TikTok crashes are the worst. You're sitting there, trying to learn a new dance move or watch short videos of strangers lip-synching to Cardi B, when all of a sudden: boom. The screen freezes and/or the app crashes altogether, leaving you without a vital form of culture and distraction from reality. But don't worry, when that happens there are a number of things you can try to get TikTok up and running again, and we've rounded up some of the most common fixes below.
1. Close and restart TikTok
If the app isn't responding to your taps, or the screen appears frozen, it might be time to just shut it down. Make sure you fully close the app — don't exit and let it run in the background. This essentially restarts the software, and when you reopen TikTok the crash will have, fingers crossed, fixed itself.
- Open up the recent applications menu on your phone. For some devices, you do this by looking down at the row of three buttons at the bottom of the screen. Hitting the leftmost button will bring up all the apps you've been using throughout the day. Either tap 'close all' to close all of them at once, or swipe through to find and close TikTok.
- According to Apple, there are different ways to access your recent applications menu depending on the model of your phone. Devices that are iPhone X or later can access the menu by swiping up from the very bottom of the screen and pausing slightly once you reach the middle of the screen or begin to see images of your recently used apps. On iPhone 8 or earlier models, simply double-tap the home button to bring up the menu.
- Apple does not have a 'close all' button, so you'll have to swipe through your apps to find TikTok. Once you've found it, tap it, then slide the app up to completely shut it down.
2. Check your wifi connection
Still not working? Time to check your wifi connection. TikTok won't work without an internet connection, so make sure you check if you're online.
You can easily check your internet connection on Android and iPhone by looking at the wifi signal in the upper right corner of your screen. If you're connected but have a weak signal, you could still be experiencing connectivity problems. You can find a stronger signal by switching the network you're using or, if you're at home, you can try to fix your internet connection by restarting the router.
3. Check for TikTok updates and server status
Your app could be out of date, which can cause crashes or error messages. Check for updates on Google Play or the App Store to see if there's any available on the store or if an auto-update is pending.
It's also a good idea to see if TikTok's servers are down. There are various websites that will let you know, such as Downdetector, or you can check the #tiktokdown hashtag on Twitter to commiserate with other users having trouble with the app. There's also an official TikTok Twitter account that should provide information on any outages.
4. Clear your cache
Okay, maybe there's something weird going on with the data that's saved on your phone — it could be corrupted or something. The best way to deal with this is deleting that stored data, which can force the app to 'refresh' itself, in a way, by taking data from the original software instead of your phone. Clearing the cache should not delete the app or your account.
- Get to your settings screen either by swiping down and hitting the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner or selecting the 'Settings' app on your phone. A list of categories will appear; scroll down until you see 'Apps' and tap on it. Now it should take you to a long list of apps. Go through it until you find the TikTok app, click on 'Storage,' and then hit the 'Clear cache' button.
- Interestingly enough, clearing your cache on the iPhone depends on the third-party app you're using. Most of the time, you'll find the option to clear your cache by going into your iPhone's settings, finding the app, and selecting 'Reset cache on next launch.'
- Another option that might be better for iPhone users is clearing the cache through the TikTok app itself. According to the company, you can go to your profile, tap the settings icon (the three dots in a row), and hit 'clear cache.'
5. Uninstall and reinstall TikTok
Maybe something went wrong with the latest update and it messed up your install. Maybe it's a software bug. Whatever the cause, none of the solutions listed above have helped. So now it's time to go nuclear: Uninstall the app from your phone to completely wipe it out. Then, go back to its store page and reinstall it. With luck, this should fix the problem since there's really nothing fresher than a full reinstall.
For both Android and iPhone users, the easiest way to uninstall TikTok is by holding down the app's icon. A small pop-up menu should appear with the option to 'uninstall' or 'delete app'. Select it to get rid of the app from your phone.