FP2 reboots and home screen issues

All right, factory reset done.

@Otolio I couldn’t download any apps for backing up SMS data either, so thanks for pointing me to ‘Messages for web’: at least it made it possible to take screenshots.

I will be monitoring how my FP2 behaves over the next couple of days - let’s see if this radical move was worth the fuss and losses!

One thing I noticed and found odd (or interesting, depending on how you see it) is the way the Wi-Fi MAC address has changed: now it’s a string that’s very similar to the one my partner sees on his phone (not a Fairphone), whereas before the factory reset (when all the issues were present) it looked very different (namely, it was weirdly full of zeros). Not sure whether this means anything…

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Since 2 or 3 weeks, my FP2 is quite difficult to use:

  • middle and right bottom screen button have no more effect → only possible to press left one to have an action
  • unable to open system menu: only top menu available (pressing little “v” flashes, but nothing more)
  • HW Test: drawing screen is OK
  • HW Test: ear speeker OK, but read speeker out of ordrer
  • HW Test: primary microphone OK, but secondary out of order
  • reboot makes nothing better.

Any ideas?

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I guess it happened on December 6th?
See this discussion:

and a lot more in former times.


I have moved the two above posts to the big December-6th-cataclysm thread.


I have the exact same issue since 10 days and don’t understand why

Most likely because your system is not up to date and you are still using Android 7.

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Since 7th of december my phone has been working just fine, no reboots, except for the loss of notifications and the home/apps buttons. I was able to live with that just fine because the system and apps were all in order.

But tonight at around 3 AM my phone has started to reboot again every 3 minutes. The first time it happened is when I pressed the ‘go back’ button bottom left. Not sure if it’s related but since earlier yesterday my phone was showing a flashing blue notification light that I didn’t recognize nor could find the origin of. After another reboot, this afternoon one of my apps requested access to internal storage, which it hasn’t done before so I feel like it’s connected to the problem. Right now it’s not much of an issue for me over the weekend, and hopefully it stops rebooting again after 2 days like last time. But I can’t have this be a reoccurring problem so I’m going to look into a permanent fix as well.

I’m sure without a factory reset your system will remain unstable.


And - if not done yet - I’d also recommend an update to the current version. It seems the A7 version repeatedly shows these problems.


yeah, last time I tried to update earlier this year I got stuck in TWLP or something like that because I didn’t have enough storage. It gave me a lot of hassle and anxiety getting out. I’ve made a few halfassed attempts of backing up my data to PC since then but it never recognized my phone and my phone didn’t seem to be able to remove big files on its own. I guess that’s why I was fine with the status quo of my phone this month.

I have to dig into how to make backups of my internal storage to PC happen. What’s the best way to go about this all? First access the internal storage of my phone from my PC somehow, then factory reset, then clear storage, and then update?

Ok, understandable you’re hesitant now. On the other side I think a backup is always important - especially now that you’re having problems…

You can try to use MyPhoneExplorer app to transfer data (this could even transfer the data using WiFi connection).
Or you make sure you have a USB data cable to connect phone and PC. You might need an according driver on your PC. Then unlock the phone, search for the notification about USb connection and enable data transfer.
You might also use an SD card, configure it as “portable storage” on the phone. Copy data from internal memory to this card and insert it into your PC (if your PC has an SD card reader) to copy it to a safe place.
If you trust Google you can do a backup through Google drive. You may follow backup instructions on the Fairphone support pages.

Once you have the backup the reset/update process is as you’ve mentioned.
Copying data from internal memory will not do a backup of your apps. So additional backup steps for your important apps may be necessary, too.


Thank you for your continuous help Volker.

Here’s where I am now:

  • Phone has been operating stable for a couple of weeks with the known issues of no notifications, extended dropdown menu and app switchting. Phone restarted on its own only a few times during a random time on a random day a while back but it stopped that fairly quickly.
  • Phone will not install new apps from Playstore (such as MyPhoneExplorer or other), when I attempt to do so the installation remains ‘in preparation’ for minutes on end.
  • I own 5 USB cables. 3 Of them charge the phone when I plug it into the PC. With none of them I have been able to access the internal storage. I know for a fact at least 2 are capable of transfering data: I’ve done it in the past, have not thrown away any cables, plus, I can use 2 cables for data transfer with my Sony mirrorless camera. My PC never recognizes my phone. I installed ADB driver on my system (Windows 10 Home) but it never changed anything. Plus, let’s not forget under normal circumstances the phone notification asks you what you want to do with the connection to the PC (charge only, or use as data device). The phone’s current problem obviously is that it doesn’t show any notifications to begin with. If the phone ever sees the connection with the PC, I will not know it through notifications.
  • I own 2 micro sd cards. The one I had on the phone I have successfully backupped using my SD card reader. The other one I had to spare, I formatted, inserted in phone, but it was never recognized. I have yet to format my original phone SD card but don’t know if I should expect different results.
  • Regarding the Google Drive backup: In settings, I have always had ‘Make backups of my data’ turned on, using my mostly used personal Google account. Automatic restore is also on. However, I don’t know how I can access any of that data (preferably via PC), because when I log in on PC, I see no phone files whatsoever. (If my memory serves me well, I think used this Google Backup service to transfer data to this phone from my old one, when I bought this FP2 3 years ago? Does that help things?)

So right now I’m not sure how I can reach a state of backup of my phone that will allow me to confidently execute a factory reset. I have yet to try restarting the phone in safemode or work with TWRP flashing as I have not yet read into why I should do it and whether it’s safe. What would you recommend at this point?

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Well, doesn’t sound too nice that most of the options no longer work… :grimacing:

Regarding Google backup I unfortunately can’t help or add anything helpful as I’ve never used that service (have never trusted that service/company).

In that case I’d use #twrpwoflashing (just follow this link) and use one of the two USB cables known for working data connections to at least make a backup/copy of the internal data (/storage/emulated/0).

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I had the same issue but found a way to go round that, see if this works {you need to have installed the drivers in your computer and have the phone connected through the cable) :
Settings > Connected devices > USB > File transfer

I can’t back up my settings to Google (I guess as part of the Dec 6th Cataclysm). I have managed to back up all files that were not hidden and also WhatsApp but can’t install or update any apps. Since I can’t use the current version of Signal after 7 more days, I am forced to either stop using it or do the factory reset.
I have tried to decipher the post on TWRP flashing but I don’t get half of it. I am ready to lose whatever, at least the stress will be gone.

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Hi everyone, thanks for opening this topic and collecting feedback. Some of the issues experienced here have been seen before on FP2, but having multiple of them occur at the same time from a particular date is new to us. As of now we have no idea what might be causing this, and the only advice we have for now is to update to the latest OS version and/or factory reset your device.


Hello, just in case this is still useful for anybody, I managed to back up and restore almost everything. Among the few things I didn’t manage to restore were the sports app connected to Google Fit: apparently, and despite the synchronization to G-Fit (or on top of it), those needed to have a backup of their own. Never assume anything, apparently. That was not important info for me, but… if something is important to you, double- or triple-check all possible ways of backing it up!!!
Good luck to everybody! :slight_smile:


I have been having frequent reboots for the last few weeks, but can’t pinpoint exactly when it started, it could well have been around 6th Dec. I was already on Android 9. Current version: Build 21.12.0-rel.1. I used to have maybe 1 reboot per day, often when I wasn’t using or touching the phone. It is now at least 10 times a day, frequently when using it, on different apps etc, full battery, no pattern.

I am not having the experience others have described with the home button not working,

I de-installed almost all historical apps a few months due to memory issues, hanging, black screen etc. - it is running very minimally now already. I don’t know what else to do to make it more usable. It is not a joyful experience for me owning a FP2.

Only other thing I can think of around this time was the log4j apache 0 day vulnerability- could there have been something in the FP build which was hit by that?

Installations on computer devices degrade, happens all the time.

I would first consider a factory reset, this would take care of user data as well as Apps installed by the user and their data.

If that doesn’t help, a reinstall of the OS would take care of the OS, too … 🇬🇧 🇩🇪 ✏ Installing the Fairphone 2 from scratch in case of failure / Komplette Neuinstallation des Fairphone 2 im Fehlerfall

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Hi folks,

Just wanted to post after dealing with this problem last week - the information in this thread was really helpful.

I was getting the repeated reboots, home button not working, inability to install apps etc. that others have described above.

Moving the SIM card from slot 1 to slot 2 stopped the continual reboots. That made it a lot easier to upgrade from Android 7 to 9 (which didn’t fix the other issues), and then perform a factory reset (which did fix everything).


Thanks for sharing your experience. Does anybody know how much space the phone requires from Android 7.1.2 to Android 9?