Android App Crashing on Start? Clear the Cache
I ran into some problems with the ComiXology app on my Nexus 7 tablet the other day. I tried to add a comic I’d unlocked on the website and it crashed. From that point on every time I tried to launch the app, it would crash immediately. At the time I was in a hurry, so I set it aside for later. Within a day, an update with “bushels of bugfixes” came out, so I figured it was probably a known issue and put it out of my mind.
I didn’t test it until this morning, though. Wednesday = new comics day, of course. The same thing happened, even though I’d powered the tablet off overnight.
I figured I’d follow the standard troubleshooting pattern of clearing data (but that would mean re-downloading all the comics that I hadn’t read yet, or was keeping on the tablet to re-read), uninstalling/reinstalling, etc. A pain, but a necessary step before submitting a bug report.
So I opened Settings, then Manage Apps, then the Comics app…and that’s when I noticed the Clear Cache button. It was only using about 3-4 MB of cache, and that’s temporary storage. No need to re-download 450 MB worth of comics from my library. And if it didn’t work, I could go back to the original plan.
I cleared the cache, and bingo: the Comics app started up just fine!
Evidently, when it crashed the first time, something in that cache had been corrupted, and the app was trusting it to be valid.
Clearing the cache won’t fix every crash. An app could be buggy, or the install or data could be corrupt. But it’s a good first step in troubleshooting. If it works, you’re done. If it doesn’t, well, you’ve only wasted about 5 seconds and you can go on to the next item on the list.