✏ A Little Guide to ... Troubleshooting Your Fairphone (any model)

:information_source: Continuing the “little guide to” series (see Battery-Guide and GPS-Guide) this post is supposed to be a collection of general troubleshooting tips and workarounds that might help with any problem you run into.

:pencil2: This is a #wiki post. Feel free to edit it to add your knowledge by using the green pencil icon in the top right corner.

1. First Steps

1.1 Perform a Backup

Before any troubleshooting it’s often a good idea to perform a thorough backup.

  • On the FP1 we recommend Titanium Backup.
  • On the FP2 if you #dic:root -ed your phone you can also use Titanium Backup. If you use Open OS you can enable root in the #dic:developeroptions, if you use standard FP OS you can root e.g. with superuser)
    You can also use TWRP (the #dic:recoverymode on your FP2) to make a full system backup, but if you have a software issue it will be included in the backup too.
    Otherwise you can check this topic for other backup solutions.
  • For the FP3 you can use TWRP (a #dic:recoverymode) as well (see this topic)

1.2 Update Your Operating System

Updating your Operating System can solve many issues, even sometimes issues that are not mentioned as fixed in the release notes.
Open the updater app to see if you run the latest OS version.

Issues that are not yet fixed by the latest official update may be fixed in the currently tested beta version / release candidate or by an unofficial update or port.
You can find a list of all official and unofficial operating systems here.

1.3. Quickly Check Whether it’s a Software or Hardware Issue.

Many problems can be caused by either hardware or software. Luckily there are a few quick checks you can do to get a first estimate whether it’s more likely to be a software or hardware issue:

  • Does the issue still occur if you remove the SIM and SD cards?
  • Does the issue only occur in one situation or anytime, anywhere? (e.g does your microphone only not work during calls or can you also not record anything?)
  • Did you recently install or start using an app that may cause your issue? Try uninstalling or deactivating such apps or try the #dic:safemode (:warning: may remove some apps/widgets from your homescreen)
  • Carefully dis- and reassemble your phone. Clean the connections and make sure you put everything back in order. This can sometimes solve some hardware issues.

2. Search the Forum/Support Sages for solutions

2.1. Check the Support Articles:

If you have an FP2 first check the official troubleshooting tool which includes most common issues.
You can find all the support articles here.

2.2. Search the Forum:

You can perform a search by tapping the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner besides your user-icon and the “hamburger” menu.
The search function is not great! It will only show you exact matches for the words you enter and no synonyms, so it’s sometimes necessary to try different searches.

2.3. Browse the Forum

2.4. Check Out the Lists of Common Issues and Bugs

The #commonissues list contains many issues and workarounds or solutions.
For a list of software bugs check out the #bugtracker.

2.5 If You Can’t Find a Solution

If you have an issue that was reported before but the provided solutions don’t work for you please post your question in the same topic if its still open. If you can’t find your issue being discussed anywhere create a new topic. Moderators often have a better overview over the forum and might move your post or close your topic and advise you to continue in another one.

Information You Should Provide:

  • which Fairphone model do you use (if not specified by the category)?
  • which operating system do you run (check the updater app if you’re not sure)?
  • in what situations does the problem occur? Is there a way to reproduce the issue?
  • what did you do or what happened before the issue first occurred?
  • what have you already tried to resolve the issue? please be specific - “I have tried everything I found in the forum” doesn’t really help as we can’t know what you found and what you missed.
  • can you provide some debug info?

3. Troubleshooting Unknown Issues

3.1 Wiping Away Software Issues

Software issues often occur when a file got corrupted somehow. Usually this can easily be fixed, but (:warning:) you will lose some/all (user) data (don’t forget to make a backup first!).

From least to most comprehensive wipe:

  • wipe the cache/user data of the affected app(s) (settings > apps > all) and/or un- and reinstall the app
  • wipe the system cache ( through #dic:recoverymode)
  • perform a factory data reset (Settings > Backup & Reset)
  • (manually) reinstall the operating system - even if you just updated, an error during the update might have caused the issue, so reinstalling could fix it
  • perform a #dic:hardreset (through recovery)

3.2 Troubleshooting Hardware Issues

  • If you believe you have a hardware issue one of the first steps is to carefully take out the affected module / piece of hardware, clean it and put it back making sure all connections are tight. :warning: If you have a FP1 and never did that before seek help. The FP1 is not modular and can’t be opened up as easily as the successors.
  • If you know someone near you who has a working Fairphone of the same model ask them if you can test your Fairphone with their hardware. If you are lucky there is also a group of #fairphoneangels near you.
  • If you determined it’s really a hardware issue, you didn’t let your phone drop on the floor or into water and your 2 year warranty is not over (1 year for batteries) contact support to get a replacement phone/module for free. If it’s not covered by warranty go check the spare parts shop or the #market.

4. Debugging

If you have the required knowledge/skills you can debug using e.g. MTK engineer mode, ADB, apps like aLogCat, … This info can help other users and developers to provide you with better workarounds and solutions to your specific issue.

Here is a guide for gathering log files: ✏ How to gather logs