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Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems, Errors, Questions and Solutions [Part 38]

Welcome to the 38th part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S4. This series is by far one of the most popular that we have owing to the fact that a lot of readers send us emails regarding this model. This is also the reason why we have an extensive coverage on this particular model. If you are following this series then you know by now that we have already answered hundreds of questions regarding the issues our readers are facing concerning their phone.

galaxy s4

If you own a Galaxy S4 or any other Android device for that matter feel free to send us an email at [email protected]. We will be more than happy to assist you with your concern. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We do however ask that when you send us an email try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.

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S4 Back button Randomly Stops Working

Problem: Two weeks ago I got a brand new S4, android version 4.4.2. I’m very unhappy with the back button, however. It has a mind of its own. It randomly stops responding when touched even when I have the touch sensitivity turned up. At first I thought it was the fault of the OB Defender case so I replaced it with a UAG case and the back button started out working fine but it too stopped responding when back soft key is pressed. In both cases said button performed normally as soon as cases were removed…but only for a while. It seems to slowly become less and less responsive. Out of frustration I’ve counted pressing the button over 100 times before it works.  The AT&T store would not swap the phone since I could not duplicate the problem when there (Murphy’s Law, you know). I hope you know of something to get this fixed! Thanks in advance for your help!

Solution: Does your phone also have a screen protector installed that also covers the back button? If it has then try removing it as well. Check your back button after removing the screen protector and see if it works normally.

If it still doesn’t work then you may want to do a factory reset on your phone to eliminate any software related issues that may be causing the problem. You will want to backup your data first before proceeding as it will be erased in the process.

  • Turn the phone off completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

Observe your phone if the back button is still unresponsive. If it still is then it’s probably a hardware related issue in which case you have to go back to the AT&T store and have your phone replaced.

S4 Not Getting KitKat Update

Problem: Hi, I am using a Samsung galaxy s4 lte. My baseband version is i9505 xxuamdc andmy build number is jss15j. I9505 XXEUMKF. My mobile is not getting software update to KitKat. When I am trying to update it says latest version is already installed. But my software version is 4.3. Help me please.

Solution: The availability of the KitKat update will depend on the release schedule of your carrier. If your carrier has not released the update yet then your phone won’t get the update. You can contact your carrier as to when they plan to release the update. As an alternative you can also connect your phone to a computer with the latest Kies software installed and check if the KitKat update is available.

If you can’t wait for the official KitKat update from your carrier then you can choose to update your device through unofficial means. This will however require some knowledge of Android processes such as flashing of ROM. What you will need is the exact KitKat firmware for your specific model and a software called Odin which you need to install in your computer. We can’t detail the exact procedure here but if you are interested you can check out some of the popular Android forums on how it is done.

S4 Display Flickers, Showing Stripes

Problem: I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy s4 used, and everything seems to work just fine on it, except when the screen brightness isn’t turned all the way up and the camera app is opened, the screen flickers a bit and shows stripes of different colors. It doesn’t seem to affect the final product of the picture as long as it’s a still photo, but the stripes of colors do show up in videos. If the screen brightness is all the way up, everything is normal. Is my phone defective?

Solution: It looks like this could be a hardware related issue. One possible reason why this is happening is that the phone may have been dropped previously. We should however not discount the possibility that this could just be a software related issue which we will be troubleshooting. First make sure that your phone is running on the latest software update. The update contains improvements and bug fixes that may address this display issue.

First try to restart your phone. It’s amazing how many issues can be solved simply by restarting your phone. This clears up your phone’s RAM and optimizes it for use during boot up. What we are trying to determine is if some data stored in your phone RAM is causing this issue.

  • Turn off phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Press and hold the power button for at least 3 minutes
  • Re-insert battery
  • Turn on your phone.

Once our phone has fully started try to check if the issue still exists. If it does then proceed to the next step.

We need to clear the cache and data of the camera app of your phone. This eliminates any issues that may be caused by your camera app.

  • From the home screen, tap Apps.
  • Scroll to and tap Settings.
  • Tap More.
  • Tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to view the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap on the Camera application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear Data.
  • Reboot your phone

Try to check if the issue still exists, proceed to the next step if it does.

Our next step is to determine if certain third party apps are causing this problem. There may be a recent app that you installed in your phone that is having a conflict with the camera thus causing the flickering and stripes. You must start your phone in Safe Mode to isolate all third party apps downloaded from the Google Play Store.

  • Turn the device off completely.
  • Press and hold the Power button.
  • Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo appears on the screen, release the Power button.
  • As soon as you release the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down key.
  • Continue holding the Volume Down key until the phone has completed the reboot process.
  • If you can read ‘Safe Mode‘ at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down key. Otherwise, repeat the process until you can boot the phone to Safe Mode

If it is an app that is causing the problem then it should not appear in Safe Mode. Your task right now is to find out what that app is and uninstall it.

The final troubleshooting step that you can perform to eliminate any software related causes is to do a factory reset on your phone. It is important to make a backup of your data before proceeding.

  • Turn the phone off completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

If after performing the factory reset the problem still exists then this could already be a hardware related issue. You will have to bring your phone to an authorized service center for further checking.

S4 Stuck In Android System Recovery

Problem: I have a Galaxy S4 which I accidentally dropped creating a dent in the volume bar and sending 2 crack right across my screen UNDER my screen protector. Only my Volume down button works right now.  Ever since then, my phone was acting normally until this morning, when my two touchscreen buttons on either side of the home button weren’t working. I tried restarting it and ended up in “Android System Recovery”. I’ve chosen “reboot system now” and it always ends in “error”. Wiping data/factory reset also doesn’t work. So basically nothing works. I’ve only ever dropped my phone twice and both times I’ve cracked it. Is there a way to get out of system recovery, or should I get the phone completely fixed instead? Please help! Thank you

Solution: From what I can see it looks like the Volume Up and Home button of your phone is activating on its own thus when you press on the power button you will be directed to the Android system recovery screen. Try tapping constantly on the Volume Up button and see if you can loosen it then see if you can restart your phone normally. If that does not work then there’s really nothing much you can do aside from bringing your phone to an authorized service center for checking and repair.

S4 Update To KitKat Question

Problem: I own an S4 that is rooted and runs on 4.2.  Previously I deleted a lot of the bloatware instead of just freezing it with Titanium I can’t do a straight up firmware upgrade, I’m going to have to do a factory reset to have all the default apps back, then do the upgrade. Plus I want to root it again, so there’s making sure that works on KitKat, as well as some of the issues that can come with firmware upgrades. Also before the reset I’m going to have to back everything up. About the only upgrade I’m familiar with is improvements to ram etc. to give phones a better battery life. There are others, but Samsung already has them covered by default with the S4. Basically I’m curious if the hassle (and a bit of risk) is worth it to upgrade my S4 to 4.4?

Solution:  Despite several owners of the S4 complaining of issues they have faced when upgrading to KitKat 4.4 it’s definitely a good decision to upgrade. The latest software version comes with several improvements such as better security, visual aesthetics, better response time, and a whole lot more. If you experience any issue after the upgrade just perform a factory reset on your device to clear out the old data that’s most likely causing the issues. Be sure to backup your data first.

S4 No SIM Error

Problem: Hi, I have an S4 running android 4 4 2 build number: KOT49H. I9505XXUFNB9 and for the past month or more it’s been giving an error saying The device will be unavailable until restarted with valid sim card, Its getting very annoying now…. I have rang my carrier and they swapped my sim for a new one but still no luck. Then thought maybe it was the device so i replaced the SIM-Memory Card Reader and still the phone does the same thing, Is it possible it’s a ROM issue as i changed that about 4 months ago or more, even though it worked fine for well over 2 months.

Solution: Seeing that you already have a new SIM and you have changed the SIM reader of your phone we can now concentrate our efforts on software related causes. You mentioned that your phone is using a certain ROM? If possible can you do a factory reset or try to reinstall the ROM again? Be sure to backup your data first before performing this procedure. Your phone may have downloaded an update that is causing it to not read the SIM properly.

Another way to resolve this issue is to bring back the stock firmware of your phone and see if your SIM can be detected.

S4 Com.outlook.Z7:Engine Draining Battery

Problem: I noticed that my Galaxy S4 battery has been draining pretty quickly lately. I went into settings and then battery and there is a service name com.outlook.Z7:engine that is using about 50% of my CPU. I used to have outlook but uninstalled it because there was too many problems. I am unable to force stop this service as it is greyed out. Can someone please tell me what this is and how do I get rid of it? I tried resetting my phone and everything else I could think of yet it still is running. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Solution: If the Outlook app was downloaded from the Google Play Store then it should be totally removed once you uninstall it. Since the service is still running then it was not completely removed. To completely remove it you have to do a factory reset on your device. Make a backup of your data before performing this procedure as it will be erased in the process.

  • Turn the phone off completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

The com.outlook.Z7:engine should be deleted from your phone by now. Go ahead and perform the necessary updates on your phone.

S4 Constantly Reboots After KitKat Update

Problem: I have an un-rooted Galaxy S4. Ever since I received and installed the OTA upgrade to Android 4.4.2 a couple of weeks ago, my phone has been continually crashing and rebooting, probably around 10 times per day. The most irritating and persistent instances of this are during phone calls – it’ll last around a minute, then reboot, killing the call. This happens during around 80% of calls. It also crashes at other times (overnight, for example, when it’s just charging and not being used). The screen is also unresponsive at times – I press the power button to come out of standby mode, draw my pattern to access the home screen, and then can’t open any apps. The only way to bring it back is to re-enter standby mode, then come out of it again and hope that it works at the second attempt, which normally it does. Everything was completely stable and working correctly before the update, the phone never self-reset or crashed out of apps (which has also started happening now) so I can only conclude that Android 4.4.2 is unstable. Any help much appreciated

Solution: Whenever issues arise after a major software update on a phone it is best to perform a factory reset. The reason why these issues exist is that data from the previous software version may not have been completely removed on your phone. This old data conflicts with the new software version thus you will notice several issues popping up. A factory reset is one way to get rid of this old data. Just make sure to backup you data first before performing this procedure.

  • Turn the phone off completely.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons.
  • Release the Power button when the phone vibrates but continue holding on to the Volume Up and Home buttons.
  • When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release both the Home and Volume Up buttons.
  • Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
  • Press the Power button to select it.
  • Using the Volume Down button again, highlight ‘delete all user data.’
  • Press the Power key to select it.
  • Once the reset is complete, choose ‘Reboot system now.’
  • Press the Power button to restart the phone.

S4 Battery Drain Issue After Update

Problem: My S4 is an unrooted device. I woke up recently and my S4 said it had downloaded a system update and prompted me to install it. Ever since then, battery life has dropped significantly, and the battery charges very slowly. Looking at the BATTERY page in SETTINGS, “Android OS” consistently uses 67% of battery all the time, whereas before it was maybe 17%. I changed nothing else and installed no new apps at that time. The only change has been the system update. Previously, I could leave my phone unplugged all night and lose maybe 10% of the battery overnight. Now, in the morning, the battery is dead, from a charge of about 75%, and the phone is off (obviously). This update is a disaster. Previously, the update crippled external SD card usage. System updates used to bring new features and improved performance. Now, they take away functionality and damage the phone’s usability. Does anybody have a fix for this yet?

Solution: Try rebooting your device and see if that works.

  • Turn off your phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Press and hold the power button for at least 3 minutes
  • Reinsert the battery
  • Turn on your phone

This process clears out any data stored in the RAM of your phone that may be causing this issue.

S4 Loses Signal Randomly

Problem: My S4 has started losing signal randomly and usually turns off right after. It seems to turn off just under small amount of stress too. The phone has been fine up until last week. It loses signal on all, all icons remove and are replaced with the no reception crossed out circle. Sometimes the Wi-Fi, works sometimes it all stops. It’s a bit odd that it seems to solve temporarily just by plugging in the charger.

Solution: This issue may be caused by a faulty battery. Once your battery does not have enough charge your phone will shut down. Try to replace your battery with a new one and see if the problem still occurs. Be sure to use an original Samsung battery for your phone.

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