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


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 [email protected].

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.

Engage with us

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 [email protected] 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.

How To Fix Common Moto G Problems And Errors

Welcome to our first part in our troubleshooting article related to the Moto G. As you may have noticed we have been mainly concentrating on Samsung devices as this is mostly what our readers are seeking help for in their emails. We do however also get emails regarding other devices and in this post we will be tackling those that deal with the Moto G.

moto g

Most of the issues that we have received are fairly easy to resolve while others are a bit more complex. If you would like help with your Moto G or any other Android device for that matter feel free to email us regarding your concern at [email protected]. When sending us an email it would be great if as much detail as possible were included so that we could better provide the appropriate solutions. Aside from emailing us we could also be contacted through our Facebook and Google+ pages.

Moto G Hangs Up

Problem: hey ! i was playing songs on my phone n i was going through settings ! i turned on the talk back setting n then tried turning it off , but it wouldn’t turn off ! the d phone stopped responding ! it jus vibrates for every touch but doesn’t select wat ever is touched ! i tried reebotting by holding the power button for 10 seconds ! it switched off n turned on again but of no use ! it only unlocks the screen but doesnt do anythin else ! wat should i do ?? please help me soon !

Solution: Almost all smartphones sold in the market today have frozen at one point or another. The Moto G is no exception. This may be caused by various factors such as by the apps installed, network issues, or others.

What we need to do first is isolate the possible cause of this problem by first refreshing your device by performing a reset. To do this connect your device to a charger then press and hold the Power button for 120 seconds.

If that didn’t work then you might need to do a factory reset on your device. This will however delete all data on your phone so it would be good if you previously made a backup of your data.

  • Turn Off Device
  • Press the VOL DOWN KEY for 2-3 seconds then POWER key then release.
  • The device will display different BOOT OPTIONS
  • Use the VOL DOWN Key to SCROLL to Recovery and VOL UP Key to select
  • The device will display the Motorola logo and then the Android in distress ( logo with Exclamation mark)
  • Press and hold the VOL UP key for 10-15 seconds. While still holding the VOL UP key tap and release the POWER key
  • The device will display additional menu options (Text will appear in BLUE)
  • Use the VOL DOWN Key to scroll to Wipe data / factory reset and the POWER Key to select this option
  • Use the VOL DOWN key again to select YES – delete all user data and press the POWER key to CONFIRM
  • Once the Formatting is complete, press the POWER key to confirm a REBOOT
  • The device will reboot and start the normal power up sequence

Moto G Speaker Randomly Doesn’t Work During Calls

Problem: Hi Friend, I am using Moto G for last 20 days and iam facing an issue which happens once in 2 or 3 days, that some times when I receive a call and iam able to attend the call but couldnt hear their voice not the caller and in no time if I call back the same status, then to fix this i require to restart my mobile. Though this happends once in a while but the average is 3 to 4 calls per week and I request you for a solution. Solutions i tried : 1.) Restarting the mobile ( its working)  2.) checking for error in any apps ( all apps in my mobile working fine)  3.) Network is good during the time of issue (checked).

Solution:  First we need to determine if certain apps are causing this problem. To do this you must start your device in Safe mode. During Safe mode all applications installed from the Android market are temporarily disabled. You can then begin looking for certain apps that may be causing the problem by launching them manually in safe mode.

  • Press the Power key
  • Touch and hold Power off
  • Touch OK when Reboot to safe mode appears
  • Phone will reboot and Safe Mode will appear in bottom left corner
  • While in Safe Mode, launch apps one at a time to identify the app causing the problem
  • Remove the app that causes the problem from the device

You could also try checking if there are any latest software updates for your device. To check for any updates sent OTA go to Settings- About Phone- System Updates. You could also update your device using a laptop with the latest Motorola Device Manager software installed.

  • Connect your device to the computer with a USB cable.
  • If it’s your first time connecting, you will be notified that device drivers are being installed on your your computer.
  • After your first connection, you should see a message about updates when you connect. If the update message does not appear, you can check for updates manually by clicking on the Motorola Device Manager (MDM) icon, Image. You’ll find it in your computer’s menu bar or the system tray. Then click Check for device update.
  • MDM will tell you if an update is available.

Moto G Battery Is Erratic

Problem: Hi, I am using a Moto G and I’m having a problem with its battery. Sometimes the battery indicator goes below 10% so then I get my charger thinking that the battery power is low. When I connect y charger it jumps back to the 90% level. Is my battery bad? I just had my phone for a few months.

Solution: This could just be a battery calibration issue. What you need to do is to fully drain your device of charge. Plug the device to a wall charger and let it charge up to 100% capacity. Repeat the same procedure by allowing the battery to fully drain then charge it back up to 100%. This should help resolve the erratic battery issue that you are experiencing.

Always remember to use the standard charger included with your device to charge it. Also, extreme temperatures may affect your battery performance so it’s best to keep your Moto G in a cool place.

Moto G Connectivity Issue

Problem: Hi, I´ve got a problem with moto g android 4.4.2. The connection of data suspends when I switch off the screen. Having my phone with the screen off I cannot recieve messages in whatsapp. I can only receive a message when I switch on the screen and open the application. I checked all the settings, the notifications are on.

Solution: First do a soft reboot on your device by turning it off then on again. If you are still experiencing this issue then try to check if there are any latest updates for your device. It appears that most owners of the Moto G who have upgraded to Android 4.4.2 have experienced this type of issue however an update has been released that fixes this. You can check for an update via the OTA method by going to Settings- About Phone- System Updates. You could also connect your device to a laptop with the latest Motorola Device Manager software installed to update it.

Moto G Cannot Detect Sim Card

Problem: Hi, for one reason my Moto G will not detect my SIM card. Sometimes it gets detected but then an error message appears that say’s my SIM card is not detected. Help!

Solution: The Moto G uses a micro SIM and what usually happens is that a regular SIM is trimmed to become a micro SIM or a nano SIM uses an adapter to become a micro SIM. This is where the problem lies. Your SIM may not be in proper contact with your phone SIM connector due to some cutting or adapter issues. To check on this try using your SIM on a different phone and see if you can duplicate the problem. You could also try using a new SIM on our device and see if the issue still persists.

If your device is running on Android 4.4.2 then try to check for any updates on your device as this issue has already been fixed. Once you have installed the updates do a soft reboot on our phone.

Moto G Camera Will Not Launch

Problem: I have been getting this error “Camera Error” on the camera function for a couple of days. I have stopped and restarted the service, have done countless soft resets, but I am still getting the error.  Please tell me there is something I don’t know about that can correct this error.

Solution: A lot of owners of the Moto G who are running Android 4.4 KitKat have experienced this very same problem. One quick solution is to check for the latest software updates for your device as this bug has already been fixed.

If your device already has the latest update then follow the steps below.

  • Boot your device in safe mode so it will only run system apps and not user installed apps.
  • Long press the power button to see the power menu and long tap on the Turn off option.
  • You will get an option to boot your device into safe mode. Tap the OK button and let the device boot into safe mode.
  • In Safe Mode start your Camera app. If it works then this is not a hardware issue. Take some photos to test the camera.
  • Reboot your phone in Normal mode. Your camera should be working by now.

Moto G LED Notification Not Working

Problem: Hi, I’ve got a minor problem with my Moto G’s LED notification. It does not work right now. I don’t know if the light itself is busted or I may have installed an app that caused this. When I bought the phone the LED was working fine. Hope you can give me a solution to this.

Solution: This is a known bug which Motorola has acknowledged. “On some devices a small number of users found that the notification light was disabled after logging into their google account if it was disabled previously on other devices with the same google account. This widget restores the ability to control the light on devices without an exposed setting.”

One quick way to solve this is to download the Notification Light Widget at the Google Play Store then place it on your Home screen. Turn it on then you can remove it. Your notification LED should be working fine right now.

You could also check for any new software updates for your device as it will contain the fix to this bug.

Moto G Can’t Connect To Wi-Fi

Problem: Hi, I’m using a Moto G and lately it’s having a problem connecting to my home Wi-Fi network. Sometimes I get connected but then all of a sudden I’m not connected anymore. Sometimes when I try to reconnect it takes a couple of minutes before it can actually connect. I don’t have a problem connecting to my mobile data network as it seems to work perfectly fine. It’s only my Wi-Fi that’s the problem.

Solution: Wi-Fi connectivity issues can either be caused by the router or the smartphone itself. The first step that needs to be done is to reset both your router and your smartphone. Turn both devices off then after a few seconds turn them back on. This helps solve the issue in most cases.

If that does not work find your router connection in the Wi-Fi settings, long press on it then choose Forget network. Do a scan of available networks then re-enter the details. If the device is still dropping the connection then go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced and then set “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep” to Always. You might also want to uncheck the “Avoid poor connections” option.

If this doesn’t work then you might want to consider changing the settings of your router. See if any firewall filtering is active or try using different connection modes.

Moto G Makes Rattling Noise

Problem: Hi, I’m not quite sure if my phone has a hardware defect or not. The problem is that it makes this rattling noise when it is suddenly moved or when it vibrate during a call. It looks like something is loose inside my device. Just wanted to share my concern before I consider returning this to get a new unit.

Solution: Several owners of this device have been complaining about his issue. While this does not really affect the performance of the device itself the sound can sometimes be annoying. This issue is caused by something loose inside the phone itself possibly the vibration motor.

One quick fix to this is to turn vibrate off if you don’t really need it. Go to Settings > Sound then turn off vibrate. You can also go to Settings > Language & input > Google Keyboard Settings and turn Vibrate on keypress off.

You could also consider getting a good quality case which in most cases eliminates the rattling sound.

Moto G Not Charging

Problem: I accidentally let my phone run down to zero battery. Now it won’t turn on, even when plugged in. It used to show the empty battery icon, but now shows nothing, not even that icon, or even the LED. Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?

Solution: A fully drained Moto G should be able to charge normally. Make sure to use the original wall charger when charging and connect it to an outlet. Leave it charging for around 2 hours and then turn it on. You will notice that your Moto G will now turn on normally.

When a battery is fully drained it will not have enough power to turn on the device. Using a non-standard charger or charging through the USB port of a laptop takes a long time for the battery to be charged thus when you try to turn on your device it won’t turn on. This is probably what happened in your case.