Hey guys, welcome to the 49th part of our troubleshooter series for the Samsung Galaxy S4. I addressed 12 problems in this post so try to read the list of the problems below to find out if your issues are among the ones I cited here. If not, visit our Galaxy S4 Troubleshooting page as we’ve indexed all issues we’ve addressed before.
For those who are planning on contacting us, please provide as much details as possible and include your observation. We can easily assess your problem and provide you a solution if you include the following information: the model of your phone, when the problem started, what’s the general behavior of the device, and what are the error messages you’re getting. Provide screenshots or pictures if possible so that we can see what you’re seeing on the screen. Send your email to email@example.com or post on our Facebook wall or Google+ page.
Click on any of the links below to jump to a problem:
- Galaxy S4 Has Difficulty Connecting To Network
- How To Block A Number From Sending Messages
- Galaxy S4 Email Has Stopped
- Galaxy S4 WiFi Won’t Stay On
- Tracing A Stolen Galaxy S4
- WiFi Turns On If Galaxy S4 Active Screen Turns On
- Galaxy S4 Having Trouble Connecting To WiFi Network
- Galaxy S4 Seems To Be On Call But Won’t End
- Galaxy S4 Screen Not Displaying Picture
- Galaxy S4 Menu And Back Keys Malfunctioning
- Galaxy S4 Email Has Stopped, Screen Flickers
- Galaxy S4 Keeps Updating After Reboot
Problem: Hello, I just stumbled across your page online and found a similar question someone had asked, but I wanted to see what help/advice you could give me as mine is perhaps slightly different.
I had a phone locked to Orange network. All was working fine. I had reception problems with orange in my area for over two months and decided to leave them and go onto GiffGaff network. I took my phone to a local shop to be unlocked. they said it was successful. My phone has since not worked properly and has been saying it is not connecting to 02 network which is the network Giffgaff runs off.
I took it back to the shop and they checked a few things such as if it was running on 3G, 2G etc… they changed in onto running off just 3G and said they thought that was the problem they also deleted some of the other networks on the phone and said that the phone may have been getting confused which network provider it is meant to be running off…. but this didn’t solve the problem.
I also did some checking of things myself and went onto the GiffGaff website and followed instructions to manually put in settings the APN details and checked that the service centre number was correct. So as far as I am aware that is all correct.
The main problem is that the phone will connect to 02 for a few seconds and then it will drop and a small circle with a line through it appears on the top right hand side of the screen and then the message comes up saying not connected to network.
When I click on the message and i connect to the network again (O2) it does connect then seconds later it drops.
If I just leave my phone its 99% of the time not connected and then the odd 1% it connects. In that odd 1% it connects I am able to make calls etc and connect to data which i am not otherwise able to do. However even when the phone is saying not connected to a network I can still receive calls which baffles me!
I am taking it back to the shop again in two days time as the technician there said that he will download a file on his computer which will do some sort of reset on my phone and I will lose all data and this may work? I have checked what update i am on and it is 4.4.2 as my phone recently updated its software so as far as I’m aware its up to date?
Any advice/help would be gratefully appreciated! as its driving me nuts! and i cant use my phone at all unless connected to my home wif fi and even then its use is limited. Many thanks. —
Potential Solution: Carla, Android uses small set of data when apps and services are run. It then stores them so that the next time the user launch them, it would be quicker for the system to run them. As long as those little files (also known as caches) exist, the system will continue using them. When the user makes some changes to the phone (in your case, you switched to a new network), there are times when the system would still continue using previous caches. When this happens, error occurs or the phone ceases to function properly. The same is true with data of apps and services.
With that said, it would be worth your time to boot the Galaxy S4 in recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. Cache partition is a directory where the system stores all caches. Clearing the partition will force the phone to cache new sets of files during boot up. There’s a big chance this procedure alone would fix the problem. If it won’t, the next thing you should consider is factory reset. Just like wiping the cache partition, factory reset will clear all contents of the data partition, which holds all settings and configurations in your phone. But one thing you should know about it is that it will delete all your data that are saved in your phone’s internal storage so make a backup of those things you don’t want to lose during reset.
Carla, these two procedures I mentioned here may not be able to fix the problem if, in the first place, the issue is with the network or if the unlocking wasn’t successful. So, if the problem continues even after factory reset, please have your provider’s technician take a look at it.
Problem: Hello! I came across your information on how to block calls and texts for an android and especially the Galaxy S4. My issue is I have some guy stalking me for years now. He doesn’t do it every day but it’s clock work every few months. I don’t want to change my number due to my job. But I cannot seem to get him to stop this random texting stuff. I have followed what you said in instructions bit when I go to the texting app and click settings and try to enable spam numbers my telephone does not have this setting. My phone stops right after in settings where it says select a call back number and a signature. I have no other setting buttons after that. I have nothing about spam numbers to enable this. I have downloaded and app but it only allows to block texts if u text from that app which is stupid and I don’t want to do that. I went on Verizon and put the person on the block list but that expires every 90 days. I added the person’s number to my reject list for calling but I see no feature for texting and that’s my main issue. I don’t want this guy randomly texting me for no reason. Please help me! Thank you! — Jamie
Suggestion: Jamie, the call and message blocking feature in Galaxy S4 is available only to some variants and unfortunately, Verizon models don’t have it that is the reason why your provider offers such feature for a fee. It seems like you will be renewing that feature every 3 months for you to block a number from sending random messages.
Error: My Samsung Galaxy S4 has recently displayed the message ‘Unfortunately, email has stopped’ If I uninstall the program I lose all my settings including sync settings. This is not ideal as I regularly use email on my phone to run my business. Is there a way around this issue without uninstalling/reinstalling the email program? I have tried disabling the Download Manager, rebooting the phone and enabling DM but this does not work. Please help? — Dave
Answer: Email is actually one of the pre-installed apps and it can’t be download unless your phone is rooted or you’re using a custom ROM. If your phone is stock, then the best thing you can do about it is clear its cache and data and then re-setup your account. If that doesn’t help, there’s no other option but to perform factory reset just to resolve this problem. Again, it’s a pre-installed app and if it doesn’t function the way it should, there must be a little problem with the firmware that factory reset may be able to resolve.
If, however, you are using custom ROM, it could have been helpful if you included the name and build of the ROM you’re using. Since we don’t have necessary information as to the firmware you may be using, we can’t provide a solution.
Problem: I really hoped to find the answer myself but I’ve searched for about 30 hours including trying other firmware, etc. I didn’t want to root my phone! The wifi problem… It just won’t turn on. Occasionally it will, but it shuts down automatically after a short while, so I guess it’s not hardware related. Has been a problem since the beginning of this year, started gently first by turning off by itself and I could turn it back on. I assume it was after an update to kitkat. So, I tap the wifi icon, it get’s grey-green for half a second and reverts back to grey instead of lighting up green. I can try this all day, no use. Reboot, pull battery etc etc.
I had a broken screen a month ago, replaced it, so a bad contact is unlikely. I hope there IS a solution or at least an update in the near future because an S4 without wifi is like a bar with no beer. Thanks! — Bart
Potential Solutions: I encountered this problem multiple times already and it can be fixed easily. Try booting the phone in safe mode and turn WiFi while it’s in that state. If the WiFi stays on, then reboot your phone and it should work fine after that. However, if the WiFi will not stay on in safe mode, it is more likely a firmware issue and it is recommended you boot the phone is recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. There’s no need to root the phone because of this problem alone. Try these two procedures first and if they can’t fix it, then try master reset.
Question: Hi! My S4 just got stolen, I’m trying to trace it but I haven’t had much success, what does it take for both “connected” and “remote controls” to be “on”? Please help me. — Alejandro
Answer: They mean that your phone must be “connected” to the internet either via WiFi or mobile data network so that “remote controls” can be used to completely wipe, lock or locate your phone. If you happened to have registered for a Samsung account using your phone, Remote Controls may have already been enabled. So, what you have to do is wait for someone who has your phone to connect it to the internet so that you can do whatever you need to do. If both were disabled before the phone was stolen, then that’s the end of it.
Problem: I cannot figure this out. The gps is off an not using wifi to find my location. Under the wifi settings I have to option for auto connect. The wifi turns on every time I turn the screen on on my phone. I turn the wifi off then turn the screen off then turn the screen back on and the wifi turns on. Help me please! It’s driving me crazy! — Luke
Potential Solution: I’ve seen this issue in action before. There must be some app that needs internet and activates when the phone comes out of idle state. To find out which one, just go to Settings and the Application Manager. Take a look at the running apps. There’s no easy way to determine which one but try disabling the ones that currently run then try the screen on, screen off procedure to know if WiFi still activates on its own. After disabling all running apps and the problem wasn’t solved, boot the phone in recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. That should do it.
Problem: I have had three of these phones and with each have had trouble connecting to the wireless internet. Sometimes I can…mostly not especially if it is a secure network which includes home and office.
I take it to the Verizon store and of course it connects to both the Verizon network and the Starbucks next door. It is clear non of the techs at Verizon know what they’re doing. I’ve Googled and tried multiple suggestions. All with no success.
When I had this trouble initially with the S4 phone I was using I switched to the exact same model that was my husband’s and it was OK for awhile. Then the connection issue began to manifest with my current phone. I’d appreciate any help at all. I’m always eating up data. Thanks, Lisa.
Suggestion: Three phones with same exact problem. Coincidence? Of course, not. Based on your description, the phone can connect but most of the time it can’t but Verizon tech were able to connect it to their network and that of Starbucks’. So, there’s no problem with the phone’s hardware. What I can see as the cause of this problem (based on your description) is that your home network may be the problem here. So, I suggest you reboot your network equipment such your modem and/or router and see if that makes a difference. If not, re-configure your home network to use a different frequency and try finding a channel that has less interference.
Problem: Hello Droid Guy, thank you for your detailed article on Samsung Galaxy S4. I came across a weird occurrence and haven’t found answer as to what it could be. On the top left corner of my phone, the phone call icon was displayed and when I pull down the menu, it showed like I was on a call with one of my contacts but when I clicked the End button, it wouldn’t end the “call”. The counter was up to 32 hours and 30 minutes when I saw it. The icon was just the phone receiver like I was on a call. Have you come across this before? Thanks for your time. — Evelyn
Suggestion: Hi Evelyn. If there’s a counter and an “End” button, then the phone might have been on a call. Have you tried calling your number from a different phone to see if the call go through? Or, what happened when you reboot the phone? You know, it’s really a weird issue and I haven’t seen one like this if this is an issue at all. It could have been better if you attached a screenshot of what you’re seeing. For now, I can’t recommend a solution because I don’t know if this is a problem at all.
Problem: Hi, I’ve had my phone in an otter box and somehow it was stepped on and the screen broke so I’ve been using it for about a year with a broken screen. it’s worked fine however it was gotten steam in it from it being in the bathroom while showering, the baby has gotten a hold of it and it’s gotten a little moister in it all the while in the otter box.
Last night it was thrown and now at the top of the screen there is a strip of something? A pic or back ground? Other than that strip you can’t see anything. it’s making sounds receiving text messages and so fourth but wont turn the screen on. Please let me know if I can fix it without buying a new or refurbished one? Thank you! — Kasey
Suggestion: Hi Kasey. Apparently, the display of your phone is broken. Yes, you can buy a new display panel for Galaxy S4, bring the phone to a technician and have it replaced. Replacing the display panel is way cheaper than buying a new unit or even a refurbished phone.
Problem: Hi Droid guy, about a month ago, my phone started having issues. No matter if I am looking at pictures, searching google, reading emails, anything, the settings button and the back button light up and start going back or opening settings. It back out of things I am looking at. Then it will shut down and sometimes, wont turn back on for a while. I’m afraid it’s going to shut down and not reboot. I have uploaded any new software. I have deleted any apps that were installed in the past 2 months. I have reset the default on the internet so that if something was attached, it deletes it. Nothing has worked. Can you help? Thank you, Misty.
Troubleshooting: Hello Misty. For this issue, there are two possibilities; either it’s a hardware problem or caused by an app. There’s something we can do for the latter but if it were a hardware issue, you need help from a technician.
Now, to rule out the possibility that an app is causing this trouble, boot the phone in safe mode and try to observe if the Menu and Back keys still act up. If not, then a third-party app is to blame. The problem is, you need to find that app and uninstall or disable it. There’s no easy way to finding the culprit but if you can remember when the problem started, you can uninstall apps you may have download prior to the incident. If, however, the phone still acts up in safe mode, there’s no other option left but factory reset and if it remained after that, then it’s a hardware issue.
Problem: Droid guy, my phone did a system update this afternoon and now I keep getting “unfortunately email has stopped” message. This is major for me. I have had the phone since May 2013.
Since I’m letting you know, it also “flickers” instead of going to sleep. I will be using and once I put it down instead of going to a black screen it flickers, which could be causing my battery to die… I have to charge it 3 sometimes 4 times a day. And I have a life charge case for emergencies. Please help…Thank you, Pam.
Related Problem: I ran a software update on my Samsung Galaxy S4 on 11/14/2015. Since then, when I open my email app it runs slow, many times give a message that reads “Unfortunately, Email has stopped”, and if it does open it’s slow reacting and often just locks up. Is there a fix for this issue? Thanks in advance for your help.
Potential Solution: Hi Pam. Things like this shouldn’t happen but there is always a chance that some data and caches may be corrupted during update. So, try booting the phone in recovery mode and wipe the cache partition. There’s a 50-50 chance it will fix the problem but it’s necessary to save you from all the troubles in backing up your data. If it doesn’t work, then it’s time you backed up your data and reset your phone to factory defaults.
Problem: Hi there, I was wondering if you can help with a problem I have. I just received a new Samsung S4, and when I turned it on it said it needed a software / firmware update. I updated my phone and it restarted. When it turned on again, it said it needed another firmware update. I have done this cycle about 5 times now, with the phone telling me each time there is another update.
All the updates have been different in size, and it sometimes says software update and other times it says firmware update. Please help? Thanks. — Nicole
Suggestion: Hi, Nicole. I’ve seen this problem twice before, although the phones weren’t S4 but they were new, too. It’s as if they missed all updates and now they’re downloading them all at once. Just leave the phone be and let it download those updates. Make sure you don’t interrupt the process as it may result to errors. Firmware updates are for the Android system itself while software updates are for apps. There’s nothing to worry about.
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