10 Common Nexus 5 Problems & How to Fix Them

For the past year, we’ve heard and seen tons of complaints about Nexus 5 problems. Some of those problems emerged after the arrival of Android 4.4.2 KitKat, some after Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and some after the recent Nexus 5 Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Nexus 5 problems continue even after device’s move to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and here, we touch on those problems and offer some potential fixes to users.

When the Nexus 5 arrived in the fall of 2013, it quickly became one of the top Android smartphones on the market. It was cheap, it was available on a number of major U.S. carriers and it came equipped with a ton of high-powered features including Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat update. At the time, the Android 4.4 KitKat update was brand new.

In the days that followed, we started to hear about some initial Nexus 5 problems. Soon after the Nexus 5’s release, Google released an Android 4.4.2 KitKat update aimed at squashing some of these initial KitKat problems. And while Android 4.4.2 KitKat did bring fixes along with it, it failed to take care of every issue plaguing Nexus 5 users.

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Last summer, Google issued two more bug fix updates to the Nexus 5. A massive Android 4.4.3 KitKat update that brought tons of solutions for lingering KitKat issues and an Android 4.4.4 KitKat update that was much smaller but delivered a crucial security update. There, the Nexus 5 lingered until Google finally released its KitKat successor.

In November, Google updated the Nexus 5 with a new Android 5.0 Lollipop update. Android 5.0 Lollipop brought new features, enhancements and bug fixes for Android 4.4 KitKat updates. It also brought a new set of problems to Nexus 5 users.

In response, Google rolled out Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, a bug fix update with a series of solutions on board. The Nexus 5 still sits on Android 5.0.1 despite the presence of Android 5.0.2 and Android 5.1. While Android 5.0.1 knocked out some problems, we continue to see complaints about Nexus 5 issues and today we want to run down some of the most common problems and offer some possible fixes for Nexus 5 users looking for help.

How to Fix Nexus 5 Battery Life Problems

Abnormal battery life drain is one of the most common smartphone problems. So, it hasn’t been surprising to see a number of complaints about Nexus 5 battery life problems over the past year. From Android 4.4 KitKat to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, Nexus 5 users have seen battery life oddities occur without any provocation and the complaints continue to pile up. There’s no guaranteed fix for Nexus 5 battery life problems though there are a few things to try if the device’s battery stops holding a normal charge.

Android updates aren’t supposed to cause battery drain problems. More often than not, these issues are caused by third-party applications behaving badly. Apps are the first place to look. Nexus 5 users will want to keep an eye on the apps and services taking up 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 juice

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After absorbing this knowledge, Nexus 5 users will want to update these applications with the latest bug fixes. Apps that haven’t been updated in awhile tend to cause problems. This will also help users identify some troublemakers. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling applications. If that doesn’t work, Nexus 5 users will want to boot into safe mode to try and isolate the problem.

Booting into safe mode will disable third-party applications which will allow Nexus 5 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 5 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 5. 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.

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 5 Charging Problems

Over the past year, we’ve heard and seen complaints about Nexus 5 charging problems. Complaints about slow charging or non-existent charging continue to this day, even after the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update.

If the Nexus 5 is exhibiting charging problems, there are a few solutions to try. One method that’s fixed slow charging issues on our Nexus devices involves a few easy steps. First, charge the Nexus 5 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.

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If that doesn’t work, here are a few more things to try. First, make sure that the Nexus 5 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 5’s. If nothing else works, try ditching the wall charger for a USB cable. Plug the Nexus 5 into a computer to see if that helps.

How to Fix Nexus 5 Wi-Fi Issues

Wi-Fi issues are also an extremely common smartphone problem and many Nexus 5 users continue to run into problems with Wi-Fi connectivity. While there is no cure-all for Wi-Fi problems, there are several fixes that have proven to be effective for some Nexus users.

First, Nexus 5 users should try rebooting the phone. 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 5’s settings.

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Once there, force the Nexus 5 to forget the Wi-Fi network that’s causing the headaches. 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 5 Wi-Fi problems, we recommend updating applications. If apps aren’t causing the problem then it’s probably worth trying another router to see if it’s a hardware problem. Older routers misbehave sometimes misbehave. If none of that works, it’s worth heading to the bottom of this page.

How to Fix Nexus 5 Bluetooth Problems

Bluetooth issues are also common amongst Nexus 5 users. Complaints about broken Bluetooth connections continue to emerge in the aftermath of the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update and we expect them to continue for as long as the Nexus 5 is around. That said, there are some solutions to try if Bluetooth suddenly stops working.

Nexus 5 users dealing with Bluetooth issues should first try switching Bluetooth off and on. This is a simple fix but it’s worked for some Nexus 5 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 5 and boot it back up to see if the problem is resolved. Nexus users can also try to Clear Data from the same screen.

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Nexus 5 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 5, 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.

How to Fix Nexus 5 Cellular Data Issues

Some Nexus 5 users are reporting problems with cellular data, both with LTE and “4G.” This is a common problem amongst Nexus devices and it’s one that comes with several possible fixes.

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.

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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 5’s APN settings, Settings -> More -> Cellular networks -> Access Point Names. If you’re not sure about APN settings, contact the device’s carrier before changing the settings.

We’ve also had success popping the Nexus 5 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 5 Performance Problems

Both the Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop run extremely well on our Nexus 5 but it looks like some users are running into various performance issues including lag, abnormal slowdown, and weird freezes. There are a few fixes to try if the Nexus 5 starts exhibiting this kind of behavior out of nowhere.

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 5:

  • 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 5 users can also try toggling NFC off if it’s not in use. We also recommend toggling off Daydream, Android’s screen saver.

How to Fix Nexus 5 App Issues

Nexus 5 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.

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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 5 Boot Problems

Nexus 5 users are reporting boot loop issues and issues where the phone won’t turn on. These issues have been around for quite some time. Fortunately, there are some fixes that Nexus 5 users can try in an effort to return things to normal.

Some Nexus 5 users are saying that a factory reset fixed the problem. We highly recommend avoiding a factory reset if you can because it will wipe the Nexus 5 clean. It’s also a tedious process.

We’ve shared another possible fix for boot issues above. Apparently, mashing down on the power button during the boot sequence has had positive results for some Nexus 5 owners.

If the Nexus 5 won’t turn on, try holding down the power button with the volume down button. This has worked for us several times in the past and it could bring a dead device back to life.

How to Fix Nexus 5 GPS Issues

Some Nexus 5 users are experiencing GPS issues on KitKat and now on Lollipop. There are a few fixes to try before throwing the Nexus 5 against a wall and giving up completely.

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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 5 Problems If Nothing Else Works

At this point, it’s probably worth factory resetting the Nexus 5. This will restore the device to the way it was when it was first bought. Nexus 5 users will want to backup important files because this process will erase everything. Here’s how to factory reset the Nexus 5.

If none of these fixes 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 5 hits a roadblock. 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 5 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.

23 Comments

  1. Cindy Truitt

    02/14/2015 at 12:01 pm

    What causes my volume to turn down to where I can’t hear it and the alarm to turn on for nofications when I don’t I have turned it off?

    Reply

    • Jacyl Christophe

      02/15/2015 at 8:30 am

      Sometimes the volume will be set to priority, this sometimes happens by accident. Just press the volume key, go under priority, click on the settings gear, and there should be a set of things you can do. Make sure it’s not programmed to turn off notifications at a certain time. A star in the notification bar represents that you have priority notifications on.

      Reply

  2. rickie

    02/14/2015 at 6:26 pm

    my nexus 5 is getting handed then i have to restart it
    sometimes apps get crashed like camera ,google+
    what should i do? bcoz i just bought it

    Reply

  3. forum

    02/14/2015 at 11:30 pm

    Actually…
    I tried the fix the nexus 5 performance problem…
    But I selected the start option by mistake… In that big arrow…
    Now if I try to redo this process…
    It just won’t work….
    Can u plz tell me how should I fix this…
    Coz I am having an overall bug problem in my phone…
    Can u tell me what is supposed to be done… Step wise….

    Reply

  4. clide

    02/15/2015 at 11:02 am

    Had major issues with battery life on my Nexus 4. Final solution. Be sure android backup had been turned on and uoti date. And then do a factory reset. Less than an hour later everything was back and several software packages I found to be different than what supposedly the latest. I think I was still getting the latest 4.x .. Mow i eas gettin 5.0 ready prohrams. But wow battery life went from very pore to better than I have ever had with the phone even when new.

    Reply

  5. pravin

    03/03/2015 at 4:55 pm

    Nice article.Slow charging issue: I was so fed up with slow charging I factory reset my nexus 5. Even that didn’t work. Eventually, I tried with iPhone charger adapter with the original chord of Nexus. Thankful that seems to be working.

    Reply

  6. Ashok kumar

    04/19/2015 at 9:35 pm

    My nexus 5 is getting switched off for more than 10 times a day without any reason. what’s the problem?

    Reply

  7. Leena

    06/12/2015 at 12:18 am

    I had the exact same problem. Sometime it would optimize apps. But after a while it started and worked fine. This went on for a few weeks until one fine day it kept on switching off and wouldn’t restart again. Don’t know whether to take it to a service center or just discard!

    Reply

  8. Ratnadeep

    06/19/2015 at 4:22 am

    should I buy nexus 5 or not…. bcz it has lots of problem over there ,,,,,,

    Reply

    • Ron

      10/22/2015 at 6:06 am

      No. I’ve had nothing but problems

      Reply

  9. brycen winters

    07/25/2015 at 10:22 am

    why wont my nexus 5 turn on and i have been charging all night and day..

    Reply

  10. Kanwal

    08/04/2015 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Guys, I have bought my Nexus 5 quiet a long time back and i had the same problem when i used to try my Nexus 5 phone charge whole night i used to put for charge but that still used to show 10% or 15% in straight words never used to get charged sometimes after connecting it to power outlet the charge used to reduce from 10% to 7% battery. I did some R&D and found a method which is very effective.

    When ever you face this problem with your nexus 5 phone just take it’s original USB Cable and attach it to your system open the folders and close it and disconnect from system and put it back to the power charger it will definitely work, you will see it will charge faster then before and will stay for long too. You can give it a try as i did and mine worked.

    Reply

  11. Ruthjtoney

    08/30/2015 at 11:46 pm

    1=10 Hey Friends,,,,!my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $68 /hr on the laptop . She has been fired for 6 months but last month her pay was $18404 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
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    Reply

  12. Jack

    09/04/2015 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks for this Adam. My Nexus 5 switched itself off without warning and I couldn’t get it to turn on again. I knew it wasn’t the battery cos I had recently charged it. I tried clearing the partition cache as you described above – it just took 5 minutes for me – and it worked exactly as you described. I even saw the android on his back, chest open with a red triangle and exclamation mark. Thanks!

    Reply

  13. Aryan Solanki

    09/06/2015 at 4:23 am

    My nexus 5′ s screen always move up and down and doesn’t stop

    Reply

  14. Daivd Kim

    10/28/2015 at 11:23 am

    My nexus 5 problem is after the google logo then 4 colours of dots circling infinitely until i shut it down. What should I do??
    I did everything above those solutions.

    Reply

  15. Joe McDaniel

    11/22/2015 at 6:53 pm

    My “5” would not power-on after 2 years of faithful service. I tried the various things Google suggested without luck. I happened to have the tools for popping off the back, so I decided to try disconnecting the battery and reconnecting (lots of YouTubes on this) and it works again. Apparently, a battery connector was dirty or dislodged. You will need at least a “splurger” and a very small Phillips screwdriver. Otherwise, nothing special.

    Reply

  16. Lucinda

    11/30/2015 at 5:29 am

    I have a Nexus 5 and recently my phone will just shut off itself randomly. Then I cannot get it to come on and stay on until I plug it into the charger. After I get it to come on it will stay on even when unplugged from the charger but still randomly shuts off on its own never knowing when it will do it. Please Help!

    Reply

  17. Emmanuel mwape

    07/21/2016 at 5:32 pm

    How do I get out of safemod?

    Reply

  18. Dinesh Rao

    08/20/2016 at 2:24 pm

    Even i faced a same problem of rebooting any it was a Power button issue of Nexus 5. LG guys said want to replace mother board I was so frustrated and finally took my phone to jayanagar I saw the add in Google The savior of my nexus 5 was Mr. Taj(repair guy ). He is fabulous in rectifying the issues with all type of phones. Just charged me 400 rupees and my phone is alive now. Thanks a lot taj.. Guys if you are in Bangalore please take your phone to A one networksolutions in jayanagar 1st block phone number is 9945985234. He just replaced the power button from the motherboard. Tricky task but it worked

    Reply

  19. mrhart91Sarah

    09/04/2016 at 4:14 pm

    my nexus 5 wouldn’t turn on, so itried the “holding the power button & volume down button at the same time. after holding for about 45 seconds the device booted some weird screen that said star & device hammer head etc. Then i just held the power button & it turned on normal. Geez, didn’t expect that, but thanks. =)

    Reply

  20. Deanna

    12/17/2016 at 4:34 pm

    Nexus 5 has started crashing more frequently. Started when trying to use the camera; now, crashes when I’m on the phone, using apps, etc. Went to Setting, Battery as article suggested but Android is not revealing which services are using up the battery. I’m assuming it is rapid battery depletion because the poxy thing works fine when connected to power source.

    Reply

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