5 solutions to fix your Huawei P10’s problems and get it back to normal

Huawei P10 Photo Masterclass
Inez del Prado Photography

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are an impressive pair of smartphones, which aim to compete with the current offerings from Samsung, Google, and Apple. The devices haven’t been around for very long, and they’re currently unreleased in the United States, but that didn’t stop us from putting our ears to the digital ground to hear the complaints of the masses. You may have seen a couple of these Huawei P10 problems already, especially if you’re considering upgrading, but it never hurts to know what the big issues are, find out if they’re actually problems, and see whether solutions are available now or coming soon.

Problem: Slow memory speeds

This particular problem has been noticed by Chinese owners and reported on by both Engadget and Android Central. It’s not something most people would notice, but the basic issue is this: The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus should have decent flash memory speeds, or speeds that outperform older Huawei phones like the Mate 9. However, some of the company’s new handsets have not met expectations, which prompted many to wonder if something was wrong with their new smartphones, or if Huawei wasn’t being as truthful about their device’s technical specs.

Official solution:

  • The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus can have one of two chips, the older eMMC 5.1, or the newer UFS 2.0/2.1. Due to supply shortages, Huawei had to substitute the UFS chips with the eMMC, resulting in the aforementioned slower speeds. It’s unclear if newer batches of the phone will all have the UFS chips, but for right now, either you got lucky and your phone has the latest chip, or you were unlucky and have to deal with the eMMC chips.

Problem: Device doesn’t work after unlock

After unlocking the Huawei P10 using the fingerprint sensor, the phone will occasionally cease to function correctly. The user can still swipe on the home screen, but cannot open apps, navigate menus, or even lock the phone. Instead, the screen can just be turned off.

Temporary solution:

  • Restarting the phone has been said to briefly fix the problem. After an unspecified amount of time, however, the problem will return.

Potential solutions:

  • Wipe the cache partition:
    • Start by turning your phone off completely.
    • Press and hold the Volume Up and Power keys until the Huawei logo appears and the screen turns black.
    • Release the keys and “EMUI” should appear, meaning you’ve triggered the phone’s recovery system.
    • Use the Volume Down key to highlight wipe cache partition and use the Power key to select it.
    • Confirm your selection, and wait for your phone to finish the wiping process. Afterward, it should restart automatically.
  • Factory reset:
    • If you’re still able to navigate through your phone’s menus, go to Settings > Advanced settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone. Be sure not to tap “Erase internal storage,” as this will wipe all of your music, photos, and videos.
      • If you wish to back up your data before the reset, go to Backup > Internal storage > Next. Then, choose what you want to save and tap Back up.
      • You can also connect your phone to your PC using a USB cable, if you want to back up your data.
    • If you’re unable to navigate the menus, Huawei has a program for the PC called HiSuite, which can be used to back up your phone, restore your data, update the firmware, and even factory reset it.
  • Boot phone into Safe Mode, as a third-party app could be causing the issue:
    • To boot into Safe Mode, start by turning your phone off.
    • Press and hold the Power key.
    • When the Huawei logo appears, release the Power key, then hold down the Volume Down key. If done correctly, you should see “Safe Mode on the screen.
    • If your phone can be unlocked and functions normally, it’s possible that a third-party app is the cause of the malfunction. Delete other third-party apps one by one until you discover the culprit.
  • Contact Huawei Support.

Annoyance: Device asks for PIN/password instead of fingerprint

Threads on the XDA Developers and Android Central forums have people asking about a scenario in which the Huawei P10 asks its user to unlock the device using a method other than the fingerprint sensor. According to both threads, every three days the device will require a PIN or password to unlock, instead of the set fingerprints.

Official solution:

  • This is a feature built into the EMUI software running on Huawei phones, and is meant to act as a security measure. The user manual for the P10 even states that you can only use a fingerprint to unlock the phone “when the unlock method is set to PIN or password.” So, while PIN or password security is always on, you’re just being allowed to use the fingerprint sensor for a time. Should you ever restart your device, or the fingerprint scan fails, you’ll always have the PIN or password as a backup. For now, however, there doesn’t seem to be a way to extend how long you can go without using the PIN or password. B. Diddy, an Android Central forum user, notes that this requirement also happens on Nexus phones, so it’s not something exclusive to Huawei.

Issue: Volume unusually loud for app notifications, alarms, and media

A handful of people on the XDA Developers forums have all run into the same issue involving their P10 and P10 Plus’ volume levels. Users are able to adjust the volume for the phone’s ringer as intended, but are unable to control how loud sounds are for other aspects of the device, such as app notifications, alarms, video calls from apps like WhatsApp, and more. For some, sounds still play, even when they’re supposed to be muted, or when the phone is in Silent Mode (Settings > Sound > Silent Mode).

Potential workaround:

  • If sounds — other than those tied to your phone’s ringer — are too loud, simply turning them off via the “Do not disturb” feature may provide some peace and quiet. Enable and configure the feature in Settings > Do not disturb, and toggle Do not disturb on. Afterward, tap Do not disturb mode and you can configure settings for incoming calls and messages, and adjust which alarms are allowed to play when this mode is enabled.

Potential solutions:

  • A future update issued by Huawei for EMUI may fix this issue, or perhaps a future Android update.
  • Restart your phone and head to Settings > Sound > Volume to adjust your phone’s system volume. Here, you’ll find volume sliders for alarms, ringtones, media, and calls.
  • Reset your phone to its initial factory settings and see if you can adjust the various volumes to your liking.
  • Reach out to Huawei support.

Glitch: Fingerprint sensor not working

For one reason or another, some Huawei P10 owners have found they’re suddenly unable to use the fingerprint sensor, and the option found within the phone’s menus is gone as well. It’s unclear what causes the issue, and whether Huawei is aware of this problem, which seems to be afflicting a small number of people.

Temporary solution:

  • A factory reset has been said to bring sensor functionality back.

Potential solutions:

  • Restart your  phone and try the fingerprint sensor again.
  • Boot your phone into Safe Mode and see if the problem persists. If not, a third-party app may be causing the issue, and you may have to find and delete the app to resolve it.
    • To boot into Safe Mode, start by turning your phone off.
    • Press and hold the Power key.
    • When the Huawei logo appears, release the Power key, then hold down the Volume Down key. If done correctly, you should see “Safe Mode” on the screen.
  • Reach out to Huawei Support to ask about a replacement phone, or to have your phone repaired, as your fingerprint sensor may be faulty.