This is the 26th part of our Galaxy S4 Problems and Solutions series and it seems that we’ll be doing this for quite a long time based on the number of emails we received from our readers. These problems, however, aren’t that complicated. All you need is to know what caused them and you would know what to do to fix or work around them.
We are always open to your questions or problems so if you have any, feel free to email us at [email protected] I urge to provide details on what your problem is like error messages, behavior of the phone, etc. so that we would know where to begin our troubleshooting.
Phone cannot receive Hotmail messages
Problem: Hello, I bought my phone in Switzerland where I live part of the year. When I leave the country then return, I no longer receive email from my hotmail account. Gmail-yes. All other functions work, just no emails. Help?
Solution: First and foremost, try to login to your Hotmail account on a web browser in your computer and check if you have new messages. If you were able to login, then at least we know it’s not a credential issue and if there are new messages it means there’s really a problem with the setup in your phone. You need to remove the account, clear the email client’s cache and data and the setup the account again. That should do it.
However, if you cannot login to your account then there’s no problem with your phone; you need to verify you have your correct username and password. If your password was changed without your knowledge, there is a possibility your account was hacked. Being account recovery as soon as possible.
Transfer photos from phone to computer
Problem: I tried to transfer my pictures onto my laptop “photos” file and I don’t use any particular website, I just use the files on my laptop. But when I am connected from my phone and it is being used as the camera in order to transfer the pictures, it is still charging, but it pulls up on my computer so I can view the files before I do anything with them. Once it pulls up the files, I have to find them and found the photos in “DATA” but when I click on data, it takes forever to load all the pictures, and even then, you can’t see the pictures. I have still tried to transfer them onto the other folder, but it won’t even transfer over. Could it be that I am roaming? Please help. I have a lot of pictures and want them to be on my computer as well in case anything ever happened to my phone. Thanks.
Solution: Actually, transferring photos from a Galaxy S4 to a computer is a lot easier than what you’re experiencing right now. I don’t know why you’re seeing “Data” folder when all photos and videos are stored in /storage/sdcard0/DCIM/camera directory. I don’t know what’s really happening with your phone but to make things a lot easier for you, download and install Samsung KIES on your computer; file management using that software would be painless and you don’t have to worry about driver-related issues.
Locating lost Galaxy S4
Question: Hi, I just read your article titled “How to Locate Missing Galaxy S4 Device Successfully” and I had a question about how the function works. So I lost my phone and I tried locating my device online. But it keeps saying that my device is offline and that I’d have to wait till it gets online before the tracking can start. At first I thought that’s just because my phone was out of battery so it automatically turned off. But now I am wondering whether the fact that I had already deactivated my SIM card could affect the chances of locating the device or does it only require that my phone gets turned on in order for it to be “online” again. Thank you for your time. Best, Henry.
Solution: Samsung is one of the few companies to have integrated device-tracking capabilities that really work on top of Android’s built-in device manager. Yes, it is possible to successfully track your smartphone as long as you’ve done the necessary requirements before the phone got lost.
In your case, the Galaxy S4 has Remote Controls service and it works. However, it needs to be turned on so the owner could control it remotely. Additionally, it must be connected to either mobile data network or Wi-Fi, otherwise, it would be just another “cool” feature in your phone. Lastly, it is necessary to have setup your Samsung account to take advantage of this feature.
Same things are necessary for Samsung’s Find My Mobile service. Without wireless connectivity, it is almost impossible to track your phone even if it’s turned on.
Phone’s screen with crack and unresponsive after the update
Problem: Hello, I bought my galaxy S4 active around July of last year and the screen had a mini crack probably two months later but I don’t think that is a factor to what’s going on with my phone now. I did download the recent update when it first came out and i have also been experiencing the email loading problem. Up until this morning my touch screen was responsive. Now I can only answer calls with air activation other than that I cant access anything in my phone via touchscreen. Is there any way I can get it to respond again? — Brittany
Suggestion: First and foremost, reboot your phone. If it were a glitch or temporary device problem, a restart can fix it. I understand your phone had a little crack on the screen but continued to work fine but you also had issues with your email. I’m not sure if the recent update fixed your email issues and we cannot also assume that it caused the phone’s screen to be unresponsive because there is always the possibility that the crack on the screen can cause issues.
I would suggest you boot the phone to Safe Mode to find out if the screen responds well while in that state. If it won’t respond to touch commands, then perform factory reset after you made backups of your important data. This is to rule out the possibility that a glitch in the firmware caused by the recent update may have resulted to this problem. However, if factory reset can’t fix the problem, it’s time you brought the phone to a technician and have it checked.
Phone can’t connect to Wi-Fi
Problem: Hello, I really hope you can help me, I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and having a problem connecting to the home network. I had no problems before, but the router was updated and since then I cannot connect to the wifi, it just says Saved and Secured but that’s it. I have been told that my phone might not be able to support the software update, is there anything i can do to fix this? Regards Norma.
Solution: Yes, things like that could happen due to compatibility issues between the network equipment and your device and if it were my problem, I wouldn’t hesitate to contact my provider and have them replace the router.
This problem is actually common and I know a couple of fixes; both require you to access your router’s settings page. So, if you think that’s a hassle on your part, then contact your service provider immediately. Otherwise, you can try changing your router encryption from AES to TKIP or vice versa. The purpose of this is to know which type of encryption works with your phone. If that doesn’t fix it, then try changing channels. Again, the most feasible solution is to have that router replaced.
Galaxy S4 tripping off
Problem: Good day, my S4 constantly trips off, after using it for an hour or more, even after its been fully charged. Any possible solution to this problem?
Suggestion: Well, you can only fix the problem if you know what the problem really is. So, the first thing you should do is determine what caused the trip off; boot the phone to safe mode. If it still trips off while in that state, then it’s not a third-party app that causes it. Now, if you have a spare battery or could borrow one from a friend, try that on your phone. If it still trips, then I’m afraid you’ll to perform factory reset but back up all your data first. You should know at this point that there’s no guarantee the problem will be fixed by factory reset. If this was the case, then you need to visit a technician and have the phone checked for possible hardware issues.
Phone asking what launcher to use
Problem: When i press the home button at the bottom, a message on the screen comes up stating “complete action using Touchwiz Home easy or Touchwiz Home”. Thanks in Advance. — Umar
Solution: This is a common issue with Galaxy devices but it’s not something you should be worried about. Many users claimed that clear the cache and data of Touchwiz will fix this problem but the compromise is that all your icons and widgets on the Home screen will be lost. Another workaround is to clear both the cache and data of the service called SetDefaultLauncher; you can still find it under Application Manager.
Emails reappear after having deleted
Problem: Using Galaxy S4 my emails are not deleting. Really frustrating as I’m trying to keep my email in box clear, when ever I delete an email it reappears the next day in my inbox… I have tried then deleting from the recycle box, this makes no difference. Please advice? — Laura
Solution: I have experienced this problem before both with my Gmail account and my company email. Those who may have encountered this problem may suggest to remove the account and set it up again…that could work. But the effective way to deal with it, based on my experience, is to simply clear both the cache and data of the email app you’re using. You will lose all emails you’ve downloaded to your phone before so you better back them up before doing that.
After clearing the data, you will have to setup your account again and this time emails come in and if you deleted some of them, they won’t come back anymore.
Phone keeps freezing
Problem: Please help lately my phone is freezing up it won’t allow me to move from screen to screen. for example, when I’m looking at a text and I try to go back to the home screen to use the phone it won’t do anything unless I power it off.
Solution: There are a lot of factors that could have contributed to the deterioration of your phone’s performance. What you need to do are:
- Clear off your phone’s RAM
- Clear cache and data of Touchwiz
- Wipe the cache partition via recovery mode
- Backup your files such as your pictures, videos, music and delete them from you device.
- Backup all your data and perform factory reset.
Sorry if all these steps are broad but you haven’t provided much information for me to know what caused the freezes.
Widgets lost after updating
Problem: I have a Galaxy S4 and after the KitKat update I lost most of my widgets (from home screen and app drawer). Initially I thought it was because of the update and was cool with it until I looked on my brothers Galaxy S4, updated to KitKat, and he has widgets that I am missing. They are mostly third-party widgets.
Solution: There is no problem here and this isn’t an issue with the phone or the KitKat update either. All you need to do is reboot your phone so apps that were previously installed before the update will be optimized and placed where they were located before; the same thing goes for the widgets. So, again, just reboot your phone. Please note it may take more that a couple of reboots to bring everything back.
WiFi is unstable
Problem: I’ve been trying to find an answer to this issue, and came across your series of articles. Maybe you can help. Running 4.4.2 on my stock AT&T SGH I-337, I keep getting a notification with the WiFi icon, saying “Your Internet connection is unstable.” it happens at home (where I’m 10 feet from the router) and at the office. Samsung support has been of no help. Any idea what’s going on here?
Solution: Many have encountered this problem before and while there were a lot of workarounds and remedies suggested, there only a couple of procedures that actually work; wiping the cache partition and/or factory reset.
- Turn off the device.
- Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, Power key
- 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.
Phone doesn’t have vibration
Problem: Hi, I have had my S4 for over a year and recently just ran out of manufacturers warranty. Never had a problem before this warranty ran out. Now my phone has lost all ability to vibrate. I have checked every setting to turn it off and on but still no vibration. Also I have done the master reset but still no vibration. Also periodically it tells me that a SIM cannot be found. That being said i have removed and replaced SIM card but it still does it. This phone has been in an OTTER box since the day it was bought new and has seen no water damage or been dropped. Everything is in perfect condition except for what i stated. Please help me if you can. Thanks, Seth.
Solution: The last time I opened an S4 without vibration, the vibrator was busted. The owner of the phone ended up buying a vibrator, so I got the chance to open the vibrator. I expected that the coil was burnt but it wasn’t. I found out later that the problem was with the connection of the coil; the other end was detached so electricity couldn’t flow through leaving the vibrator busted.
The owner of the phone said that the phone just stopped vibrating one day even though there wasn’t any liquid or physical damage to the phone. This could also be the problem of your phone only that yours may be a little complicated as it seems to affect the phone’s capability of detecting the SIM card. There’s nothing we can do about that so I suggest you bring it to a local tech in your area.
Galaxy S4 internet connection problem
Problem: Hi. I have Samsung Galaxy s4. And I have been using it for the past 8 months. It worked smoothly. But since yesterday, my phone does not browse anything. It is connected to WiFi. I can also use Facebook on it. But if i type something else in the search box it doesn’t browse it.
It just says that the website took too long to respond or you have internet connection problem.
But I have never had this problem before, I have been using it since start. But now suddenly this problem. Plus i also cant download anything from Play Store. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with my phone. Please help. Thank you. — Natasha
Solution: Since you didn’t mention what troubleshooting procedures you already did, I assume you haven’t done any. So, the first thing I want you to do is take the battery out while the phone is on and the press and hold the power key for a minute. I’m not sure what caused the problem but if it were a simple glitch, this procedure will fix it.
If this doesn’t work, then I want you to reboot your network equipment such your modem and/or router to rule out the possibility that your network may have issues.
Try to forget your Wi-Fi network on your phone and let the device scan and reconnect. Test your connectivity by launching a browser and open some sites. If cannot browse any site, then continue troubleshooting your connection.
If you have other devices, let them connect to your network and if they could, there’s no other option but to perform factory reset to bring the phone back to its working state.
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