Why does my Covid app say loading? What to do if your NHS Covid-19 app is stuck on the blue loading screen

Is your NHS contact tracing app stuck on its blue loading screen? Here's how to fix the problem

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 10:01 am

The NHS’ Covid-19 app is designed to allow authorities to identify and contain potential coronavirus outbreaks within society, before they can spread further into communities.

It uses ‘contact tracing’ to alert users when their phone (and therefore themselves) has been in prolonged contact with a positive case of Covid-19, as well as allowing users to book tests, read the latest advice for their area and keep track of any self-isolation they need to be undertaking.

In its current guise the app is fairly robust, although the journey to this point has been long and fraught with technical issues.

There are a number of simple steps you can take to get your app back up and working properly again (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Those issues haven’t yet completely been ironed out, and many users are reporting that their app is ‘stuck’ on its blue loading screen when they try to open it up.

If this has happened to you, here's how to fix that problem.

Check your phone’s operating system is up to date

With the app running across a multitude of devices, some issues are bound to occur (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

If you find that your NHS Covid-19 app won’t move past its blue loading screen, there are a couple of ways you can attempt to fix the problem.

Firstly, you should check that the phone or device you are using has been upgraded to its latest operating system.

Users with iOS devices can do this by going to Settings, then General, then Tap Software Update. Tap Download and Install at the bottom of the screen; if no updates are available for your smartphone, you'll see a message that says, “Your software is up to date.”

Those on Android devices can upgrade by heading to Settings, then About Phone or About Device, then tapping ‘Check now for update’.

If an update is available, one of the following buttons will appear: ‘Install Now’, ‘Reboot and install’ or ‘Install System Software’. Tap this if you need to update your phone.

Updates to phones’ operating systems can be large and may take some time to download and install completely; it is recommended you connect your device to a stable WiFi network before updating.

My phone’s OS is up to date, what should I do?

If this doesn't work, all is not lost.

iOS users still experiencing problems after a system upgrade should close the NHS Covid-19 app, by going to Settings, selecting General and then Reset, then selecting Reset Location & Privacy.

This will give the app a hard reboot, and you will need to accept phone permissions again when you next open it.

On Android, the same process can be achieved by going to Settings, then Storage. From here, tap the ‘Other Apps’ to see a list of your installed apps, find the NHS Covid-19 app and tap it.Tap ‘Clear cache’.

Again, reloading the app, you will have to agree to permissions.

How to report a technical problem

If you’ve tried all of the above and you are still experiencing issues, you can report a technical problem through the app’s official website.

You’ll need to include the type of phone you are having troubles with to get the best advice, and you can provide an e-mail address so that the tech team can follow up with more information if you wish, but this is not required.

For more troubleshooting advice on the NHS Covid-19 app, head to the official website