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13 disastrous Android Lollipop problems and how to fix them

Though Android Marshmallow is now upon us, various Android Lollipop updates are still rolling out worldwide – and in some cases they're causing problems. If you want to know how to fix Android Lollipop problems, here are the solutions to the most common bugs we've heard about. We'll add more as more issues crop up.

Android L lollipop interface purple 02
Android 5.0 problems and solutions: Lollipop brings some sweetness along with a bitter aftertaste. / © ANDROIDPIT

1. Android Lollipop performance problems

For most people, updating to Android Lollipop has made their hardware happier, their teeth whiter and their days just dandy. But some users have encountered a range of issues, including freezes, crashes, stutter and lag. In-place upgrades can be the cause of that.

Installing updates on top of updates on top of updates can eventually cause problems, so a factory reset might be on the cards, but first look at your apps to check they’ve been updated to Lollipop. As with any performance issues, try switching off anything you don’t need to see if you can identify a specific cause. 

Android L lollipop interface menu
Background apps are currently causing memory issues in Android 5.0. / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Android Lollipop Wi-Fi connectivity

It seems that we can't have an Android update without something going wrong with either Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or both. Try the usual range of solutions: toggle airplane mode on and off, forget and reconnect to the network, reboot your phone, restart your router or switch between the Wi-Fi frequency bands.

If this fails, you may have to wait for a patch from Google for the permanent solution.

3. Android Lollipop overheating

Assuming you haven’t left your device in direct sunlight or near a wicked child with a magnifying glass, overheating is often a side-effect of really hammering the phone with apps such as 3D games.

Your case might be contributing to the problem too – phones are designed to be case-free, and heavy cases can interfere with heat dissipation. It’s also worth trying Safe Mode to see if the culprit is an app that’s misbehaving. 

4. Android Lollipop battery bug

Every new installation of Android firmware results in some battery drain for some users. This is almost always because the update was applied over the top of existing firmware rather than installed 'clean'. There are a few things that could go wrong when everything is set up one way on your phone, and then the world shifts beneath its feet.

So now may be the time to bite the bullet, do a full backup and do a factory reset. You can do this via the Settings > Backup & Reset section or manually with the hardware buttons. Just search AndroidPIT for your particular device and 'factory reset' to find a step-by-step guide on how to do this. 

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Despite Battery Saver on Lollipop, battery drain issues persist. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Android Lollipop video playback bug

Nexus 7 (2013) owners have reported some bugs with video playback following the update to Lollipop. The issue doesn't seem to be restricted to any particular app, but YouTube is, of course, at the center of the furore. Any app that uses the default Android video player suffers though.

YouTube Music key nexus 5 sharp
YouTube and other video playback apps were broken following the Android 5.0 update. / © Google, ANDROIDPIT

If YouTube is the issue for you, hit Settings > Apps and find the entry for YouTube. Clear the cache and try again or do a reboot for a temporary fix. You can always try uninstalling and reinstalling the app if problems persist. Some users are reporting that this has solved the problem, while others continue to suffer.

If you have a better fix let us know in the comments below. Worst case scenario: back up all your data, do a factory reset and clear the cache partition.

6. Android Lollipop flashlight bug

If you leave the flashlight on for a while, for example when you're struggling to find your keys in the dark, and it automatically times out, then the flashlight will be busted until you do a reboot. This is pretty weird but it occurred in the developer previews too.

It's odd that Google didn't bother to iron this one out, as it's a pretty well-known issue on the Nexus 5 already.

7. No silent mode, status bar ticker or Power button menu

Sadly, these are 'improvements' rather than problems. You can't simply volume down to silent mode (only to vibrate), there's no option other than Power Off when you long press the Power button, and the status bar ticker – that little scrolling preview of notifications – has been killed with fire in the latest version of Android.

We expect the masses to rise up shortly and some changes to be made, or at least some workarounds figured out if you're willing to tweak your phone a little. In any case, we've already explained how to enable silent mode on Android 5.0.

silent mode
With silent mode gone from Android 5.0 Lollipop, your phone may start to disturb you. / © Motorola

8. Android Lollipop OTA broken on modified devices

This probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but Google doesn't necessarily want your rooting or otherwise modifying your device or firmware. So if you've modded your Android a bit, you may not be able to install the OTA update.

Fortunately the solution is pretty straightforward: simply flash a stock image again and OTA will be hunky dory once again. Check our article on broken OTA updates for Android 5.0 Lollipop for more info.

root nexus 5 teaser
If you've rooted or otherwise modified your phone, OTA updates may not work. © AndroidPIT

9. Android Lollipop fast charging isn't charging fast

This could be explained away by raised expectations: while Android supports Qualcomm's QuickCharge 2.0, not every phone does – and those that do don't always ship with a QuickCharge charger. There are also known incompatibilities with some third-party fast chargers, so if you’re encountering issues with one it’s worth trying another charger (if you can) to see if the problem goes away. 

10. Android Lollipop recent apps switcher issue

The recent apps card stack was a new addition to multi-tasking in Lollipop. But not everyone is a fan. Some users are claiming that, the more apps they have stacked, the slower their performance becomes, while others are noticing that even when a card has been removed from the stack, it mysteriously returns.

Even after a reboot your recent apps list will persist, so the only way to fix this one is to simply keep on swiping. Forever.

11. Android Lollipop camera bug

Users have reported that their camera stops working after the Lollipop update – in some cases, this means that the icon to select the front-facing camera is no longer even there. To solve this, try deleting your Camera app's data.

This won't delete any of your photos, just your existing camera settings. Go to Settings > Apps > All > Camera and tap Clear data. If this doesn't work, try disabling it and then enabling it in the same menu.  

androidpit lollipop problems and solutions camera bug
The route to your Camera app may differ depending on your device. / © ANDROIDPIT

12. Android Lollipop GPS problems

GPS issues are quite rare on Lollipop, but some people have been experiencing them and a factory reset has been offered as one possible solution. If you find that your GPS signal is dropping frequently and don't wish to do a factory reset, try altering the location mode in your settings.

Set it to 'high accuracy', or if it already is, change it and then change it back.

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Try changing the location mode temporarily if you are having GPS problems. / © ANDROIDPIT

13. Android Lollipop Chrome tabs problem

Chrome Browser on Lollipop is set by default to store new tabs in the recent apps list, but for many this represents one of the biggest Lollipop fails of all.

Fortunately, all you need to do to change this is head to your Chrome settings and disable Merge tabs and apps to return to the more familiar 'number in a box in the URL bar' that brings up your tab list, as it always has.

androidpit lollipop chrome tabs comparison
On the left we see various Chrome tabs mixed between other apps. We prefer the old way (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

What other Android 5.0 problems have you found? Got any solutions we missed? Share them in the comments.

Readers' favorite comments

  • FIRST LAST Nov 23, 2014

    I agree with most of what you were trying to say :)
    All the endless talk of how intuitive it is, How Material design and the Animations are the best thing since sliced bread. And then i get the OTA and..... Total Childish crap. Intuitive? For whom?

    On Screen Buttons = A sideways triangle, a Circle and a hollow Square. What is intuitive about them? What was Wrong with the VERY INTUITIVE Back Arrow, Home icon and the Stacked Cards?

    The Lock screen with the silly Cards, especially with Music. Who thought this design was better and who thought it was intuitive? You have to slide a card or Double tap it, How is that better? How about unlocking the unit? Give it to an iOS user and watch the frustration, then the endless Laughing at how stupid it is. Many Android users are equally frustrated. They slide both ways and if lucky get it to unlock by accident! Maybe a simple "Slide ^ to unlock" Would be useful.

    Here's a novel idea, How about an instruction manual instead of Forums where people just guess and vent.

    The Animations that the kids like so much? These are always the first thing i disable. But in Lollipop they are there for one reason. To hide the every present Android Lag and stuttering. Of course to disable these children features you have to figure out how to get in Developers mode - Which is Very intuitive !!!

    Project Volta - Really Google? An antiquated battery saver mode that disables just about everything and reminds you with bright orange screens = Genius!

    Here's a hint Google if you want to save battery Get rid of the Endless Bright White Backgrounds and Light grey text.
    What's really mind boggling is, that in all these years nobody can figure out what it is about Android that makes it such a battery pig? Especially in standby! They just come up with more gimmicks that usually make things worse.

    Adaptive Brightness? - What a Pile of Crap this implementation is. It is either too dark or too bright. Just Fix Auto Brightness. How hard could it be?

    The Pull down Quick Notifications = LOL, Since you got rid of the "swipe up" for Google Now from the lock screen, just put it there. While you are at it get rid of it from the home screen too! and replace it with quick settings. Since Google now is just a right slide away, who needs it at the bottom too? The double pull down feels like a Amateur Hour Work around. (Yes, I know you can do a two finger slide, but to me it is cumbersome and impossible with one hand, which is how i hold my phone.)After the double swipe, you then have to tap the Tiny Battery or Settings button to get to them. How about just Add the settings button as one of the toggles, Get rid of the ones that are pointless. (At least they got rid of the horrendous Google+ / Your name icon - Why it was there is anybody's guess) When you get to battery settings, whats missing = Time on Battery! instead they give you a "Pulled out of their Ass" Guesstimate as to how long your battery might last. When you click the tiny settings icon you are Greeted By the Great Bight White Wall!. Black Backgrounds save battery and are easier to read! The Genius who designed it also redesigned the location icon. When you click it it disables all Location services, Again, Genius! Clicking it again turns Everything on! Even if you were in Battery Save Mode Before, it defaults to High Accuracy mode - (Battery Drain) you then have to dig in the Great white Settings wall to go back to Battery Saver Mode!

    The whole Silent / Mute notifications fiasco - Who thinks of these things? Who thinks what they came up with is better than what they had? The long press the power button for Airplane mode and Silent, vibrate, or Sound was ingenious and worked flawlessly. For the one in one thousand that needed more control - i'm sure There are apps for that. Sometimes it is good to rest on your laurels and NOT change just for the sake of change.

    There are many other issues but these alone have convinced me NOT to upgrade my moto x when and if its available.
    I can't stress it enough, Somebody needs to be fired over these backward Changes.

  • Leonardo Nov 19, 2014

    I am loving lollipop so far but I hate this stupid photos app...want back my gallery app...

  • PhilR Nov 19, 2014

    Silent Mode is still there, it has just been renamed as Priority Mode, and given additional functionality. Looks good!

  • Glostermeteor Nov 18, 2014

    Silent mode is crucial for me both at night and in meetings. Sticking with Kitkat until thats fixed


Write new comment:
  • Thor-IQ 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    I got battery drain and cpu intensive heat issue after upgraded my phone from kitkat to lollipop via samsung's kies 3. Somebody please help me :.(

  • To solve the Wi-Fi problem, it worked for me:

    Inside the router configuration (e.g., accessing the IP, change the "Group key update" value from 0 to 30 seconds, under the "Wireless > Security" configuration, right below the WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK item.

    Router: TP-LINK TL-WR740N / TL-WR740ND.

  • So for the past few months I've been trying to download version 5.0.2 130 fng1 and it says I'm missing a file in my file manager but I don't know what file it is so my phone won't update it just error's
    Anybody what is the file and can u help me

  • Alex May 2 months ago Link to comment

    For the last few days, every time I take my phone off charge, it makes an audible announcement saying how much battery life I have left. This is really annoying as I often take my phone off charge when I wake up and my wife is still sleeping. I can't find a setting to switch this off. I have a Moto G running Android 5.1. Any ideas?

  • MY Android phone is 5.1 Lolipop i have problem on location because the locate mode selection is only one.Only Battery Saving is the selection in the Location Mode plsss help me to get the 3 selection in the Location Mode the High Accuracy and Device Only is missing on my Location Mode Selection...Plss help me to fix this because pokemon go app is not running because of the gps..

  • internet is automatic open. how to solve this problem. can anyone help me please?

  • i have used lollipop for over a year. when i had to reset my phone to factory settings i reinstalled lolloipop. a notice popped up about changing to ad support. the notice won't go awaw and i can't access my phone at all. not even to uninstall the app. anyone know how to fix the problem or should i tell the lollipop makers to buy me another phone?

  • Coincidence? I did a force stop on lollipop - all my screen backgrounds disappeared BUT the 40-odd random contacts which had disappeared a month earlier miraculously reappeared.

  • Just got my Matricom GBox-Q back from a factory update to Android 5.1.1. (It was promised OTA, but be careful of what you are promised). Nevertheless, life is good, EXCEPT all contact lists have vanished from Gmail, and if I type in a complete email address in order to send, it doesn't remember it the next time. I have a pretty good education, but I can't even figure out how to access Gmail contacts in order to build a new list, now that I have my new, improved operating system. I havea feeling I am not alone. Am I? Any advice? George P.S. I downloaded one of the contact-organizing apps, and my lists are still out there, somewhere.

  • Music player sucks in Lollipop. Keeps force closing when i change music tracks.... :/ huge fail for the stock music player in android 5.1.1 please fix !

  • MMS in the messaging app - freezes, takes forever to send and load, quits
    Facebook Messenger - same thing
    Emails - I click delete on the notification and they are still there when I login later
    My family is all elsewhere and those first two things are constantly used throughout the day - please help!

  • Ed T 7 months ago Link to comment

    just updated my Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 tablet to 5.1.1: the default camera app is nothing what it was, which was great before.. now everything is zoomed in too close.. i'd have to get far away to take a good picture.. and image stabilization is kind of sucky now. I can't get WiFi direct to connect to my other Galaxy devices any more.. which is not at all intuitive.. and I'm a former Samsung Rep.. that's not good..

  • Upgraded firmware on Matricom G-BoxQ to V.1.3, and it in turn, upgraded to Lollipop 5.1. Now my Launcher icons fail to open their associated apps. There was a warning/disclaimer prior to running the update that stated some apps may not work after the upgrade. I can only open them from inside of the <All Apps> folder. I have tried deleting cache and clearing data on the apps system settings to no avail. All the icons are unresponsive. Anyone uncovered a fix for the android/Matricom launcher after upgrading? Thanks, -dkh-

  • New update so bad

  • D. Sch 8 months ago Link to comment

    Samsung 5mini was working fine... After update it is very difficult to enter..... no time to for the Fingerprint Sensor neither for the Password. The Cam makes Problems and some other App's just twirl around. Alerts where there is nothing and some other "fooling around". Is there a way of "DOWNDATE" my Cel - phone or are the Programmers aware of that "Bull ....." they delivered and everybody has to wait for an UP-Update?
    I would be very greatgul for an answer!
    D. Schulz

  • Ever since updating to version 5.0 every time i go into music and then hit the playlist tab is always says "unfortunately music player as stopped working" and exits to home screen. I have a Samsung note 3. are you going to fix this?

  • Barbara V 9 months ago Link to comment

    I don't see any fixes for volume issues. My Tab 4 (10.1) constantly lowers the volume when I'm connect to my Bluetooth earpiece. It doesn't matter if I'm streaming, watching videos, movies, etc. It's more than annoying to watch something on Netflix and have to readjust the volume every few minutes. Fix this damn thing.

    • Ed T 7 months ago Link to comment

      that is normal. it is a hearing function so that you don't go deaf by blowing out your ears from high volume. you just need to buy some external speakers with its own volume control, or earphones with its own volume control

  • I have 5.1 zte allstar and i have mx player downloaded but any video i click plays in default player and not mx,even if im on my search engine and click a YouTube vid,it takes me to the browser YouTube instead of asking if i want it opened in the app,which is what i want it to do for every video,I've tried the clearing defaults in "apps" but it's grayed out and non accessible, can somebody please help with this problem.. Thanks in advance ☺

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