The 47th installment of our Galaxy S4 troubleshooter guide has arrived!
Shoot us an email at [email protected] and we will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.
S4 user thankful of help
Kudos: Hi. After using Android for 4 years last week ago I installed my first custom ROM CM11 M8 using their one click installer onto my S4 GT-I9505 UK model. The installation was fine and the phone has worked perfectly for 8 days. However whilst exploring the vast array of menus on CM I looked in on recovery.
Then disaster struck as it would not boot back into CM. The device was stuck in recovery. I did Power + Volume Up + Home and removed battery numerous times but it would not reboot. Whilst researching what to do, as I am new to all this, I discovered your website and read the info on the S3 which my wife has. So I saw the info about safe boot and tried that on my S4. IT WORKED!!!! My phone is now up and running. Thank you so much for the info. No one on the Cyanogen Forum has suggested this fix.
All the best and many thanks again. — David Boland
Hi David. We handle thousands of email from our readers daily and it’s not everyday that we receive positive feedback that our solutions work. Well, we are glad that we were able to help you resolve your problem. We appreciate your effort in writing this email to let us know.
We had written a few articles about an S4 stuck in Boot Loop but we think you are referring to this post: http://thedroidguy.com/2014/01/fix-samsung-galaxy-s4-keeps-rebooting-stuck-boot-loop-83102#rhyBDxvkwu9f2BCM.97.
Please continue to support our website as we expand our help to other smartphone models in the future. Again, thank you.
S4 reboots when using camera flash
Problem: Good day guys. I’ve had my Samsung Galaxy S4 for almost a year now. The issue is that whenever I take a picture with the flash on, the phone switches off instantly. I won’t be able to switch it back on until I remove the battery and reinsert it for a cold start. Hope you can help me out. Regards. — Frank
Troubleshooting: Hi Frank. We’re sorry to hear about this problem. You are one of the few S4 users who encountered this extremely rare problem. Unfortunately for us, there are no particular known cause of the problem, which means that there is no specific troubleshooting step/s that we can suggest.
A malfunctioning flash can be caused by a number of factors including, but not limited to:
- A rogue or corrupted third party application
- Battery issue
- Moisture-caused damage
- Physical damage
- Outdated software
If the phone has been dropped before, there’s a big chance that the circuitry of the flash may have become damaged. The camera assembly including the flash can also suffer from liquid or moisture damage. Sometimes, cleaning the camera and flash with clean, soft cloth dampened with water can work wonders.
Make sure that your phone does not have one of the mentioned causes above. Perform a Safe Mode procedure on your phone and try to see if the flash works that way. If it does work while the phone is in safe mode, this means that a third party app may be causing it to fail. Try to uninstall any recently installed app and see if that will work.
You also want to make sure that your phone and all your apps are running the most updated version of software.
If any of things will not help, contact Samsung or your provider for a unit replacement. We won’t suggest for a repair as this may only give you a temporary fix at best. A brand new phone is the most preferable.
S4 briefing alarm set-up
Problem: Is there a way to get the Briefing Mode on my Samsung Galaxy S4? I know this is possible because a friend using an S4 told me about it.
I love being greeted during the morning with overnight news and the day’s weather. I don’t know much about phones so if you can walk me through it in simple terms, I think I can manage. — Mona
Troubleshooting: Hi Mona. We agree with you that there’s no nicer feeling than listening to fresh news at the start of the day. Fortunately, the way to set-up your phone to do just that is simple. Just follow our instructions below and you should be able to set-up your phone in a breeze.
- On your Galaxy S4, launch the Clock app.
- On the Alarm screen, tap the + sign to create a new alarm.
- Tap Alarm type and then select Briefing.
- If you will be prompted with an Information window, just tap OK
- Now you will see the New Widget Settings. Make sure to select the correct country before selecting your favorite category.
- Tap Briefing content then select the items that you want to view on the alarm screen.
- Tap Save to keep your preferences afterwards.
In the event that you have selected an incorrect country or category under News Widget Settings, don’t worry as there’s an easy way to reset it.
- On you Galaxy S4, go to home Settings > More > Application manager > All.
- Scroll down and select Unified Daemon (EUR).
- On the App info screen, tap Clear data.
- Restart the phone. After the phone reloads, you will prompted again to select your desired categories and country.
S4 Smart dock not working when using HDMI
Problem: I have had my S4 for over a year now. I originally bought the Samsung Galaxy Smart dock with it and loved it for months. However, it stopped working; I thought it was bad so i bought a cheap direct HDMI adapter but there’s no response on HDTV or phone. I have splurged and bought the AllShare hub for wireless mirroring and it works but heats up after an hour. My Samsung S4 charges fine but could the HDMI part of the port be malfunctioning? Any help or links greatly appreciated. Thanks. — Insanejoe
Troubleshooting: Hi Insanejoe. Based on your description of the problem, it looks like the Smart dock itself is working fine except its HDMI port component. It’s impossible for us to diagnose what is the status of the HDMI port right now but this type of problem appears to be common even with other devices employing HDMI.
A quick search in Google about HDMI issues can churn out tons of posts, though most of them happen on TVs.
Nevertheless, we recommend that you get a replacement Smart dock if you want to continue to connect your phone via HDMI.
S4 battery drains faster after updating to Android KitKat 4.4.2
Problem: I have been using my Samsung Galaxy S4 for a year now and the battery life was more than good – whole day of hard use and still had 30-40% left. After the last update to Android KitKat 4.4.2, the phone can’t last even a few hours. I charged the phone to 100%, plug it out of the charger and after a few minutes without using it, the battery goes to 80%. Even bought a new battery but the problem remains the same. Can you please help me? — Vladimir
Troubleshooting: Hi Vladimir. After a quick check, it appears that you are not alone to suffer from battery drain issue after updating to KitKat 4.4.2. Obviously, it’s not the battery on your phone as you have already replaced it with a new one.
We have been receiving lots of emails about S4 battery issues and fortunately, a post had already been published to help many of our readers. I recommend that you go over our suggestions in this post first: http://thedroidguy.com/2013/12/troubleshooting-four-major-battery-related-issues-samsung-galaxy-s4-81351#b5RpJ3rZIkeJdmPK.97
While not recommended by Samsung and by anyone who worries too much about security, you also have an option to revert your phone’s operating system to its previous state. There are many ways how to achieve this by simply searching for options in Google. You can also visit http://www.sammobile.com/ for a more extensive help from fellow Samsung users.
S4 flash player does not work
Problem: Hi. My biggest problem is the Adobe Flash player after I updated to KitKat 4.4.2. Although I have installed the modified flash player and dolphin browser (and enabled jet pack and web content is always on) like the description of XDA , I still can’t play my favorite TV app (Deutschland TV created via Flash Paradise). I wrote to them but they don’t answer. The app hasn’t any update in the last 15 months. But it still works for galaxy S3 with Jelly Bean 4.3. Basically, what happens is when I click on the TV app (using my S4 KitKat) it gives me the error “get Adobe Flash player”. Have you any idea? Please help me. Thanks in advance. — Salomon
Troubleshooting: Hi Salomon. The only user-tested browser able to run flash for KitKat 4.4 is the Dolphin browser. If you followed xda-developers.com member Surviveland’s instruction how to download and install the Flash Player APK file, then the problem lies not on your phone or browser but on the app itself. The error that you’re getting is simply an indicator that the app is not detecting the flash player you’ve installed.
Flash is a PC-era technology and was never designed for touch screen but thankfully, Adobe’s geniuses tweaked it run in Android. But still, flash is has never been supported to run in Android-powered devices. Adobe had officially withdrew its product from Google Play Store early this year.
And of course, it’s not a secret that Samsung blocked Flash plugins in their devices as well.
Anyhow, the best thing that you can do here is to make every effort to contact the developer to let them know (hopefully they are still supporting their app) about the problem. Otherwise, you may want to take other options to watch your favorite channel on your phone.
S4 stuck in bootloop after flashing ROM
Problem: Please help me with my problem. When I had my S4 it is running KitKat 4.2.2 and I updated it to Android 4.3. Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now released but not in our country so I tried to flash the firmware from sammobile.com via ODIN and it was successfully flashed. I also flashed the TWRP Recovery so that I can install a Custom ROM “Samy Deluxe ROM” and it was also successful. After a month I decided to revert it back to STOCK ROM and Flashed it via ODIN, still the phone was fine. Then this week I’ve decided to use again the Samy Deluxe ROM. I followed the steps again and it required a Full Factory Reset that’s why I clicked the “Format Data” and swiped to Factory Reset. After that procedure, I turned on the phone but it didn’t continue. Now it’s only showing the Samsung logo and the lines on top left saying “KERNEL IS NOT SEANDROID ENFORCING, Set Warranty Bit : Kernel” I just turned the phone off again and flash the Samy Deluxe ROM via TWRP, it was done but still in bootloop with that lines. I still tried to turn off and on again and it continued, until it boot up and continue setting up and installing some apps on the phone. I notice that the automatic brightness is not working so I decided to restart the phone, after that the bootloop returned back and cannot continue to boot up. Now I cannot flash any stock ROMs via Odin it always shows “no pit partition”, I tried to flash PIT file of S4 but still no luck. Please help me. Thank you. — Ejay
Troubleshooting: Hello Ejay. There’s always an inherent risk involved if a user tries to flash a phone’s ROM. Although most tutorials would incorporate emergency troubleshooting steps for exact cases like the one the you have, they are catered for anticipated problems that might arise from preset factors. A variable that’s not considered by ROM developers to come up when they formulate their set of solutions may set your issue as unique. And we believe that your problem is isolated to your phone only as we have not encountered it yet.
If you cannot secure a replacement unit for your phone, try to see if the tested remedy we know will work in this case. If there is a microSD card connected to your phone, try to reformat it to FAT32 using another device and see if your phone will boot up normally. We’re sorry but this is the only solution we know at the moment. We hope this works for you.
S4 losing mobile internet after placing new front and back skin
Problem: Hi. I have problem with my Samsung S4. I bought a Samsung S4 skin from a store that covers the phone front and back. But since that skin was put I started losing my mobile internet. I am wondering if it is because of the skin i placed that covered something in my phone and may had block the signal. I hope you can help me with this. — Emiliza
Troubleshooting: Hi Emiliza. If placing the new front and back skin was the only thing that happened to your phone before you lost your mobile connection, then it will make sense if you can isolate the issue by removing the skin. We cannot see the logic why the phone will lose connectivity because of a cosmetic add-on but we strongly suggest that you do it anyway.
Before we move to troubleshooting the issue, we are assuming that you are experiencing any of the following issues:
- Unable to connect to the internet
- Cannot send and receive multimedia messages
- Cannot browse websites
- Unable to send and receive email messages
- Cannot run internet-dependent contents with apps
Please go over the troubleshooting steps below to resolve mobile connectivity issue on a Samsung Galaxy S4.
- Soft reset the phone. A simple soft reset usually reestablishes connection to a provider. To do this, please do the following:
- Press and hold the Power key, tap Power off, and then tap OK to turn your Samsung Galaxy S4 off.
- Remove the battery. After 30 seconds, reinsert the battery.
- Press and hold the Power key to turn your Samsung Galaxy S4 back on.
- Test your device to see if the issue is resolved.
- Call your service provider. Check if there’s an ongoing outage. We don’t want you to waste your time doing any other steps when the issue starts with your provider itself.
- Find a workaround. If you need to connect to the internet badly, try to find free hotspots in your area or use your home Wi-Fi temporarily.
- Get a replacement. If there’s no outage and removing the skin doesn’t help, it’s obviously a hardware issue that warrants phone replacement.
S4 getting “unfortunately settings have stopped” error
Problem: I have the s4 and the other day it completely froze. I removed the battery because that was the only way to reset it. The power button wouldn’t work either. I put the battery back in and powered it back up. I thought everything was fine until I went to access my settings. Every time I click on settings it tells me “unfortunately settings have stopped. ” I’ve researched fixes and the majority of them require me accessing the settings screen which I am unable to do. Any suggestions? I’m afraid to power it down because it took so long last time to boot everything back up. And some apps wouldn’t start back up. It appears as though everything is okay now except this settings issue I’m having. Any suggestions other than powering it down and restating it? — kwow1967
Troubleshooting: A powerful smartphone like a Samsung Galaxy S4 freezing can be caused by different factors. The most common root cause is an overwhelmed RAM–a result of too many apps running simultaneously in the background that your phone’s temporary memory can’t handle the demand. Another common cause can be attributed to a rogue app. Still, many users also report a corrupted operating makes their phone lag and/or eventually freeze.
We have prepared some troubleshooting items below and it’s to you to try them to isolate can may be the real root cause.
- Non-working microSD card. After some digging, we discovered that a faulty microSD card can make an S4 lag or freeze. To see if this is the case, try to unplug the card from your phone, restart, and observe. If the phone works flawlessly, then it’s time for you to either reformat the microSD card, or simply replace it.
- Rogue/problematic apps.
- Hold the Power button for a few seconds until the phone options are displayed
- Tap on Power off option
- As the phone boots up, keep pressing the Volume down button until the lock screen is shown. You’ll know if you are in Safe Mode because it will say so on the lower left side of the screen.
- Clear RAM. This simple step works wonders if the real issue is being caused by low RAM problem. Try to limit the number of apps running on your phone all the time but should you want to clear the RAM anytime, just do the following:
- Go to the Home screen.
- Press and hold the Home button until Recent Apps screen appears.
- Tap Task Manager.
- From there, you can see a tab that says “RAM,” tap on it.
- RAM usage will then be displayed.
- Touch Clear Memory button below.
- Get a replacement. Unfortunate as this may sound but letting go of your defective S4 can be the only resolution. If any or all of the steps fail, you can safely assume that your phone is suffering from an unknown hardware failure. There is no best way to guess what particular hardware may have failed because any of the hundreds of the components inside can potentially break.
You want to skip having a third party technician check your phone for a possible hardware trouble (especially if it’s still under warranty). It’s common knowledge that providers or Samsung will consider the phone’s warranty voided if a third party technician will attempt repair before they do.
If you did root your phone, make sure to re-flash it to its stock ROM to avoid voiding the warranty as well.
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Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via [email protected] any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response.