Fairphone 5 freezes repeatedly

Hi there,

my wife’s FP5 repeatedly and frequently freezes in most different situations: we got it on 14 or 15 Sept and by now 6-8 freezes. Twice, a bit of waiting resolved the issue, but in the other cases not even the power button helped and she had to remove the battery.

Situations the freeze occured included:

  1. usage of the dual view window
  2. switch on after charging
  3. while reading emails (email app is called fairmail funnily)

the battery was between 50 and 100%

any idea/remedy?


Hi and welcome to the forum,

I personnally have not had any freezes so far

Does it happen often and when it happens are the same Apps used?

The phone or only the screen? So it cant be unlocked in that moment? The cable is plugged off already?

Maybe see if its better with K9Mail to see if it the App.

Did you install Fairmail throug the Playstore or F-Droid? Gmail accounts are difficult to synchronize, so if Gmail is involved maybe its causing issues…

This should always help, you would just need to hold several seconds till it reboots.

Some general things

  1. is a SD card inserted and how is it formatted?
  2. in case it happens more often see if it happens in safe mode as well dic:safemode
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thanks for your quick response.

The freezes occure abour every second day on average.
The dual window apps were youtube and 7cooks, all apps are installed from Google Playstore.

When the phone freezed after switch on in lock screen, unlock was impossible; cable was plugged off.

Fairmail did not cause any issues on previous phones and given the other situations I cannot imagine it is an app problem (rather hardware or Android OS issue).

the power button was completely without any function (not even holding it for 10-15seconds)

no SD card


I would not exclude nothing when it comes to systems (apps included) which are updated and updates are not always only doing good things and influence compatibility. And without troubleshooting (other apps etc) it will be difficult to reproduce and/or find the cause. So is it a gmail account or any other? To reproduce one needs this information (if gmail you cant use K9mail however with all other mail provider I use it works very well without any freezes etc)

if its only always with those apps we would need to find someone using them both as well to check if this is a general thing with those 2 apps and at the end, as a third party app (7cooks) is involved FP would rather not work on this. So to exclude YT maybe use with YT and another App…

thats rather odd and I would contact Fairphone in parallel contactsupport

I think the app you are referring to is called FairEmail and this app works without any issues on my FP5. However I have it installed from F-Droid and I don’t use any Gmail accounts with that app.

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thanks, Martin, you are right, FairEmail.

The thing is that we cannot reproduce it ourselves. the dual window view has worked with those two apps before and after the freeze without problems.

My wife uses several email accounts with FairEmail (thanks @Martin_Anderseck) to include gmail, t-online, gmx, web.

My FP5 has not had even one single freeze in those two weeks (while I admittedly use different apps).

I’ll reach out to the support as suggested. THanks again!

to debug you could just try to set-up yours as your wife would do and hers like you do… :wink:

I will see if I can reproduce the FairEmail thing only with using Gmail. web, t-online plus posteo, murena and several strato mail addresses work well for me with K9Mail and I would rather think that can be a Google/Gmail thing as Google prevents synchronization with other apps, and this now is needing extra tweaks from the app developer…

Be prepared that support will ask your wife to do a factory reset, so start to back-up if not done regularly.

yeah, that is an idea. my challenge would be that I do not have another android phone left to transfer my data to :-/

We’ll start with removing the Gmail account from FairEmail. I’ll keep you posted.

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I honestly have no idea what may be the root cause of this at the moment, but it doesn’t sound like the fault of a specific app to me if it occurs in completely unrelated scenarios each time. You could of course try to iteratively restrict background activity of installed apps and see if that has any effect on the issue, but I honestly doubt it.

I can give you some suggestion to make debugging easier once the issue occurs again (e.g. activating some visual debug indicators via the developer options):

  • You can enable Show taps and Pointer location (e.g. to distinguish touch input and display issues. If touch inputs that were done during the freeze appear once the device unfreezes, it may be an indicator that its only affecting the rendering of graphical output. If on the other hand things such as the time keep incrementing but no touch input is registered, it may be an indicator that only the input is affected.)
  • You could also enable surface updates, but those will be rather disruptive during normal use.
  • I strongly recommend you also enable USB debugging, install adb on your computer, connect your phone and check the box to always allow usb debugging from this device once you connect it. This will allow you to send adb commands to your device from your computer next time this issue occurs, even if the display is locked. (Note that your computer will generate a unique RSA authentication key, so checking this box will not allow other computers to do the same.)
  • When the device freezes the next time, see if adb recognizes your device despite it being frozen. If so, you can try to access the devices logs and data, or execute arbitrary stuff on your device without requiring display input/output. This would allow you/us to collect information about what is actually frozen and what isn’t (e.g. if it’s a screen-only issue).

Next time try pressing the volume down and power button at the same time for 5-10 seconds - this should result in a hard reset

thank you, @AndreasChris . Not sure if those ideas go beyond my skills :wink:

we will try that, @Trojaner, thank you!

we have had no crash since then. gmail account is deleted from FairEmail. Let’s see how it continues.

Thanks for your herlp, @yvmuell !

I have Fairemail installed since then only for Gmail and no crash so far. I dont use it much though.

Will add another non gmail account to see if this is causing freezes.

It happens to me too, twice a day minimum, I have to always take out the battery, hopefully it will be repared… (I have several e-mail accounts there). Isn’t there a chance some buttons combination makes hard restart? Fairphone 3 had this with on/off button, here it doesn’t seems to be…

Did you try

And be patient. I’d tried out this last resort reboot and it took about 13 seconds to reboot.

Thanks a lot, it works indeed (in state of not-frozen phone, but I believe it will be the same), regarding freezing FP will hopefully solve it within next updates, thank you!

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Hello everyone,

I would like to say that I am also experiencing the same issue.

Once a week in average I have to hard reboot my Fairphone 5 holding Power + Volume down, because the screen froze.

When the screen freeze, the phone is still “alive” because I still receive notifications. Of course I can’t see them, but the phone vibrate and I can hear the notification alert.

Also, I am still able to turn off the screen by pressing the Power button. If I press the Power button again the screen will light up again in the same state, frozen and displaying the same app than before (even if it should show the lock screen).

This is a bit annoying, and I hope it will be fixed in a future update.

How can I help ? Do you need more information to reproduce the issue ?

To be honest, I don’t know the exact conditions to reproduce the issue. But I am not using Fairmail, so in my case this is not the culprit.

I am using the FP5 for two weeks and had three freezes, all using different applications. My gut feeling is, this happens when I do excessive screen rotation, at some point it gets stuck. Hard reboot or removing the battery is the only solution to recover.