Pokemon GO: How to Fix Frozen Pokeballs & Keep Your Catches


Picture this common Pokemon GO scenario. You’ve found a rare Pokemon after hours of walking. Your pokeball is ready. You make the toss — it’s “Great!” — then the ball freezes. You’ve just been hit with the infamous frozen pokeball bug.

Caused by excessive server overload, the frozen pokeball problem leads to lost captures and long wait times. It’s exceptionally annoying, and this issue isn’t about to go away anytime soon, so long as Pokemon GO is wildly popular.

To ease the pain, enterprising players have cobbled together solutions that just might work for you. Check out some of these suggestions below if you’re struggling through a slow server, and let us know which ones are working for you.

More Pokemon GO tips, tricks, and FAQs:

How to Fix Frozen Pokeballs & Keep Your Catches

Here you’ll find fixes or workarounds to escape the annoyance of frozen pokeballs during encounters. This issue is especially common in rural areas or during weekends / other peak activity times. Due to the vagaries of server outages and slow periods, some of these solutions might not work for you. Try them all — and leave a comment if it helps.

Method #1: Exit on Loading 

One of the common solutions for escaping the annoying frozen ball issue is to exit and restart the app. This trick is a little different — done this way, you won’t have to completely restart the app. It just takes proper timing.

  • Throw a ball and wait for the capture.
  • Wait for the loading icon (spinning pokeball) to appear.
  • Go to the Recent Apps Menu.
    • Tap the square icon [on Android] / Bottom-Left, Next to Home
    • Double-Tap Home [on iOS]
  • Wait on this screen for 5+ seconds.
  • Return to Pokemon Go.

Go to ‘Recent Apps’ as soon as the spinning pokeball loading icon appears on-screen. If you wait for it to disappear, you’ve missed your chance.

Why does this work?: This method effectively ‘pauses’ the game without closing it, giving the app extra time to complete any server communication before timing out. Those extra seconds are crucial to make sure your data properly reaches the servers.

This method is all about going to the ‘Recent Apps’ menu. Go to that screen after the pokeball hits, or anytime after throwing and before the pokeball shakes — when it shakes, the server communicates with Pokemon GO, letting your app know whether the Pokemon has been captured, and how many ‘shakes’ it requires.

Source: [HappySoda on Reddit]

Method #2: Slow Your Roll

If you’re eager to try something simple out, this method doesn’t require closing / re-opening your app.

This strategy supposes that there is a problem with the animations and the server — the whole game requires a little extra time to pre-load assets or communicate with the servers. Whatever the cause, certain players have reported success. Here’s what you do.

  • Get into a Pokemon encounter.
  • Wait 5+ seconds before throwing a pokeball.
  • If the Pokemon escapes, wait another 5+ seconds.
  • Don’t immediately throw!

Giving Pokemon GO a few extra seconds to load / communicate might just resolve lots of issues for you and help avoid frozen balls.

Source: [NerdOctopus on Reddit]

Method #3: Waiting and Restarting

This is the slowest solution, but one that’s confirmed to work. It won’t fix the frozen ball bug, but it will get your captured Pokemon properly saved. Here’s how to deal with the problem.

  • If you run into the frozen pokeball glitch, wait for 1+ minute on the locked screen.
  • Go to Home or the Recent Apps menu and close Pokemon GO.
  • Restart the app. If you caught the Pokemon, it should now appear in your Pokedex.

The ball still freezes, but the extra time waiting means you’ll never lose a caught Pokemon. If the Pokemon was destined to escape, then there’s nothing you can do — it won’t appear in your Pokedex. The decision is made server-side, and you won’t know whether your target was captured until you return to the game.

Don’t worry, if you did miss, the Pokemon should return after a few minutes. For a F2P app, Pokemon GO features fast turnaround time!

Let us know if any of these solutions helped you, and drop a comment if you had an idea of your own.