap Restart or Reboot. If these options aren’t visible, tap Power Off and then turn your device back on after a few moments.
Check for OS updates
The world of tech is constantly evolving, and with it, so does the software that powers our devices. Operating system (OS) updates are regularly released to address known bugs, introduce new features, and improve overall system stability.
By running the latest version of your Apple or Android phone’s OS, you ensure that it operates with the latest security patches and achieves optimal performance, reducing the chances of software-based glitches.
How to check for iOS updates
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on Software Update.
- Your iPhone will check for available updates.
How to check for Android OS updates
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap on System.
- Tap on Advanced (this step might be optional, depending on your device).
- Tap on System Update or Software Update.
- Your device will check for available updates.
If All Else Fails: Factory Reset Your Phone
While this is a drastic option, a factory reset can give your glitching phone the fresh start it needs. This kind of reset turns your device back to its original, out-of-the-box state and removes all apps, settings, and files.
While this can resolve most glitches, it means you’ll lose everything on your phone. So, make sure you backup all essential files because once you proceed, all of your data will be erased.
How to factory reset Apple devices
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Scroll down and tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
- If prompted, enter your iPhone passcode or Apple ID password.
- Confirm that you want to hard reset your device.
- Your iPhone will begin the reset process and then restart.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
How to factory reset Android devices
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap on System.
- Tap on Reset.
- Tap on Erase all data (factory reset).
- Follow the on-screen instructions to confirm.
- Your device will begin the reset process and then restart.
If your Android or iPhone device is glitching, a variety of reasons might explain it—and some issues are easier to fix than others. While glitching may simply be a sign of low storage space or damaged hardware, other potential causes may be more sinister.
If your phone has malware installed on it, it could cause unexpected behaviors like flickering screens, crashing apps, or unusual battery drain. Today’s cyber threats evolve quickly, which makes them difficult to detect. That’s where Certo’s apps come in…
With industry-leading detection rates, a user-friendly interface, and thousands of reviews from happy customers, Certo ensures that your device’s security is truly in safe hands. Download for FREE for iPhone or Android today.