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Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 3]


This is apparently the third part of our Samsung Galaxy S4 problems and solutions series. While problems cited in this post are not complicated, they are very common so if you are experiencing some issues with your phone right now, there is a possibility your problem is included in here. If not, however, you may browse the first two posts:

1st Part: Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 1]

2nd Part: Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 3]

Hundreds of questions are yet to be answered so please be patient as we would be able to address those problems in time. For those who have issues with their Samsung Galaxy S4 or any Android phone, email us at [email protected] anytime. Also, to get the latest updates, subscribe to our newsletter.

Q1: Hello, I have a Galaxy S4 and ever since the most recent update I am no longer able to change my ringtone or notification tone when I go to change it shows the new selection but still use the old tones. Any advice? Thank you very much.

Answer: There could be just some corrupt data resulting due to firmware update from Android 4.3 to 4.4. Let’s start from the very safe and uncomplicated way to fix this issue: clearing of the cache partition. You need to boot the phone to recovery mode to do this, from there you can choose ‘wipe cache partition’ option. Reboot the phone after wiping the cache partition and try to set a new ringtone or notification. If the problem persists after doing this, there’s no other option but to do a factory reset. The transition from Jelly Bean to KitKat is somewhat significant so some data might have been corrupted along the process. Clearing the cache partition will force the phone to cache a new set of app data while doing a factory reset will clear all your customizations, settings, etc. These two procedures are the most logical ways to solve this problem since it started after you did an update.

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Q2: Hey, I’m emailing you to get some advise for my Samsung Galaxy S4. I had left it on charge over night and awoke to turn it on. Once it had turned on all the normally white writing has turned pink and the screen is pretty unresponsive (all of the buttons work) if I continuously press the lock button (top right) eventually the screen will recognize my touch and let me unlock my phone (I have a pattern lock). I have since tried to factory reset but every time I try my phone will just restart itself using the volume up and power button combo. So it will come up with the blue writing (recovery booting) in the top left but after nothing will happen. No idea what to do now so this is why I’m asking for your help 🙂 Regards.Matt

Answer: At first my suspicion was a screen problem, but it seems to me this problem can be fixed by a factory reset. Well, you said the device won’t respond to your touch commands; perhaps, it’s just frozen or something. Try booting to Safe Mode first. If you can, then a possible third-party app is causing the problem. However, when the screen turns pink even when in Safe Mode, then the phone is in serious trouble. Boot into recovery mode and do a factory reset from there. If you successfully did a factory reset and the problem still shows, bring the phone to an authorized technician so it would be checked for physical damage.

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Q3: My S4 battery life drains so fast. My battery not lasting longer anymore. Most times my phone will be very hot like heated iron. Please what’s the solution?Gozie

Answer: Battery draining problems aren’t caused by just one factor. To minimize power use, close all apps except the ones you use, turn off Bluetooth, mobile data and Wi-Fi if not in use. Adjust your screen’s brightness to a reasonably lower level and turn off syncs. Reboot the phone to Safe Mode and see if it would still heat up like when it’s on the normal mode. If it doesn’t, then the problem is caused by third-party apps. Battery draining and heating up problems are connected; if you can make battery drain to a lower level, the phone wouldn’t heat up like that.

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Q4: How do I stop music ads from coming up on my Galaxy S4? I didn’t get them initially, when the phone got an update they started. Thanks.Brian

Answer: You may have installed apps that seem spammy. Advertisements that keep popping up are often brought by apps from developers who want nothing but to monetize their useless apps. That’s why it is imperative you download and install apps from reputable developers only. If this problem happens just recently, then uninstall the app(s) you recently installed. If you cannot find the app and these ads are bugging you every minute, backup all your data and do a factory reset to delete spammy services installed on your phone.

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Q5: Hi, I was going through your blog half way through I thought my issue doesn’t seem to be mentioned. My Galaxy is getting charged when connected with USB to my laptop but neither my laptop recognizes it nor Kies or Samsung Galaxy does. What am I doing wrong? Same thing is happening with my husband’s Galaxy S4. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.Vinita

Answer: Are you sure you’re using the correct cable? Have you installed the necessary drivers for  your computer’s USB port? Have you installed the Samsung KIES correctly? First off, restart your computer and reboot your phone. When the computer is up and ready, connect the phone. If still it’s not recognized, uninstall KIES and re-install it. If the problem persists, try using a different computer for it and see if the phone can be detected without problems. The thing is, it is normal for the phone to be charged when plugged into the computer but you should know the wires where electric current flows are different from the ones where data is being transmitted. The point is, there is a possibility that the data wires were cut off. Using a different cable may also resolve this problem provided that the issue is not with your computer.

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Q6: Hi, after updating my Samsung galaxy S4 to android 4.3 I am having problems adding new contacts to my cellphone. If I try to create a new contact, my cellphone just freezes and gives me the error. I attached a picture of the frozen screen.Thabo

Answer: It could be a compatibility problem between the Android 4.3 and the Contacts app. First thing to do is reboot the phone if you haven’t done it yet. Then go to Settings > Application Manager > All tab > Contacts. Tap Force Close first, then Clear Cache. Go back to home screen and launch contacts again. Try creating a new contact and see if the problem is still there. If it is, there’s no other choice but to clear data.. Please note that you may lose data, contacts and settings when you do this.

Q7: Hello. I was sent a software update but deferred it so I could do it when on a WiFi connection. But I left it too long and the update link disappeared! Where can I now go to get that update again? Thanks for any help.Mark

Answer: Update links aren’t posted forever. In the U.S., major carriers even send notifications of the updates by batch to minimize stress on their servers.  Well, there are two options here: you can either download a custom firmware and install it into your phone or you can initiate the search for updates through your phone. If you’re in the U.S., though, major carriers are in the process of rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat updates so you might want to wait on that.

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Q8: Hello, today my Galaxy S4 fell and screen broke, causing it to have a variety of colors. I am planning on taking it to a store to get it fixed, but I was wondering if there is anyway that I can factory reset my phone through my computer? Your help would be great, thanks!Nichole

Answer: If you can boot the phone to recovery mode, you may be able to do a factory reset using your computer via the Samsung KIES. Download and install KIES then reboot  phone to recovery mode. Start the KIES from your computer then click Tools > Firmware update and initialization > enter your phone’s model number > enter serial number of the phone > connect the phone to your computer > follow on-screen instructions.

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Q9: My S4 does not remember any Wi-Fi passwords. I never had to enter a Wi-Fi password with my iPhone once I entered it once.  In other words, if I went to my son’s house the iPhone immediately connected to his Wi-Fi and when I got home it immediately connected to mine.  However, with the S4 the Wi-Fi box at the top sometimes turns off but even if it is on I still have to force it connect to my home Wi-Fi.  I have followed your instructions and selected the auto connect.  It seems to me there should be a save password option, is there one that I am missing.  Samsung cannot even figure it out.  I notice that the problem seems to occur if the I connect the phone to a different network.  Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.Alan

Answer: I can’t see no reason why the password isn’t saved after you entered it and selected auto connect. But try to let your device forget the network you want to connect. Turn Wi-Fi off then back on and let the phone scan for available networks. Connect to the network, enter your credentials and see if that would fix the problem. If you are using your service providers Wi-Fi managing apps like AT&T’s Smart Wi-Fi, disable it and see if that solves it.

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Q10: Dear sir,  my Galaxy S4 having problem that 3G network doesn’t work. Normally “H” sign for 3G network,  but my phone always show “E” sign network.  I already reset the phone still 3G network not work.  Please help me for this problem. Thanks. —  Kennedy

Answer: It’s not about your phone, it’s about the availability of HSPA network in your area. H stands for HSPA / HSDPA while E is for Edge. Apparently, the latter has slower data transmission speed but you can’t really do anything if that’s the only available network catered by your service provider. To know more about this, call your service provider. They would be able to explain why you’re getting E instead of H in your area. But I’m pretty sure it’s not about the phone as it will automatically switch from E to H as long as it can detect the latter.

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Q11: Hadn’t seen this one covered in your last couple of articles. My only issue with the phone relates to the contacts. The phone often freezes when trying to search or dial. It doesn’t matter if I’m using a 3rd party app or the contacts app that came on the phone. I do have a lot of contacts – 3000ish so that may be part of the problem. Run into this one from anywhere else? Thanks.Randy

Answer: Try uninstalling the third-party contacts app first then search for or dial a number. It matters because 3rd party contacts apps still needs the services of the stock Contact app to be able to find a specific contact from your phone. Basically, these 3rd party apps would just give you a new or better interface but the job is still done by the stock service. After uninstalling the app and the problem still persists, clear Contact’s cache and data. But I assume you have a backup of all your contacts, if you haven’t, then make one to make sure you wouldn’t lose a single contact. Or, you may want to sync it with your Google account.

Q12: I own a Galaxy S4, I-9505. I bought this from U.K, contract free. Currently I am using it in India. initially all was good but problems started after updating to Android 4.3. The problem I am having is that the WiFi doesn’t turn up. Occasionally it connects with several times trying to switch on the WiFi button,  but mostly it doesn’t turn up at all.Gargi

Answer: Check your network first and make sure that the signal it’s feeding your phone is stable. I’m pretty sure you haven’t done a factory reset after the update so if this problem keeps on bugging you, bring the phone back to its original settings. It’s actually just a matter of clearing some corrupt data on your phone. Where the corrupt data came from? Well, updates often leave some data unusable by your phone and if you won’t clear those, your device might still be using settings from those data and that’s where problems enter. Clear the cache partition, too.

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Q13:  Hi I’ve been facing problems installing games on my gt-19500 I usually get a notification saying that ‘couldn’t install on USB storage or SD card’ and I have like 4 gigs free space on both USB and SD card .. do you know what would be the problem? There is also a problem after putting on the s-view cover I face problem with pulling down the notification tray , sometimes it doesn’t work till I restart and I think there is a problem with the cover. I would highly appreciate it if you looked into my queries and my important question is the storage problem, it’s very annoying because updates get installed and none of the games do.Sagar

Answer: I understand you’re having problems installing game apps. Try installing them to your internal storage first then move them to SD card once done. But are you sure that your SD card is still working properly? Perhaps one of the reasons why you can’t install on it is because your  phone cannot read from it or cannot detect it. By the way, are you using the original S-View cover or a third-party? If it’s the original, it could be that the phone is just freezing by the time your pull the notification tray. If it’s third-party, well, we really cannot predict how 3rd party accessories can affect the normal operation of our phone.

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Q14: Hi. I am using s4 GT-i9500 octa-core in Pakistan. Firstly I could see an update of 4.3 on server but now when I want to download 4.3. It shows that “the latest updates have already been installed”. However I haven’t downloaded 4.3 yet. Please guide me. I will be very thankful to u…thanks.

Answer: It could have been better if you included the Android version you have on your phone right now and whether or not the device is from one of the service providers in Pakistan. Odds are, your phone may be running Android 4.3 by default or your service provider haven’t rolled out 4.3 yet.

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Q15: Dear Sir, I use the S4 with email set up through Microsoft exchange services. When I forward an email to my office, the email address of the person who sent the original email disappears-leaving only their name! This doesn’t happen when you hit the reply button to the sender. How do you forward emails and retain the email address of the person who sent the original email? Many thanks.Philip

Answer: You mean the email address disappears from the Sender’s field? If so, it’s because you’re forwarding the email, so you’re email address will be seen as the sender and not the one whose email came originally. But you will see the entire details of the original sender in the message itself. I hope this answers your question.

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