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Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems, Errors, Questions and Solutions [Part 40]

Welcome to the 40th part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s been around a week since we published the last part and ever since then we have been receiving numerous emails regarding this particular model. For those who don’t know yet, we help out our readers by giving them troubleshooting tips on how to solve the issues that they are experiencing with their mobile device.

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 any concern that you may have with your mobile device. 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 in describing the problem so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.

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S4 Stuck In Boot Loop

Problem: My friend’s Galaxy S4 is behaving very strange. I have no idea what lead to this but I am trying to assist him to resolve his issues. This is what happens at the moment. When I insert the battery in the phone, it immediately begin to boot and displays the boot initialization logos. After 3 seconds the screen goes blank for 6 seconds and then the boot logo appears again for 3 seconds. This boot loop continues until the battery is flat or I remove it. I have tried to start it in Safe mode but doesn’t get a response when do the Volume Up + Home + power key It just continue with the loop. However, when press the Volume down + home + power buttons the custom OS message pops up, but then disappear again after 3 seconds regardless of the up or down volume keys are pressed. When I plug the USB cable in, the boot logo doesn’t appear but an empty battery image appear and disappear at the same 3 seconds on, 6 seconds off interval, but the battery doesn’t seem to charge. It also doesn’t get picked-up by the computer when I plug it into the laptop. ​Any ideas or suggestions what I can try next?​

Solution: An Android device that goes into a boot loop is an indication that its system software has a problem. I’m assuming that this particular model that you are using is running on a custom OS since you mentioned it in your email. The quickest way to solve this issue is to reflash the custom OS to your friend’s phone following the same procedure that was used when the OS was first installed. This will however delete all data stored in the phone so before doing so make sure that a backup has been made.

Before reflashing the custom ROM you can try to follow the troubleshooting steps outlined below to see if the phone will go back to normal.

Make sure the battery of the phone is fully charged. If you are unsure of the battery status just leave your phone connected to the wall charger for 2 hours before proceeding.

Restart your phone

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

What this does is it clears out any corrupt data that may be stored in the RAM of your phone. By removing the microSD card we are also trying to eliminate it as a potential cause especially if it is faulty.

Boot to Recovery Mode

  • 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.
  • Go to “Advanced” and Choose “Wipe dalvik-cache”
  • Go to “Mounts & Storage” and choose “Wipe /cache”.
  • Reboot phone

If after performing the above troubleshooting steps the phone is still stuck in a boot loop then you can go ahead and reflash it.

S4 Bluetooth Signal Is Weak

Problem: Hello, First off, Thanks for all the articles! I have a problem with my Verizon Galaxy S4 (Sch-i545). I’m running Android 4.4.2 ota update. Never rooted or modded in any way. About a month ago my Bluetooth got really weak signal from one day to the next. I always have a Blueparott Xpress headset in my ear cause I’m always driving. The problem I’ve experienced is the Bluetooth signal is very weak. If my Bluetooth is on one side of my head and the phone on the other it will disconnect. Same with my galaxy gear. It can connect just fine, but they have to be inches apart for them to pair. I unpaired, soft reset, safe mode, hard reset, wipe cache, factory reset, replaced the rear housing (where antenna is), today had the Bluetooth chip re-flowed on the motherboard, and antenna replaced. Still same. Please, please help! I need my Bluetooth back! Thanks in advance!

Solution: It appears that you have done everything that could be done from the software side of things to the hardware side to try to resolve the issue. Just to double check try doing a manual search for any new updates for your device. There might be an update available from Verizon that contains improvements and fixes that may solve the issue.

Another suggestion that I can make is to verify if the problem occurs only on your phone or to other phone’s as well. To check on this try to connect your Blueparott Xpress headset to another Android phone using Bluetooth. If you are experiencing the same problem while connected to another phone then it might really be an issue with the headset.

Once you it is verified that the problem really lies with the phone itself then the only suggestion left that I can recommend is to try to use a custom ROM on your phone. This allows you to check if it is the stock Android 4.4.2 software that is causing the problem. You will need your phone to be rooted and have its bootloader unlocked.

The procedure on how to install a custom ROM on your S4 is available on the various popular Android forums. Just search for it and you will find the guide for your particular phone.

Once you have installed a custom ROM that is known to have no issues with the Bluetooth functionality then the problem may already be with the hardware of your phone. The Bluetooth chip may already be faulty and need to be replaced. Your best option is to bring the phone to an authorized service center for checking.

S4 Issues After KitKat 4.4.2 Update

Problem: Hello, good day. 🙂 I have updated my Galaxy S4 I9505 from 4.3 JB to 4.4.2 KK but it has affected my Wi-Fi, and as well as the auto rotation is not working and I just noticed also that the LCD has its half darker than its original color, it looks like it was cracked. Do you think if i will update it to 4.4.4 will fix my problem with my phone? I will appreciate your response and hoping that you’ll help me. Thanks.

Solution: Usually when several issues appear on your device just after a major software update it is always a good idea to do a factory reset. The main reason why these issues occur is that some of the data of the previous software version has not been completely removed and is still in your phone. This data causes some conflicts with the new software version which manifests itself with the issues you are experiencing.

Before doing a factory reset you should try to check for any new software updates available for your device first. You mentioned that there is an Android KitKat 4.4.4 available for your phone. It’s better to upgrade to that version first then observe your phone if it operates normally. If you don’t see the issues appearing then you don’t need to do a factory reset. If the issues still appear then follow the steps below. Just make sure to back up your data first as this will be deleted 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 “Camera Not Responding” Error

Problem: Hi, having a bit of a nightmare with my galaxy s4. Only had it 3 months, haven’t downloaded many apps & hardly use any of the ones installed on the phone. Last few days the camera has been loading up, but refusing to take photos, then crashing completely & won’t go back to the home screen or lock. It just waits & comes up with the ‘camera not responding’ message. Unable to access gallery as I get the same response. Started having similar problems with my Pact app & Internet search too. Did a complete factory reset as I’d backed everything up, but it is now still refusing to use anything from the gallery as an email attachment (just shows grey boxes & crashes) and freezes completely if I try to open the gallery at all. Seems generally to be really slow. Any suggestions please? Thinking of sending it back already 🙁 Much appreciated!

Solution: Do you by any chance have a microSD card installed in your device? If it is already faulty then you will be experiencing problems such as this. Another possible reason why your phone is acting this way is that a corrupted data is causing this. Follow the troubleshooting steps below to resolve this issue. Make sure you are using the latest software update on your phone before proceeding. (Try to check manually for any updates and install it you are notified of an update).

Restart phone

  • Turn off phone
  • Take out the battery
  • Take out the microSD card (if there is one installed)
  • Press and hold the start button for 3 minutes
  • Reinsert the battery
  • Turn on phone

Try using your phone and observe if the problem still occurs. If it doesn’t, then the problem may be with the microSD or some corrupt data in the RAM of your phone. Proceed to the next step below if the problem still occurs.

The next step that needs to be done is to start your phone in Safe Mode. This allows us to eliminate any third party app that may be causing the problem since these apps will be disabled.

  • 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

Check if the problem still occurs in this mode. If it doesn’t then it is most likely caused by a third party app that you have downloaded at the Google Play Store. You will have to use a trial and error method in finding out what that app is and uninstall it.

One final troubleshooting step you can perform is the factory reset. This time though after the factory reset do not immediately copy the backed up data to the phone.

  • 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.

Once your phone has fully booted up try to see if the problem still occurs. If it doesn’t then problem may be caused by some data that you have.

If the factory reset does not solve the problem then this could already be a hardware issue. If it is still under warranty you can go ahead and send it back for repairs or have it replaced.

S4 “Cannot Zoom In This Mode” Error

Problem: Hi– I am struggling to zoom into a photo when using the camera – an error message comes up saying I cannot zoom in this mode but I can’t relate the problem to anything I’ve set on the phone. This is a problem after having my S4 about 10 months. Please help urgently. Many thanks.

Solution: If your phone is operating in Easy Mode then you will not have access to the zoom feature of your phone camera. Try switching to Standard Mode to enable the zoom functionality. Go to Settings > Device, in Device tap easy mode, turn it off. If you can’t use the volume rockers to zoom then use the display by pinching on it.

S4 Retrieving Missing Photos

Problem: Hi Android guy, I have a HUGE problem!  My photos have mysteriously disappeared from the Gallery app on my S4. I read yesterday that this isn’t a common problem with the S4 but it is known to happen. My question for you is this: is there any way I can get those photos back? I did try the Dr. Phone scanner from pc to my phone and ended up with Malware BUT I did get to see thumbnails of everything that it found – including my missing photos.  I refuse to pay $50 to have it restored. Just wondering if there is an easier (free) way to possibly restore those photos. Thanks for your time and thanks for all the awesome information on Drippler – I have learned SO much!

Solution: How are your photos saved? Do you save them in the internal storage of your phone or do you use a microSD card?

If you store your photos in the microSD card then you could take it out from your phone and use a microSD card adapter to insert the card to your PC. Your photos will usually be stored in the folder named DCIM. Open that folder and check if your PC can see the photos. Copy the photos to a folder in your PC.

If however you are saving your photos in the internal storage of your phone then you will need a software called Kies to access it. Download the latest Kies software from the Samsung website and install it in your PC. Connect your S4 to your PC and run the Kies program. Once the program has detected your phone there will be an option to back up your phone content. You should try to back up your photos.

  • Connect your Galaxy S4 to PC using the USB data cable, and then launch the Kies software.
  • Click the Back up/Restore tab and then select Backup.
  • Here, you can select the items that you would like to backup or check Select all items.
  • Click Backup to begin saving the selected items to your PC. The destination folder is shown at the bottom of the Back up/Restore screen.

Another thing to consider is that the Gallery app may have a problem that is causing it not to properly display your photos. In this case you should try to clear the cache of the 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 Gallery application.
  • Tap Clear cache.

If you have activated the Google+ Photos cloud saving feature on your phone then you can also access your photos from your Google+ account on the Photos section.

S4 Drop Call Issue

Problem: I’ve got a recurring problem that has been very frustrating.  Let me start by saying my service provider is Metro PCS which shares the T-Moblie network.  When I’m on regular phone calls, my phone tends to drop the call after about 5-10 minutes of conversation. I end up calling the person I was speaking to back, or they call me depending upon who gets through to the other first.  In multiple attempts to trouble shoot the issue, Metro PCS has replaced my phone 3 times now and the same thing continues to happen.  It only happens when I’m home, which I find odd. Metro PCS says it’s not a coverage issue, and I have a good signal strength there.  Any ideas you may have to help resolve this would be greatly appreciated as both I and Metro PCS seem to be stumped.  We’ve also tried replacement of my Sim Card as well. I don’t really want to end up getting a 4th phone since that hasn’t changed anything so far. What can I do?  Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Solution: This may not be an issue with your phone but with the signal of the network since you mentioned that it only happens in your home. Metro PCS may have a good coverage in your particular area however there might be some interference in your house that is affecting the quality of the signal. Try to see if the problem also occurs just outside of your house. Try placing a call on the street. If the problem does not occur then there might be an electronic device in your house that is interfering with the network signal.

S4 Gallery Problems

Problem: Hi there, I have this problem with my phone , I found one person on one forum that haves the same problem as me, and this person described very well the problem , so I copied what he says, because I have the same issue, and I don’t know what to do… hope you can help me. “I’m having a problem with the camera, too. Took 45 photos in a 20-minute period yesterday. When I scroll through them on the camera as a slideshow, I see just one image – call it “photo x” – from the group 45 times instead of all 45 different images. Photos I took at other times, before and after, still appear as normal. For the batch in question, the tiny thumbnails show the actual (different) photos, but when I tap any thumbnail from that batch to open, share, or edit, only photo x appears on the full screen. When I look at all the photos from that set in an album on the phone (where they appear as larger, but not full screen images), all I see are repeated rows of photo x. As in the slide show view, when I click on any image from this group of photos, the same image, photo x, appears in full screen. I tried copying the photos to my home computer to open them in image editing software. There, the small thumbnails show the various images as they should look, but again the large screen images are all photo x. When I look at the photos as files in my computer folder, the images are all photo x, too. I tried opening one of the files from this group in Paint, but the image that appeared was photo x, not the actual image that I was trying to open. So, I can only open and edit one shot, photo x, from the series of 45 photos. The rest I can only see in tiny thumbnails, and cannot open, share, or manipulate in any way. I did restart the phone, but that did not solve the problem. Any suggestions for recovering the photos? I spent more $$ than I wanted to on this phone just for the supposedly better camera, so this problem is incredibly frustrating. Thanks for any help you can offer.”

Solution: This problem can be caused by different factors. The camera app may have a glitch, a third party app, the phone software, or the microSD card. Let’s go ahead and troubleshoot each of these factors involved. Before troubleshooting though make sure that your phone is running on the latest software version. If there are any new updates available then install them now.

To check if it is the Camera app that is causing the problem you have to clear its cache and data.

  • 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 Gallery application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data.

Once this is done go ahead and see if the problem still occurs.

Another possible cause of this problem may be certain third party apps installed in the device. You can isolate these third party apps by starting your phone in Safe Mode.

  • 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 in Safe Mode try to check if the problem still occurs. If it doesn’t then you have to find out what app is causing the problem and uninstall it.

Another possible cause of this problem is a faulty microSD card. Simply replace it with a new one and check if the problem repeats itself.

The final troubleshooting step that you can do is to do a factory reset on your phone. Be sure to back up your data first 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 Text Message Writing Issue after KitKat 4.4.2 Update

Problem: SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 SCH-I545 ON VERIZON. Hello, and thanks for this great service. Since Verizon pushed the latest Kit Kat update for the S4, to 4.4.2 (Sept. 22?), I can’t initiate a text. I can respond to texts as long as I don’t close the conversation. Also, when I long press the period/question-mark key, it gets stuck on the question mark and I have to “go back” to return to the keyboard. A reboot or removing battery/SIM card fixes it temporarily. I am reading that others have the same problem. Someone suggested using ProMessaging app…also only worked temporarily. Appears (?) limited to updates from Verizon, which is giving the runaround. Any other tricks that may be permanent or advice in lobbying for a patch? (grrr-stupid question mark key!).Because texts are necessary for quick communication, having to reboot goes beyond inconvenient to causing big problems. Much appreciated.

Solution: There might be some issues with the messaging app that is causing this problem. What you should do is to clear the cache and data of the app but make sure that you save your important messages first.

  • 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 Messaging application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data.

Another reason why this issue is happening is that data from the old software version of your phone has not been completely removed yet. This old data causes conflict with the new software version. To completely remove the old data a factory reset is highly recommended. Before performing this procedure make sure to back up your data first.

  • 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 Air View Not Working On Email

Problem: Good morning, For a while now I’ve been experiencing a problem with air view.  When I “hover” over text in webpages it works fine.  However, it no longer works in e-mail.  When I hover over an e-mail message I get a little square (with nothing in it) that pops up but my text doesn’t enlarge.  I’ve checked my settings, under device, to ensure that the air view feature is turned on & it is.  Can you help!!!!!! Thanks in advance!!!!

Solution: Try checking first if your Air View is properly configured. Follow the steps below to confirm this.

  • Press Menu button
  • Go to Settings.
  • Proceed to My Device.
  • Select Motions and Gestures under the Input and Control section
  • Move the slider next to Air View to the right. The switch will appear green once enabled.
  • After that, tap Air Gesture to reveal more customization options.
  • Activate the Quick Glance, Air Jump, Air Browse, Air Move and Air Call-Accept features of the app from there to maximize its functions.

Make sure that you are using the stock email app when checking your mail.

You can also check if the sensors in front of your phone are getting sufficient light. Sometimes a screen protector or a phone case may affect the way Air View works.

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