What to Do When Words With Friends Won't Load or Freezes Up
Tip 1 - Close and Re-Open the App
"Have you tried closing the program, then opening it again?" may be IT 101, but it works. Like many phone apps, Words With Friends doesn't feature a dedicated "turn this one program off completely" function. You'll need to either click out to your menu screen and close it independently or select "close all." If you're stuck, that's where to start.
The good news is, if just closing the program works, it's most likely an interface glitch: the whole program didn't fail, just the part you could see. That means you probably won't lose any data.
Tip 2 - Restart Your Phone
"Power cycling" is the fancy term for "have you tried turning it off and back on?" If Words With Friends is completely unresponsive, it may not let you simply close it. More accurately, it won't process the "close" input. That's when it's time to get analog.
Either select "Shut Down" in Settings or hold the power button down until the phone actually turns off. We don't recommend "Restart." Some programs are wont to hang around through the restart, and a locked-up WWF is one of them. Note that power cycling is a good news/bad news situation.
On the one hand, it will absolutely force the program to restart, on account of it's pretty tough to run an app without electricity. On the other, you may lose your last play or other recent data. The risk is minimal - at worst you'll lose your current game, and even that is very rare - but worth keeping in mind.
Tip 3 - Enter a New Input
If you're only partly locked up, there are steps you can take in the actual WWF app to get things moving again. A new input, such as starting a new game or closing your current one and going to a different screen, may get the program running again. This is another fix that may cost you your most recent play, but again, that kind of failure is rare and it's likely to get things moving.
Tip 4 - Reinstall Words With Friends
"What if the program won't run at all?" we hear you cry. Don't worry, we have you covered. Your best bet is to uninstall and reinstall the app. It may seem like a drastic step. It's not. WWF stores your data in the cloud - that is, remote servers instead of your phone's local memory - so when you reinstall, you should find your games and player data waiting. Our in-house game expert has uninstalled and reinstalled WWF dozens of times and never lost a byte of data.
The Immortal Game
Words With Friends is usually a model of reliability. Even its arguably excessive burden of ads don't generally affect actual play. That said, no program is perfect. When the game glitches, some combination of the tips above should solve the problem.
Matt Salter has been a professional writer for over 10 years. He is a gaming and technology expert, and world-class word nerd.