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Samsung Galaxy S4 Problems, Errors, Questions and Solutions [Part 42]

Welcome to the 42nd part in our series of troubleshooting articles dedicated to the Samsung Galaxy S4. As you may have already known this is a venue where our readers can ask us for technical support on the issues they are facing with their Android devices. In this latest installment we will tackle some of the latest emails that we have received.

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 concerns that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. What we do ask from you is that when you do send us an email try to be as detailed as possible so that we can make an accurate assessment and a correct solution can be given.

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S4 Camera Will Not Zoom

Problem: Hi, the camera on my Galaxy S4 will not zoom, no matter what mode it is in. When I try to zoom in to take a pic a message pops up that says ‘cannot zoom in or out in this mode’. In addition I have no camera settings( my daughter has the same phone,  purchased at the same time and she has a settings list that shows up on her screen when she opens the camera, I do not have this)The camera worked  fine when I got the phone approx. 6 months ago. I have updated everything, currently running 4.4.2. Hope you can help, thanks!

Solution: The first thing that you need to check is if your phone is set to Easy Mode. In this mode you will not be able to use the zoom functionality of the camera. To get back to the Standard Mode follow the steps below.

  • Hit menu from the home screen and select easy settings.
  • Select More settings and from the new screen select the My device tab at the top of the screen which is the second tab from the left.
  • Look for: Home screen mode and select it.
  • From the new menu select standard mode and click on Apply and finally OK.

If your phone is in Standard Mode but the camera zoom still does not function then clearing the cache and data of your camera app might help.

  • From the home screen, tap the Menu key.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Camera application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data.

If the above steps fail to resolve the issue then you should check if there are any new updates available for your phone and install them. A factory reset is also highly recommended at this time. Make sure to back up the data of your phone before proceeding as this will get 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 “unfortunately, gallery has stopped “Error

Problem: Hi, I have recently discovered a problem with the gallery. It stops and exits out when I delete a photo showing a message “unfortunately, gallery has stopped.” Photos are getting deleted though. The screen blacks out for 2 to 3 seconds before it shows this message. Please help me out.

Solution: Whenever you get an error message of an app that has unfortunately stopped working the first thing you need to do is to clear its cache and data. In this case it is the Gallery app that has a problem so this is what we will be concentrating on.

  • From the home screen, tap the Menu key.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Gallery application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data.

Most of the time you won’t be getting the error message anymore. Just in case the error message still pops up the next step that you should take is to boot your phone in Safe mode. This allows you to check if any third party app that you recently installed in your phone is causing the problem since these apps will be disabled.

  • With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right edge) until the Phone options prompt appears then release.
  • Tap and hold Power off until the Restart in Safe Mode prompt appears then release.
  • Tap Turn On Safe Mode.
  • The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
  • Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

Try to check if the error message still appears in Safe Mode. If it doesn’t then you have to find out what third party app is causing this problem and uninstall it.

S4 Voice Calls Can’t Be Heard

Problem: Dear Droid Guy, I as well as my co-workers are having a common problem with our Samsung Galaxy S4s. In searching the web for a solution I see there are quite a few people having the same issue and no one has offered a true solution. The issue is that periodically throughout the day when either placing or receiving a call the call will go through but we cannot hear or be heard. It occurs numerous times per day and we can’t identify any commonalities regarding the occurrences as they seem to be completely random. Restarting the phones restores the call making ability for an undetermined period and then the error reoccurs. There are postings on the web stating it is junk in the microphone port but I find it hard to believe so many people suddenly got gunk in there mic port. Also, if that were the case why would a restart temporarily restore that function? Our phones are model SCH-R970 (US Cellular) though I see posting from many other carriers. Android Version 4.4.2. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Solution: Is the Bluetooth feature of your phone activated when you are making a call? Your phone may be connecting to another Bluetooth audio device thus transferring the speaker and mic to that device. Try to turn off your Bluetooth feature then make a call. Observe if the problem is still present.

If it is still present then the next action you should take is to determine if certain third party apps you installed is causing this. You can easily check on this by booting your phone in Safe Mode.

  • With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right edge) until the Phone options prompt appears then release.
  • Tap and hold Power off until the Restart in Safe Mode prompt appears then release.
  • Tap Turn On Safe Mode.
  • The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
  • Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

When in Safe Mode make sure your Bluetooth is off before making a call. If there is no problem with your call then it’s safe to say that an app may be causing the issue. You have to find out what that app is and uninstall it from your phone.

S4 Auto Brightness Issue

Problem: Hi there. I have an S4, less than 6 months old and in the last couple of days I’ve noticed a problem with the display. I use the auto brightness setting and lately it’s been turning itself off. It’ll be fine for an hour or so, until I notice my screen is unusually bright and I have to turn it back on again. I’ve seen people having trouble with screen rotation, but not the auto brightness.

Solution: If your auto brightness turns off randomly then this is most probably caused by a glitch in the software. Before troubleshooting make sure that your phone is running on the latest software updates. The first thing you should consider that may be causing this problem is a third party app that you may have installed in your phone.  To verify this you need to start your phone in Safe Mode.

  • With the device powered on, press and hold the Power button (located on the right edge) until the Phone options prompt appears then release.
  • Tap and hold Power off until the Restart in Safe Mode prompt appears then release.
  • Tap Turn On Safe Mode.
  • The restart process may take up to 45 seconds to complete.
  • Upon restart, Safe mode appears in the lower-left of the unlock/home screen.

Once in Safe Mode you will need to check if the problem still occurs. If it doesn’t then you have to do a trial and error method in finding out what app is causing the problem and uninstall it.

If the problem still exists in Safe Mode one final troubleshooting step you can perform on your phone is a factory reset. Just make sure to back up your data first 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.

S4 Overheats

Problem: To Whom It May Concern:  I am sure you are busy as ever!  I have noticed that my galaxy s4 is over-heating.  It over-heats while unattended on a soft surface, and it will overheat if I hold it in my hand for too long.  I love my galaxy s4 and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Solution: If your phone overheats even if it is not used then this might be caused by a rogue app that is running in the background. Try to open your Google Play Store app and check if all your apps are updated. An update on your apps will usually solve this problem.

If all your apps are updated then another possible cause is a faulty MicroSD. If this is the case then you should take out the card from your phone and insert it to your PC. Backup all contents of the card to your PC then reinsert it back to your phone. Format the MicroSD card using your phone. Observe if the problem still exists.

A software update may help solve this issue. Try to check if there are any new updates for your phone and apply them accordingly.

S4 “Unfortunately Internet Has Stopped”

Problem: Even after a connection is made this darn window pops up and I have to keep trying over and over. It occurs even with 3 bars of 4G or in Wi-Fi mode.  Doesn’t occur all the time but is very frustrating. It started about 6 weeks ago and was not present during 1st 14 months. Did not start with last update but months afterward. I keep hoping Samsung/Verizon will issue another update that might restore functionality. HELP!

Solution: If you are using the stock browser of your phone then try clearing its cache and data.

  • From the home screen, tap the Menu key.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap the More tab.
  • Scroll to and tap Application manager.
  • Swipe left to the All tab.
  • Scroll to and tap the Browser application.
  • Tap Clear cache.
  • Tap Clear data.

You should also check how many browser tabs are open. Try to keep it at a minimum since your browser will not allow more than 16 tabs to be open simultaneously.

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