I will answer a bunch of questions in this post. I have already published 8 parts of our Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems and Solutions series so if your problem cannot be found here, feel free to browse the previous posts. Links are provided after the break.
I provide advices on what to do when things happen to your Android device but I always stay on the safer side of things. Meaning, the procedures I provide are based on workarounds that work and my own experiences. You always have the option NOT to follow them if you think they aren’t gonna work or could compromise your device’s security.
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Now, for the problems and questions I’ve answered in this post, here they are:
#1. Hook up Galaxy S4 to TV
Hi team, I’ve seen my friend play videos from her S4 to her TV and I don’t know how to do it or what are the things I need to do so. I have a huge TV set but it’s not a smart TV and I would like to play my videos on my S4 on it so the entire family can see it immediately without me setting up the computer. I understand that I could just copy those videos to my computer, and then to my flash drive and just insert it to the TV and play it. But I really wanted to just plug my phone and play videos. And please, explain to me the steps as if I’m a 6-year old because I’m a noob when it comes to technology. Thanks. — Glyza
There are two ways (wired and wireless) you can mirror your Galaxy S4 to your TV set and both use special equipment. The former is cheaper than the latter but I will guide you through setting up your device on both.
For this method to work, you need to purchase the Samsung HDMI adapter. You can get one from Best Buy for $39.99. You must also have an HDMI cable, which will bridge the adapter to your TV set. Here’s the simplest way to set it up:
- Plug one end of your HDMI cable to the HDMI Port of your TV and plug the other end to the adapter.
- Using your Samsung Galaxy S4 charger, power the adapter by plugging charger’s cable to the port opposite of the HDMI socket.
- Now plug the microUSB to your phone’s charging port.
- Set your Galaxy S4 to mirror what’s on the screen.
- Set your TV to stream feed from HDMI input.
That’s it, you should be able to watch your videos and pictures to a larger screen from your phone.
As I mentioned earlier, this method would be more expensive as it uses a specialized Samsung hub, which you will plug to your TV. On Samsung’s website, this AllShare Cast Wireless Hub is worth $99.99. Here’s how you set it up:
- The other end of the HDMI cable must be plugged in to your TV while the other end on the hub.
- The dongle will flash red after it’s plugged it; press the reset button just beside the HDMI port and the light will flash blue, which means it’s ready.
- Now, in your phone, go to Settings > Connections > Screen Mirroring and turn it on.
- The phone should be able to detect it and it is often labeled with the word “dongle,” so if you can see that, tap on it.
- Your phone will now start mirroring in the big screen.
And that’s all there is to it. In case you encounter problems, I have written an article on how to troubleshoot it.
#2. Cannot establish connection to the server
A couple of days ago I couldn’t connect to the Play Store on my S4. I hard reset my phone and now it keeps saying cannot establish a connection to the server for and Google apps on my phone.
It is actually more of an internet connectivity issue than anything else. Please make sure you have an active internet connection and try downloading apps again. If you’re using mobile data, make sure you have correct APN settings and that you’re in the area where there is good coverage. A reboot may often solve data connectivity issues, so try that first. If you were using Wi-Fi, try connecting other devices to the network and see if you can browse the web. If all else fails, try uninstalling Play Store updates. Go to Settings > Application Manager > Play Store > Uninstall Updates.
#3. Complete action using…
Hello, I’ve read all 5 parts of your questions and answers to problems with the Samsung Galaxy S4 but I didn’t see anyone else on there having the issue that I’m having. Whether I’m attempting to use Chrome or trying to make a phone call it asks me if I want to “complete action using” then it says “always” or “just one”. When I choose always, it tells me to go to application manager and clear defaults. But when I do that nothing happens and my selection of “always” is never remembered. This has happened since I installed the 4.3 update. I’ve read that I can some the issue by uninstalling the update. Is this true? If so, how do I uninstall the update? Thanks! — Jill
Yes, clearing defaults is the best way to address this kind of issue but it seems like your phone won’t store your preferences. I actually encountered this problem before with Chrome but I understand it happened because it wasn’t the default browser. But when I chose ‘Always’ and re-opened it, I was asked the same thing. I ended up uninstalling the Chrome and then reinstalled it. The problem was solved after that, so please if you could try that please do because that could solve your issue. But in case the problem persists, try wiping the cache partition.
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up, Home, and Power keys.
- When the phone vibrates, let go of the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
- When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
- Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
- Press the Power key to select. The phone will automatically restart after the cache is wiped.
#4. Screen lags when swiped
Dear Droid guys, I’ve just updated my S4 from Jelly Bean to Kitkat 4.4.2 last week. My games are running worst than before. It lags when I swipe the screen around. This did not happen before the update. Please help.
There are a lot of reasons why apps aren’t running the way they did or your screen is not as responsive as before. But since you explicitly said it didn’t happen before the update, then your problem is software-related. I suggest you do the reboot first before anything else, but I hope you already did that. Now, here is a short list of what you can do:
- Check memory usage to know if the phone has almost maxxed out its RAM usage. If it does, close all recent applications, end all active apps, clear memory and try not using live wallpapers.
- I also have a feeling that it is Touchwiz that’s causing the lag, so try clearing its cache and data. You may lose your custom Home screens once you cleared the data.
- Wipe cache partition via the recovery mode so that the phone may be forced to cache newer and fresher data.
- If all of these don’t work, you may have to perform Factory Reset.
#5. Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting (rooted)
Hello, I’ve just updated my Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) from 4.3 jellybean (rooted) to 4.4.2 KitKat. But now, I’m having problems with my Wifi. When I try to turn my wifi on it only “starts up” for 0.5 secs (so doesn’t start up).
I think this has something to do with my security thingy. When I have Knox enabled I get the message that there has been an unallowed action. I rooted my phone (the 4.4.2 version) and I tried to force uninstall Knox but this didn’t work.
I think my wifi is broken because of the security settings, because when I go to the option from the locking screen, I can only choose PIN and Pattern lock (doing some things on my phone now so I can’t say for sure). Thanks for offering this service! — Luuk
Like you all my phones are rooted so I could unleash their full potential. I, too, have experienced problems after I rooted my device and tried uninstalling core applications but the good thing when you’re rooted is that you can try different ROMs to know which one runs better and smoother than the stock.
The point is, if you’re sure this problem didn’t happen before you rooted your phone, you always have a couple of options; you can install a third-party ROM (I would recommend CyanogenMod) or you can flash the untouched firmware back to your phone. I haven’t encountered any KNOX-related problems personally so I cannot confirm if your problem is related to Samsung’s security suite or something.
I’m pretty sure you have tried everything you know to resolve this problem but sometimes it is better to start fresh. Flash the stock ROM back and let’s see what happens after.
#6. Trouble downloading torrent file
Dear sir, my S4 has recently got a new problem regarding downloads from browsers (google chrome, opera, dolphin) or even torrent apps like BitTorrent. The browsers show a “failed” message, whenever I download any file, any format. The torrent shows “file missing” error.
First I thought a specific web page or a site may be causing this problem but it’s the same with every site and the same with any torrent file from any site (I have tried multiple sites). I tried shuffling the apps, thinking that the problem might be with the app but the same thing happens in every browser and every torrent app. Nothing gets downloaded from any browser except saving pictures (which is a kind of download of course). This problem started after I updated to Kitkat. Is there any possible solution for this problem? Thanks in advance. — Ishan
I don’t usually download torrent files but I tried it just to give you an accurate answer. I installed BitTorrent, browsed through torrent sites offering free downloads and hit the download button. My phone, as expected, asked me to complete action using any apps listed so I chose BitTorrent. Download was finished in a few minutes.
Now, I don’t know what happened to your phone because you didn’t provide info about it prior to this problem but I think it’s just a matter of choosing which app to use to download the torrent file. So, I would suggest you backup all your torrent files to your computer, uninstall any of your torrent apps and clear defaults of your browsers.
For this example, let’s focus on the Chrome. Follow these steps:
- From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
- Choose Settings and then tap the More tab.
- Select Application Manager and swipe until contents of the All section are displayed.
- Scroll to and tap Chrome.
- Tap the Clear Defaults button.
You may now re-install the torrent app you were using and browse through torrent sites using Chrome. Choose a torrent to download and you will be asked which service to use to download the file, select your torrent app, of course. I hope this helps.
#7. Missing Remote Controls
Hi, I can’t find Remote Controls anywhere on my S4. I just want to use this extra security feature that came with the phone but when I go to Settings, it’s not there. Can you help me find it please?
First, try to go to Settings > More > Find my mobile section > Remote controls. This is where you can set your remote access in case your phone got lost. However, not all Galaxy S4 have this feature. Some carriers have disabled it for some reason. I think Verizon is one of those carriers, but I cannot be sure. So, if your phone is not running on any third-party ROMs and you can’t find Remote controls in the Settings, it could have been disabled by your provider.
I would understand if you don’t want to use third-party apps to handle this kind of task. Good thing new versions of Android come with a feature offered by Samsung’s Remote controls and if you were to ask me, I would prefer using it. While Android Device Manager is still in it early development, at least, it is rooted into your phone’s system unlike the other security suites. To enable this feature, go to Settings > More tab > Security > Device Administrators > enable the Android Device Manager. It pretty much does what Remote controls offer: find the phone, lock it and erase it at will.
#8. Sync is turned off
Since updated to 4.4.2 on my S4, my sync won’t stay active. After enabling, within a couple of minutes, sync is turned off. Any suggestion? — Bernie
I have a feeling the phone was set to run sync on schedule. You may check / disable the scheduling to see if it makes any difference.
- From the Home screen, touch Apps.
- Tap Email, and then the Menu key.
- Tap Settings, and touch the account you want to sync.
- Tap Sync schedule, and then Sync schedule again to set the frequency.
- Tick the option Never.
- Touch Peak schedule, and choose Never.
- Now, reboot your phone and see if it syncs successfully.
If the problem persists, backup all your data in that account and delete it from your phone, and then set it up again.
#9. Hiding files in microSD card
I used to hide my files with File Hide Expert app but with the new update I am unable to hide my sd card files with any of the app. Please suggest any app to perform the task so the files are kept in SD card and gets hidden with password.
I also used the app before and I think there’s no other app that could do what File Hide Expert does but the problem is it hasn’t been optimized to run on Android 4.4 KitKat…yet. If you take a look at the app’s “Updated” section, it says the last update was on December 8, 2013. I already emailed the developer and tried visiting her website (which doesn’t work), so all we can do for now is wait. Again, I haven’t found any app that could do the same but there are workarounds.
Hiding media files
In case you just want to hide media files like pictures, videos, audio tracks, etc., you can do so by saving a single file in your SD card. Here’s how:
- Connect your phone to your PC and make sure it’s detected.
- In you computer, launch notepad.
- Save the blank document and under the “Save us type” choose “All Files.” The filename should be “hidded.nomedia” and hit the Save button.
- Copy the file your phone’s microSD card (external storage).
- In your phone, open your file explorer and locate “hidden.nomedia” file.
- Rename it to “.nomedia”
- All your media files will be hidden.
Hiding the entire folder
You can also hide an entire directory by just changing its name. If you have files you want hidden, I suggest you create a directory and put them all in there.
- Open your file explorer in your phone.
- Locate the folder you want hidden.
- Rename the folder to whatever name you can think of but precede it with a period / dot (.) so it would appear like “.hiddenfolder”
- That’s it, the folder and all the files in it are hidden and only you can find it.
#10. Unable to detect SIM card
Hi. I have a problem with my Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-19505. Sometimes when I’m working it just show me this message: “Unable to detect your SIM card. Your device will restart to check your SIM card (in attachment is the photo). Is any way to fix this ‘problem’?
You and I both know that when it comes to SIM card, your provider could provide more answers than we do. There is, of course, ways to somewhat “remedy” this problem provided that is only some kind of loose connection.
- Pop the back panel of your Samsung Galaxy S4 and remove the battery.
- Get a small piece of paper and fold it to the size of the SIM card.
- Place it over the SIM card slot and insert the battery to secure it in place.
- Doing so will put a small amount of pressure on the SIM card slot forcing it to have better contact with the receptor.
- Boot up your phone and observe if the error message still pops up randomly.
- If so, then you could request SIM card replacement from your provider.
I hope this helps, somehow.
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