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Moto G Common Problems, Questions, Solutions and Workarounds [Part 1]

motorola-moto-g-problems

Moto G is one of the most successful phones from Motorola. It’s a really good phone but it’s not free of problems. that’s why we dedicated some of our time writing this Moto G Problems and Solutions series. In this post, at least ten common problems were addressed but we know hundreds, if not thousands, of owners must have issues.

If you own this phone and are experiencing some issues with it, try to browse the post and see if your problem has already been addressed. If not then we contact us about it. You can like our Facebook Page to get updates via your favorite social network, follow us on our Google Plus Community, subscribe to our newsletter or email us at mailbag@thedroidguy.com.

Chrome is eating a lot of RAM

Problem: Hi, I have a 7-month old Android phone, Motorola Moto G, and it’s running the latest Android version, 4.4 KitKat. Everything in it is super cool and I love it.  I forgot what kind of browser I was using but since the KK update, I started using Chrome since it is the default browser. However, just recently, I stumbled upon RAM usage and I found out Chrome is the fastest RAM eater of all. I also noticed that my phone seems to slow down when I browse the web using Chrome and I believe it’s because the browser is eating a lot of RAM. How can you prevent this? What are the browsers you will recommend? Thanks.Sarah

Answer: I have nothing against Google’s Chrome browser. In fact, I often use it on my computer over Firefox. But honestly, it’s a memory hog even on Windows so I’m not surprised upon hearing problems like this. There’s nothing we can do about the browser’s RAM requirement except keep tabbed browsing to the minimum when using Chrome. Also, make it a point to clear cache, cookies and history from time to time and minimize bookmarks. As to browser recommendations, I personally use Opera and Dolphin browser, although I have the Chrome and Firefox installed on my phone as well.

Gmail and Google Drive not working

Problem: I was given a gift by my boyfriend, a Moto G, last week and ever since I wasn’t able to receive emails because Gmail just won’t work and so is Google Drive. I don’t know what the problem really is because I’m a noob at this. One thing is for sure though, I have enabled the 2-step verification on my Google account because it’s the email I use for processing payments through PayPal. Can you guys help me with it? Miriam

Answer: I am quite sure it’s the 2-step verification that’s causing this problem. There are, however, ways to work around it. First, you can download Google Authenticator app from the Play Store to help you setup your account with 2-step verification. The entire process is easy so you could definitely follow on-screen instructions.

Second, you can setup your application-specific password so you can use your Gmail and Google Drive on your phone. While it is always convenient to have just one password for your Google account, this option wouldn’t hurt your account’s security. You can visit this page to setup your application-specific password.

Star in notification bar

Problem: I started having this problem about a week ago. Basically, aside from the normal icons in my notification bar, there is a star that does nothing. I don’t know how it got there and I don’t know how to get rid of it. Is it part of the system? By the way, my phone is Moto G, which I bought about 3 months ago. Help me please. Thanks.Melli

Answer: It’s a push advertisement that could have been installed on your phone the time you installed a certain app. To get rid of it, you need to remember and find the app you installed, start with the most recent installation. If it stays there even after you uninstalled the suspected apps, there’s no other option but to do a factory reset. After that, make it a point to install an anti-virus or anti malware apps.

Randomly turns off

Problem: My Moto G is just 4 months old but I am already experiencing a lot of problems with it. The most annoying, however, is that it randomly shuts down. There were times when I was in the middle of the call and my phone simply just died on me. I wonder why the problem seems to happen a lot when I’m in the middle of the call and only a few times while I was doing something else. Can you help me with this, please?Janice

Answer: The thing about “random” shutdowns is that you wouldn’t know for sure when the next instance would happen. But based on your statement, it seems to me like this is a battery problem. Phones with battery defects or problems behave like this–they turn off when you use them extensively. When in a call, the phone would run a lot of services at a higher frequency, thus, it requires a lot of power. This is when the battery gives up due to instability. You better call Motorola or have the unit replaced by your provider as I am sure it’s still under warranty.

App downloads can’t finish

Problem: Hi, I have a Moto G phone and recently I updated my phone’s firmware and some apps. Everything went well but what’s alarming is that after the update, I cannot download apps from the Play Store. I mean, I can download them but somewhere it would be stuck so I cannot install apps I downloaded. What should I do to fix this issue?Jason

Answer: An app update or two may have messed up your phone’s settings that’s why. But since it concerns about app downloads, we will have to set our focus on the Play Store. You said you updated some app after updating your firmware, I believe you updated the Play Store as well.

The first thing you should do is to Force Stop the Play Store, clear its cache and data. This procedure will restart the Play Store’s service once you launch the app while clearing data that are probably corrupt.

The second thing to do in case the first procedure can’t fix the problem is to uninstall Play Store’s update. You need to go back to the application manager and tap Uninstall Updates button. Reboot your phone after doing that to refresh the phone’s entire memory.

The third thing you need to do in case the first two procedures fail is factory reset.

Freezes during boot up

Problem: There was one instance when I had to reboot my phone but I was disappointed because it couldn’t continue to boot. The phone will power on but sometime after the logo appears, the phone stays in that screen. I don’t know if it was because of the update I recently installed or something else. Any suggestion would surely be appreciated. Thanks.Mico

Answer: If this problem happened because of an update, at least, there is a high possibility it’s a software problem. Boot the phone to recovery mode and wipe cache partition from there. Each app has set of files containing data used by the phone to make them run faster the next time they’re launched. But sometimes, data becomes corrupt and being stuck during boot up is the phone’s common reaction after it couldn’t read some files. Clearing those caches will force the phone to cache newer and fresher set of data. This time, the phone might just boot up normally. Otherwise, perform a factory reset to delete your personalization, settings, and everything on the phone except default apps and files. However, make sure you back up all your important data prior to this procedure.

Can’t download MMS messages

Problem: I just updated my Moto G to Android 4.4.2 in January and since then I couldn’t download any MMS message. I do receive them though and there is a message that says “click to download” but the thing is the ellipsis just keeps turning and turning without really downloading the picture or video. It keeps on saying “retrying” but never really finishes what it started. Is there a fix to this?Pedro

Answer: First and foremost, make sure to check if mobile data was enabled on your phone. Even if you have Wi-Fi, you couldn’t receive MMS messages because the phone uses mobile data to do so. Of course, it goes without saying that you must have credits left on  your account if you’re using a prepaid plan. Secondly, make sure Auto Retrieve setting is enabled on Hangouts or whatever messaging app you’re using.

If the problem continues, disable Hangouts and see if you can receive and download MMS messages. There were some reports of KitKat-Hangouts issues. If messages come in after you disabled Hangouts, try to boot to recovery mode and wipe cache partition. Enable Hangouts back and check if it can download messages this time. If not, perform a factory reset, that might just resolve your problem.

Calls go straight to voicemail

Problem: My Moto G is actually just a couple of months old. Everything in this is good and I love it until 3 days ago. I don’t know, I mean I really don’t have any idea, what the problem is but I just stopped receiving calls and texts. My friend says that when she tried calling me, the call went directly to voicemail, at least, that was the first issue. Today, someone said that a recording says my service has been deactivated and when I dialed my number from a different phone, I can hear the same thing. How can my service be deactivated when I have an active plan with my carrier? Is it a phone issue? Thanks.Joy

Answer: It happens all the time and the thing is that it’s not really a phone problem. Call your service provider’s hotline and have the representative double-check your account’s status. Even when the rep says or sees that the account is active, request that he/she should call your number so he/she would know what the real problem is.

When I was working as a technical representative, I often receive this type of problems. We have a tool that could fix this problem in one click. Even if my system says the account is active and in good standing, checking the phone number on that tool would display that it’s “Deactivated.” I believe all service providers in the U.S. have this kind of tool or at least, the rep could help you reactivate the number.

So, before you do something about your phone, call your service provider first.

Yellow pixels appear on the screen

Problem: I bought a Moto G phone in January and  I just updated it to Android 4.4 KitKat. I’m kind of very observant person I am almost certain that there were no yellow pixels on my screen before and this is my problem because those pixels are visible on my screen especially when the background is white like when I launch a browser. When I take photos with white background, those pixels also appear. I don’t know what the problem is. What should I do?Josh

Answer: There are two possibilities here: it could either be a hardware issue or a software glitch. We can’t do something on the hardware side of things but can at least try to solve the problem if it were on the software side.

First thing you should do is take a picture with white background to make those yellow pixels visible enough that you could easily spot them. Copy the picture to your computer and try to find those pixels. If they are still in the picture, your camera sensor may have some issues. If not, then it could be just a problem with your screen. But the thing is, you said they weren’t there before the KK update.

Either yellow pixels appear on the picture or not, do wipe the cache partition by booting to recovery mode. After that, reboot your phone and try to see if the problem is still there. If so, there’s no other option but to do a factory reset. Well, backup every important data first including messages, contacts, etc. because you may lose them during the process.

Lastly, call Motorola or bring the phone to an authorized technician to have it checked physically.

Wi-Fi issues after 4.4 KK update

Problem: I’m pretty sure that my phone’s Wi-Fi were doing great before but for some reason, the signal just weakened noticeably low. We have setup the router at the living room. Before, I was able to get full bars when I was in my room with doors and windows shut. But now, I would be lucky if I get half of the signal my phone was receiving before. If it matters, I updated my phone to the latest Android version, 4.4 KitKat Can you guys shed some light on this issue please.Lady G

Answer: Ask yourself, was this problem happened only after the Android 4.4 KK update? If yes, then it’s a software problem. All you need to do is boot recovery and wipe the cache partition. Here’s how:

  1. Power down the phone.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down button for 3 seconds and then press Power key and release both.
  3. The phone displays different boot options, use Volume Down to scroll and highlight Recovery and press the Volume Up key to select it.
  4. When the phone displays Motorola logo and Android in distress, press and hold the Volume Up key for 15 seconds, then tap and release the Power key.
  5. The device will display additional menu options (Text will appear in blue).
  6. Use the Volume Down Key to scroll to wipe cache partition and the Power Key to select this option.
  7. The device will then perform the partition wipe.
  8. The device will reboot and start the normal power up sequence.

After doing the procedure above, check if your Wi-Fi connectivity improved. If not, then follow the same process but instead of choosing wipe cache partition, do a factory reset. Of course, you need to backup data you don’t want to lose along the process.

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Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via mailbag@thedroidguy.com any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response. Lastly, if we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends or subscribe to our newsletter. Thanks.

21 Comments

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  1. Help I have a Moto 3 the third in a year as the others had issues not repairable and were replaced by Consumer Cellular. Now 8 months later the phone ran through the battery in one 15 minute call and all the text messages I send take a good 30 minutes before they send. I replaced the SIM card as advised this did not repair the problem my options were a factory reset which probally wont work or have them sen me a 4th within a year moto3 I have asked for partial credit to just buy the moto4 with hopes it performs better but they will only replace the Moto3 Motorola under warentee offered to replace it with another Moto3 as well

  2. I have an ATT Moto phone I purchased last August, 2016. The phone has become unstable. By that I mean that the phone won’t allow me to close an email; I close an email (any email) after I’ve read it and almost immediately the email is opened so that I cannot go back to my inbox and review other emails.

    The screen quivers as if it is alive. Sometimes I cannot close out windows. Sometimes the screen will not stop long enough for me to use the phone. When it becomes unmanageable, I shut the phone down by holding the top button until it goes black. The phone restarts and sometimes the phone behaves. Other times it does not.

    Any suggestions?

  3. Hello, I have a Motorola G4 Play and all day long, about every five minutes or so the screen will flicker real quick like it’s taking a picture or snapshot. Does anyone know what this is about please?

    I have been all over the internet trying to find out what it is and no solution.

    Thank you

  4. Hi I am Amit, Moto G3
    User from 4 Months,(Flip cart)

    I Was Really Happy to have this Great Phone 🙂

    7 days back I stopped getting incoming calls & SMS.

    Some times music does not work, many contacts suddenly missed, Alarm Clock,
    Torch Light is not Working, No Notifications on Phone, many more functions not
    working.

    Only Whats up is ON for Communication.

    Even after searching all options in phone I am unable to get any calls.

    Only Motorola Service Center in City says empty your Data & submit the
    Phone then we will see it. But it is not attaching to Laptop & PC.

    Need a second Phone with Xender to transfer Data.

    What to do 🙁

  5. my phone just shut off it won’t turn on it won’t do anything is there a way to reset them or do I need a new phone does anyone know why thishappens

  6. I recently was having issues with corrupted jpg’s soon after being taken. Turns out the Flashlight app I installed was the culprit. So many wasted pictures and videos.

  7. I have a Moto G, running Android 4.4.4 and via settings I turn bluetooth on and the indicator turns blue but the phone won’t pair with anything. The icon on the desktop’s toolbar appears, but is grey. Is there anyway to troubleshoot the driver?

  8. I accidentally slammed my phone in a car door and now the screen has a whiteish-greenish spot, its especially obvious against dark backgrounds, is this fixable?

  9. Totally weird – Moto G 2nd Gen Lolipop 5.2 using Sennheiser MM450-X headphones on Bluetooth causes the Wi-Fi to shut down after 5 minutes of use. Exactly 5 minutes and only with the Sennheiser MM450-X headphones on Bluetooth. I used a cheaper Bluetooth headset the BTH220 and have no problems. Actually it dosent matter if I have the wifi on or not the Bluetooth cuts out. If I use the MM450s on another device they have no problems.

  10. Me and my boyfriend both have a moto g running the 4.4.4 Android and we are both having separate issues. Mine will not allow me to answer incoming calls unless I am already on the phone with somebody. And his has a spontaneous screen flicker that we can’t find a way to fix or work around. We do love our phones though.

  11. I have a Motorola moto g 2 generation.
    When ever I take a call the in call volume is being maximum. And in spite of reducing it.. It goes to maximum again.
    Please help me fix this issue its very annoying.
    Thanks in advance.

  12. I. Have a moto g, new update all that, the problem is my apt has a login page for the WiFi I just get a blank screen when promoted to sign in. Frustrated…

  13. I have a Motorola phone on Android 3.2 – last night, untouched by human hand, the flash-light suddenly lit up and would not turn off. I thought it was the ‘droid’ torch app but it wasn’t. The phone by the flash got very hot and the battery drained almost immediately. Also, I got a red icon that looked a bit like a headphone icon, which I don’t have or use. Finally, I simply switched it off. It’s now on my charger and seems to be accepting a charge, whilst it is still switched off. I’ll risk turning it on a bit later when it has fully charged.

    Anyone got any suggestions?

  14. The latest KitKat update did mess up some features. in my case, I noticed a more noticeable lag when the phone boots up from restart. This did not happen before so I was able to notice it. Not sure if Motorola is aware of this though. It doesn’t annoy me but it clearly is not an improvement.

  15. I had a problem with my wifi connection on my Moto G before. I kept on disconnecting
    only on my Moto G although my iPad and Note 3 are working perfectly.
    I left it off for an entire night and it solved the problem. I’m not sure if it did
    anything to it but that was the last time I encountered that problem on my
    Moto.

  16. I own moto g, recently I observed screen icons/menu icons turning black from their usual colors, background and other stuffs are visible but I icon turn in to big black rectangles, i noticed this happens when my YouTube app crashes, any help?

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