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Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems, Errors, Questions and Solutions [Part 39]

Welcome to the 39th part in out series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S4. It has been more than a week since the previous part was released and ever since then we have been receiving several emails from our readers concerning this particular model. For those who don’t know yet this series deals mostly with issues that our readers are facing with their devices. We do our best to provide a solution so that they can have the best user experience with their Android devices.

galaxy s4

If you have any issues or concerns with your 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 help you with your concern. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We do however request that when you send us an email try to be as detailed as possible so that we can make an accurate assessment and the correct solution can be provided.

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S4 Unable To Send Text Messages

Problem: I am unable to send SMS text messages. I can receive SMS, and both send and receive MMS. Is anyone else having this issue? If I type a text message, then attach a picture to it, it will go through since it is MMS. But just a plain SMS text message will not work. I get an immediate exclamation point icon and failure alert. I called T-Mobile last night and they had me clear the cache and app data and it was working for about 5 minutes. As soon as I got off the phone with them it stopped working again. I’ve cleared the cache and app data several times, pulled the battery, blah blah blah… It’s a T-Mobile branded Samsung Galaxy S4. All other data and calls work with no problems. It’s super frustrating to receive a text and not be able to reply without attaching a pic every single time!

Solution: When a phone is having problems sending text messages there could be various causes involved, this ranges from network issues, SIM card, or even the phone software. The worst case scenario is if this is a hardware related issue since it will be difficult to fix on your end and you would have to take your phone to an authorized service center.

In your case you mentioned that MMS works fine while your SMS has a problem. The reason why your MMS is not affected is because it uses a data connection when sending out the picture message. A plain SMS message uses a GSM connection.

To be able to determine the cause of this problem you will have to determine first if the network in your area does not have a problem. You can easily check on this by calling T-Mobile. This is always the first thing you should check since no amount of troubleshooting on your phone will solve the problem if the issue is caused by your network.

The next step you have to consider is if whether this is a SIM issue. Usually, if there is a network system glitch and your number is affected this problem will occur. To isolate your SIM and check if this is causing the problem try using a new SIM on your device. If the problem goes away then you now know it is your SIM that is the root cause of the problem.

Proceed to check if a certain app you have installed is causing the issue. This can be done by starting your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the default apps are loaded while all third party apps that you have installed from the Google Play Store are disabled. This allows us to easily isolate the apps in your phone.

  • 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

Once you are in Safe Mode try sending out a plain text message. You should do this a couple of times. If your messages send out normally without any errors then the problem may be caused by an app that you have installed. Use a trial and error method to find out what app this is and uninstall it.

The final troubleshooting step you can perform is a factory reset. This is usually reserved as a last resort since it will reset your phone to its default settings just like when it was new. Be sure to back up your data 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.

S4 Does Not Turn On

Problem: Good day, I have a problem with my Samsung Galaxy S4. Yesterday it died unexpectedly, with about 1/3 of charge left on it. So after trying to put it on charge and getting no response from it I took out the battery. Once I put the battery back in it vibrates and the startup screen shows up for about half a second before it turns off and dies again. Removing the battery doesn’t always give this result, sometimes it doesn’t respond at all. At one point it started up fully only to die again a few seconds later. I tried to start it in safe mode (three button method) but it’s not even responding to that. Any help or advice you have would be great as where I’m from there’s no dealer you can send these things to!

Solution: When your phone dies on you don’t panic as there are several steps you can perform to fix the issue. The reason why your phone will not turn on is that something is preventing it from powering up. This could be caused by the battery, a problem with the software, or worse a problem with the hardware.

The first thing you will want to do is to make sure that the battery has sufficient charge. If you have access to another battery that is known to work and has been fully charged then try to insert it in your phone. If you don’t have access then use the original charger that came with your phone to charge it for at least an hour. Be sure to check the contacts of your charger port and your phone microUSB port for any signs of dirt or debris. Clean it with a toothpick if you see any. Turn on your phone.

If the above step does not work then it’s time to refresh your phone. Refreshing your phone simply means rebooting it but you will have to take out the battery to clear out any data stored in its RAM.

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

Try connecting your phone to your computer using a USB cord. The computer should have the latest version of Kies running on it. If your phone can be detected then this is a good sign since chances are the issue was just caused by a software glitch. You might want to consider doing a software update while you are here. There is an option here to back up your data which I strongly suggest you do before updating your software.

If the above troubleshooting steps does not work one final step that you can do is to try using a new battery and charger (as much as possible make sure it is a genuine Samsung product). If this still doesn’t work then you might want to consider bringing your phone to an authorized service center for checking.

S4 Stuck In Boot Loop

Problem: Hello, My son showed me his phone and it’s stuck on the boot loop. It also says a no command with a dead android in the middle. I tried to wipe and restore but doesn’t work. I have tried looking online but don’t know what sites I can trust for the downloads. Also we have never backed it up. We didn’t think he needed it. If you have had any problems like this please let me know. Thanks for your time and have a good one.

Solution: A phone stuck in boot loop means that there is a problem with its software that is preventing it from completing the boot up process. What you need to do first is to try to clear the RAM of your phone of data. It’s been known that a corrupt data may cause this issue.

  • Turn off phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Take out the microSD card (if your phone has any installed)
  • Press and hold the power button for 3 minutes
  • Reinsert the battery
  • Turn on the phone

If your phone normally boots up then it’s probably just corrupt data stored in your phone RAM that is preventing it from turning on. Turn off your phone again and insert the microSD card.

The next step you should consider performing if the above procedure fails is to connect your phone to a computer with the latest Kies software installed.

Connect your phone using a USB cord to your computer. Run the Kies software and wait for it to detect your phone (make sure to turn on your phone and just leave it even if the dead Android symbol appears). If your phone can be detected then there is a good chance that it can be fixed.

You will see an option on the Kies interface to back up your data. Choose the data you wish to back up and do it now. After backing up your data

  • Go to Tools and choose Firmware Upgrade and Initialization.
  • Enter the name of your phone.
  • Input the model name of your Galaxy S4 (in CAPS). It is found at the back of its casing.
  • Select OK.
  • Kies will now verify if your device is supported along with a warning message saying that all data from your device will be deleted during the process.
  • Click OK if you agree with it.
  • Kies will download and initialize the firmware update. Wait until it finishes.
  • Just hit Continue with every warning message until you reach the emergency recovery process.
  • Don’t forget to put a check on the confirmation message saying, “I have read all of the above information” once you have performed all the required information in the window.
  • Configure your desired information saving option, connect to Kies and switch your phone to Recovery Mode.
  • Hit the Start Upgrade button and wait until the process finishes. Do not interrupt the process.
  • After you see a confirmation message saying that everything is complete, hit the OK button to finish.

Another option to fix your phone is to reflash its firmware using a software called Odin which is installed in your computer. You will need the specific firmware for your phone which you can download from the sammobile website. Instructions on how to reflash your phone can be found at the androidcentral forum.

S4 Does Not Read SIM Card

Problem: Hi, My Samsung S4 does not want to read my SIM CARD. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.

Solution: If your phone can’t read your SIM card then it might be a problem with the SIM. Try using another SIM and check if your phone can detect it. Make sure to use the SIM that is compatible with your phone network (disregard if you have an unlocked device). If your phone can detect the new SIM then your previous SIM is already faulty. If your phone can’t read the new SIM then check the SIM contact point of your phone for any dirt or debris. Also check if there are any damages. If you spot any dirt then clean it with a toothpick.

If the problem still persists then this might already be caused by a faulty hardware. Your best option is to bring your phone to an authorized service center for checking.

S4 Contacts Not Displaying After Update

Problem: Hi, after installing KitKat to s4 and factory resetting it, my contact list is not displaying.  I had taken the backup… Even restoring didn’t work. . However if I type the numbers, it appears that they are stored somewhere. . Not found in sd card or phone memory. . Kindly help. Regards.

Solution: The good thing about this issue is that if you type in a number the corresponding contact name appears which mean that your contact list is still in your phone but it isn’t being displayed.

What you need to do first is to do a battery pull.

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

Once you phone is turned on check your contacts again. Most of the time you should see all your contacts by now.

If you still can’t see your contacts then you might want to change the way your contact list is displayed. With your contact app open click on its settings (the three vertical dots). Click on contacts to display then make sure the dot is set to “All contacts”.

S4 Screen Flickers When Watching Videos

Problem: Hey TDG, I’ve been having a problem with my S4 recently. Sometimes when I watch any video (Facebook, YouTube, mxplayer) the screen starts flickering rainbow colors and gets distorted. Once I close the video it goes back to normal. I’m running on android 4.4.2 and I’m using the i9500. Please help me solve this problem. Thanks in advance.

Solution: When display issues occur when watching videos on a phone it is usually caused by conflicts caused by an app or the software itself. What you need to do first before troubleshooting this issue is to make sure that your phone is running on the latest software update. Updates come with improvements and bug fixes that might resolve this issue.

The first thing to consider when troubleshooting this issue is if your phone has enough RAM to run your video. If your RAM is running low then you will experience this type of issue. To clear out your RAM simply restart your phone.

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

Once your phone is turned on you should immediately try watching a video. If it plays normally then the issue is just caused by low RAM. You might want to uninstall some of your apps that are running in the background but are rarely used.

The next thing to consider is if whether a certain app you installed is causing the problem. To check this you should start your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode your phone will only load the default apps while disabling all third party apps you have installed 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

In Safe Mode try watching videos again. If the problem is now gone then it’s probably caused by an app you installed. Using a trial and error method find out what app is causing this and uninstall it.

If all else fails you should consider doing a factory reset on your phone. This deletes everything in your phone and restores it to its original condition. Make sure to back up your data 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 Camera Upside Down After Update

Problem: I’ve had my S4 since Feb 15, 2014, since the latest Android OS OTA update, I’ve had an issue with my camera & have tried everything & have looked for an answer everywhere with no luck correcting this issue. When I open my camera, it is upside down, everything, the icons, text & everything on the camera menu, I take photos & then have to flip them in the gallery, videos are upside down & I can’t turn my phone when viewing photos either. So far, no one has had any answers for this & a factory reset did nothing to fix this issue. Thanks!

Solution: Several owners of the S4 who have experienced this same problem say that a factory reset eliminates the issue. However in your case it does not work. Try to check for any new software updates for your phone through the OTA method. You should also try to disable the “Auto-rotate screen” feature in your Display settings.

If no updates appear when checking OTA then try to check for updates using the latest version of Kies installed in your computer. To do this just connect your phone using a USB cord to your computer then run the Kies software. You will be notified if an update is available.

You might also want to try to consider using some of the third party camera applications found at the Google Play Store and check if the photos taken are still upside down.

S4 Display Is Upside Down

Problem: Dear droid guy, I’ve been having problems with my Samsung galaxy s4. I don’t know exactly when it started but here’s the problem: the screen rotation does work, but it’s mirrored… Pictures I take are upside down and I can’t watch videos full screen because then the rotation is automatically screening it upside down. I have tried a couple of things but nothing seems to work. Do you know anything that might solve this problem? Thanks in advance.

Solution: This is a similar issue to the one above however this time even the videos on the phone are also upside down. First make sure that your phone is running on the latest software update. If no updates appear when you check OTA then do so by checking using the latest Kies software.

Connect your phone to your computer running on the latest Kies software. Once your phone is connected it will download the necessary USB drivers if it hasn’t done so previously. Once the drivers are installed and your phone is detected it will notify you of any updates if there are any.

Just in case your phone is already running on the latest software update then I suggest you do a factory reset. Just make sure to back up your data first as this 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.

S4 Deleted App Does Not Download From Google Play Store

Problem: I downloaded an app from the play store and had it on my phone for a while but then I deleted it. Now I want to use it again, so I went to the play store and pressed ‘download’ and the green download bar went to 100% but then it says invalid platform or something like that. Why am I not able to use it again?

Solution:  This might just be a minor glitch in your phone. Try restarting your phone then clear the cache of your Google Play Store 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 Google Play Store application.
  • Tap Clear cache.

Go to the Play Store and try to download the app again.

If that does not work then log out your Google account from your phone then log in again.

S4 Won’t Charge, Needs Original Charger

Problem: Ok so today I plug my charger into my galaxy s4 and it tells me. This is not the original charger. It’s the same charger I been using over and over and over. So I tried all the usual things. Changed chargers. Remove battery. Tried plugging it into a cpu. ETC ETC. At best I can get it back on using my laptop. If i unplug it…it will die immediately. It will not charge. Battery becomes a red X. Again telling me to use the original charger. I left it off for like an hour came back and it had a picture of the android green guy saying downloading Do not turn off. How can that be if my phone is dead? WTF? I’m going crazy on how to fix this. I’ve tried all the usual stuff. Is there a step I’m missing or do I need a new phone? Thank you for all help.

Solution: There might be a problem with your charger as this isn’t the original charger that came with your device. The S4 charger is designed to provide it with the exact power that it needs. Other chargers have different voltage outputs which may either be too low or too high and may cause damage to the phone in the long run. What I suggest is to try using an original Samsung charger frost on your phone. Assuming that the battery is already faulty try replacing your battery with a new one as well (make sure it is a genuine Samsung product).

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