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Fixing Common Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems and Errors [Part 20]


Hello guys, welcome to the 20th segment of our Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems and Solutions series. The issues I included in this post as well as the ones we previously published all came from our readers. They were sent through our support email and we didn’t make them up. So, if you have issues with your Galaxy S4 right now, browse this post to see if I have addressed them already. Also, take time to browse the first 19 parts of this series. I’m sure you could learn a thing or two about your phone.

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13] [Part 14] [Part 15] [Part 16] [Part 17] [Part 18] [Part 19]

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Screen turns off, error message pops up

Q: Good day! I have just updated my phone to the latest software 4.4.2. I have been having difficulties and problems with it especially with regards to messaging. While I type a message, after 5 to 10 seconds of typing and obviously not completing my text message, the screen turns off. And when receiving a message, a pop up appears. I need to dismiss it before I can actually read my message in my inbox. I have been looking into the settings for a million times already but I couldn’t see where I can delete or maybe deactivate the said pop up screen. Please do help me with this because honestly it’s frustrating rather than enjoying my updated phone. Thank you and I hope to receive a quick response. — Mariold

A: I’m curious to know what the error message is. But since you didn’t include the actual error message here, I can’t provide a more specific solution to this issue. It is an app-related problem so the immediate remedy for it is to clear both cache and data.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Touch Settings, and then More tab.
  3. Touch Application Manager.
  4. Swipe to the left twice to select All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap Messaging.
  6. Tap both Clear Cache and Data buttons.

If the procedure can’t fix the problem, boot the phone to safe mode and observe if it still persists. Reset to phone to factory settings if that is the case.

Phone keeps rebooting, how to copy contacts

Q: I have a Galaxy S4 GT-I9500. It keeps rebooting. How do I get it to stop? How can I safely remove contacts from the phone so I don’t lose them if I have to do a master reset. I’ve tried to open in safe mode as you suggested, but it’s not working. Am I doing something wrong? — Jay

A: I don’t the frequency of the reboots so I don’t any idea if you can still do something like backup a file here and there and probably import your contacts. If the phone could stay a minute or two, then you can actually import your contacts to your microSD card. But I would advice you boot to Safe Mode just make the phone stay on longer, then follow these steps:

  1. From any Home screen, tap Contacts.
  2. Tap the Contacts tab, if necessary.
  3. Tap the Menu key.
  4. Tap Import/Export.
  5. Tap Import from SD card.
  6. Choose Import vCard file, and the OK.

As to the boot loop, well, a master reset may solve it.

Hands free mode keeps turning on

Q: I’ve had my S4 from Sprint since it first came out with no issues until recently. I’m thinking it may have been about the time of my KitKat update but now whenever my phone connects to my home network the hands free mode automatically turns on and my phone starts talking to me. But it only does it on my home Wi-Fi and not others. I’ve read everything but haven’t seen this problem in any of your articles unless I just missed it. Can u help me please. — Chris

A: There were actually a lot of users who have encountered this problem. There were others who said it is a bug, but no, it isn’t. It is just a glitch. Majority of those users had this problem shortly after the KitKat update. It can be fixed by doing the master reset but not all people want to go through all the hassles for backing up data, restoring them and reinstalling apps and setting the phone like it was before.

Again, you can fix your phone any time through factory reset but in case you don’t want to do it now, there’s a workaround:

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Touch Settings.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Choose My Places, then tap Car.
  5. Tap Select Method, then choose None.
  6. Tap OK.

Now the hands free mode won’t automatically turn on.

Phone doesn’t automatically switch networks

Q: Dear Droid Guy, I have an interesting problem where my phone will not connect to the mobile data network if it loses the WiFi connection. Sometimes it auto-switches and sometimes it doesn’t causing me to restart my phone. I think that it first started when I upgraded to the Kit Kat OS via an automatic push from my wireless provider which is T-Mobile.

I have called them several times and they even replaced the phone. With the new phone, everything worked great for about 3 days then the same thing. I either have to connect to WiFi or cellular network in certain situations. My wife has the same phone but is still running the Jelly Bean OS and doesn’t have this issue. Thanks, Carmine.

A: Later versions of Android are a lot smarter than before and one feature makes mobile phones connected 90% of the time when enabled–the Auto Network Switch feature. When enabled, the phone will automatically scans and connects to either Wi-Fi or mobile data. By default, this feature is disabled to minimize data usage. So, the first thing I want you to do is to check if this feature has been enabled by your carrier before they gave you the phone.

  1. From any Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap the Connections tab.
  4. If necessary, tap the Wi-Fi Switch to On. The Switch moves right and turns green.
  5. Tap Wi-Fi.
  6. Tap the Menu key and choose Settings.
  7. Choose Advanced.
  8. Enable Auto network switch.

If this feature was already enabled, then there must be an app that interrupts the proper operation of the phone especially the switching between networks. That said, boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Now, if the problem still happens in safe mode, the problem is with the pre-installed apps or core services and there’s no better way to fix it than to perform factory reset. However, if the problem was fixed, then you need to find the app that causes it and uninstall it.

Can’t use Swiftkey voice commands when texting

Q: Hi, I just learned about you so I don’t know if you’ve already encountered this problem and have solved it or not. When I use my Swiftkey keyboard, I lose the ability to ‘speak my texts’ – I can only type. I can use my voice in other areas on the phone – in Google, for example. I have lost the speech part when texting. Any idea how to fix that? Swiftkey themselves are of no help – there are 4,000 FAQs and you can’t search by a keyword. Who can navigate THAT?Thanks! — Louise

A: It’s a minor problem Louise, however, you need to narrow down what the problem is before you can fix it. I’m not sure what messaging app you’re using but I want you to try using Swiftkey voice command in other apps. For example, if you’re using the stock text messaging, try installing other messaging apps like GoSMS and the like.

Now, if you can use Swiftkey voice commands in other apps, the problem may be just in the messaging app you’re using. Clear both the cache and data of that app. In case you can’t use Swiftkey voice commands in other apps, it has an issue. Either you contact Swiftkey for it or clear its cache and data as well.

Can’t download apps from the Play Store

Q: Hey Droid Guy, so my Galaxy S4 has been making me upset the past few days. One of the biggest issues I have is that it does not download apps from the Play Store on WiFi. WiFi works with Internet and multiplayer apps, so it isn’t the WiFi. I have force stopped and cleared all data from Play Store and Google Play Services to no avail. I also booted my phone into recovery and wiped cache from there. Nothing has helped, but I was hoping you could. I’m on 4.4.2 not rooted. Anything else I could do? I don’t want to keep using my 4G to download. I have a limit. Thanks! — Clayton

A: Well, it happens sometimes. I have encountered this problem a lot of times already and most of the time clearing the cache and data fixes the problem. But since you’ve tried that already and it didn’t work, there’s one button you need to hit — Uninstall Updates.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu key.
  2. Touch Settings, and then More tab.
  3. Touch Application Manager.
  4. Swipe to the left twice to select All tab.
  5. Scroll to and tap Google Play Store.
  6. Hit Force Stop first.
  7. Then, hit Uninstall Updates.

That should do it.

Phone can’t connect to certain games

Q: Hi, my Galaxy S4 (sprint) will not connect to FB on certain games. I didn’t have any problems connecting to any of these games until I had to swap my old phone in for a new one (same exact model) I can connect to candy crush and dice with friends just fine, I cannot connect to family fued, who’s smarter than a 5th grader, who wants to be a millionaire, and just about any other game I get off the play store. However I had all these games on my old phone and was able to connect just fine, and this was also after the latest update that screwed a lot of things up. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling and also everything is up to date. I’m at a loss, hoping you can help! Thanks, Steph.

A: There’s a lot factors that may have contributed to this problem but I don’t think the issue is with the apps. I think the problem is with your internet connection. So, the first thing you should do is make sure you can connect to the internet. Once you’ve done that, try to open one app and see if you can connect to the game’s server.

If the problem persists even if you have a good internet connection, I would suggest you perform factory reset. If it were true that the recent update messed the phone up, then the master reset should take care of the problem. That’s the only suggestion I could offer for you right now since there’s no more information in your message. You sure did include the names of the games you’re having problem with but there’s no way these games would malfunction at the same time. That’s why your internet connection is the primary suspect here. I hope you get my point.

Facebook showing notification even when offline

Q: Hi Droid guy, had my S4 (i1905) and I love it. Since updating to KitKat I keep getting Facebook notifications, mostly during the night, even when I’m not connected to data or wifi.

My morning alarm goes off, I look at the phone and up on the notification bar there’s at least one notification from Facebook nothing else, not Twitter or any other social media app. Confused. Many thanks. — Laurence

A: I think it’s not really a problem with the phone or the new firmware. It could be just a minor issue with the Facebook app. It could have been helpful if you included the actual notification you get from Facebook but since you didn’t, let’s try to troubleshoot it.

First of all, clear the cache of the app. If that doesn’t work, go with clearing the data. You may have to setup your account again but if that solves your problem, it’s worth it. In case that wouldn’t work, uninstall the app and reinstall it. That should do it.

However, if you’re still getting the notification even when offline, then go to application manager, choose Facebook and uncheck the box that says Show notifications. I hope that helps.

Phone can’t send messages

Q: The main negative issue we have with the S4 us since we updated to the Kit Kat the messages do not always go through. Using the basic message program since we have gotten our S4 and it has worked on both my phone and my wife’s phone until the update. It now will work about 1/3rd the time and you need to hit the message to go again 3 -4 times. I have read on line that alot of people are having issues with this. I would love any ideas that you can give me to help my wife not go crazy.   Other than this we love the S4. Takes amazing photos, most the time.

A: “Message.” That’s just a vague word. I wish you specified if you meant a text message or MMS. You see, the stock messaging app can send text messages and every mobile phone in the world can do that using cellular network. Attach photos or videos (or even emojis) to those text messages and they would become MMS and that would make things a little complicated.

MMS messages needs mobile data to be sent (and received). So, you need to have a plan that comes with data to use the service. However, even if you’re subscribed to a data plan, if your phone’s APN settings are incorrect, you still can’t send those messages.

The simple workaround for this problem is to send text messages only; don’t attach any image or multimedia files. However, if you can’t let the day pass without sharing photos with someone through text messages, then call your service provider and ask the rep to walk you through checking the APN on your phone and edit them to become correct if necessary.

Phone can’t boot up successfully

Q: Hey, I’m a S4 user with my dead S4 now. It was working well until last night it just switch off and never want to boot up again. As I need to unplug and plug back the battery to have the boot up screen but it never successfully boot up. After showing the picture as I shown below it went blank and the screen went black. I tried holding volume down + power button + home button. It show up until “downloading do not turn off target” it will shut down itself. I have purchase a battery replacement and it still having the same problem. I’m getting curious is it my S4 Power IC or S4 Power Amplifier IC failed? Help me out guys! Thanks a lot! Kind Regards, Marvin.

A: I encountered this problem twice already and those cases occurred because the phones got wet. The thing is, it won’t happen without a cause. So, my question to you is, what happened to the phone prior to this problem?

Another thing, if you root the phone and installed custom ROMs, make sure you installed recovery as well, otherwise, you will be getting this message over and over whenever you boot to recovery.

I don’t know what made you think it’s the “power IC” that has a problem but I’m pretty sure you already have a hunch what the real issue here. After all, it’s your phone and you know anything and everything that happens to it. So, my suggestion is, have a technician take a look at it.

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