Android 4.4.x KitKat mobile/Wi-Fi orange icons issue

Androidkitkat_logoOver the past few weeks we’ve noticed that the Nexus 5/7 (2013) devices running KitKat 4.4.x have been having radio network connection issues. When you look at the notification bar the mobile/Wi-Fi icons are white, but if you pull down the notifications bar and view Quick Settings (see Bootnote), you may see both the mobile and Wi-Fi icons have turned orange.

We’ve found through analysis on KitKat version 4.4.1/2 that the change from white to orange icon in > Settings is because the Nexus 5/7 (2013) devices appear to disconnect to Google Services (they also stop receiving data from Google Services). We stopped Google Play Service runtime services via Settings > Apps > Google Play Service, then restarted. This seemed to do the trick, but the problem then re-appears – either the same day or several days later. Our router and mobile network didn’t report any issues and worked with other Android devices not running Kitkat.

We did however reboot our router and that seemed to fix this issue – but the issue then re-appears (as mentioned above). We also tried turning on then off Aeroplane mode, but this didn’t make any difference. We replicated this issue when connecting to a hotspot (BT) as well, and we tested on two different routers as well as setting up a mobile as a hotspot in our office. In addition we also unchecked the following option in Settings > Wi-Fi > Settings (bottom right) > Advanced > Avoid poor connections, but this didn’t appear to fix this issue.  NOTE: rebooting the Nexus 5/7 (2013) had no affect on this issue.

Google Services seems to be the culprit, but unfortunately there is little we can do to completely fix this problem. I’m sure Google is working on fixing this issue. Will keep my Android readers posted.

Update: We’ve completed some additional analysis as users reported to us that the above fixe(s) didn’t work. We found some evidence that suggested importing old Wi-Fi settings at the first installation might be the cause.  If you are experiencing continuing problems (and you don’t have a rooted device) then you might want to use this app from the Play Store >

Alternatively, if your device is rooted you can use Terminal as follows:

adb shell
$ su
# rm -r /data/misc/wifi/
# reboot

Safe surfing folks!

Bootnote: Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to access Quick Settings.

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9 Responses to Android 4.4.x KitKat mobile/Wi-Fi orange icons issue

  1. Kiera says:

    Hi. I’ve been having this problem, but it only started recently (about forty minutes ago) today. My dad can’t fix it, and he’s like a wizard with this stuff. I’ve tries rebooting if four times, turning airplane mode on and off, and waiting. None of them have worked, as my WiFi icon stays orange on my Nexus 7. I have 4.4.3 installed, and have been hesitant to install 4.4.4 for this reason. I was thinking about it, but I decided not to. So far, I haven’t even found one fix. It’s stayed orange. I don’t know how to fix it, but it’s evident that others have had this problem too. Nothing about the internet is working for my tablet. No Netflix (I was watching Doctor Who when it started), no Play Store, no nothing. I don’t know what to do, because it’s working on my phone. My laptop internet isn’t working either. It’s the same server. Please help, my brother is also having this problem with his laptop.

  2. tony says:

    My Nexus 7 (2012) got 4.4.4 when it was released as an update a few weeks ago, I started having connection problems first with netflix last week and then today I could not connect to anything and the orange wifi icon appeared so I tried everything and then after getting my teenage son to allow me to reset my router the nexus was fine, will report back if it does it again.

    • Julian says:

      #Tony# Resetting the router is a short term fix. It’s actually a Google Services issue. Not sure when this will be fixed. Maybe in the next Android release 5.0 L?

  3. Nameless says:

    I started getting this orange bar problem on my Nexus 5 after I installed wifi signal boosters in my home. Any idea how they could be interfering?

  4. clay says:

    I have a nexus 5 con tmobile and am in south america. I am often in areas without WiFi so I have that turned off and I just use cell and I have this probelm very often. Happens on various networks (Movistar, claro, etc.) Sometime toggling airplane mode works but sometimes not. I have tried switching from fastest preferred speed 4g to 3g but that doesn’t seem to make any difference. I have also tried to change other settings but nothing fixes the problem for long… If at all

    • Julian says:

      #clay# This issue still appears to be re-surfacing as of today. I’m seeing this from time to time too. Started wondering whether Android has compatibility issues with some routers i.e. DHCP lease renewals.

  5. Firedancer says:

    similar issue:
    wifi works fine, internet works fine, but connection stays orange. I’m signed in to google, but can’t connect to corresponding google services.

    Reboot, restart of services… nothing helps 🙁
    Only half the pad’s functionality seems available to me. Very annoying, can’t work with it like this. Will have to swap to a different provider for messaging & map services.

  6. sket says:

    Go into Settings and remove your Google account. Then sign into it again. This worked for me.

  7. Abhijeet says:

    Thanks .. very useful

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