10 Common Nexus Android 5.1 Problems & How to Fix Them

Google’s new Android 5.1 Lollipop update brings tons of enhancements and fixes to owners of the Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 6, and more. It also, according to Nexus users, brings some problems of its own. With that in mind, we take a look at how to solve some of the common Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop problems we’ve seen in the days after its initial release.

Android 5.0 Lollipop problems have been a problem for Nexus users since the operating system’s arrival back in November. In November, owners of the Nexus 7, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 10, Nexus 9. and Nexus 4 complained about a number of issues affecting the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade and Google moved quickly to alleviate some of the more pressing issues.

Shortly after Android 5.0’s arrival, Google rolled out Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, two bug fixers aimed at squashing some of the initial Nexus Lollipop problems. While the two updates did address some of the problems impacting the performance on Google’s Nexus devices, they failed to fix everything and Android 5.0 Lollipop problems continued to linger.

Last week, Google announced another Lollipop update dubbed Android 5.1 Lollipop. Android 5.1 Lollipop is substantially larger than Android 5.0.1 and Android 5.0.2 and it comes with some huge enhancements to Lollipop features and bug fixes for Android 5.0 Lollipop problems. The change log is extensive and it’s clear that Google has high hopes for its massive bug fixer.

Android 5.1 Lollipop is working fine on some devices but as we’ve pointed out, we’ve started to hear about Android 5.1 Lollipop problems. The emergence of Android 5.1 problems doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that we hear about issues after every single Android update.

With that in mind, we want to take a look at some of the Android 5.1 problems that have popped up and some of the problems that have the potential to pop up for Nexus 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 6 users in the future. With no Android 5.1.2 or Android 5.2 release in sight, Nexus users will likely need to rely on third-party fixes for Android 5.1 problems for the foreseeable future.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Installation Problems

We started hearing about Android 5.1 installation issues almost as soon as Google’s OTA updates hit Nexus devices. Android installation issues often impact owners of Nexus devices and some users are reporting that Android 5.1 Lollipop is getting stuck during the installation process. It’s a common Android problem and one that comes with some possible fixes.


Nexus users experiencing installation issues include people that have rooted, unlocked the bootloader and or installed a custom ROM. If that’s the case, the first thing Nexus users will want to do is check in with the Android development community. In our experience, a smooth transition to stock allows for the installation process to proceed. It’s a tedious process but it might be the only way to get the OTA going. (Note: Those of you trying to sideload will need to be on stock to use Google’s files.)

Nexus users that aren’t running custom software should take another route. If the Android 5.1 Lollipop installation process gets corrupted in any way, it would be smart to clear the device’s cache partition. To do this, Nexus users need to follow these basic steps that outline the process:

  • 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.

Nexus users report that these steps have worked to get the installation process unstuck and it’s something to try if the Android 5.1 Lollipop installation process stalls.

If that none of that works, let the Nexus phone or tablet die, recharge to 100% and try installing again.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Battery Life Problems

Android 5.1 battery life problems are plaguing various Nexus users including owners of the Nexus 5. Battery life problems are common after a major Android release and they typically pick up as more users download the new software. There are a few things to try if battery life goes south after the Android 5.1 Lollipop update though there’s no guaranteed fix for Android battery life problems.

First off, Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop users will want to keep an eye on the apps and services taking up the device’s precious 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 the battery and that will allow users to nail down potential culprits.


After that, users should update the applications on board. Apps that haven’t been updated in awhile tend to cause problems. If an app has recently been updated and it starts exhibiting issues, users will want to uninstall those applications to see if battery life improves after they’re gone. Also try booting the device into Safe Mode if that doesn’t work. (Instructions further down.) This will also help Nexus users identify troublemakers.

Nexus users might also want to try rebooting the phone or tablet. It’s an extremely quick process but this will often return things to normal because the reboot will clear the cache and kill off services that might be eating away at precious battery life.

If none of that works, it might be time to start thinking about factory resetting the device, especially if it’s old. Users will want to backup important files before doing this because it’s going to wipe the device clean.

Nexus users with battery life issues can also take the less drastic approach and simply wait for Google to roll out a bug fix update. However, there’s no guarantee that the Android 5.1.2 release is close. Check out our full list of tips here.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Charging Problems

Charging problems have plagued Nexus devices for years and we’re already seeing a few complaints about slow charging and broken charging. If a Nexus device starts exhibiting charging problems after Android 5.1 Lollipop, there are a few steps to take.

One method that’s solved slow charging issues on our Nexus devices involves a few easy steps. First, charge the Nexus 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 and it could return to normal.

Nexus 4 Android 5.0.1 Update Review Early -   4

If that doesn’t work, there are a few more things to try. First, make sure that the Nexus is being charged with the cable that it came with. If it is, and it still doesn’t work, try using another charger with the same voltage rating as the stock charger.

If that still doesn’t work, try ditching the wall charger for a USB cable. Plug the Nexus smartphone or tablet into a computer and charge it that way to see if it helps. Charging from a wall is faster but charging through a CPU is efficient as well.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi problems are already plaguing Android 5.1 Lollipop users. Wi-Fi problems which include poor connectivity, are also common after major Android upgrades.

First, reboot the device that’s having trouble. Users will also want to try rebooting the router it’s connected to if that hasn’t been done in awhile. We recommend unplugging the router for a good 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. Nexus users can do the same for the modem as well. If that doesn’t work, make sure that the router’s firmware is up to date. This process will vary based on make and model.

Nexus 2015 - Exciting Tech 2015

If those simple fixes do not work, it’s time to head into the device’s settings. Once there, force the phone or tablet to forget the Wi-Fi network. Simply press down on the desired network and a white menu will pop up. At the top, there should be an option that says Forget network. Select that and then reenter the password to connect again. 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 play around with the settings. It should be set to Automatic by default.

If none of those fix the Android 5.1 Lollipop Wi-Fi problems, we recommend updating applications or entering Safe Mode to try and single out problem apps. If that doesn’t work, it might be time to factory reset the device.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Bluetooth Problems

We’re starting to see complaints about Android 5.1 Bluetooth issues and they will likely pick up once more people get the Android 5.1 OTA on board. Bluetooth issues are common problems for Nexus users and there are a few ways to try and dislodge them.

Those dealing with Bluetooth issues after moving to Android 5.1 should try switching the feature off and on. This is a simple fix but it’s worked for some Nexus users in the past. After that, users will also want to try 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 phone or tablet and boot back up. Android 5.1 users can also try to Clear Data from the same screen. This is going to cause the Nexus to forget known Bluetooth devices.


If none of the aforementioned fixes work, users will want to try booting into Safe Mode. To do this, follow Google’s instructions:

  1. Ensure your device’s screen is on, then press & hold the Power button.
  2. Touch & hold the Power off option in the dialog box.
  3. Touch OK in the following dialog to start safe mode.

Users trying to connect to a car will need to consult the car’s manual to reset the car’s Bluetooth. The process is going to be different for each make and model, that’s why we recommend consulting the car’s manual. Once that connection has been reset and the connection’s been forgotten on the Nexus, try reconnecting to see if it works.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Cellular Data Problems

Nexus users, Nexus 5 users in particular, are reporting issues with cellular data after installing Android 5.1. This is another common connectivity problem that impacts devices after big Android updates.

First, Nexus users will want 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.

For most users, the Nexus 7 Lollipop update is worth installing.

We’ve also had success popping the phone or tablet 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. If none of these work, it might be time to get in touch with the service provider, Google, or simply perform a factory reset to see if that works.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Performance Problems

Android 5.1 is apparently causing performance problems on devices like the Nexus 6. Performance issues often impact Nexus smartphones and tablets after major Android updates and it appears that Android 5.1 is no different.

There is one fix in particular that we think could have an enormous impact on Android 5.1’s performance and that’s the fix we’ll outline here. This will clear the device’s cache partition. It’s a process that we already outlined above but as a reminder, here’s how to do it:

  • 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.

This fix should work across Nexus devices and it’s worth a try if a device is lagging after the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. If this fix doesn’t work, we suggest performing a factory reset, especially if the phone or tablet is extremely old. Factory resets are a pain but they often work wonders for older devices.

How to Fix Android 5.1 App Problems

Those experiencing issues with applications after the Nexus Android 5.1 Lollipop update can try a few things.

First, try updating the app that’s causing problems. If it comes with support for Android 5.0 Lollipop or its recently been updated with bug fixes and enhancements, there’s a good chance that the update will help to stabilize performance. Users can also try reinstalling the application. This might seem simple but its worked for us in the past.


Those that continue to run into issues with apps after installing Android 5.1 Lollipop should get in touch with the developer. Most Android developers encourage feedback. And while they may not engage users immediately, there’s a good chance that these bug reports will prompt a fix for the app somewhere down the road.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Random Reboots

Google’s Android 5.1 Lollipop update does not plug up the memory leak problems plaguing Lollipop and we’re already hearing a ton of complaints about random reboots.

The first step to take 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 help to limit the number of reboots.


We also recommend updating applications to the latest build. Old apps will often cause problems. Nexus users can also try booting into Safe Mode to disable third-party apps.

If none of those fixes work, Nexus users can try downgrading to Android 4.4 KitKat to see if that helps performance.

How to Fix Android 5.1 Problems If Nothing Else Works

If none of these potential fixes work, we suggest looking at a few different things. 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 a device runs into trouble. 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. Other sites might also have some fixes we don’t have listed here, so, dig around.

Those that are still unable to find a fix for Android 5.1 problems might want to get in touch with Google itself. Often times, the company will provide possible fixes when contacted directly. Depending on the severity of the problem, users might also be able to get the company to send out a refurbished device. Warranties and customer service agents are going to be tricky to navigate but it’s worth a shot.

If all else fails, we recommend performing a factory reset on the device to bring everything back to the way it was when the device was first bought.