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Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 4]

galaxy s4 broken display

This is the fourth part of our Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems series and I’m pretty sure there would be more of this next week because there are still hundreds of emails we need to answer. Don’t miss out on the first three parts of this series though:

Samsung Galaxy S4: Problems, Questions, Solutions, Workarounds [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

For those who don’t know yet, you can send us your questions or problems at [email protected]. All emails will be read, except spams of course, but we don’t guarantee we can respond back to every email we receive. Posts like this will serve as our answer. So, if you don’t want to miss out every part we publish, subscribe to our newsletter and we will deliver updates right to your inbox.

Galaxy S4 has crack on the screen

Question: I currently have a Galaxy S4 and it has a small crack on the inside, the screen won’t light up. However the led light works and the sounds still works from the home screen. I would just like to find out what I have done, will it just need a new screen?  — Bradley

Answer: I assume the crack is visible enough and if it has adverse effects on the phone, you can almost be certain that part needs to be replaced. So, yes, you need to have a new display panel installed on your S4 so you could use it. But I would recommend you call your service provider first and ask if things like this is covered by warranty. If it is, then they should provide you a new unit instead of replacing just the screen.

Galaxy S4 battery drain, laggy phone

Question: Hi, I am using an S4 for some time.  At the start, I could use the phone for the whole day. But as months pass, the battery don’t last as long till now coming to a year, it last less than half a day. No change in my usage. Primarily for phone and browsing net for news and info. 

Also I find that the updated OS of 4.3 is making my phone laggy and my contact list takes a long time to generate compared to instant on opening previously. Is there issue with the new OS 4.3 with the original programs? Tong

Answer: You know, a quick search on Google about issues with Galaxy S4 after the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update would tell you there are hundreds of people out there having problems with their phones. Among the most common issues are the fast draining of the battery and the phone keeps on lagging.

The thing is, it is difficult to pinpoint what causes the fast battery drain or why the phone becomes unresponsive and slow sometimes. But let’s take into consideration the fact that you updated your phone to Android 4.3 and then these problems happened. I am almost certain that when you look at the battery usage, you will find the screen to be the biggest battery drainer. There are several things you could do to help minimize the screen’s take on the battery including lowering down screen brightness level.

Since you’re also experiencing some lags or freezes, I would advise you to do a factory reset. This procedure, albeit a hassle to most users, may just be able to solve both the battery draining problem and the lags. If that doesn’t solve the problem, there’s nothing we could do but wait for the Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Wi-Fi restarts the phone

Question: Hi there, I hope you can assist.

I’ve noticed that I’m having problems with my Wi-FI on my phone where it automatically restarts the phone whenever I switch WiFi on. How can I stop this from happening?Lorenza

Answer: That’s weird. Honestly, I think I’ve never encountered such problem before. I mean, I know there are a lot of cases reported by owners who experienced shutdown and reboot problems, but the Wi-Fi switch?

Perhaps it is just a little glitch on the system. Doing a power-shock might help. You need to turn the Wi-Fi off including mobile data and while the phone is on, remove the battery and leave the phone without power source for a minute. Turn the phone back on then switch the Wi-Fi on. Observe if the phone restarts. If it does, try booting it Safe Mode and observe. If the problem still persists, there’s no other option but to bring the phone back to its original settings by doing a factory reset via the recovery mode.

I know you could do a hard reset through the Settings of your phone but since you don’t exactly know when the phone turns itself off automatically, the safest way to do that is through the recovery mode.

Galaxy S4 spyware problem

Question: Hello, I suspected someone had downloaded spyware onto my Galaxy S4, so I did a factory reset.  When the reset was complete, all of the apps I had before began downloading.  I assume this means that if there were spyware on my phone, it would have downloaded again too, is that correct?  If so, how do I get rid of it? Thank you.Amanda

Answer: Yes, if the spyware is attached to any of the apps you previously installed into your phone, then re-installing all of them back will bring the spyware back. If I were you, here’s what I have to do:

  1. Do a factory reset.
  2. Install antivirus first before any other app.
  3. Keep the antivirus running.
  4. Discriminately install apps into the phone.
  5. Do a full scan after all apps are installed.

I hope this helps.

Galaxy S4 sound problem

Question: Hey there. So I’ve had my Galaxy S4 for a little over six months. About two weeks ago my S4 started acting up. There was no audio coming out of the phone and I made sure that I had checked all the settings to make sure that it wasn’t on Silent or Vibrate. There was simply no sound coming from the phone everything from music, notification tones, ringtones, and videos. The real big issue is that even during a phone call I won’t be able to hear the other caller because no sound is coming from the speaker.

I’ve already tried fixing it myself but have come to no avail. I’ve already tried wiping the cache partition, uninstalling the last apps that have been installed recently, and have even come to the last resort of an entire factory hard reset. Alas the problem still persists and my phones seems to be slower and less responsive now as well. I fear it’s a software problem on the phone or the ROM.

If you could help me out that would be great.

Thanks, Justin.

Answer: Thanks for telling me everything that you did. So far, you did everything already. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much we can do about your problem. I’m pretty sure you have come up with a thought that is more of a hardware problem than a software.

I once experienced a problem like this before. Since I always root my phone from day 1, I can always try different ROMs just to prove the problem isn’t with the software. The point is, you have already proven it’s not a software issue, so have the phone checked by an authorized technician, or you could ask for a replacement unit from your service provider.

Galaxy S4 screen mirroring problem

Question: Hey Droid Guy,

I have two questions about Galaxy S4 screen mirroring.  My carrier is Verizon. 

First, I connect via Samsung dongle and it worked great first couple of weeks.  Then phone started updating everything and it quit connecting.  Sometimes after repeated attempts at re-setting, it will connect. Phone always finds dongle ok and starts to connect, then gets to screen that says “Share multimedia contents of phone…” then says “Screen mirroring has been turned off.”  I read online not to update Samsung software, so I uninstalled Samsung hub and link software updates.  Neither seems to help. 

Second problem I have with screen mirroring is it will disconnect from phone data and connect to wi-fi, even if I have wi-fi turned off phone will automatically turn wi-fi back on and disconnect phone data.  I have unlimited data plan so I’m not worried about using too much data, and phone signal is stronger than wi-fi.  I’m currently living temporarily in an RV park and I don’t know whose wi-fi my phone keeps finding and connecting too, but it’s very weak signal and will drop unexpectedly. 

I screen mirror sling box so I can watch cable TV from my house in ND, but skips badly on wi-fi and won’t stay connected on phone.  I saw I can get “wired” adapter, would that be better way to go.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks

Randy

Answer: It sounds like a compatibility issue to me. But here’s what I need you to do:

#1. Boot the phone into recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. You said the phone updated everything in it so there’s a great chance the firmware was also updated to the latest version. Wiping the cache partition will delete files used by apps to run properly. Don’t worry, the phone will cache new set of data once you reboot it.

#2. If wiping the cache partition won’t solve your problem, try doing a factory reset through the recovery mode. After you did that, try to find for firmware updates and install it if you can find one to make sure the phone is running the latest firmware version before you install everything back. This may also resolve your Wi-Fi problem, which I believe is one of the factors why you have screen mirroring problems in the first place.

As to your question in regards to the wired adapter, well, yes. Wired connections are always more stable than wireless.

Galaxy S4 charging problem

Question: Hello, I’ve had trouble charging my Galaxy S4 recently. The phone randomly says its docked even though it isn’t (never has been) and isn’t plugged in to anything! I’ve tried different chargers which work most of the time but sometimes it takes a really long time to fully charge or on the lock screen where it usually says “charging _ _ %) it says “unlock your device to use as a media device” while the device is charging. Sometimes the phone just won’t charge even when I try different cables. I’ve even tried a different battery! Please help!

Answer: Where is the original (OEM) charger and cable, by the way? It seems to me that this problem of yours occur because you’re using replacement accessories. To answer the issue of taking so long to charge the phone, well, you can’t actually expect to get what the original charging unit could provide. Like you, I do like to use third-party accessories but let’s face it, Samsung engineers know what they do than us when they designed the device together with its battery, charger and cable. The Samsung charger has a higher power output to charge the S4’s battery at a reasonably faster pace than when you’re using uncertified third-party chargers. So, if you still got the original charger with you, use it.

Second, the cable. A USB data cable have several wires inside the insulation. Two of them are used to deliver the right amount of electricity from the charger or USB port to the device. Another set is used to deliver data to and from the phone. If you’re using a non-Samsung cable, there is a possibility that the wires’ positions aren’t the same as the original, hence, the message telling you to unlock the phone to be used as a media device.

Samsung Galaxy S4 camera problem

Question: Hi there, I have a frustrating problem with my new Samsung Galaxy S4 camera.  As I prepare to take a photo the image looks reasonable but once I take the picture and review it I find it is completely underexposed and looks darker.  I have tried altering different settings but I would’ve expected a decent image in auto mode.  Was thinking it might be a fault in the software and considering taking it back to the store I purchased it at. Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated! 

Thank you,

Nicole 

Answer: Well, it could be software problem. The thing is, there were very few owners who complained about the lighting of the photo taken by the Galaxy S4 camera. But then, there is always that possibility.

There are factors that could affect the quality of the photo. As what you’ve said, the photo looks darker than you expected. I can’t imagine how dark is your dark so we can’t arrive at an objective conclusion about this one. Perhaps, the subject is simply underexposed, or the lens is obscured by dirt, or your screen brightness is set at a lower level, or there is a problem with the camera sensor, etc.

The point is, we have our own set of standards when it comes to the quality of photos we take. But if you’re confident enough to think there’s a problem with your phone’s camera, please don’t hesitate to consult the services of a technician, or bring it back to the store where you bought it and have it replaced.

Polaris 5 crashes on Galaxy S4

Question: I am having many issues with Polaris Office 5. When ever I try to open a document I get a pop up that reads: “unfortunately,  Polaris Office 5 has stopped” do you have any suggestions on how to stop this from happening?

Answer: You know, the best thing you could try to resolve this problem is by going to the Application Manager and clearing the app’s cache and data. But I need you backup your important document before doing so as you may lose some of your data.

If clearing the cache and data won’t solve the problem, uninstall Polaris Office 5 and re-install it back. Basically, this problem may have been caused by corrupt data. If you recently updated your phone, however, then this problem showed up, I advise you to do a factory reset through Settings just to clear everything up on the phone and give it a fresh start.

Galaxy S4 won’t shutdown

Question: As bizarre as this sounds, I cannot get my s4 to turn off or restart! I press & hold the side button and it will not prompt the screen to select restart/off/airplane etc. I also lost the icon tray at the top of the screen that displays missed calls, messages and so forth. I’ve had this phone for a while with no problems. Ugh. Help! I’d there an over ride or something? Thanks.Amy

Answer: It could be that there is a problem with your phone’s power switch or it just wouldn’t respond to it. That said, I need you to pull the battery out of the phone, leave it without power source for at least a minute, place the battery back and turn the phone on normally. If that works, then it was just a temporary software glitch. However, if you cannot turn the phone back on, bring the phone to an authorized technician to have the power switch checked.

It seems to me that the phone is pretty messed up. I hope it didn’t fell off or something to have caused physical damages to the phone. As to the icon tray, you can bring it back by doing a factory reset. You really didn’t tell me why the phone started acting like this so, I can’t really provide a solid advice about this problem.

Issues with Kies 3 for Galaxy S4

Question: When opening Kies I got a notification that I needed to download Samsung Kies 3 to use with my device.  I downloaded that, opened it up and connected my phone.  I was able to synch my contact but each time I try to synch my Outlook calendar it times out and says it cannot complete the process.  I also tried backing up my phone and it never progresses past 0%.  I cancel out after 10 minutes. Any ideas? Thanks. 

Answer: You’re not the only one complaining about this problem after downloading Kies 3. But the best thing to do to resolve this problem is to uninstall the update. If that doesn’t work, you will need to uninstall Kies 3 then re-install it back.

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