The easiest way to free up memory, close all running programs, and clear up some bugs on an Android phone is to turn it off and turn it on again. But while my old cellphone could go from off to on in a matter of seconds thanks to the complete lack, well… anything but the ability to make phone calls, modern smartphones can take a minute or two to fully reboot.

But sometimes you don’t actually need to reboot your phone to shake out the problems. Sometimes all you really need to do is restart the Android Shell without powering down the hardware. That’s where Hot Reboot comes in.

This app only works for rooted phones that have BusyBox installed. But if your phone is in that camp, all you have to do is fire up Hot Reboot and it will restart the Android shell, which is several times faster than performing a full reboot. It doesn’t reboot the Linux kernel and doesn’t power down your hardware.

You’ll need to register with the xda-developers forum to download the app, and note that the Hot Reboot.apk will install a version of the app that quickly restarts the shell without stopping to ask for directions. The Hot Reboot – Update.apk file will bring up a dialog first asking if you want to reboot.

Some users have reported problems getting Hot Reboot to work properly, so proceed with caution.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...