The Nexus 7 (2013) is still one of the best budget-friendly tablets currently available, despite its age. Apart from its unbeatable price tag, the promise of timely updates to the latest iterations of the Android OS is a big part of its allure. That said, as is the case with any smartphone or tablet, the Nexus 7 (2013) is not without its issues, and while quite of few have been fixed with software updates along the way, some still creep up from time to time. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common problems faced by Nexus 7 (2013) users, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them.
Disclaimer: The Nexus 7 (2013) is a solid tablet, and it is very likely that you will not face any of the issues stated below.
Problem #1 – Touchscreen Issues
Issues with the touchscreen are well-documented since its release, and hasn’t gone away for a lot of users since. Many users have complained about multiple touches being registered erratically, even after just a single tap, touches not being registered at all, or being registered at different locations from where you are tapping on the display.
Test to see if these issues are related to faulty hardware, by downloading and running the Yet Another Multitouch Test app from the Google Play Store. If you see erratic behavior while using the app, you may need to return your device and ask for a replacement. There is a DIY solution available to fix this issue as well, over at XDA, but keep in mind that these may void your warranty.
If it is not a hardware problem, a specific application may be the culprit. Boot the device into Safe Mode, by pressing a holding the power button while the screen is on, long press on the Power Off option, and tap on Safe Mode, and see if it is working fine. If it is, go back and delete the apps you installed right before the problem started occurring to see if that fixes it.
Finally, if you use a screen protector, it may be reducing the touch sensitivity of the display. A screen protector is important to keep the display scratch free, so try the first few solutions first before resorting to removing the screen guard.
Problem #2 – Tablet not recognized by PC
Many users have reported that the Nexus 7 (2013) is not recognized by the PC as a storage device when connected, even though the device will charge.
First, enable USB Debugging on your device. Go into Settings – About, and tap the build number repeatedly until Developer Options is enabled. Go into these options, and tap on USB Debugging. Plug the tablet in, and make sure that it is set to Media device in the USB connection settings that will show up in the notification dropdown. On your PC, go to the device, right click on it, and go to Properties. Open the Drivers tab and click on Update Driver. Click in “browse my computer for driver software.” Then choose “Let me Pick,” and select USB Composite Device.
In some cases, it could very simply be a case of a needing to unlock the tablet while it is plugged in, in case you have PIN or Pattern set. On the PC, clicking on the device will show an empty screen. Unlock your tablet, and then an “Internal Storage” drive should show up.
Problem #3 – Freezes at Google logo, does not move past Wi-Fi Settings page during initial setup, random reboots
Some users have complained about the device getting stuck on the Google logo screen, or freezing during the animation. Others have also faced a problem during the initial setup of the tablet, being unable to move past the Wi-Fi Settings page after the welcome screen, sometimes even after selecting, and connecting to a network. Further, users have also faced issues with the tablet rebooting randomly. A lot of these issues have resurfaced following the official update to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
In the case of the device freezing during the animation, or on the Google logo screen, a soft reset may do the trick. Press and hold the power button, ignore the pop up menu if it shows up, and continue holding the power button until the tablet restarts.
During the initial setup, if you’re stuck on the Wi-Fi page, make sure that the device is connecting to your Wi-Fi network. If it doesn’t, you may have to try it on another network, to check whether the issue is with the router. You can also restart the router and try again. In case it is connecting, a soft reset may work, and finally, a hard reset may be required, giving you the opportunity to start over.
In case of random reboots, a particular app may be the cause. To find out if this is the case, follow the steps highlighted in Problem #1. If this doesn’t solve the issue, a hard reset may be required. Keep this as a last resort, as you will lose all your data if you do this.
Problem #4 – Auto-rotate not working
Many users have complained about the auto-rotate not working on their Nexus 7 (2013). This makes it impossible to watch videos and landscape mode, and the device gets stuck when some apps use landscape mode as a default.
This could very simply be because auto-rotate is turned off. You can find the auto-rotate toggle in the quick settings drop down, or by going into Settings – Accessibility, and make sure that auto-rotate is turned on.
This issue could be because of a particular app, such as some third party keyboard applications. First, boot the device into Safe Mode, by pressing a holding the power button while the screen is on, long press on the Power Off option, and tap on Safe Mode. If auto-rotate now functions normally, the cause of this issue is a specific app. You can delete apps one by one to figure out which one, or start over by performing a hard reset.
A soft reset may work for some but might prove to be a temporary solution. Press and hold the power button until the device reboots.
For some users, this is caused because of a flip case that has a magnet to use the auto-awake feature. Just removing the case will solve the problem.
This may also be a hardware problem. Download and install the “Check my Android” app from the Google Play Store. Go to the sensors page and make sure that all the sensors are detected. If sensors 1, 5, and 7 (accelerometer and gyroscope) are not detected, auto-rotate will not work. If this is the case, there is a problem with the sensors and connectors, and you’ll have to send the device in for repair or replacement.
A DIY solution involves placing the tablet face down on a flat surface, and gently press down around the “n” and the “s” of the Nexus logo on the back. You can also attempt to fix it internally on your own by using the information here and here. But this method isn’t recommended as it may void your warranty, and could cause other issues if you’re not careful.
Problem #5 – No mobile data connectivity on the Nexus 7 (2013) LTE version
Many users have complained about 3G/4G LTE connectivity not working or randomly dropping. Users also see a No SIM card message, or get a SIM card detected message, and are prompted to restart the device.
Try a soft reset and wait for it the restart.
Go into Airplane Mode, and turn it off again.
Make sure that there is no issue with the SIM card by testing it with another device.
Check the Access Point Name settings by going into Settings – Wireless & networks – More – Mobile networks – Access Point Names and make sure they’re correct.
Problem #6 – Battery Issues
Many users have complained about rapid battery drain, even when the device is in standby. There have also been issues with the tablet not charging, or charging very slowly.
Unexpected battery drain could be caused by a specific app. First, make sure that all the apps are updated from the Google Play Store. Then boot the device into Safe Mode and see if it is working. As a last resort, doing a hard reset may be necessary.
To stop unnecessary battery drain, uncheck the “Ok Google” hotword detection in the Google Now Settings, and also turn off “Keep Wi-Fi on during Sleep.”
In case of charging issues, it is best to use the official charger available with the tablet. Test the charger with other devices to make sure that the unit isn’t faulty. Keep in mind that you will need a 2-amp charger, as well as a USB cable rated for 2 amps.
So these were a few of the common problems that plague owners of the Nexus 7 (2013). If you’ve faced any of these problems are any others, do let us know in the comments section below.
Performing a Hard Reset:
To do a hard reset, follow the following steps –
If your tablet is on, turn it off.
Press and hold the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Power button at the same time until the tablet turns on. You’ll see the word “Start” with an arrow around it.
Press the Volume Down button twice to highlight “Recovery mode.”
Press the Power button to start Recovery mode. You’ll see an image of an Android robot with a red exclamation mark and the words “No command.”
While holding down the Power button, press the Volume Up button.
Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe data/factory reset,” then press the Power button to select it.
Scroll down to “Yes – erase all user data,” then press the Power button to select it.