The Fairphone doesn't start - "Process system not responding

Hi all,

I currently have a big issue with my FP : it simply doesn’t start because of an error message indicating “Process system is not responding.” Then, I can either tap on “Wait” or “Terminate”, but nothing happens and the phone starts rebooting itself 5 minutes after.

I already had this issue when I was on the 1.4 OS version, but I then updated my phone to the 1.6 and everything has been working well for 1 month. The error appeared again 3 days ago, I shut down my phone yesterday and today it’s completely impossible to start it again.

I think this is a know issue on Fairphones but I didn’t see any solution on this support forum, except on two threads I can’t access :

Do you have any solution that would not involve any hard reboot (I did it once to update for the 1.6 OS and the problem is still there) ? I am seriously considering buying another phone in the meantime, which is
not the most eco-friendly solution of course.

Thanks for your answers,


Since it has been working for one month, I would say, your issue is caused by an app that modified some system files (Naturally I always suspect Google Apps, but who knows…).

I don’t know though, how to get rid of the issue without a hard reset.

Hi Pierre,

have you tried to boot your phone in ‘recovery mode’?

(I hope you can access that site - also have a look at the posts on the right). I actually never needed to do so, so I cannot tell if this could help you, but maybe you can locate your problem better by trying this.
Good luck!

Hi guys,

I thank you a lot for yours answers.

I indeed had to perform a had reset because I was unable to start my phone again. Hopefully, I made a back-up a few weeks ago, so I didn’t loose so many data - this is why I may advise any of you to buy a micro-SD card in case you can’t start your phone any more.

Right now, I’m re-installing my apps one by one, day by day, in order to identify the one which may have damaged the FP. I will tell you here if I identified it ;).

Thanks again for your help Stefan and ashoka!


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Dear Pierre,

I was wondering whether you had any follow-up on the problem you identified earlier. For months now, I’m facing a similar problem. Whenever I restart my fairphone, I get the message “Process system isn’t responding” “Do you want to close it?”. At first, it first slows down the starting up process but then ends up by just blocking the starting up process.

So far, I did around five hard resets in the past few months but the problem simply does not go away. The phone just broke down again and does not restart. It would great to identify the app which causes this. Fyi, I hardly have any apps (apart from the preinstalled google apps) on the phone to avoid problems.

Many thanks in advance. Wouter

To clarify: Google Apps are not preinstalled on the Fairphone. Since Google is digging quite deep into the Android system, you might be able to avoid troubles by just not installing Google Apps through the widget (which comes preinstalled). There are other ways to acquire apps, e.g. the Amazon App Shop, or, my favourite, F-Droid.

@pierreleibo Were you able to identify the cause of your problem?


Thanks for your questions @W_G and @Stefan, I can tell you that I haven’t experienced any problem since my last hard reboot so far.

What I did : I re-installed one app a day to see if the message “Process system not responding” would reappear and it didn’t. I only not installed one which was previously on my phone (it’s called “Le Monde”, a French newspaper). Not sure if this app caused my issue but I touch wood and hope it won’t happen again.

Oh and for you to know, I have a lot of Google apps installed on my phone (Agenda, Docs, Sheets, GMail, Google Search, etc.), so I’m not convinced it is the cause of the problem.

Good luck, I keep up to date if some new bugs happen!

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Dear both,

Many thanks for your feedback. Really very useful. I did a hard reboot just before Christmas. So far, so good… I simply reinstalled the basic google apps and refrained from installing any other ones to avoid problems. I plan to install new apps one by one in the future and with some time interval in order to keep track of the impact this may have on the phone’s processing system. I’ll also keep you informed in case I have more news.

All the best (for 2015), Wouter