10 Common Nexus 7 Problems & How to Fix Them

Over the past few years, we’ve seen tons of complaints about Nexus 7 problems. Some of them popped up after Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat update, others emerged in the aftermath of the more recent Android 5.0 Lollipop update. These Nexus 7 problems have left many users frustrated with their operating system and Google. Fortunately, there are some potential fixes for some of the more common issues.

Two years ago, Google released its first Nexus 7 tablet, a device that stood up to device’s like the original iPad mini and the Amazon Kindle Fire. A year later, the company rolled out a new Nexus 7, dubbed Nexus 7 2013, that included some powerful new features including the company’s Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. Several months later, Google updated both devices to Android 4.4 KitKat, a new version of Android that delivered enhancements and fixes.


Immediately after the arrival of Android 4.4 KitKat, we started to see tons of complaints about Nexus 7 problems. Months later, Google replaced its initial Android 4.4.2 KitKat update with two new updates, a massive Android 4.4.3 KitKat bug fixer and a smaller Android 4.4.4 KitKat update aimed at improving security. While they tackled several bugs, they failed to fix every Nexus 7 problem.

Nexus 7 Android 5.0 Lollipop Review Early - 3

The two devices lingered there for several months until Google finally delivered Android 5.0 Lollipop. Android 5.0 Lollipop is a massive Android update and it brings new features, enhancements and bug fixes for Android 4.4 KitKat problems. Its also brought its own set of Nexus 7 problems for both Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users.


In response to those complaints, Google rolled out Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, a bug fix update with a series of solutions on board. The company’s also rolled out Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, another bug fixer that squashed some of the problems plaguing Nexus 7 users. But not all of them.


We continue to see complaints about Nexus 7 issues and today we want to run down some of the most common problems and offer some possible fixes for Nexus 7 users looking for help.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Battery Life Problems

Complaints about bad Nexus 7 battery life are common. We saw them after the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, we saw them after KitKat arrived and we’re seeing complaints from Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users who have installed Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware. There’s no guaranteed fix for Nexus 7 battery life problems though there are a few things to try if the tablet’s battery starts acting up.

Here’s the thing. Android updates aren’t supposed to cause battery drain problems. And more often than not, these issues are caused by third-party applications behaving badly. Apps are the first place to look.

Nexus 7 users will want to keep an eye on the apps and services taking up battery life. Users will be able to find that data in the Battery section of Settings. The Android operating system will breakdown the services sucking up juice from the Nexus 7.



After absorbing this information, users will want to update these applications with the latest bug fixes. Apps that haven’t been updated in awhile tend to cause problems. If installing the latest update doesn’t work, try reinstalling applications. If that doesn’t work, Nexus 7 users will want to boot into safe mode to try and isolate the problem.

Booting the Nexus 7 into safe mode will disable third-party applications. This will allow users to isolate problem apps and figure out which might be causing problem. It’s a tedious process but it’s worth a shot. Here’s how to boot the Nexus 7 into safe mode, courtesy of Google:

  1. Make sure your device’s screen is on, then press & hold the Power button.
  2. In the box that opens, touch & hold Power off.
  3. You’ll see a “Reboot to safe mode” box. Touch OK.
  4. Your device will start up in safe mode. Try using your device normally. Remember, you won’t be able to use any installed apps.

If apps aren’t the problem, try rebooting the Nexus 7. It’s an extremely quick process but this could return things to normal. The reboot will clear the cache and kill off services that might be eating away at the device’s battery life. It’s worked for us in the past.

We also recommend disabling NFC and Bluetooth when not in use and getting rid of live wallpapers. Live wallpapers have the potential to chew through battery in the background.


How to Fix Nexus 7 Charging Problems

Over the past couple of years, we’ve heard and seen complaints about Nexus 7 charging problems. Complaints about slow charging or non-existent charging continue to this day, even after the arrivals of Android 5.0, Android 5.0.1, and Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. It’s a common problem on both the Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 7 2012.

If the Nexus 7 is exhibiting charging problems, there are a few steps to take. One method that’s fixed slow charging issues on our Nexus devices involves a few easy steps. First, charge the Nexus 7 up to 100% charge. Once it’s there, let the charge start to fall. Before it gets down to 0%, right around the 5% mark, charge it up to 100% again. Repeat this three to four times.




If that doesn’t work, here are a few more things to try. First, make sure that the Nexus 7 is being charged with the cable that it came with. If it is, and it still doesn’t work, try using a charger with the same voltage rating as the Nexus 7’s charger. If that still doesn’t work, try ditching the wall charger for a USB cable. Plug the Nexus 7 into a computer and charge it that way to see if it helps. Charging from a wall is faster but charging through a CPU works too.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Wi-Fi Issues

Wi-Fi issues an extremely common problem with Android smartphones and tablets and many Nexus 7 users continue to run into problems with Wi-Fi connectivity. This is a big deal, especially for those that don’t own the cellular versions of the Nexus 7. While there is no cure-all for Wi-Fi problems, there are several fixes that have proven to be effective for some Nexus 7 users.

First, Nexus 7 users should try rebooting the tablet. That’s been known to have a positive effect on Wi-Fi problems. If that doesn’t work, try rebooting the local router if that hasn’t been done in a long time. We recommend unplugging the router for a good 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. Users can do the same for your modem as well. It’s also worth it to update the router’s firmware. Instructions for that will vary based on make and model. If those simple fixes do not work, it’s time to head into the Nexus 7’s settings.


Once inside the device’s settings, force the Nexus 7 to forget the Wi-Fi network that’s causing the problems. Head to the desired connection in Settings and select the Forget Network option. Users will then need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network so make sure that the password is readily available before forgetting the network.

If that doesn’t work, try changing the frequency. To do that, click the vertical dots in the top right corner to bring up the Advanced menu. Go to Wi-Fi frequency band and try 2.4GHz or 5GHz. It should be set to Automatic by default.

If none of those fixes dislodge the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi problems, we recommend updating applications. Nexus 7 users can also try booting into safe mode to see if apps are really the issue. If apps aren’t causing the problem then it’s probably worth trying another router to see if it’s a hardware problem.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Cellular Data Issues

While the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi models are more popular, some consumers opted to buy the models with cellular data. Unsurprisingly, some Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users are running into issues with their cellular data connection.

Nexus 7 users that encounter cellular data problems should first try flipping cellular data off. To do that go to Settings -> More -> Cellular networks. Turn it back on after 30 seconds or so and see if the connection is back. If it’s not, try rebooting the device. This has worked for us in the past when cellular data abruptly stops working.


Users might also want to try heading into Access Point Name (APN) settings and updating them. Lollipop apparently did not properly update them for some users. To access the Nexus 7’s APN settings, Settings -> More -> Cellular networks -> Access Point Names. Those who are unsure about APN settings should contact the device’s carrier before changing the settings.

We’ve also had success popping the Nexus 7 into Airplane Mode. Switch on Airplane Mode and then switch it off. This has, in the past, restored cellular data on Nexus smartphones and tablets. It’s something to try if everything else fails.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Bluetooth Problems

Bluetooth issues are also extremely common on the Nexus 7. Complaints about broken Bluetooth connections continue to emerge in the aftermath of the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update and we expect them to continue for as long as the Nexus 7 is around.

Users dealing with Nexus 7 Bluetooth issues should first try switching Bluetooth off and on. This is a simple fix but it’s worked for some Nexus users in the past. If that doesn’t work, we recommend clearing the cache on Bluetooth Share. To do this, head into Settings -> Apps -> Scroll over to All -> Select Bluetooth Share -> Clear Cache. After doing this, power down the Nexus 7 and boot it back up to see if the problem is resolved. Nexus users can also try to Clear Data from the same screen.

Nexus 7 LTE Review 2013 Verizon - 7

Nexus 7 users trying to connect to Bluetooth in a car will want to consult the car’s manual. There should be a way to reset Bluetooth though the process is going to be different for each make and model. Once the connection’s been reset and the connection’s been forgotten on the Nexus 7, try reconnecting to see if it works.

Finally, we also recommend booting into Safe Mode (the instructions can be found above) which will disable third-party applications. This will allow users to check and see if apps are causing the problem. Occasionally, they’re the source.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Performance Problems

Nexus 7 performance issues are among the most common complaints. Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users have run into an assortment of problems including slowdown, lag and more. Most of these issues have popped up after the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. We’ve seen lag on the Nexus 7 2012 after the Android 5.0 Lollipop update as well.

One fix that’s worked for us is one that involves clearing the cache partition. This is an in depth process that requires a lot of time and effort but it has worked wonders for Nexus performance problems in the past. Here’s how to do it on the Nexus 7:

  • Press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until you see something other than Google on the screen.
  • You should see a large arrow at the top of the screen.
  • Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you see Recovery in the arrow.  Then tap the Power button
  • You should see an android on his back, chest open with a red triangle and exclamation mark.
  • While holding Power button tap Volume Up once then release Power.
  • You should now see a list of items at top of screen.
  • Tap Volume Down until the item to erase or wipe the cache partition is highlighted.  Then tap Power button to initiate.
  • Status messages will appear at the bottom of the screen.  Be patient – it can take 10-15 minutes to complete.  When done restart the Nexus.

We also recommend halting the use of live wallpapers as they can negatively impact performance. Nexus 7 users can also try toggling NFC off if it’s not in use. We also suggest toggling off Daydream, Android’s screen saver.

How to Fix Nexus 7 App Issues

Nexus 7 users experiencing issues with applications can try a few things to jumpstart performance. First, try updating the app. There’s a good chance that the developer’s rolled out a bug fix so users be wise to give that a shot. We also recommend reinstalling the application. We’ve seen success with this method several times in the past.

If the problems continue, reach out to the developer and alert them to the problem. This will help them identify the problem and potentially fix it in a later update.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Random Reboots

Random reboots are another common problem with the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 and we’re still seeing complaints after their move to Android 5.0 Lollipop. There are a few steps Nexus 7 users can take to try and oust these problems.

The first is to simply soft reset the device. This has cleared up reboot issues for us in the past and it’s a simple fix that could work should the Nexus 7 start rebooting out of nowhere.

Nexus 7 LTE Review 2013 Verizon - 5

We also recommend updating applications to the latest build. Old apps will often cause problems. We also recommend booting into Safe Mode to disable third-party apps. If apps are the culprit, Nexus 7 users won’t see the random reboots when in Safe Mode.

If none of those work, and you’re still on Android 4.4 KitKat, it might be time to install the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. New updates will often kill off random reboot issues.

How to Fix Nexus 7 GPS Issues

Some Nexus 7 users are experiencing GPS issues on KitKat and now on Lollipop. There are a few fixes to try before giving up on the Nexus 7 2012 or Nexus 7 2013’s GPS completely.

The first thing to do is to go into Settings, Location and then make sure Mode is set to High Accuracy. If that doesn’t solve the issue, it’s time to boot the phone into safe mode to see if a third-party application is causing the problem. We’ve had success with this in the past and it’s worth a shot if GPS starts acting up.

How to Fix Nexus 7 Problems If Nothing Else Works

If none of these fixes work, at this point, it’s probably worth factory resetting the Nexus 7. This will restore the device to the way it was when it first arrived. Nexus 7 users will want to backup important files because this process will erase everything. Here’s how to factory reset the Nexus 7.

If that doesn’t work, we suggest looking at a few different resources. First, we recommend heading to Google’s Nexus Help Forum. There are a ton of knowledgeable people on Google’s forums that will gladly help if the Nexus 7 hits a bump in the road. Sometimes, unorthodox fixes will work where common fixes fail. We also recommend taking a look at Android Central’s forums, one of our favorite Android-centric forums.

Those who are still unable to find a fix should get in touch with their service provider or with Google itself. Often times, the company will provide possible fixes when contacted directly. Depending on the severity of the problem, Nexus 7 users might also be able to get the company to send out a new device. Warranties and customer service agents are going to be tricky to navigate but it’s worth a shot if nothing else works.