We’ve all had that stubborn app that just won’t work. Android users are constantly greeted with that “The applications has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.” message when you need to use the app most. Your only choice is to tap “Force close” to exit the app. Many people have asked me “Why do Android apps Force Close?” It’s not an easy question to answer. There can be many reasons.
Generally, apps force close because they have encountered a condition that they are not coded to handle. For example, let’s say a given app uses a front-facing camera for video conferencing. When you launch it, it tries to access the front camera. But your phone doesn’t have a front-facing camera. If the program is not programmed in a way to handle that situation, it may throw a “Force close” error message. Program code would have to explicitly be written within the app for handling a situation where there is no front-facing camera to prevent the error.
Some force closes can be caused by software compatibility issues. If an app was written to utilize resources in Android 2.2 and you are running Android 4.0. The app may not be able to run properly because it isn’t programmed to do anything if the resource isn’t present. The same goes for resources such as memory. If the app has to utilize 100MB of RAM to operate and your device only has 64MB available to use, it may force close.
Fixing Common Force Close Problems
Most often, force close messages are caused by the app accessing corrupted data. For one reason or another, the app expects a certain bit of data to be available and can’t access it. Since the program isn’t programmed or “told” what to do in such situations, the result is a force close. In these cases, you can usually clear the problem by going to “Settings > Apps > app name > Clear data”. If doing this doesn’t work, you may want to contact the developer of the app for advice.
There is very little users can do to prevent force close errors. Though, you can usually find a workaround for app issues in various Android forums throughout the Interwebs or by using an alternate app. Like it or not, force close errors are simply a part of an Android owner’s life.