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Help! HelixLauncher Force Close Loop

When the HelixLauncher dropped a week or so ago onto the market, it sort of took the home replacement world by storm.  In fact, we had 48% of our readers recommend it as their home replacement app of choice.  Unfortunately, not all has been well for everyone with this fancy new launcher and this is where I need everyone’s help!

Some users are experiencing a force close “loop” which essentially leaves their phone useless.  The issue, is that they are choosing to use the HelxLauncher and then selecting the “default” check to make it the standard.  It’s at this point when all hell breaks loose.  The launcher immediately pops up with a force close and since they’ve selected it as the default,  just keeps popping up over and over and over again (hence the loop).  You cannot get into your applications or services list to kill it and you obviously can’t choose another launcher.  Rebooting the phone also does not work, and I for the life of me, can’t figure out how to stop it.

One user was able to get into their task killer through the notification bar and kill it, but if you don’t have a task killer running, that option is out.  This happened to me once with the launcher2 and I went with the full SBF reload.

The few readers experiencing this need you!  There has to be an easy way to fix this…anyone?

Update: Possible fixes…

  • Boot into safe mode (Power + Menu button on keyboard until Droid eye vibrates).  Go into settings>applications>manage apps and then uninstall it.
  • Hold the “Home” soft key for a few seconds.
  • In between force closes, attempt to launch a search with your search key. Then search for “Market” and go to your downloads to uninstall the HelixLauncher.
  • DroidMaster87

    Safe mode fix works well. Thankyou.

  • DroidMaster87

    Safe mode fix works well. Thankyou.

  • I haven't been able to perform these steps. Is there a way to send a text to your phone with the syntax to launch the market?

  • I haven't been able to perform these steps. Is there a way to send a text to your phone with the syntax to launch the market?

  • Jset2002

    thank you that sob almost made me throw my phone

  • ling427ttvette

    Whew, thank god. Thought I was never going to get it to stop. Just searched for Market between force closes and un-installed. Will be putting it back on though, I changed the # of screens and got the loop. Never had a single problem before that.

  • Best way I found to do it without that nonsense (hitting the search didn't cut it for me, and the market uninstall was out of the question since it was themed and wont let you uninstall) is when you are in the force close window, select send report. There you are able to finally hit the search button and look up settings. Go into Applications>manage applications. Make sure to press the menu button which will give you filter options and select All. You should be able to see helix launcher (I wasn't able to see it intially) and clear the defaults.

  • nelgin

    This will work on a rooted phone, which will probably have connectbot or similar installed. Get into connectbot and do a location connection. Then su to get a root prompt
    cd /data/data/com.helixproject.launcher/shared_perfs

    Now you can delete the preferences file

    rm *.xml

    Now Helix will be back to the defaults. I did this and it worked for a while then crapped out again. In the end I just installed a different launcher.

  • JOE

    THANK YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • william

    I was actually lucky I received a text and what I did was hit 'force close' and slid down the notification bar, hit 'force close' again and opened the message, it than stopped giving me the message at that point. So I opened the slide out keyboard and held down for a few seconds on the search key, searched for market and uninstalled. So try that if all else fails, thank GOD my phone works again.

  • If you screwed up trying to reduce the number of screens and get the Force Close loop do this:

    1. In between force closes, attempt to launch a search with your search key. Then search for “Settings” and go into your settings.
    2. Go to “Manage Applications”
    3. Filter by All applications
    4. Go to the Helix Launcher app, and then go in and choose “clear data” then choose “Force close” on the same screen.

    This will reset Helix Launcher to its default home screen icons and you'll be fine. You'll just need to setup your screens/icons again.

    • jessemyers

      Thank you, that worked like a charm.

    • Brandon


    • Umar

      holy crap you don't know what your comment meant to me. THANKS SO MUCH for the advice..saved my phone!

    • Abhik

      Worked perfectly, thanks! I didn't have the option of uninstalling it since it was part of a custom ROM. These instructions did the trick.

  • glenn

    rotate your phone sideways so the canvas is in wide-view
    (this causes force close to open slower and gives you more time to click the search soft-key)
    hit the force close button, then immediately hit search soft-key
    (you'll have to try this a few times)
    once in, search for “market”, don't use the voice search because it will do a web search.
    type m, force close, a, force close, r, force close…
    by now you should have a partial result… scroll all the way down to more results… click on it… it should have a list of apps on your phone…
    (this only works if you have your phone set to search your application names)
    choose market… uninstall helix

  • Rob

    I got this loop after trying to reduce my number of homescreens with having shortcuts left on my center screen.. the search key worked to fix it. I reinstalled the helix launcher and tried to reduce to 1 screen (after deleting every icon this time) and it worked just fine

  • Troy Smith

    Thank you thank you thank you my droid was caught in this helix loop. Verizon technical couldn't help and they are sending me a new phone. Don't need it now and won't loose all of my contacts, settings, etc.

  • Kurt

    This worked, thanks

  • mg

    The last suggesting helped me the best. THANK YOU! I was freaking out!

  • Sam

    Wow, that third Tip saved me! I wasn't able to get to safe mode, so that was the only thing that worked.

  • last night while I was travelling of all times, I had this problem. I found that if I slid open the Droid….it slowed down the force close just enough that I could use the gold key on the slideout keypad, to navigate to the market key, which, thank God, I had on the front of my droid homepage. This took me 45 min. to keep plugging away at that, hoping that I could break into my system and bypass the force loop. At last that did happen and I deleted helix. Hope this helps another hapless user

  • bigfire

    i use the search key method, and works well.

  • loooney2ns

    I'm not having any problems so far. I'm still running the stock rom and unrooted. I do really love it!

  • Billyhouse

    After all the news about the problem with the Helix Launcher i was still stupid enough to try it. Removed eveyrthing from my homescreen and gave it s shot. So far so good but i'm still afraid to designate it as the default. Anyone have any answers for the sudden problems. I think there are people out there still running it with no problems.

  • ch4zill4

    hahahaha this same thing happene to me when i downloaded helix launcher, and i started to freakkkkk out but then i found an easy (sort of…) way to solve it.
    1. first of all the voice search option still works so when the force close popup appears hold the search key
    2. search anything or search droid life
    3. get to the droid life webside
    4. find where the helix launcher was posted up for download
    5. click on the “direct link” button
    6. uninstall
    this worked for me but when i run the same settings with helix launcher it will do the force close loop again so watch out i dont know if this will happen to any other droid users
    (hopefully this helped :P)

  • teddyrucks

    Too bad. I was going to make Helix my default. Since only some people are having problems, I think the force close cycle may be isolated to a particular rom. Which roms are people having problems using?

  • Gidza

    I linked my Droid to my computer and in between the repeating forced close, “mounted” my phone to the pc and then simply deleted the helixlauncher folder. It went straight back to the stock home when i “unmounted” the phone. Took less than a minute to fix….

  • fatboy1184

    i have not had any problems with this launcher i have had it sense the day it came out it works great no complaints here sorry

  • fatboy1184

    i have not had an problems with this app it has ran great sence the day it came out

  • JohnOlesen

    have had no issues with this app. Launcher + Beta would FC every time i changed the orientation. I think ive had 2 FC's using Helix Launcher.

  • upsman

    This happened to me and “safe mode” didn't work. It continued to loop. Luckily my phone was rooted and I was able to reboot into recovery and do a nandroid restore.

  • RYan K

    Funn this happened to me last night lucaly i figured i can start in safe mode and deal with it… Funny that i had the problem last night and today there is a post about it :-0

  • AntDroid

    home++… 'nuff said.

    • BRIM


  • rockymtnhigh

    No loop closes for me, but I have had two forced closes. Plus it takes a bit to switch out of landscape when pulled out of the multimedia dock. But other than that this home screen replacement is the best!

  • Jeff

    I found a way out of it by searching for ASTRO in the search field while HL was in it's force close loop. I came across the ASTRO download link (http://www.metago.net/astro/fm/download.php). This will take you the Android marketplace link to download ASTRO. Since I already had it, I had the option to Open ASTRO, which I did. Once I was in ASTRO I proceeded to kill and uninstall Helix. It worked good for me;)

  • nkhex19

    Thanks for posting on this, I had Helix but then uninstalled it when I heard about the update rolling out last week (which is now delayed) because I was hoping 2.1 was gonna give us more home screens. Once 2.1 finally rolls out I will probably install Helix again and I appreciate the heads up with this problem and all these solutions to fix it. The Droid community is awesome!

  • syntakk

    Thankfully I haven't seen this, but like others have said the first thing I would do is to boot in safe mode and uninstall. Thanks for the post, good info to have just in case something happens in the future.

  • Exodus615

    Kellex i just had this problem yesterday and i got out of it easy and i know what caused it as well i simply forgot what was my main screen while adding screens and removing screens helix launcher asks you to remove your widgets before resizing the screen to a smaller size im trying to get this out as simple as possible hopefully you can understand what im saying when u have three screens then add two helix adds two to the far right…….. those are false screens as i will call them……. lets say you are reorganizing your droid and you take off all your widgets………. and you use the middle 3 of your now 5 screeens……….. so now you are using 2 real screens and 1 false screen….. now you figure you want to go back to 3 screens…….. now when you want to go back to 3 screens…. its says again remove all icons/widgets before moving to a smaller size…………………….when you go from 5 to 3……….. you are deleting your false screens…….. but wait you are using one of your false screens oh well…. after you make the change to your screens…. it will revert back to your real screens and since the false screen is no longer there its steady trying to bring back the widgets and icons you had on that one screen but it doesnt have a screen to get back on thus the birth of the force close loop i hope this makes since and i hope someone reads this and put it in better words…. now the easiest way to get out of the is to have the market as one of the four shortcuts and go in the market and uninstall from the market for some reason it wont force close in the market as much while im typing this really long comment im gonna take the time out to reccomend 3 apps Mixzing your new default music and video player, NexusMod only available if you are rooted both are free in the market and youtube downloader

  • Haven't had this happen yet but thanks for the heads-up!

  • Bill

    reboot > hold x > sprecovery > nandroid restore (if you got a backup)

    • kellex

      If the user isn't rooted and doesn't have SPRecovery, then this doesn't work. 🙂

  • Josef F

    I had the same problem. I actually had to unroot and reroot to resolve it. As near as I can tell, the problem is actually in Helix Launcher 2 (only visible on the market if you're rooted). I eventually ended up with an unrooted phone running Helix launcher 1 and have had very few FCs (and none of the “endless FC loop” problem), the only thing that seems to be missing from Helix 2 is the 3D tray.
    But as to the loop problem, following kellex's DroidMod video instructions for unrooting got me out of the mess.

  • Jack

    Have you tried booting your phone into “safe mode”? If I remember correctly, you open the hardware keyboard and hold the menu button while it boots up. Once you feel the little shake when the droid splash screen comes up you can let go.

    I think it skips loading of any third-party software… I'm sure Helix Launcher would fall into that category.

    • kellex

      I always forget about safe mode. This should do the trick.

  • droidaholic

    i had the same problem. in between force closes press the search soft key and it should temporarily stop. search for “market” and find the launcher under the downloads section and uninstall and then reinstall.

    • JOE

      THANK YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • scuzzullbutt

    i just had that problem last night. The whole phone becomes unless! Here is hoe i fixed it, Have someone send you a text. You can still access your notification bar so go to it once your text has arrived. Now you should be in your text app, Hit the google search button and search anything that will bring you to the market place. Once in the market place go to your downloads and remove the helxlauncher. It worked for me:)

    • kellex

      I like that idea. Nice.

  • wam

    can't you power down then boot up in safe mode, then go into application management and delete/uninstall. haven't ever down this, but from what i understand that make your droid ONLY use core apps

    • wam

      *done this (typo)

    • kellex

      Could work, haven't tried this or thought of it. Thanks.

  • This happened to me once and to get out of it I hit the menu button to bring up the settings menu (you're at the home screen since the loop is happening), and hit settings. From there you can hit up applications and change the default home screen app or uninstall Helix entirely.

    • kellex

      I think the people are unable to even get into settings. If you can, then this is definitely the way to go.

  • MattDemers

    Man, I'm kind of glad I just recently uninstalled this, then.

  • adamrk17

    not exactly sure of the fix….but I heard the cause could possibly be from having too many widgets….

    just something to look out for I guess…..