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How to stop BBC iPlayer crashing on Android

BBC iPlayer logo

We explain how to stop BBC iPlayer from crashing and displaying the 'Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer has stopped' error message

Question: I have a problem running BBC iPlayer on my ASUS Fonepad Android tablet. Until a few weeks ago it worked perfectly, but it now shuts down as soon as I start it with the message ‘Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer has stopped’. I have tried uninstalling and re-installing the app but the problem persists. I’ve contacted the app developer and the BBC, but neither has replied. The iPlayer Radio app still works fine, however. Can you suggest a fix?

Peter Canning

Answer: It’s likely that the program cache or data has become corrupted, and that this isn’t being cleared by uninstalling and reinstalling the app. For this reason it’s best to try manually clearing both.

Navigate to the Apps screen, find iPlayer, tap and hold it then drag the icon to App info at the top of the screen. You should see buttons to clear data and the cache, so tap Clear data and agree to the confirmation, which should also have the effect of clearing the cache. Now use the back button to return to the Home screen, turn the Fonepad off and on again and try starting the app.

BBC iPlayer clear cache

If this doesn’t work it may be that you need to clear the system cache partition, which is a little more advanced. We’d recommend backing up before proceeding: depending how you use the tablet much of your content will already be synchronised with Google, but you might want to take an additional backup using a microSD card and an app like MyBackup Pro.

If you do want to go ahead, make sure your Android device is fully charged, clear the iPlayer program cache as above, uninstall the app then turn off your device. The following steps will vary by device, so it is worth checking to see what button combination you will need to press. Wait 10 seconds or so then press and hold both the power and volume down buttons, and keep holding both until you see the manufacturer logo.

The system should then quickly display an information screen featuring the Android logo lying on his back; use the volume down button to select Recovery mode then press the power button to start it. Within a few seconds you should again see the prone android and ‘No command’: press and hold the power button, press the volume up key, then release both after a small menu appears.

Use the volume down button to scroll the highlight down to ‘wipe cache partition’, and again use the power key to select this. Do not choose the factory reset option by mistake. When the partition has been wiped you’ll return to the same menu; press power to reboot the tablet, then reinstall the iPlayer app and you should find that it works.